Three upsets in the top 10 have finally broken up the icejam at the top of the women’s poll. Baldwin-Wallace lost at Wilmington and fell out of the top 10 for the first time this season; and NYU upended Brandeis, sending the Judges out of the top 10 for the first time since the preseason poll. Replacing B-W and Brandeis in the poll’s upper echelon are #9 Wilmington and #8 Calvin, the first visiting team of either gender to win a game in Hope College’s DeVos Fieldhouse. Hope slipped to 4th, ceding its 11 first place votes to #1 Bowdoin (which received 9, upping their total to 21) and #2 Rochester. The women’s top 10 is not only changed, but also less dominant, garnering “only” 96.8% of the possible vote, versus 98.2% and 98.9% the past two weeks.
Way down at the bottom of the list, the Washington U. Bears slipped to a mere 4 votes this week. Wash. U.’s women’s team is one of four programs that has received votes in every poll in D3Hoops.com’s polling history (the others being #3 Scranton and #15 Hardin-Simmons on the women’s side, and #4 Wooster on the men’s), but the vultures are circling, especially with the Bears hosting unbeaten #2 Rochester this Friday. The spotlight on St. Louis’ west side is now shining on the men’s team, which moved up to #13 this week with a 12-1 record.
On the men’s side, Ohio Northern lost for the second week in a row, and has now given back all of the boost it received by beating #4 Wooster and #6 Wittenberg over the holidays. Prior to those signature wins, the Polar Bears were ranked seventh with 434 votes; after climing as high as #2, this week they are eighth with 426 points. Glory is fleeting in this business.
Little East Conference members Rhode Island College and Keene St. entered the men’s top 25 poll this week, marking the first time that any Northeast Region conference apart from the NESCAC has had two ranked teams in the same week. This is the first time any LEC member has been ranked since the end of the 2003-04 season. The two-team entry is unlikely to last, however, as these LEC powers square off this Saturday in New Hampshire.
Women: #21 Kean broke into the top 25 for the first time ever. Fitchburg State received votes for the first time.
Men: #20 Guilford and #22 Rhode Island College are top 25 teams for the first time. Greensboro cracked the voting rolls for the first time this week.
Congratulations to these five programs on their achievements!
Women: #5 Southern Maine is in the top 25 for the 70th consecutive week; #13 McMurry is ranked for the 20th straight week; and #14 UW-Stout is in the rankings for the 10th week in a row.
Men: #3 St. Thomas is in the top 25 for the 10th straight week; Baldwin-Wallace received votes for the 25th consecutive week; and Lawrence fell out of the voting this week, snapping a streak that had reached 51 consecutive weeks.
Women: #7 Howard Payne reached its highest-ever rank for the seventh consecutive week; #11 Chicago reached theirs for the 6th straight week. Also achieving their highest ranking ever are #8 Calvin and debutante #21 Kean.
Men: #7 Mississippi College, #16 UW-La Crosse, and debutantes #20 Guilford and #22 Rhode Island College each set new high-ranking marks this week. #3 St. Thomas and #19 Aurora tied their highest rankings.
Women: #6 Messiah and #12 Baldwin-Wallace each received votes for the one hundredth time this week! Brava! Lake Forest was mentioned on voters’ ballots for the 50th time; #7 Howard Payne for the 30th time; and #11 Chicago for the 25th. #25 Simpson‘s appearance in the top 25 was their 40th of all time.
Men: #2 Amherst is in the top 10 for the 60th time.
Movers and Shakers:
Women: The biggest gainers this week were #16 NYU (+133 votes and 5 poll places) and #8 Calvin (+110 points and 3 slots), both by virtue of upsetting top 10 teams. NYU’s victim, #17 Brandeis, took the biggest fall in the poll, losing 161 points and seven places. #25 Simpson lost at Luther and fell 127 points and eight positions.
Men: #9 Elmhurst beat two conference foes, one of them ranked, and soared 163 points and five places in this week’s poll. Then-#13 William Paterson dropped two games and fell out of the top 25, shedding 236 points. #21 Bates lost their first two games of the season, causing them to lose 223 points and fall nine places in the poll.