It may still be February, but this past week in DII men’s basketball felt a lot like March. The latest NABC poll reflects that. There’s a new No. 1 team, and all 25 spots saw a change from last week.  

We’ve got takeaways and analysis from the rankings. But first, the poll itself:

RANK SCHOOL POINTS RECORD PREVIOUS
1 Northwest Missouri State (15) 19-1 399 3
2 West Texas A&M 11-1 370 4
3 Truman State 16-1 355 5
4 Mercyhurst 10-0 352 6
5 Colorado Mesa 16-1 340 7
6 Lubbock Christian (1) 16-0 319 9
7 Colorado School of Mines 13-1 308 1
8 Northern State 15-1 297 2
9 Hillsdale 17-1 276 11
10 Texas A&M-Kingsville 13-1 251 12
11 St. Thomas Aquinas 9-0 232 16
12 Lincoln Memorial 16-3 199 8
13 Northwest Nazarene 10-1 196 17
14 Flagler 11-2 182 18
15 Alabama Huntsville 12-2 173 10
16 Charleston (W.Va.) 12-2 148 20
17 Queens (N.C.) 13-4 136 19
18 DBU 13-3 127 13
19 Point Loma 6-1 118 14
20 West Liberty 10-3 104 22
21 Findlay 15-4 87 23
22 Gannon 8-1 62 21
23 Valdosta State 12-4 42 25
24 Fairmont State 10-2 40 NR
25 Washburn 14-5 37 15

A new No. 1, and major changes to the top five

For the first time since early January, Northwest Missouri State sits atop the NABC poll. The Bearcats went 2-0 last week, and have now won 14 straight. Their most recent victory came on Saturday against then-No. 15 Washburn, 88-85, in overtime. It was those very same Ichabods who gave Northwest Missouri State its only loss of the season Jan. 7.

No. 2 West Texas A&M rose two spots after extending its winning streak to eight with a pair victories over Cameron. The Buffaloes wrap up the regular-season schedule with a home-and-home series against No. 6 Lubbock Christian that begins on Thursday, Feb. 25. 

Winners of 11 in a row, Truman State ascended two spots from No. 5 to No. 3 in this week’s poll. The Bulldogs outlasted William Jewell, 76-70, on Saturday. They’ll host Rockhurst on Feb. 25 for Senior Night, and conclude their regular season on Saturday, Feb. 27, against Southwest Baptist. 

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No. 4 Mercryhurst continued its upward trajectory, after having beaten Gannon, 83-61, over the weekend. The Lakers look to finish a perfect regular season when they visit those same Golden Knights on Feb. 27. 

Rounding out the top five is Colorado Mesa, who handed then-No. 1 Colorado School of Mines its first loss of the season, 64-58, on Saturday. The Mavericks will host Western Colorado and Fort Lewis to close the regular season this weekend.

Colorado School of Mines, Northern State plummet

A lot can change in one week. Seven days ago, the Orediggers and Wolves were ranked first and second, respectively. Now they’re both out of the top five.

Mines fell six spots to No. 7, and will finish its regular-season slate with a pair of road games at Adams State and CSU Pueblo on Friday, Feb. 26, and Saturday, Feb. 27, respectively. 

Northern State also dropped six spots, and is currently ranked eighth. The Wolves lost their first game of the season in the finale against MSU Moorheard, 93-86, on Saturday. They’ll face Augustana (S.D.) in the quarterfinals of the NSIC tournament on Feb. 25. 

Other notable movers

No. 6. Lubbock Christian’s 16-game winning streak is the longest in DII.  The Chaparrals, who rose three spots in this week’s poll, have yet to lose this season. They’ll put that streak on the line when they face No. 2 West Texas A&M in a home-and-home series. Lubbock Christian will host the Buffaloes on Feb. 25, before traveling to Canyon, Texas, on Feb. 27. 

Then-No. 8 Lincoln Memorial was upset for the second consecutive game last Wednesday, this time falling to Tusculum, 90-74. And that’s how the Railsplitters had to end the regular season, since their final two games against No. 17 Queens (N.C.) and Carson-Newman were canceled. 

After dropping 11 spots to No. 23 last week, Findlay responded by winning three straight. The Oilers improved to No. 21, and will visit Cedarville on Wednesday, Feb. 24, in their regular-season finale.

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