MACON, Ga. (School Release)- Five days prior to christening the 2012-13 season, the Mercer men's basketball team was featured in the first CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll of the year, released on Monday afternoon.
In the poll, the Bears checked in at 14th with 272 total points. Creighton garnered the top spot with 764 points, while Gonzaga (709), Murray State (685), Drexel (619), and Ohio (569) rounded out the top five.
"It's a great recognition for our program, but as everyone knows this time of year ratings don't win you any games," Mercer head coach Bob Hoffman said. "We are excited about being included with some great teams that have tremendous basketball tradition. That's what we're trying to accomplish, but it's still a day-to-day process."
Last year, the Bears debuted in the poll in the receiving votes section on December 12, 2011. From then on, the team fluctuated position among the teams receiving votes until finally cracking in at the No. 23 spot after capturing the CIT Championship.
Entering the season, the Bears are among three Division I teams to have won five or more consecutive games. Mercer's five-game run for the CIT title ties Stanford for the second-longest win streak in the nation, trailing only Kentucky. The Wildcats won their last six games en route to the 2012 NCAA National Championship, while the Cardinal won five games to claim the 2012 Men's NIT Championship.
Also included in the poll are a handful of Mercer's 2012-13 opponents. George Mason received 34 votes, USC Upstate received 30 votes, Denver received 23 votes, and Chattanooga received two votes.