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Bears return to national Top 10

PIKEVILLE, Ky. – The University of Pikeville wrapped up the No. 2 seed in this week’s Mid-South Conference tournament on Monday. On Tuesday, it returned to the Top 10 in the NAIA coaches poll.

The Bears, who ended the regular season with an overall record of 24-5, are ranked 10th in the latest NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25.

Pikeville had been in the Top 10 all season long until it fell to No. 17 two weeks ago after consecutive losses. Four straight wins before the end of the polling period – which was wrapped up before Monday night’s season finale at U.Va.-Wise – were enough to push Kelly Wells’ team back in the Top 10.

Pikeville is one of three MSC teams in the Top 25 again, and all were on the move. Lindsey Wilson, which will be the top seed in this week’s tournament, moved up a spot to No. 3 as it flipped places with John Brown (Ark.) for the second straight week.

Because Monday’s games were not factored in, Lindsey Wilson was not penalized for its loss to Campbellsville.

Georgetown, having lost at Lindsey Wilson last week, fell from its tie in the 13th spot to No. 16 this week. The Tigers enter the MSC tournament seeded third – a potential semifinal opponent for Pikeville – with a record of 22-7.

The only team getting votes but not reaching the poll this week is Campbellsville. Only eight teams picked up nods outside the poll.

Columbia (Mo.), which became the first team since Georgetown in 2007-08 to run the regular-season table, is No. 1 again at 30-0. Lee (Tenn.) continues its run in the two spot at 28-1.

Pikeville will begin tournament play on Friday evening at 6 p.m. when it plays seventh-seeded St. Catharine College at the Frankfort Civic Center. It will be the third game of four quarterfinal games on Friday. The winner of that game will play the winner of No. 3 Georgetown and No. 6 Cumberlands on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the semifinal round.

The championship game will be played at 5:30 on Sunday and will be televised live on FOX College Sports.

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