NCAA Basketball Rankings 2013: Mid-Major Ranking for Week 18
Gonzaga finished off its regular season by completing a perfect slate in the West Coast Conference. The Zags have consistently been the No. 1 mid-major all season.
But there were some other shakeups in the rankings.
Creighton rose up to No. 6 after defeating Wichita State, and Louisiana Tech fell to New Mexico State for its first WAC loss of the season.
Read on to see the complete mid-major Top 10.
10. Valparaiso Crusaders
Valparaiso won its final three Horizon League games to outlast Detroit for the Horizon League title. At worst, it will get a guaranteed bid to the NIT.
As the No. 1 seed in the conference, the Crusaders receive a bye to the semifinals.
9. Bucknell Bison
Bucknell wrapped up the Patriot League regular season title over the weekend and then knocked off Navy in the Patriot League quarterfinals. In the 58-42 victory, Mike Muscala had 15 points and 13 rebounds.
The Bison will face Army on Saturday in the Patriot League semifinals.
8. Wichita State Shockers
Wichita State had the Missouri Valley in hand, but the Shockers let it slip away with losses to Evansville and Creighton during the final weekend of the regular season.
On Friday, the Shockers will face Missouri State in the Missouri Valley quarterfinals.
7. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Louisiana Tech's impressive winning streak ended with a 78-60 loss at New Mexico State on Thursday night. This loss was a big hit to the Bulldogs' at-large resume for the NCAA tournament.
On Saturday, they will play at Denver. A win would give Louisiana Tech the outright conference title, but a loss would put them in a tie with the Pioneers for first place.
6. Creighton Bluejays
Creighton defeated Wichita State on Saturday to win the Missouri Valley regular season title. For the first time in a while, the Bluejays once again looked like a top-20 team that could get to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament.
As the No. 1 seed in the MVC tournament, the Bluejays will face Drake on Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals.
5. Akron Zips
Akron rebounded from its loss to Buffalo with a 72-58 win over Miami (Ohio). As long as the Zips beat Kent State on Friday night, they will win the MAC regular season title outright.
Akron was dealt some bad news on Thursday as point guard Alex Abreu was arrested and indefinitely suspended for drug trafficking.
4. Belmont Bruins
After dominating the Atlantic Sun for the last number of seasons, Belmont moved to the Ohio Valley and picked up another conference championship there. The Bruins beat out Eastern Kentucky by two games.
They will be in action on Friday night in the OVC semifinals against Tennessee State.
3. St. Mary's Gaels
St. Mary's only lost twice in WCC play, and both losses were to Gonzaga. The Gaels play like a NCAA tournament team and definitely pass the eye test.
St. Mary's is in good position for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament as long as they make it to the WCC championship game.
2. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders
Middle Tennessee finished off Sun Belt play in the regular season with a 19-1 record. The Blue Raiders' last loss came way back on January 3.
They are ranked in the Top 30 on KenPom and will be in position for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament if they were to lose in the Sun Belt conference tournament.
1. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Gonzaga is ranked No. 1 in the entire country, let alone mid-major world. If the Zags win the WCC tournament, they will likely be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
They will not play again until the WCC semifinals.
Jesse Kramer is the founder of The Catch and Shoot, a blog dedicated to college basketball news, observations and insights on nationwide topics. You can follow Jesse on Twitter at Jesse_Kramer, and you can follow The Catch and Shoot at Catch_N_Shoot.