NCAA Basketball Rankings: Mid-Major Rankings for Week 11
It was yet another exciting week in mid-major basketball.
Evansville upset Wichita State to tighten up the MVC standings, Eastern Kentucky won at Murray State and Lehigh easily won its Patriot League opener, despite C.J. McCollum's injury.
Read on to see the complete mid-major rankings.
Note: For the purpose of this analysis, a mid-major is defined as 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. Bryant Bulldogs
Record: 11-4, 4-0 NEC
Last Week's Rank: Not Ranked
Notable Wins: Boston College (Road), Lehigh (Road)
Bryant has been flying under the radar this season with an 11-4 record. The Bulldogs have won their last six games and are atop the NEC standings at 4-0.
This week, they play home games against Mount St. Mary's and Wagner.
24. Eastern Kentucky Colonels
Record: 14-3, 4-0 OVC
Last Week's Rank: Not Ranked
Notable Wins: Murray State (Road)
Eastern Kentucky fell off the radar after it failed to capitalize in games against Illinois and West Virginia, but the Colonels have won their first four conference games, including a 77-65 win at Murray State.
On Thursday, the Colonels get another shot at a great road win when they play at Belmont.
23. Akron Zips
Record: 11-4, 2-0 MAC
Last Week's Rank: 23
Notable Wins: Middle Tennessee (Home)
Akron defeated Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to begin MAC play.
The Zips play at home on Wednesday against Ball State.
22. Ohio Bobcats
Record: 11-5, 2-0 MAC
Last Week's Rank: 22
Notable Wins: Richmond (Home), Marshall (Home)
Ohio beat Western Michigan on Saturday, 61-59, for its first road win of the 2012-13 season. D.J. Cooper put together another strong performance with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists.
This week, the Bobcats will play at home against Northern Illinois and Toledo.
21. Santa Clara Broncos
Record: 12-6, 1-3 WCC
Last Week's Rank: 15
Notable Wins: Saint Louis (Road)
After beginning conference play with a win, Santa Clara has lost its last three games to Gonzaga, Loyola Marymount and Brigham Young. Even with the team struggling, Kevin Foster is averaging 20.8 points per game in WCC games.
This week, the Broncos will face San Francisco and Pepperdine, which have a combined, WCC record of 1-7.
20. Lehigh Mountain Hawks
Record: 11-4, 1-0 Patriot
Last Week's Rank: 21
Notable Wins: None
Lehigh proved that it is still one of the top teams in the Patriot League, even without C.J. McCollum, by dominating Holy Cross over the weekend.
On Wednesday, the Mountain Hawks will play at American.
19. Western Illinois Leathernecks
Record: 14-3, 6-0 Summit
Last Week's Rank: 19
Notable Wins: Illinois-Chicago (Home)
Western Illinois defeated Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday to improve to 6-0 in the Summit League.
The Leathernecks have their toughest week so far this season coming up with games against South Dakota State and North Dakota State on Thursday and Saturday.
18. Davidson Wildcats
Record: 9-6, 4-0 SoCon
Last Week's Rank: 18
Notable Wins: West Virginia (Neutral), Richmond (Road)
In Davidson's 81-73 win over Furman, four Wildcats scored 13 or more points. Clint Mann came off the bench to lead the team with 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
17. Evansville Aces
Record: 11-6, 4-1 MVC
Last Week's Rank: Not Ranked
Notable Wins: Western Illinois (Home), Wichita State (Home)
Evansville upset Wichita State on Sunday to move into a tie for second place in the Missouri Valley. Colt Ryan led the way with 24 points and eight assists.
In the Aces' upcoming road trip, they will face Drake and Indiana State.
16. Valparaiso Crusaders
Record: 13-5, 3-1 Horizon
Last Week's Rank: 17
Notable Wins: Murray State (Road), Illinois-Chicago (Road)
Valparaiso won a pair of road games against Illinois-Chicago and Milwaukee last week. Senior Ryan Broekhoff averaged 23.5 points and 10 rebounds over the two games.
On Thursday, the Crusaders will finish their road trip at Detroit.
15. South Dakota State Jackrabbits
Record: 13-6, 4-2 Summit
Last Week's Rank: 16
Notable Wins: Marshall (Neutral), Montana (Road), New Mexico (Road)
South Dakota State defeated Oakland and IPFW last week at home. In the win over the Mastodons, senior guard Nate Wolters posted 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting.
On Thursday, the Jackrabbits will play at Western Illinois, which is yet to lose in the Summit League.
14. Indiana State Sycamores
Record: 10-6, 3-2 MVC
Last Week's Rank: 14
Notable Wins: Mississippi (Neutral), Miami-FL (Neutral)
Indiana State lost at Southern Illinois on Saturday, falling into fourth place in the Missouri Valley. In the loss, Jake Odum posted 16 points, five rebounds and six assists.
The Sycamores' next game is against Missouri State, which is also 3-2 in the MVC.
13. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Record: 14-3, 5-0 WAC
Last Week's Rank: 13
Notable Wins: Southern Miss (Home)
Louisiana Tech defeated Texas-San Antonio, 73-71, over the weekend to extend its winning streak to six games. Kenyon McNeail scored 34 points, including a game-winning three-pointer with 19 seconds remaining.
On Thursday, the Bulldogs will play their first home game of 2013 against Idaho.
12. Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks
Record: 14-1, 5-0 Southland
Last Week's Rank: 12
Notable Wins: Oklahoma (Road)
Stephen F. Austin won two games on the road last week, defeating Central Arkansas and Oral Roberts.
The Lumberjacks have now won nine straight games and host Southeastern Louisiana and Nicholls State this week.
11. North Dakota State Bison
Record: 15-3, 6-0 Summit
Last Week's Rank: 11
Notable Wins: South Dakota State (Home)
North Dakota State defeated IPFW and Oakland at home last week to remain tied atop the Summit League standings with Western Illinois.
The Bison are the only team in the Summit League in the top 100 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
On Thursday, they begin a three-game road trip that includes games against Western Illinois and South Dakota State, which they beat at home on December 29.
10. St. Mary's Gaels
Record: 13-4, 2-1 WCC
Last Week's Rank: 10
Notable Wins: Utah State (Road), Harvard (Home)
St. Mary's played close with Gonzaga last week but ultimately fell, 83-78. After defeating Utah State in their second game of the season, the Gaels have now been held without a high-quality win for nearly two months.
On Wednesday, they will get an opportunity for one at Brigham Young.
9. Brigham Young Cougars
Record: 14-4, 4-0 WCC
Last Week's Rank: 9
Notable Wins: Virginia Tech (Home), Santa Clara (Road)
Brigham Young picked up its best win of the season, defeating Santa Clara on the road, 82-64. Sophomore Tyler Haws led the way with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
The Cougars lead the WCC with four conference wins and host St. Mary's on Wednesday night.
8. Utah State Aggies
Record: 14-1, 5-0 WAC
Last Week's Rank: 7
Notable Wins: Santa Clara (Road)
Utah State defeated San Jose State on Friday and is now tied atop the WAC standings with Louisiana Tech.
The Aggies will hit the road this week, facing New Mexico State and Denver, which is 5-1 in WAC play.
7. Murray State Racers
Record: 12-4, 3-1 OVC
Last Week's Rank: 5
Notable Wins: St. John's (Neutral)
Murray State survived a close game at Austin Peay on Saturday after losing to Eastern Kentucky earlier in the week.
Even with their struggles in the last few games, the Racers are still the favorite in the OVC West as the only team with fewer than two conference losses.
6. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Record: 14-4, 6-1 Sun Belt
Last Week's Rank: 8
Notable Wins: UCF (Road), Mississippi (Home)
Middle Tennessee defeated Florida Atlantic and Louisiana-Monroe last week to remain atop the Sun Belt standings.
At No. 36, the Blue Raiders are the only team in their conference ranked in the top 100 in defensive efficiency.
5. Bucknell Bison
Record: 14-3, 1-0 Patriot
Last Week's Rank: 6
Notable Wins: Purdue (Road), Loyola-MD (Road)
Bucknell defeated Army in its Patriot League opener, 76-55, in its first game since the two-point loss at Missouri. Mike Muscala flirted with a triple-double, posting 20 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
On Wednesday, the Bison will play at Colgate, which lost its conference opener to American.
4. Wichita State Shockers
Record: 15-2, 4-1 MVC
Last Week's Rank: 3
Notable Wins: VCU (Road), Iowa (Neutral), Southern Miss (Neutral)
Wichita State's six-game winning streak ended with a 71-67 loss at Evansville on Sunday afternoon.
The Shockers are now tied with the Aces for second place in the MVC.
3. Belmont Bruins
Record: 13-4, 4-0 OVC
Last Week's Rank: 4
Notable Wins: Stanford (Road), Middle Tennessee (Road), South Dakota State (Home)
So far, Belmont is having no trouble in its first season as a member of the Ohio Valley. The Bruins have won their first four conference games by a combined 114 points.
This week, they play two teams that are also yet to lose in OVC play, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State.
2. Creighton Bluejays
Record: 16-1, 5-0 MVC
Last Week's Rank: 2
Notable Wins: Wisconsin (Neutral), Arizona State (Neutral), Akron (Home), Cal (Road), Indiana State (Home)
Creighton defeated Drake and Missouri State last week to extend its winning streak to 10 games. Doug McDermott posted 39 points and 10 rebounds in the Bluejays' win over the Tigers.
This week, Creighton hosts Northern Iowa and then plays at Wichita State, its toughest game of the conference schedule.
1. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Record: 16-1, 3-0 WCC
Last Week's Rank: 1
Notable Wins: Oklahoma (Neutral), Kansas State (Neutral), Baylor (Home), Oklahoma State (Road), St. Mary's (Home)
Gonzaga defeated St. Mary's, 83-78, in its first WCC home game of the year to stay perfect in conference play. Kelly Olynyk posted 31 points and eight rebounds.
This week, the Zags play a pair of road games against Portland and Butler.
Other Mid-Majors to Keep an Eye on
Detroit (11-6, 3-1 Horizon)
Harvard (9-5, 1-0 Ivy)
Iona (11-6, 5-1 MAAC)
Montana (10-4, 6-0 Big Sky)
Stony Brook (12-4, 3-0 A-East)
Weber State (10-4, 5-0 Big Sky)
Wright State (13-4, 4-0 Horizon)