Men's Basketball Climbs to 14th in NationMarch 6, 2012
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Anderson University men’s basketball team is ranked 14th in the nation in the final NABC/Division II men’s basketball rankings as the NCAA Division II Tournament gets underway this weekend.
Anderson (24-5, 17-1 SAC), the defending NCAA Southeast Region champion, appeared at No. 24 in the poll three weeks ago and has steadily ascended to its highest ranking in school history on the strength of another stellar season. The Trojans earned the top seed in last week’s South Atlantic Conference Tournament and have won 10 of their last 11 games as they prepare for their unprecedented third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
The Trojans are seeded third in this week’s NCAA Southeast Region Tournament and will square off against sixth-seeded Columbus State in the quarterfinals Saturday at Noon (Central). The tournament is being hosted by the University of Montevallo (Ala.).
The 2011-12 edition of Trojan men’s basketball has equaled the school record for wins after making South Atlantic Conference history by becoming just the fourth team in the league to suffer just one loss in regular-season play and just the second current member (since Carson-Newman in 2001-02) to go through the league slate with just one loss. The Trojans recorded the most regular-season league wins in SAC history and notched the highest league winning percentage (.944) in conference history.
Joining the Trojans in the top-25 is fellow SAC-member Lincoln Memorial, which slipped from 17th to 24th after falling in the conference tournament semifinals.
Colorado School of Mines has reached the No. 1 spot in the national rankings for the first time in school history. The Orediggers, champions of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, received all eight first place votes and will take their top ranking into the Central Regional that they will host beginning on Saturday. The top five spots in the final poll are held by teams that will host regional tournaments on the road to the Elite Eight in Highland Heights, Ky.
Alabama-Huntsville, the South Regional host, is ranked second and Atlantic Regional host West Liberty comes in at No. 3. Last week’s top-ranked team, Bellarmine, fell in the Great Lakes Valley Conference semifinals and dropped to fourth in the poll, but will host the Midwest Regional this weekend while South Central Regional host Midwestern State is ranked No. 5.
Southern Indiana, who handed Bellarmine the semifinal loss on its way to winning the GLVC Tournament, moved up to No. 6 and is followed by Shaw, Christian Brothers, Tarleton State and Indiana (Pa.) – all of whom are No. 2 seeds behind the top five teams in the poll in their respective regional tournaments.
Northern Kentucky, the host school for the Elite Eight, is ranked 11th this week, with West Regional host Western Washington, Metropolitan State, Anderson and Arkansas Tech taking the next four spots in the rankings. The No. 16 team is Alaska-Anchorage, who is followed by Charleston, Kentucky Wesleyan, Washburn – in the Top 25 for the first time this season – and Hillsdale.
The final five teams in the final poll are Northwest Missouri State, Southeast Regional host Montevallo, Missouri Southern, Lincoln Memorial and Findlay. The regional tournaments begin Friday with the West Regional, while the other seven regional events get underway with first round games on Saturday.
The Trojans are making their fourth consecutive weekly appearance in the poll since earning the No. 25 spot in early December, 2009. AU opened that campaign with three straight wins and their hottest start in school history at that time. The ranking marked the first time AU had climbed into the Top 25 poll since becoming a four-year institution in the nineties.
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (March 6, 2012)
Record Points Pvs
1. Colo. School of Mines (8 first place votes) 27-2 200 2
2. Alabama-Huntsville 26-3 192 3
3. West Liberty, W.Va. 29-2 182 4
4. Bellarmine, Ky. 25-3 175 1
5. Midwestern State, Texas 26-3 168 6
6. Southern Indiana 24-6 143 13
7. Shaw, N.C. 25-3 142 5
8. Christian Brothers, Tenn. 23-6 139 8
9. Tarleton State, Texas 26-5 138 7
10. Indiana, Pa. 23-5 112 9
11. Northern Kentucky 23-6 109 10
12. Western Washington 25-5 107 11
13. Metropolitan State, Colo. 22-6 102 12
14. Anderson, S.C. 24-5 80 16
15. Arkansas Tech 24-5 78 21
16. Alaska-Anchorage 22-6 77 15
17. Charleston, W.Va. 26-6 60 22
18. Kentucky Wesleyan 21-7 50 14
19. Washburn, Kan. 24-7 44 NR
20. Hillsdale, Mich. 24-5 43 NR
21. Northwest Missouri State 22-6 42 18
22. Montevallo, Ala. 24-7 33 NR
23. Missouri Southern 22-7 27 19
24. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 25-5 26 17
25. Findlay, Ohio 23-6 20 NR
Others receiving votes: West Georgia 18, Indianapolis (Ind.) 15, District of Columbia 12, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 10, King (Tenn.) 8, LIU-C.W. Post (N.Y.) 8, Bloomfield (N.J.) 6, Seattle Pacific (Wash.) 6, South Carolina Aiken 6, Stonehill (Mass.) 5, Missouri-St. Louis 4, Florida Tech 3.
Dropped out: Indianapolis (20), District of Columbia (23), Franklin Pierce (24), Seattle Pacific (25).
Records and previous rankings are through games of March 4, 2012.