Bears hold steady in Mid-Major Top 25; Boyle a finalist for national honor
GREELEY, Colo. -- Northern Colorado men's basketball didn't play a game last week, a gift break in its schedule for finishing second in the Big Sky this year, and the Bears' movement in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 reflects that inactivity.
Northern Colorado (24-6, 12-4 Big Sky) received 437 points in this week's poll to come in at No. 11, the same spot it reached last week after knocking off Johnson & Wales and Sacramento State.
The Bears, who tip against Montana at 4:30 p.m. (MT) tomorrow in Ogden, Utah, in the first of two semifinal games in this year's Big Sky Conference Championship, first broke into this poll in late November and have now been ranked in an NCAA Division I poll for 16 weeks.
Butler (773 points, 30 first-place votes) claimed the top spot in this week's poll of coaches from the country's mid-major conferences, and Gonzaga, Northern Iowa, Cornell and St. Mary's round out this week's mid-major top 25.
Weber State, the host of the final two rounds of the Big Sky Championship at Dee Events Center, is the only other Big Sky program in the mid-major top 25. The Wildcats (19-9, 13-3) claimed 277 points and the No. 15 spot.
BOYLE A HUGH DURHAM AWARD FINALIST
Northern Colorado head coach Tad Boyle was announced Monday as a finalist for this year's Hugh Durham Mid-Major Coach of the Year Award.
Boyle, who in just his fourth year on the Bears' bench has Northern Colorado within a victory of setting the school record for wins and on the cusp of its first NCAA Division I postseason, is one 15 mid-major coaches across the country that's being considered for the annual award.
Other finalists include Randy Bennett (St. Mary’s), Todd Bozeman (Morgan State), Steve Donahue (Cornell), Cliff Ellis (Coastal Carolina), Ben Jacobson (Northern Iowa), Greg Kampe (Oakland), Billy Kennedy (Murray State), Bob Marlin (Sam Houston State), Fran McCaffery (Siena), Randy Rahe (Weber State), Brad Stevens (Butler), Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion), Mike Young (Wofford) and Tony Shaver (William & Mary)
Donahue was honored in January as the Award’s mid-season honoree.
The Hugh Durham Award is given annually to the nation’s
top mid-major coach, as voted on by a 20-member panel. The winner
will be presented with the award at this year's Final Four at Lucas
Oil Field in Indianapolis.
In 2005 the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Coach of the Year award was renamed in honor of Hugh Durham, a coaching legend who retired at the end of the 2004-05 season. Durham is one of just twelve coaches to have led two different programs to the NCAA Final Four (Florida State in 1972 and Georgia in 1983). He is the only coach among that group to have led both schools to their lone Final Four appearance.
The previous winners of the award were Bozeman last season, Keno Davis (Drake) in 2008, Gregg Marshall (Winthrop) in 2007, Pat Flannery (Bucknell) in 2006 and Bob Thomason (Pacific) in 2005.