College Basketball Mid-Major Rankings, Nov. 12
The first weekend of college basketball brought plenty of excitement among mid-major programs.
In a high-quality matchup, Creighton defeated North Texas.
The three WCC powers all eased by their first opponents.
And schools like Bucknell, George Mason and South Alabama upset BCS programs.
With a weekend of games behind us, here's a look at an updated mid-major top 25.
25. Wagner Seahawks
Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Wagner will open the season on Wednesday with a very winnable game at Delaware State, but the Seahawks will then face a huge, early challenge at Syracuse. The road ahead for the Seahawks is not easy, as they play seven of their first nine games on the road.
24. Akron Zips
Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE
Akron lost a heartbreaker in overtime at Coastal Carolina on Friday. Zeke Marshall posted a double-double in the opener with 15 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
The Zips now look ahead to meetings with John Carroll and Oklahoma State this week.
23. Robert Morris Colonials
Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Robert Morris was possibly the biggest disappointment of the opening weekend. The Colonials, who are expected to challenge LIU-Brooklyn for the NEC crown, were blown out by Rider, 79-54.
The road does not get much easier this week, as they have to take on Patriot League favorite Lehigh tonight.
22. Wichita State Shockers
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
On Saturday, Wichita State defeated North Carolina Central, 71-57. Carl Hall paved the way with 17 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Tomorrow, the Shockers will play Virginia Commonwealth in a rematch of last year's NCAA tournament game.
21. Belmont Bruins
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Belmont opened the season at longtime rival Lipscomb and defeated the Bisons, 89-60, behind Kerron Johnson's 22 points and seven assists.
The Bruins now have a cupcake game against Maryville before heading west to play Stanford.
20. Manhattan Jaspers
Mark L. Baer-US PRESSWIRE
Playing without star guard George Beamon, Manhattan did not stand much of a chance against No. 2 Louisville on Sunday. The Jaspers entered the second half with a single-digit deficit, but Louisville turned on the offense during the final 20 minutes and won, 79-51.
The big bright spot for the Jaspers, who play their next game at Harvard, was Rhamel Brown, who set career-highs with 18 points and 15 rebounds.
19. LIU-Brooklyn Blackbirds
Jason Szenes/Getty Images
LIU-Brooklyn lost a heartbreaker in the Barclays Center's college basketball debut. The Blackbirds came back from down 11 points in the final four minutes against Morehead State, but C.J. Garner missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.
The Blackbirds are on the road tonight, taking on Lafayette.
18. Iona Gaels
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Iona, which struggled holding on to leads in the second half last season, nearly blew a 23-point advantage against Denver in the season opener. The Gaels managed to hold on, 65-58, thanks to Momo Jones' 20 points and seven assists and Sean Armand's 19 points.
This weekend, the Gaels will play in the Paradise Jam, starting with a game against Quinnipiac on Friday.
17. Delaware Blue Hens
Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE
Delaware erased a 15-point, first half deficit at La Salle to take a slim lead in the second half, but the Blue Hens faltered down the stretch and ultimately fell to the Explorers, 73-66.
Senior Jamelle Hagins posted 12 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks, and the backcourt duo of Jarvis Threatt and Devon Saddler combined for 31 points.
16. George Mason Patriots
Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE
George Mason defeated Virginia of the ACC in its season opener, 63-59. The Patriots fell behind, but Byron Allen's three-pointer with just over a minute left but them ahead for good.
Allen finished with 13 points, four rebounds and five assists, and Sherrod Wright supported him with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
15. Montana Grizzlies
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Without star guard Will Cherry, Montana fell at Colorado State in its season opener, 72-65. The Grizzlies were dominated on the glass, 40-17, but managed to stay close for all 40 minutes.
They should pick up an easy win against Minot State on Wednesday before hitting the road again to play the Idaho Vandals.
14. Loyola (MD) Greyhounds
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
After easily defeating Binghamton in its season opener on Friday, Loyola fell to Washington on Sunday night. To keep their status as a top 15 mid-major, Jimmy Patsos's club must win games against UMBC and Norfolk State this week.
13. Drexel Dragons
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Drexel lost a heartbreaker to Kent State on Friday, 66-62. Chris Fouch exploded off the bench for 24 points, making six three-pointers.
The Dragons will play their home opener against Illinois State on Thursday and then travel to Penn to face the Quakers.
12. North Texas Mean Green
Eric Francis/Getty Images
North Texas had a disappointing showing on Friday night. Many expected the Mean Green to give Creighton a run for its money, but instead they fell well short of the upset. Although as a whole the team struggled, Tony Mitchell remained a bright spot with 18 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
This week, North Texas should be able to pick up a pair of easy wins against Alabama Huntsville and Cameron.
11. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
In a heartbreaking loss, South Dakota State put together a late comeback to tie Alabama in the final seconds before Trevor Lacey's buzzer-beating three-pointer sent the Jackrabbits home empty-handed.
Senior point guard Nate Wolters put on a good individual showing in front of NBA scouts with 30 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Wolters, who shot only 24.1 percent on three-pointers last season, shot 5-of-6 from beyond the arc on Friday.
The Jackrabbits come home to face Tennessee State on Tuesday.
10. Northern Iowa Panthers
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Northern Iowa demolished Division III Wartburg on Saturday, winning by 53 points. The Panthers shot 65.6 percent from the field and had five players score in double figures.
The Panthers will face their first Division I opponent, Toledo, on Wednesday.
9. Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Lehigh stuck close with No. 19 Baylor into the second half, but the Mountain Hawks wound up falling to the Bears by 20 points. Individually, shooting guard C.J. McCollum had a night to remember, posting 36 points and eight rebounds.
The Mountain Hawks' defense struggled tremendously inside as Baylor's frontcourt combined for 27-of-34 shooting (79.4 percent).
Lehigh will now get a better shot at its first win of the season when it plays Robert Morris tonight in Pittsburgh.
8. Bucknell Bison
Michael Hickey/Getty Images
Bucknell began its season with a bang on opening weekend, defeating Purdue on the road, 70-65. The Bison, who were led by Cameron Ayers's 18 points and Mike Muscala's 14-point, 10-rebound double-double, led for nearly the entire second half after trailing by as many as seven in the first.
The Bison now face another tough opponent in George Mason on Tuesday night.
7. Brigham Young Cougars
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Tennessee State gave Brigham Young a tough fight on Friday, but the Cougars pulled away in the second half and won, 81-66. Sophomore Tyler Haws led all scorers with 22 points. Brandon Davies posted 16 points, seven rebounds and four blocks while Matt Carlino added nine points and 10 assists.
The Cougars will take on Georgia State on Tuesday before traveling to the Barclays Center to face Florida State.
6. St. Mary's Gaels
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
St. Mary's had no trouble defeating Sonoma State this weekend. Senior Matthew Dellavedova led the way with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists while Stephen Holt added 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Gaels will play a tough but definitely winnable game at Utah State on Thursday.
5. Murray State Racers
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Murray State defeated NAIA opponent Bescia, 88-43, on Friday. All-American Isaiah Canaan had a quiet game, scoring 11 points, five rebounds and three assists in 27 minutes.
This coming weekend, the Racers will play in the Charleston Classic, facing Auburn on Thursday, St. John's or Charleston on Friday, and then Dayton, Colorado, Baylor or Boston College on Sunday.
4. Davidson Wildcats
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Davidson smothered Emory on opening night, 93-67. NBA prospect De'Mon Brooks led the Wildcats with 24 points while Jake Cohen posted 13 points, eight rebounds and six blocks. As a team, Davidson dished out 21 assists while turning over the ball only six times.
The Wildcats will hit the road for their next four games, starting with games against New Mexico and Milwaukee this week.
3. Ohio Bobcats
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Ohio had some trouble with Portland in the first half of Saturday's game, but the Bobcats dominated the final 20 minutes to come away with a 81-52 victory. D.J. Cooper and Nick Kellogg had 18 points apiece and Jon Smith had eight rebounds and four blocks.
The Bobcats will continue their six-game, season-opening homestand against UNC-Wilmington on Friday.
2. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Gonzaga dominated Southern Utah on Friday night, 103-65. Six Bulldogs scored in double figures, and freshman Przemek Karnowski led the team in scoring with 22 points.
The Zags will have their first legitimate test tonight against West Virginia.
1. Creighton Bluejays
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Creighton proved its worth in its season opener with a 71-51 win over North Texas. The Bluejays led nearly the entire way as Doug McDermott posted 21 points and 11 rebounds.
This week, Creighton will play a pair of games that are expected wins against UAB and Presbyterian.