Men’s basketball earns #1 ranking in NABC Poll

After moving up to the No. 2 rank in Division II basketball a week ago, the Minnesota State men’s basketball has reached the pole position. In the most recent edition of the National Association of Basketball Coaches Poll, the Mavs were unanimously voted as the No. 1 team.

This is only the second time in team history the Mavericks have been ranked first in the NABC Poll, with the first coming back on Feb. 1, 2005.

Their one-spot improvement comes after the previous No. 1 team, MSU Moorhead, suffered its first loss of the season over the weekend. This leaves the Mavericks as the only remaining undefeated team in men’s Division II basketball. 

Despite the rise, the Mavericks nearly fell to the Bemidji State Beavers Friday night. However, they were able to escape with a 94-92 overtime win before defeating Minnesota Crookston 101-64 on the road last weekend. 

Now that the Mavericks own the top spot, they will have a target on their back, and every team will want to take them down. Two more teams will get a chance to knock the kings off of their throne this weekend.

First, the Mavericks will head up to Minot State for a matchup with the No. 21 ranked Beavers. The two teams have not faced off yet this year, and Friday’s matchup will mark their 12th meeting all-time. The Mavericks own a 9-2 series advantage. The Beavers will enter Friday’s game winners of five straight, looking to make it six. They have gone 13-3 up to this point in the season, with an 8-2 NSIC record.

The next day, the Mavericks will travel to take on UMary, a team that has beaten the Mavericks in their last two matchups. Overall, MSU holds a 13-5 advantage in the all-time series. The Marauders are currently on a four-game losing streak and will be hungry for a tally in the win column come game time Saturday. UMary will enter the weekend owners of a 6-10 record on the season, with a 1-9 NSIC record. 

In a busy week of news for the team, guard Malik Willingham has been named to the Bevo Francis Top 100 Watch List. The list, presented by Small College Basketball, consists of some of the top players from NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA, USCAA and NCCAA.

As all of the dust settles from the big news, the Mavericks will continue their season on the road this weekend, where Friday’s game will begin at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday’s matchup will start at 5:30 p.m.

Header Photo: Small College Basketball has announced that Minnesota State senior Malik Willingham has been named to the Bevo Francis Top 100 Watch List. (Courtesy Maverick Athletics)

Write to Hayden Lee at

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