For the first time in school history, SAGU (Texas) boasts the No. 1 ranking in the fourth installment of the 2013 - 14 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25, announced by the national office Tuesday. The Lions, behind seven first-place votes and 248 total points, slid up from No. 2 last week. The movement was possible after former-No. 1 Pikeville (Ky.) lost on Jan. 16 to then-No. 18 Georgetown (Ky.).
Coach Bostwick said of the poll, “They are a lot of fun for the fans. They love to see and talk about the big picture. Our team continues to make progress, but we have a lot of work to get done for us to get where we want to be.”
SAGU, behind 10-straight wins, is the leader in the Sooner Athletic Conference (SAC).
The Lions are 15-1 overall and 8-0 in the SAC, which is three-games better than anyone else in the league. On Tuesday, SAGU faces Northwood (Texas) before a Thursday date with Wayland Baptist (Texas).
No. 2 Cal State San Marcos improves one position with 239 points. The Cougars reached the 20-win threshold before any other men's college basketball team after an 86-73 victory over Simpson (Calif.) on Jan. 18.
The only undefeated team in NAIA men's basketball, No. 3 Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) captured the other three first-place votes and tallied 236 points. The Lions took down then-No. 4 Columbia (Mo.) on Jan. 18, 80-65, in the NAIA Game of the Week. Freed-Hardeman takes its 14-0 record on the road to Williams Baptist (Ark.) on Thursday.
Falling down to No. 4, Pikeville brings in 227 total points. Holding steady at No. 5, Evangel (Mo.) rounds out the top five with 217 points.
After the defeat of then-No. 1 Pikeville, Georgetown claims the biggest upward climb from No. 18 to No. 11 (tie). Tumbling down 10 spots to No. 24 (tie), St. Catharine (Ky.) suffered the largest drop. The Patriots have dropped two of their last four games.
There are four newcomers since the Jan. 14 edition: No. 18 Montana Western, No. 20 Rio Grande (Ohio), No. 24 (tie) Great Falls (Mont.) and No. 24 (tie) Martin Methodist (Tenn.). Great Falls and Rio Grande claim their first Top 25 ranking, since the 2000 season. Both Montana Western and Martin Methodist held a Top 25 spot earlier this season.
Westminster (Utah) (No. 19), Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) (No. 22 - tie) and Wayland Baptist (No. 24) fell out this week.
All 10 conferences and independents are represented in this week's poll. The Golden State Athletic Conference and the Mid-South Conference lead all leagues with four teams apiece.
The poll was voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conference and unaffiliated groups. The fifth regular-season Top 25 Poll will be announced on Jan. 28.