-By Nick Bowsher
The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) released the first Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Top 25 of the 2022-23 season today. The Montana Tech Orediggers entered the top 20 in the first national poll of the season.
The Orediggers (4-0) haven’t faltered in the early season with convincing wins over Portland Bible College and Warner Pacific. Tech went 2-0 last weekend at the Montana Western Classic defeating Eastern Oregon 70-61 and Dickinson State 76-68.
Tech was ranked No. 23 in the preseason rankings after winning a share of the regular season Frontier Conference Championship with Carroll College. The Orediggers defeated the Saints in the Frontier Conference Tournament for their first appearance in the NAIA National Tournament since 1999. No. 16 Carroll (3-0) held on to their same spot in the poll as the preseason edition.
The Orediggers and the Saints are the only Frontier Conference schools in the top 25.
Arizona Christian (4-0) is at the top of the NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 receiving 19 of the 20 possible first place votes. The Orediggers travel to Phoenix for a top 25 game against the Firestorm on November 25th.
The Orediggers host the Montana Tech Classic this weekend. Tech takes the court against former Frontier school Lewis-Clark State Friday at 5 p.m. and finishes with a second meeting with Dickinson State Saturday at 3 p.m.