By on February 27, 2013



 (courtesy NCAA)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Saint Leo men’s basketball team’s impressive performance on the court, including capturing its first-ever Sunshine State Conference title, is turning more heads across the nation as the Lions are now ranked 11th in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Top 25 poll released on Tuesday afternoon.


Just one spot below their season-best No. 10 ranking back on November 21, the Lions vaulted nine spots from last week’s poll after a 2-0 week that featured two dominating wins, the first at home against Tampa and a road win in Winter Park against Rollins.


The Lions are now 20-5 overall with a 12-3 conference record.  Saint Leo won at least a share of the conference championship on Saturday with that 76-60 victory over Rollins.  A loss by No. 14 Florida Southern that same day guaranteed the Lions no worse than a share of the title, but Saint Leo can win the championship outright by beating Eckerd College at home on Wednesday night.


A wild week in NCAA Division II – one in which 17 of the top 25 teams lost at least once, including three of the top four in a span of 24 hours – has led to a new team atop the latest NABC/Division II national rankings.


West Liberty was the only team among the top four to avoid a loss and as a result, moved back into the top spot in the rankings which it had occupied from the start of the season until mid-January.   This came after Western Washington lost late Thursday night at Alaska-Fairbanks, followed by last week’s No. 1, Metropolitan State, falling Friday evening at Fort Lewis and Cal Poly Pomona losing at San Francisco State less than an hour later.


Metro State and Western Washington dropped one spot apiece as a result, while Seattle Pacific jumped over Cal Poly Pomona into the No. 4 spot this week.  Alabama-Huntsville, one of the South Region’s top two teams, moved up two places to sixth as did Minnesota State to seventh.  Drury, whose 13-game winning streak is tied for the longest active run in Division II along with West Liberty’s, is ranked eighth this week and is followed by Saint Anselm and Winston-Salem State to close out the top 10, with the Lions one spot behind that group.



  Team Record Points    
1. West Liberty (W.Va.) 27-1 389 (9 first place votes)
2. Metropolitan State (Colo.) 23-1 386 (4 first place votes)
3. Western Washington 25-1 375 (4 first place votes)
4. Seattle Pacific (Wash.) 21-3 350  
5. Cal Poly Pomona 22-2 335  
6. Alabama-Huntsville 21-4 318  
7. Minnesota State 22-4 308  
8. Drury (Mo.) 21-4 284  
9. Saint Anselm (N.H.) 21-4 251  
10. Winston-Salem State (N.C.) 20-5 230  
11. Saint Leo (Fla.) 20-5 213  
12. Lincoln Memorial (Tenn.) 20-4 190  
13. Wisconsin-Parkside 19-6 185  
14. Florida Southern 19-5 170  
15. Bellarmine (Ky.) 19-6 153  
16. Indiana (Pa.) 20-5 143  
17. Fort Lewis (Colo.) 18-5 136  
18. Benedict (S.C.) 20-6 114  
19. Southern Indiana 19-6 102  
20. East Stroudsburg (Pa.) 20-5 93  
21. Winona State (Minn.) 23-6 73  
22. Grand Canyon (Ariz.) 22-5 51  
23. Dominican (N.Y.) 21-5 48  
24. Livingstone (N.C.) 20-5 42  
25. Augustana (S.D.) 19-7 39  

Dropped out: Newman (21), St. Cloud State (22), Franklin Pierce (23), Gannon (24), Dixie State (25).


Others receiving votes: South Carolina Aiken 35, Assumption (Mass.) 33, Kentucky Wesleyan 27, Michigan Tech 27, Wayne State (Mich.) 27, Newman (Kan.) 19, Eckerd (Fla.) 12, Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 11, Fairmont State (W.Va.) 9, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 8, Gannon (Pa.) 5, Dixie State (Utah) 4, North Carolina-Pembroke 4, Midwestern State (Texas) 1.

Records are through games of Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013


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