KANSAS CITY, Mo. - After winning eight games in a row to close out the calendar year, Florida Southern College men's basketball has risen three spots to No. 14 in the latest NABC Coaches Poll, the National Association of Basketball Coaches announced on Tuesday. The Moccasins (11-1, 3-1 SSC) are one of three teams in the Sunshine State Conference to be ranked in the latest poll.
Nova Southeastern moved up one spot to No. 4 while Embry-Riddle cracked the top 25 for the first time this year, coming in at No. 20. Florida Southern has been ranked for six-straight weeks after debuting at No. 18 in the first regular-season NABC poll of the year back on Nov. 19. The Moccasins have been ranked in the NABC Coaches Poll in 219 different weeks in school history, including 18 times under head coach Mike Donnelly.
The latest round of rankings sets up a pivotal top-25 matchup later this week. The Mocs will travel to Florida Tech on Jan. 2 before hosting No. 4 Nova Southeastern on Jan. 4 in one of the most highly-anticipated Division II contests of the season. Southern has won six of its last eight games by double digits, is 7-0 at home this season, and has won nine-straight home games dating back to last season.
As play resumes following the NCAA Division II winter break, Bellarmine retains the top spot for the third straight time in the NABC/Division II rankings. The Knights are followed by Northwest Missouri State again this week, but plenty of shuffling took place after those two thanks to losses suffered by five of the top 12 teams in the last ranking conducted before the holiday.
Lincoln Memorial moved up to third this week, while Nova Southeastern also moved up one spot and West Texas A&M rose two positions to complete the top five.
This week's poll has two newcomers to the top 10 in Ferris State – whose 14 wins are the most of any team in Division II – and West Chester, who along with Bellarmine are the only remaining undefeated teams in NCAA Division II. Four teams that were unbeaten prior to the Dec. 17 poll lost in the final week before the break.
West Chester and Indiana (Pa.), who is ranked right above the Rams, gives the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference two teams in the top 10 along with the Lone Star Conference's pair of West Texas A&M and St. Edward's. WCU's spot in the top 10 is its first since the 1982-83 season.
For the second week in a row, the Great Lakes Valley Conference has four teams in the rankings to lead all conferences. The Lone Star Conference and Sunshine State Conference have three teams apiece, while a total of seven conferences have at least two ranked teams.
Six new teams entered the poll this week, including Embry-Riddle at No. 20 and East Central at No. 22, the first time those schools have been ranked in the coaches' poll as NCAA Division II members.
|RANK||SCHOOL (FPV)||RECORD||POINTS||LAST WEEK|
|2||Northwest Missouri State||10-1||384||2|
|5||West Texas A&M||12-1||334||7|
|6||UC San Diego||11-1||322||8|
|7||St. Edward's (TX)||10-1||305||9|
|13||Dixie State (UT)||10-1||209||6|
|17||Grand Valley State||10-1||135||NR|
|21||St. Thomas Aquinas||10-2||65||18|
2019-20 opponents in BOLD ITALICS
Others receiving votes: Catawba (N.C.) 19, Southeastern Oklahoma State 15, Cal Poly Pomona 12, Western Oregon 11, Rogers State (Okla.) 10, Chico State (Calif.) 9, Dominican (N.Y.) 8, West Liberty (W.Va.) 8, Pittsburgh-Johnstown (Pa.) 7, Simon Fraser (B.C.) 6, Texas A&M-Kingsville 6, Fayetteville State (N.C.) 5, Queens (N.C.) 5, Saint Anselm (N.H.) 4, Valdosta State (Ga.) 4, Point Loma (Calif.) 2, Arkansas-Monticello 1, Jefferson (Pa.) 1, Missouri-St. Louis 1.
Dropped out: Queens, N.C. (20), Southeastern, Oklahoma State (21), Valdosta State (22), Dominican, N.Y. (23), Northeastern State (24)