The Cumberland men’s basketball team came in at No. 23 in the first regular-season NAIA men’s basketball coaches’ top 25 poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (8-0) are off to their best start dating back to the 2000-01 season when the squad began with nine straight victories. CU has already notched a pair of Mid-South Conference victories over Rio Grande and Shawnee State in the early-going this season.
The national ranking marks the first visit to the poll since Jan. 16, 2012 when head coach Lonnie Thompson and company also came in at 23rd. Prior to that, the Bulldogs had not been ranked since the final poll of the 2008-09 season, when they finished at No. 20.
Cumberland has three games before the holidays, hosting Bethel on Saturday at 4 p.m., and then taking the road for the Carpet City Christmas Classic in Dalton, Ga. on Dec. 20-21. CU will face off against Belhaven and Concordia -Selma on Friday and Saturday, respectively, in the classic.
Women ranked 22nd
Cumberland is ranked 22nd in the first regular-season edition of the NAIA women’s basketball Coaches’ top 25 poll, the national office announced Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (4-4) have played just one home game so far this season and have faced four teams ranked in this week’s poll, including No. 3 Freed-Hardeman, ninth-ranked Oklahoma Baptist, No. 10 Bethel, 13th-ranked Talladega, and also traveled to then 11th-ranked Shawnee State. One bad stretch led to losses for the club against Oklahoma Baptist, Bethel, Freed-Hardeman and Talladega, with all four of those games away from home.
Cumberland was ranked seventh in the NAIA preseason coaches’ top 25 released at the beginning of November. The Bulldogs will finally return to the Dallas Floyd Recreation Center this weekend, facing No. 13 Talladega at 2 p.m. Saturday. CU will also take on Milligan on Dec. 16 at 6 p.m. before taking a break for the holidays.