KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tennessee Wesleyan continues to climb up the rankings as it is now No. 23 in the the 2012-13 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Coaches' Top 25 Poll, announced Tuesday by the national office.
The Bulldogs (18-7 overall, 11-1 Appalachian Athletic Conference) have won their last 11 games and moved up two spots this week, garnering 98 total voting points to put them four back of No. 22 Madonna (Mich.).
Eastern Oregon stays at No. 1 for the fifth-consecutive week in the NAIA Coaches' Poll. The Mountaineers gathered 12 of the 13 first-place votes for the third-straight time to go along with 343 points. Nos. 2 and 3 hold as William Penn (Iowa) notched 332 points and Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) finished with 318 points. No. 4 Northwood (Fla.) moves up two spots, while No. 5 Northwestern (Iowa) locks down the fifth spot with 305 points in the eighth regular-season edition.
Behind a 12-game winning streak, Eastern Oregon owns the most wins in Division II with a 26-1 record. The winning streak is currently the nation's second-longest. The Mountaineers have three regular-season games remaining as they face College of Idaho Friday before closing up at No. 13 Warner Pacific (Ore.) Feb. 15 and at Concordia (Ore.) Feb. 16. Eastern Oregon sits 2.5 games ahead of Warner Pacific in the Cascade Collegiate Conference standings.
Holding the second spot for the fourth-straight time, William Penn stands 24-1 on the season. The Statesmen captured the remaining first-place vote. They have a battle against No. 7 Mount Mercy (Iowa) looming Saturday to determine the Mid-Central College Conference title.
No. 3 Cardinal Stritch (24-3) has now been in the top five in each of the nine polls this season. Northwood posted 305 points to improve to fourth, just one point ahead of No. 5 Northwestern (Iowa).
No. 9 Saint Xavier (Ill.), No. 16 York (Neb.) and No. 19 Valley City State (N.D.) all earned the best improvements within the poll, each sporting a three-spot jump. The Cougars and Panthers land in their best ranking of 2012 - 13. Valley City State has been ranked in all nine polls this year with the highest at No. 15 occurring on Dec. 11, 2011.
No. 25 Grace (Ind.) is 5-3 during an eight-game stretch and tumbled eight positions for the farthest fall.
No. 20 Taylor (Ind.) and No. 24 Southern Oregon highlight the list of newcomers. This is the first ranking this season for the Trojans, with their last coming on Dec. 12, 2011 (No. 19). Southern Oregon boasted a Top 25 mention in the first six polls this year before losing three-straight games.
Taylor and Southern Oregon replace Northwest (Wash.) (No. 20) and Saint Mary (Kan.) (No. 21). Northwest has dropped four-consecutive contests, while the Spires fell to unranked Sterling (Kan.) Jan. 31.
With four Top 25 teams, The Crossroads League and The Sun Conference boast the most of any conference or independent. The Cascade Collegiate Conference and Great Plains Athletic Conference each place a triplet of teams on the list. Overall, 12 of the 13 conferences and independents are represented this week in the poll.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences and independents. The ninth regular-season Coaches' Top 25 Poll will be announced on Feb. 12.
To view the entire poll, click here.