Just two seasons ago, Northwest Missouri State's men's basketball team finished 10th in the MIAA.
Now, they are among the 10 best teams in the country.
Gaining two spots, Northwest moved up to No. 10 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches Top 25 Poll released Tuesday.
It's their highest national ranking in head coach Ben McCollum's four-year tenure.
McCollum expressed mixed feelings about it.
"I think recruiting-wise and I think to the outside it is (a big deal)," said McCollum. "It really doesn't impact us whatsoever other than put a bit of a bulls-eye on our back and make our guys think we're better than we are. The rankings we need to concern ourself with are regional, so these Division II games are huge for that regional ranking."
Northwest won its last game over Nebraska-Kearney 90-60 to improve to 8-0 and 2-0 in the MIAA. The Bearcats are the conference's second highest ranked team behind No. 2 Washburn, both of which are unbeaten.
West Liberty (W. Va.) held onto the top spot in the NABC rankings for the fourth straight grabbing 12 first place votes. Washburn received one first place vote at No. 2. Metro State (Colo.) follows the Ichabods at No. 3 with Alabama-Huntsville at No. 4 and Bellarmine (Ky.) at No. 5. All three schools also received one first place vote.
Defending champion, Western Washington checks in at No. 6, followed by Southern Indiana at No. 7 and Cal Poly Pomona at No. 8. Rounding out the top 10 ahead of the Bearcats is Seattle Pacific at No. 9 with Northwest sitting at No. 10.
Northwest returns to the hardwood after finals week with tournament action at the Hawaii Classic Saturday and Sunday. The Bearcats face off with St. Edward's Saturday and close out tournament action Sunday evening against Harding.
By Staff Report
The Maryville Daily Forum - Maryville, MO
By Staff Report
Updated Dec. 11, 2012 @ 11:24 pm
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