NCAA Basketball Rankings 2012: Mid-Major Rankings for Week 4

Jesse Kramer@Jesse_KramerCorrespondent INovember 26, 2012

NCAA Basketball Rankings 2012: Mid-Major Rankings for Week 4

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    Plenty of mid-majors had opportunities to shine last week in early season tournaments. Gonzaga defeated Davidson in the Old Spice Classic championship, Pacific advanced to the DIRECTV Classic championship and Northern Iowa played close with both Louisville and Memphis at the Battle 4 Atlantis.

    The various performances by mid-major teams shook up the rankings, although the top three teams, Creighton, Gonzaga and Ohio, remained the same.

    Read on to see the complete Mid-Major Top 25.

    (I consider a mid-major to be any team that does not compete in the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Big East, SEC, Pac-12, Atlantic 10, Conference USA or Mountain West.)

25. Cal State Northridge Matadors

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    Record: 6-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 24

    Notable Wins: Tulsa (Neutral)

    Cal State Northridge picked up its first loss of the season at Brigham Young on Saturday. With 25 points and eight rebounds against the Cougars, sophomore Stephan Hicks continued to make his case as one of the top players in the Big West.

    The Matadors will get their first contest with a ranked opponent when they face UCLA on Thursday.

24. North Dakota State Bison

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    Record: 5-2

    Last Week's Ranking: Not Ranked

    Notable Wins: None

    North Dakota State picked up its first poor loss of the season, falling to Wisconsin-Green Bay on Saturday.

    The Bison will get a chance to rebound in their conference home opener against Nebraska-Omaha.

23. Pacific Tigers

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    Record: 3-3

    Last Week's Ranking: Not Ranked

    Notable Wins: Xavier (Neutral), St. Mary's (Neutral)

    Despite a .500 record, Pacific is proving that it is better than the No. 6 team in the Big West, as the coaches voted in the preseason.

    Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Tigers defeated Xavier and St. Mary's at the DIRECTV Classic, but they then fell to California in the championship game on Sunday. 

22. Delaware Blue Hens

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    Record: 2-4

    Last Week's Ranking: 11

    Notable Wins: Virginia (Road)

    Playing a tough schedule, Delaware has had a mediocre start to the season. Last week, the Blue Hens went 0-3, losing to Kansas State, Pittsburgh and Temple.

    This coming week, they finally finish their eight game road trip to open the season with games at Lafayette and Duke.

21. Indiana State Sycamores

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    Record: 4-1

    Last Week's Ranking: Not Ranked

    Notable Wins: None

    Following a disappointing 2011-12 season, Indiana State is 4-1 to begin this year. The Sycamores will get a chance for their first big win of the season when they face New Mexico on December 1.

20. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

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    Record: 4-1

    Last Week's Ranking: Not Ranked

    Notable Wins: UCF (Road)

    Despite losing LaRon Dendy from last year's NIT team, Middle Tennessee remains one of college basketball's top mid-majors. So far this year, the Blue Raiders' only loss is at Florida.

19. George Mason Patriots

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    Record: 4-2

    Last Week's Ranking: 20

    Notable Wins: Virginia (Home)

    George Mason won a pair of games last week, defeating Quinnipiac and Boston University. The Patriots play their second true road game of the year at Rhode Island on Wednesday.

18. Santa Clara Broncos

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    Record: 5-0

    Last Week's Ranking: 18

    Notable Wins: Saint Louis (Road)

    Santa Clara continued its perfect start to the season with wins over Utah Valley and Eastern Washington last week. Broncos shooting guard Kevin Foster is among the nation's leaders in steals with 4.2 per game.

    The Broncos will continue their homestand this week with games against Utah State and UC Santa Barbara.

17. South Dakota State Jackrabbits

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    Record: 4-2

    Last Week's Ranking: 17

    Notable Wins: Marshall (Neutral)

    Following a disappointing loss to Hofstra last weekend, South Dakota State has reeled off three straight wins over Marshall, District of Columbia and Southwest State. 

    Senior point guard Nate Wolters continues to dominate his competition, averaging 22 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists, while shooting 54.9 percent from the field 52.2 percent from three-point range.

16. Montana Grizzlies

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    Record: 3-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 16

    Notable Wins: None

    Montana improved to 3-1 thanks to Kevin Henderson's buzzer-beater against San Diego on Saturday.

    The Grizzlies, who are still playing without star point guard Will Cherry, got strong performances from Mathias Ward (23 points, 4 rebounds) and Kareem Jamar (8 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists).

15. Valparaiso Crusaders

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    Record: 5-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 15

    Notable Wins: Kent State (Road)

    Valparaiso has won three straight games since falling to Nebraska on the road.

    The Crusaders will get a number of chances for key wins in December as they face Saint Louis, New Mexico and Murray State.

14. Northern Iowa Panthers

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    Record: 3-3

    Last Week's Ranking: 8

    Notable Wins: None

    Northern Iowa fell to .500 with three losses at the Battle 4 Atlantis, granted the losses were to Louisville, Stanford and Memphis.

    The Panthers next two games will be at home against Milwaukee and Northern Colorado.

13. St. Mary's Gaels

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    Record: 4-2

    Last Week's Ranking: 4

    Notable Wins: Utah State (Road)

    St. Mary's struggled at the DIRECTV Classic this weekend. The Gaels defeated Drexel in the first round, but then fell to Pacific and Georgia Tech in their final two games.

    The Gaels will have a rematch with Pacific on December 19.

12. Lehigh Mountain Hawks

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    Record: 4-2

    Last Week's Ranking: 14

    Notable Wins: None

    Lehigh won its third straight game on Sunday, defeating Sacred Heart with ease.

    Just like last year, C.J. McCollum is one of the top scorers in college basketball. Through six games, he is averaging 25.7 points per game.

11. Loyola (MD) Greyhounds

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    Record: 5-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 13

    Notable Wins: None

    Loyola won its fourth game in a row with an overtime victory at Rhode Island on Friday. In the win, Robert Olson scored 20 points and made four three-pointers.

    The Greyhounds return home on Monday to face Towson before going back on the road for games against Coppin State and Florida Gulf Coast.

10. Brigham Young Cougars

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    Record: 4-2

    Last Week's Ranking: 12

    Notable Wins: None

    Brigham Young rebounded from a poor showing at the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Barclays Center with wins over Texas-San Antonio and Cal State Northridge.

    Sophomore Tyler Haws has continued his dominating play, averaging 26 points and six rebounds last week.

9. Davidson Wildcats

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    Record: 3-3

    Last Week's Ranking: 19

    Notable Wins: West Virginia (Neutral)

    Davidson picked up a pair of good wins against Vanderbilt and West Virginia at the Old Spice Classic, but the Wildcats ultimately fell to Gonzaga in the championship game.

    The Wildcats will play their first SoCon game of the season at Chattanooga on Saturday.

8. Belmont Bruins

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    Record: 5-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 7

    Notable Wins: Stanford (Road)

    Belmont was upset by Northeastern in the Great Alaska Shootout, but the Bruins still finished in third place at the tourney.

    The Bruins will go on the road to face a tough Virginia Commonwealth team this coming weekend.

7. Illinois State Redbirds

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    Record: 5-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 10

    Notable Wins: None

    Illinois State picked up its first loss of the season, falling in overtime to Northwestern. In the loss, leading scorer Tyler Brown got 36 points on 12-of-20 shooting.

    The Redbirds will have another chance for a big-time win when they play at Louisville on Saturday.

6. Bucknell Bison

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    Record: 5-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 5

    Notable Wins: Purdue (Road), George Mason (Home)

    Bucknell's undefeated season ended this week with a 60-57 loss at Penn State. In the loss, Bison forward Mike Muscala posted a double-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks.

    The Bison now head into an easier part of their schedule, facing Dartmouth and Columbia of the Ivy League this coming week.

5. Wichita State Shockers

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    Record: 6-0

    Last Week's Ranking: 9

    Notable Wins: VCU (Road), Iowa (Neutral)

    Wichita State defeated DePaul and Iowa to win the Cancun Challenge tournament last week.

    The Shockers, who were already receiving votes in the AP Top 25, will likely start receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll as well.

4. Murray State Racers

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    Record: 4-1

    Last Week's Ranking: 6

    Notable Wins: St. John's (Neutral)

    Murray State rebounded from its Charleston Classic loss to Colorado with a win at home over Old Dominion.

    In the win, Isaiah Canaan posted a season-high 30 points.

3. Ohio Bobcats

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    Record: 5-0

    Last Week's Ranking: 3

    Notable Wins: Richmond (Home)

    Ohio improved to 5-0 this weekend with a blowout win over the Richmond Spiders. The Bobcats have five players averaging 10 or more points per game.

    They will host Saint Bonaventure on Wednesday before going on a short road trip, including a game at Memphis.

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs

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    Record: 6-0

    Last Week's Ranking: 2

    Notable Wins: West Virginia (Home)

    With an Old Spice Classic championship, Gonzaga has shown that it could be a top 10 team nationally. So far, only Clemson has come within single digits of the Zags.

    This week, the Bulldogs will play a pair of home games against Lewis Clark State and Pacific.

1. Creighton Bluejays

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    Record: 6-0

    Last Week's Ranking: 1

    Notable Wins: North Texas (Home)

    Creighton defeated Wisconsin and Arizona State in Las Vegas this weekend to keep its spot as the No. 1 mid-major. The Bluejays have won all six of their games by double figures.