Rocky men crack NAIA Top 10

2013-12-10T15:30:00Z 2013-12-11T06:28:05Z Rocky men crack NAIA Top 10Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
December 10, 2013 3:30 pm  • 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The men's basketball team at Rocky Mountain College has cracked the Top 10 in the NAIA's first regular-season Top 25 poll released on Tuesday afternoon.

Coach Bill Dreikosen's Battlin' Bears are off to an 8-2 start and are ranked 10th nationally. Rocky was situated at 17th in the Top 25 preseason poll, which was conducted in late October.

According to the NAIA archives, this is Rocky's highest regular-season ranking going back to at least the 2000-01 season. The Bears, however, did claim the NAIA national championship at the end of the 2008-09 season.

At the moment, Rocky, which will play NCAA Division II South Dakota Mines in the Fortin Center on Saturday at 5 p.m., is the highest ranked Frontier Conference team in the poll.

Montana State Northern, 10-2, is ranked No. 16, up from its tie for 24th in the preseason balloting.

Montana Western, 6-4, and Utah's Westminster College, 7-4, are included among the schools also receiving votes.

Columbia of Missouri, 8-0, is ranked No. 1. Last year's national champion Georgetown of Kentucky, 9-1, is No. 2.

Rocky's lone losses this season are to No. 8 Cal State San Marcos, 9-1, and No. 12 Concordia of California, 8-2.

In the women's Top 25, which was also released on Tuesday, Westminster College (5-1) is No. 4, Carroll College (6-3) is No. 16 and Montana State Northern (9-0) is No. 24.

The Frontier is one of six conferences with three or more representatives in the Top 25.

Vanguard of California, 6-0, is No. 1. Westminster's lone loss is to the Lions, who reached the quarterfinals of last year's national tournament.

The Griffins, from Salt Lake City, have spent the past 14 polls inside the top five.

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