NCAA Basketball Mid-Major Top 25: Jan. 24th, Zags Take Top Spot

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IJanuary 24, 2010

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 19:  Matt Bouldin #15 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs drives around Miles Plumlee #21 of the Duke Blue Devils in the first half of the Aeropostale Classic at Madison Square Garden on December 19, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Rank. Team (Previous Rank)


1. Gonzaga Bulldogs (3)

Record: 16-3, 5-0 WCC

RPI: 16

The Zags take the No. 1 spot, as they continue to run the table in the WCC and No. 20 Northern Iowa lost to Wichita State. Gonzaga claimed full possession of first place in the WCC with a win over Pepperdine.

Key Wins: Cincinnati (Neutral), Wisconsin (Neutral), Illinois (Road), St. Mary's (Road)

Key Losses: Wake Forest (Home)


2. Northern Iowa Panthers (1)

Record: 16-2, 7-1 MVC

RPI: 18

Northern Iowa was ranked No. 20 entering this week, but lost at Wichita State. Most likely, Northern Iowa will not be nationally ranked next week, but they still are in good shape at No. 2 in the mid-major rankings.

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

Key Losses: Depaul (Neutral)


3. Butler Bulldogs (2)

Record: 16-4, 9-0 Horizon

RPI: 20

Butler remains undefeated in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs had a close call at Loyola-Illinois, but gutted out a 48-47 win. Butler then beat Illinois-Chicago 84-55 on Saturday.

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

Key Losses: Minnesota (Neutral)


4. Siena Saints (4)

Record: 16-4, 9-0 MAAC

RPI: 37

Siena remains undefeated in the MAAC. After falling behind early to the Manhattan Jaspers, the Saints came back and won 83-68. The Saints then beat Loyola (MD), extending their home winning streak to 32 games, now the second-longest in the nation.

The Saints play at Manhattan tomorrow without Edwin Ubiles (injury), where they have struggled in recent years. In 2008, the Saints lost a nail-biter, 73-72, and won a close game in 2009, 68-64. The Jasper Jungle will be all over the Saints tomorrow afternoon.

Key Wins: Northeastern (Home), Fairfield (Road)

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


5. Old Dominion Monarchs (5)

Record: 16-5, 8-1 CAA

RPI: 47

Old Dominion has now won seven games since losing to George Mason on Jan. 2. The Monarchs are currently in a three-way tie for first place in the CAA with Northeastern and George Mason.

Key Wins: Marshall (Home), Georgetown (Road), William & Mary (Road)

Key Losses: Richmond (Road), George Mason (Road)


6. St. Mary's Gaels (6)

Record: 17-3, 4-1 WCC

RPI: 38

The Gaels have managed to stay in second place in the WCC, with their only loss coming to Gonzaga. St. Mary's has only lost three games this year, and they have been in close games with Vanderbilt, USC, and Gonzaga.

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

Key Losses: Vanderbilt (Road)


7. Murray State Racers (9)

Record: 18-3, 10-0 OVC

RPI: 75

Murray State has dominated the OVC. Their only danger in not winning the conference regular-season title will be if they lose at Morehead State. The Racers have won their first 10 games in conference play, with a 19.2 point average margin of victory, and winning eight of their conference games by at least 16 points.

Key Wins: Eastern Kentucky (Home), Morehead State (Home)

Key Losses: Louisiana Tech (Road)


8. Cornell Big Red (11)

Record: 16-3, 2-0 Ivy

RPI: 41

The Big Red beat Columbia last week to open up Ivy League play, and then traveled to Manhattan to knock off the Lions in the return game. The Big Red dominated Columbia in both of these games, with an average win of 23.5 points. There is a high chance that much of the Ivy League play will be similar to this for Cornell.

Key Wins: Alabama (Road)

Key Losses: None


9. Virginia Commonwealth (12)

Record: 13-5, 5-4 CAA

RPI: 40

Virginia Commonwealth dominated William & Mary in their first game this week. The Rams could not win at red-hot Northeastern, who now stands in a three-way tie for first place in the CAA.

Key Wins: Oklahoma (Road), Richmond (Home), William & Mary (Home)

Key Losses: Western Michigan (Road), Drexel (Road)


10. Harvard Crimson (13)

Record: 13-3, 2-0 Ivy

RPI: 53

After dominating Dartmouth in their first Ivy League game, the Crimson had some trouble with the Big Green on the road, but still won by four. The Crimson are tied with the Big Red for first place in the Ivy League.

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

Key Losses: Army (Road)


11. Wichita State Shockers (15)

Record: 17-4, 6-3 MVC

RPI: 44

The Shockers shocked (I'm sorry, but it had to be done) the Northern Iowa Panthers with a win on their home floor. The Shockers then lost at Drake, who has been extremely hot in conference play, winning five straight games after losing their first four MVC games.

Key Wins: Texas Tech (Home), Missouri State (Road)

Key Losses: Creighton (Road), Drake (Road)


12. Northern Colorado Bears (20)

Record: 17-4, 6-2 Big Sky

RPI: 95

Northern Colorado won their eighth game in their last nine with a win over Sacramento State. The Bears are a half-game out of first place, behind the Weber State Cougars, who Northern Colorado has already beat.

Key Wins: Montana (Road)

Key Losses: Portland State (Road)


13. Portland Pilots (10)

Record: 12-7, 3-2 WCC

RPI: 88

Portland beat Loyola-Marymount and Pepperdine this week. After early-season NCAA Tournament talk for the Pilots, their only hope is a conference tournament miracle run.

Key Wins: Minnesota (Neutral)

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


14. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (14)

Record: 18-3, 6-1 WAC

RPI: 63

Louisiana Tech finally lost a conference game to San Jose State. The Bulldogs still have not lost on their home court.

Key Wins: Murray State (Home), Houston (Road)

Key Losses: Arizona (Road), San Jose State (Road


15. Illinois State Redbirds (8)

Record: 14-6, 5-4 MVC

RPI: 114

Illinois State lost a game to streaking Drake at the start of the week, then beat Creighton, and then lost a heart-breaking, overtime game to Southern Illinois. The Redbirds have managed to stay in a three-way tie for third place in the MVC.

Key Wins: Wichita State (Home), Creighton (Home)

Key Losses: Ohio (Road), Southern Illinois (Road)


16. George Mason Patriots (24)

Record: 13-7, 8-1 CAA

RPI: 103

George Mason has won five straight games and are currently in a three-way tie for first place in the CAA. The Patriots played close games with top-25 opponents at the beginning of the year, and after a rough stretch, the Patriots are finally showing that same talent level again.

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

Key Losses: Tulane (Road), Radford (Road)


17. Missouri State Bears (19)

Record: 14-5, 4-4 MVC

RPI: 61

Missouri State beat Indiana State in their one game this week.

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

Key Losses: Arkansas (Road), Drake (Road), Bradley (Road)


18. Western Carolina Catamounts (18)

Record: 15-4, 5-2 SoCon 

RPI: 60

Western Carolina lost their second SoCon game this week to Appalachian State. The Catamounts were dominating their non-conference opponents, but have not been able to play as well in conference play.

Key Wins: Louisville (Road)

Key Losses: Georgia Southern (Road), Appalachian State (Road)


19. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (7)

Record: 11-8, 4-4 Sun Belt 

RPI: 97

Western Kentucky has now lost three straight games. After a 4-1 start in conference play, the Hilltoppers are now 4-4 in the Sun Belt. Western Kentucky needs to get things together soon if they want to stay in the Top 25.

Key Wins: Murray State (Home), Mississippi State (Home)

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


20. William & Mary Tribe (16)

Record: 14-5, 6-3 CAA

RPI: 32

The Tribe lost twice this week to VCU and ODU. William & Mary is now in third place in the CAA.

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

Key Losses: UNC Wilmington (Home)


21. Morgan State Bears (23)

Record: 13-7, 5-0 MEAC

RPI: 126

Morgan State came back from down 13 points at halftime to beat Delaware State and keep their perfect conference record in order. Reggie Holmes made 18-of-20 free throws in Morgan State's win on Saturday.

Key Wins: Arkansas (Road)

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


22. Northeastern Huskies (Not Ranked)

Record: 13-7, 8-1 CAA

RPI: 65

Expected to be good at the beginning of the season, Northeastern fell off the face of the earth with a 2-7 start. The Huskies have now won 11 straight games. Their one conference loss came by two points at Drexel, during a five-game losing streak. The Huskies are tied with Old Dominion and George Mason for first place in the CAA. Northeastern has already handled George Mason once and play ODU in their only meeting next Saturday.

Key Wins: Wright State (Home), VCU (Road), GMU (Home), VCU (Home)

Key Losses: Boston U (Road), Drexel (Road), Western Michigan (Neutral)


23. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (25)

Record: 18-3, 8-1 Big South

RPI: 153

Coastal Carolina beat Charleston Southern in their only game this week. The Chanticleers have only lost one game in conference play to Radford.

Key Wins: College of Charleston (Home), Indiana State (Neutral)

Key Losses: Cal State Northridge (Neutral), Radford (Home)


24. College of Charleston (Not Ranked)

Record: 13-6, 8-0 SoCon

RPI: 79

Charleston came onto the map with an upset over then No. 9 North Carolina. The Cougars have dominated the SoCon, off to an 8-0, first place start. Charleston has won all eight of their games on played on their home floor.

Key Wins: UNC (Home), Wofford (Home)

Key Losses: East Tennessee State (Road), Hawaii (Road)


25. Green Bay Phoenix (21)

Record: 14-7, 6-3 Horizon

RPI: 111

The Phoenix won at Houston Baptist earlier in the week, but then lost at Cleveland State on Friday. Green Bay is on the brink of losing a spot in the top 25.

Key Wins: Wisconsin (Home), Wright State (Home), Detroit (Home)

Key Losses: Oakland (Road), Milwaukee (Road), Cleveland State (Road)


Teams By Conference

CAA: 5

MVC: 4

WCC: 3

Horizon: 2

Ivy: 2

SoCon: 2

Big Sky: 1

Big South: 1



OVC: 1

Sun Belt: 1

WAC: 1


Added (Alphabetical)

College of Charleston, Northeastern



Akron, Fairfield



Akron, Iona, IUPUI, Morehead State, New Mexico State, Oakland, Pacific, Sam Houston State, Stephen F Austin, Utah State, Weber State, Wright State