Behind their commanding road victories over Campbellsville and Thomas More since the last version of the NAIA Men’s Basketball Poll, the Shawnee State men’s basketball program was able to finish sixth in the NAIA Men’s Basketball Poll Wednesday morning as announced by national officials.
Shawnee State, who claimed 511 points to keep the No. 6 position in the rankings, used the two victories to tie and break the record for the most wins in a single season in program history. Between the Campbellsville and Thomas More affairs, Shawnee State won by 41 points combined.
For the season, the Bears have won 15 games by double-digits. In the games decided by less than 10 points, Shawnee State is 8-1 in games that finish with a margin in single-digit territory. DeLano Thomas’ group is No. 3 in the NAIA RPI and No. 5 in the Massey Ratings as a result.
The victories over Campbellsville and Thomas More also capped off a regular season that will go down in Shawnee State men’s basketball history as its first-ever regular season championship of any kind. In doing so, Shawnee State collected one of the two automatic qualifying bids that the NAIA has designated to the Mid-South Conference.
In all, Shawnee State finished inside the NAIA National Top 50 in 19 different team categories at the end of the regular season. The Bears are ranked in the national top-five in five of those categories, including a second-place ranking in blocks per game (5.5) and defensive field goal percentage (37.2), a third-place mark in total blocks (138), a fourth-place ranking in defensive rebounds per game (32.4), and a fifth-place showing in total offensive rebounds (1123).
The Bears are also ranked inside the national top-10 in four other categories, including rebounds per game (sixth, 44.9), defensive three-point field goal percentage (seventh, 28.6), rebounding margin (eighth, plus-10.9), and total assists (10th, 429).
No. 1-seeded Shawnee State will begin its postseason journey with a matchup against No. 8-seeded Cumberland (Tenn.) in the Mid-South Conference Quarterfinals on Sunday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. ET/12 p.m. CT at Bowling Green High School in Bowling Green, Ky.
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