INDIANAPOLIS (LMU Athletics) — The 2019-20 South Atlantic Conference regular season champion Lincoln Memorial University men's basketball team is ranked No. 1 in the first NCAA Division II Southeast Region Men's Basketball poll of the season, which was released Wednesday afternoon by the NCAA. The Railsplitters, who are on a record-setting and nation-leading 26-game winning streak, are 26-1 overall and own 25 wins over in-region opponents.
One of four SAC programs ranked in the region by the NCAA, LMU is followed by the Peach Belt Conference's UNC Pembroke (20-5) second, Queens (19-6) third, Catawba (18-7) fourth, Augusta (13-4) and Lander (18-7) out of the Peach Belt fifth and sixth, respectively, Conference Carolinas' King (20-6) seventh, the Peach Belt's USC Aiken (17-10) eighth, Southern Wesleyan (15-11) out of Conference Carolinas ninth and Tusculum (17-10) 10th.
Perfect in league play (19-0), at home (14-0) and in 2020 (14-0), the Railsplitters have defeated four teams who appear in the Southeast Region rankings. LMU has beat Queens twice, 73-64 in Harrogate on Dec. 7 and 103-80 in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 1, while topping USC Aiken (83-72) inside Tex Turner Arena on Nov. 9, then nationally-ranked Catawba (110-85) at home on Jan. 11 and Tusculum (96-81) on the road on Jan. 22.
Having won 18 games in 2019-20 by at least 20 points, the Railsplitters lead the nation in two key statistical categories, field-goal percentage defense (37.6%) and defensive rebounding (32.6 RPG). LMU is second in the country in both scoring margin (24.0) and total assists (535) while ranking fifth in shooting (52.4%) and scoring (94.3 PPG).
The top team in the region at the end for the regular season will host the 2020 NCAA Division II Southeast Region Men's Basketball Championship. The Railsplitters have served as the host of the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Men's Basketball Championship three times in the last six years, including 2015, 2016 and 2018.
The regional rankings are the official poll utilized by the NCAA in the championship selection process and will continue to be released each week by the NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Committee leading up to the NCAA Championship selections on Sunday, March 8.
LMU has won eight SAC regular season titles since 2010-11 and 12 conference championships, including four SAC Tournament crowns, in 10 seasons. One of only four NCAA Division II basketball programs to have posted 20 wins or more for 11-straight seasons, the Railsplitters have reached the 25-win mark in nine of the last 10 years.
The Railsplitters remain on the road over the weekend, traveling to Salisbury, North Carolina, Saturday to take on Catawba in a 4 p.m. tip-off from inside Goodman Gymnasium. Next week, LMU closes out the regular season at home with Tusculum Wednesday, Feb. 26 and Anderson next Saturday, Feb. 29.