Mid-Major Top 25—Dec. 20: Wacky Play Helps Butler Keep Top Spot

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2009

Rank. Team  (Rank Last Week)

1. Butler (1)

Record: 9-3, 1-0 Horizon

RPI: 30

Butler made one last surge on a ridiculous play to end the game and come out victorious against Xavier on Saturday. They beat Top 25 Ohio State last week, and now beat a quality team with Xavier.

Key Wins: Northwestern (Road), Ohio State (Home), Xavier (Home)

Key Losses: Clemson (Neutral)

2. Northern Iowa (2)

Record: 8-1

RPI: 31

Northern Iowa beat North Dakota on Saturday 64-41.

Key Wins: Boston College (Neutral), Iowa State (Road), Siena (Home)

Key Losses: Depaul (Neutral)

3. Virginia Commonwealth (5)

Record: 7-2, 0-1 CAA

RPI: 23

VCU blew a late lead against Tulane on Saturday, but managed to pull out a one-point victory, improving their record to 7-2.

Key Wins: Oklahoma (Home), Nevada (Home), Richmond (Home)

Key Losses: Western Michigan (Road)

4. Gonzaga (3)

Record: 83

RPI: 49

Gonzaga got embarrassed by Duke in Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon with a 34-point loss. Duke has always had the ability to do this to good teams in the past. The Zags need to start playing better against top teams.

Key Wins: Cincinnati (Neutral), Wisconsin (Neutral)

Key Losses: Wake Forest (Home)

5. Old Dominion (6)

Record: 7-4, 1-0 CAA

RPI: 110

The Monarchs rebounded from a tough loss to Dayton with a win at Georgetown. An 18-point second half lead was cut to four late in the game, but Old Dominion held on for a 61-57 win.

Key Wins: Marshall (Home), Georgetown (Road)

Key Losses: Richmond (Road)

6. Siena (7)

Record: 6-4, 1-0 MAAC

RPI: 66

The Saints, who have faltered early, were lucky to be able to move up this week due to losses by Illinois State.

Key Wins: Northeastern (Home)

Key Losses: Temple (Road), Northern Iowa (Road)

7. Illinois State (4)

Record: 8-2

RPI: 172

Illinois State kept themselves from plummeting in the rankings by stopping their two-game slide with a win against Utah.

Key Wins: Saint Bonaventure (Home)

Key Losses: Ohio (Road)

8. Missouri State (13)

Record: 10-0

RPI: 26

Missouri State remained hot this week, winning their 10th game on Saturday.

Key Wins: Auburn (Home), Tulsa (Home)

Key Losses: None

9. Morgan State (10)

Record: 6-4, 1-0 MEAC

RPI: 125

Morgan State did not play this week and moved up due to Portland losing to Washington.

Key Wins: Arkansas (Road)

Key Losses: Appalachian State (Road), Loyola Maryland (Road)

10. Portland (8)

Record: 6-4

RPI: 62

Portland lost to Washington on Saturday night, dropping down to the No. 10 ranking.

Key Wins: Minnesota (Neutral)

Key Losses: Portland State (Home), Idaho (Road)

11. Murray State (12)

Record: 9-2, 2-0 OVC

RPI: 84

Murray State rebounded from a loss to Louisiana Tech with a win over Chattanooga. The loss to Louisiana Tech was their first since the season opener against Cal.

Key Wins: Eastern Kentucky (Home)

Key Losses: Louisiana Tech (Road)

12. Saint Mary's (15)

Record: 9-1

RPI: 24

Saint Mary's improved their winning streak to seven games this week with wins over Portland State and Pacific.

Key Wins: Utah State (Road), San Diego State (Home)

Key Losses: Vanderbilt (Home)

13. Western Kentucky (13)

Record: 5-4

RPI: 53

Western Kentucky lost at Louisville in Saturday.

Key Wins: Milwaukee (Neutral)

Key Losses: Indiana State (Home), South Carolina (Road)

14. George Mason (14)

Record: 5-5, 1-0 CAA

RPI: 127

George Mason did not play this week.

Key Wins: Indiana (Neutral), Creighton (Home)

Key Losses: George Washington (Road)


15. Cornell (17)

Record: 7-2

RPI: 22

Cornell did not play this week.

Key Wins: Alabama (Road), Saint Joe's (Home)

Key Losses: None


16. Harvard (18)

Record: 7-2

RPI: 43

The Harvard Crimson did not play this week. Green Bay and Wright State dropped in the rankings, allowing Harvard to move up.

Key Wins: William & Mary (Home), Boston College (Road)

Key Losses: Army (Road)


17. Western Carolina (21)

Record: 10-1, 2-0 SoCon

RPI: 20

Western Carolina did not play this week. They play Clemson on Dec. 22.

Key Wins: Bradley (Road), Louisville (Road)

Key Losses: None


18. Niagara (22)

Record: 7-4, 2-0 MAAC

RPI: 96

Niagara won their bracket buster return game at Illinois State on last Sunday.

Key Wins: UCF (Neutral), Illinois State (Road)

Key Losses: Austin Peay (Road), Buffalo (Home)


19. Wichita State (23)

Record: 10-1

RPI: 155

Wichita State shocked No. 20 Texas Tech on Saturday with a two-point victory.

Key Wins: Iowa (Neutral), Texas Tech (Home)

Key Losses: Pitt (Neutral)

20. Northern Colorado (20)

Record: 9-3, 1-1 Big Sky

RPI: 109

Northern Colorado beat Louisiana Monroe earlier this week, and fell one point short of an amazing last second comeback against Oklahoma. Oklahoma's Cade Davis intercepted a pass, with five seconds left, to keep the Bears from coming back from down eight points in the final minute.

Key Wins: Montana (Road)

Key Losses: Montana State (Road), Wyoming (Road)

21. Rider (19)

Record: 8-5, 1-0 MAAC

RPI: 186

Rider lost a must-win game against Rutgers in overtime. They play the Siena Saints on Dec. 23.

Key Wins: Mississippi State (Road), Saint Joe's (Road)

Key Losses: Sam Houston State (Neutral), La Salle (Home), Rutgers (Road)

22. Wright State (9)

Record: 7-4, 2-0 Horizon

RPI: 124

After losing two games early in the week, Wright State kept themselves in the Top 25 with a dominating win over Maryland Eastern Shore.

Key Wins: Belmont (Neutral)

Key Losses: Northeastern (Road), Miami Ohio (Road)

23. Green Bay (16)

Record: 10-3, 3-0 Horizon

RPI: 99

Green Bay lost at Oakland following their upset over Wisconsin, but similarly to Wright State, were able to remain in the Top 25 with a win over Youngstown State on Saturday, improving their conference record to 3-0.

Key Wins: Wisconsin (Home)

Key Losses: Long Beach State (Home), Oakland (Road)

24. William & Mary (24)

Record: 7-2, 1-0 CAA

RPI: 18

William & Mary defeated Vassar on Saturday 94-48.

Key Wins: Wake Forest (Road), VCU (Home), Harvard (Road)

Key Losses: None

25. Hofstra (25)

Record: 7-3, 1-0 CAA

RPI: 56

The Pride did not play this week.

Key Wins: Fairfield (Home)

Key Losses: Charlotte (Home)

Teams By Conference:

CAA: 5

MVC: 4

Horizon: 3


WCC: 3


IVY: 2

Big Sky: 1


OVC: 1

SoCon: 1

Sun Belt: 1

Teams Dropped:


Teams Added:


Other Teams Considered:

Iona, Coastal Carolina, Bradley, Ohio, Louisiana Tech