Mid-Major Top 25—Jan. 31: Northern Iowa Back In Lead With Gonzaga Loss

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2010

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 19:   Brian Zoubek #55 and Lance Thomas #42 of the Duke Blue Devils defend Robert Sacre #00 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs 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. Northern Iowa Panthers (2)


Record: 19-2, 10-1 MVC

RPI: 20

Northern Iowa has won three straight since losing to Wichita State. The Panthers have a rematch with Wichita State in their next game on February 3.

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

Key Losses: Depaul (Neutral)


2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (1)

Record: 17-4, 6-1 WCC

RPI: 24

Gonzaga had a nine-game winning streak snapped at San Francisco in overtime.

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

Key Losses: Wake Forest (Home), San Francisco (Road)

3. Butler Bulldogs (3)


Record: 17-4, 10-0 Horizon

RPI: 22

Butler has won nine straight games. The Bulldogs are still undefeated in the Horizon League.

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

Key Losses: Minnesota (Neutral)

4. Siena Saints (4)


Record: 19-4, 12-0 MAAC

RPI: 31

Siena has the longest active win streak, and the second longest active home win streak. The Saints continue to dominate the MAAC at 12-0. Rider is now getting hot again, and the Saints need to be careful of them to protect their MAAC title.

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

Key Losses: Northern Iowa (Road)

5. St. Mary's Gaels (6)


Record: 19-3, 6-1 WCC

RPI: 37

St. Mary's moved into a tie for first place with Gonzaga's loss. The Gaels are on the bottom side of the tiebreaker with a loss to Gonzaga. The Gaels have won their last four games.

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

Key Losses: Vanderbilt (Road)

6. Old Dominion Monarchs (5)


Record: 17-6, 9-2 CAA

RPI: 41

Old Dominion had an eight-game winning streak ended by Northeastern. With that loss, they dropped to third place in the CAA.

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

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

7. Cornell Big Red (8)


Record: 18-3, 4-0 Ivy

RPI: 45

Cornell has dominated the Ivy League. The Big Red beat Harvard by 36, eliminating much of the doubt that Harvard could give them any trouble for a title. The Big Red's average margin of victory in the Ivy League is over 29 points.

Key Wins: Alabama (Road), Harvard (Home)

Key Losses: None

8. Murray State Racers (7)


Record: 20-3, 11-0 OVC

RPI: 83

Murray State is still undefeated in the OVC. They have dominated every game in conference play.

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

Key Losses: Louisiana Tech (Road)

9. George Mason Patriots (16)


Record: 15-7, 10-1 CAA

RPI: 101

George Mason is in sole possession of first place in the CAA. Their one conference loss came to Northeastern.

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

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


10. Virginia Commonwealth Rams (9)


Record: 15-5, 6-4 CAA

RPI: 55

VCU has won five out of their last six, with the loss to Northeastern. 

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

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


11. Wichita State Shockers (11)


Record: 18-4, 7-3 MVC

RPI: 49

Wichita State's win over Illinois State put them in second place in the MVC.

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

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

12. Harvard Crimson (10)


Record: 14-4, 3-1 Ivy

RPI: 61

Harvard got destroyed by Cornell on Saturday, 86-50. Jeremy Lin had eight turnovers.

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

Key Losses: Army (Road)

13. Portland Pilots (13)


Record: 14-7, 5-2 WCC

RPI: 92

Portland has won four straight games and are in third place in the WCC.

Key Wins: Minnesota (Neutral), UCLA (Neutral)

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

14. Northeastern Huskies (22)


Record: 14-8, 9-2 CAA

RPI: 66

Northeastern moved into second place in the CAA with a win over ODU on Saturday.

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

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

15. Illinois State Redbirds (15)


Record: 15-7, 6-5 MVC

RPI: 121

Illinois State ended a two game slide with a win over Bradley. The Redbirds are in a tie for third place in the MVC.

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

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

16. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (14)


Record: 18-4, 6-2 WAC

RPI: 58

Louisiana Tech won their first five WAC games, but have now lost two of their last three games.

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

Key Losses: Arizona (Road), San Jose State (Road), New Mexico State (Home)

17. Northern Colorado Bears (12)


Record: 17-5, 6-3 Big Sky

RPI: 104

Northern Colorado has managed to stay in second place in the Big Sky, despite a loss to Montana this week.

Key Wins: Montana (Road)

Key Losses: Portland State (Road)

18. Morgan State Bears (21)


Record: 14-7, 6-0 MEAC

RPI: 133

Morgan State is still undefeated in conference play and have dominated the MEAC.

Key Wins: Arkansas (Road)

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

19. Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (19)


Record: 12-10, 5-5 Sun Belt

RPI: 146

Western Kentucky snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over New Orleans on Saturday.

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

Key Losses: Indiana State (Home), Denver (Road), Troy (Road), North Texas (Home)

20. Missouri State Bears (17)


Record: 15-7, 5-6 MVC

RPI: 81

Missouri State stands one game below .500 in conference play. The Bears only lost by one point to Northern Iowa on Saturday.

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

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

21. College of Charleston Bears (24)


Record: 14-8, 9-2 SoCon

RPI: 93

Charleston snapped a two-game slide with a win at Georgia Southern.

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

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

22. Western Carolina Catamounts (18)


Record: 17-5, 5-3 SoCon

RPI: 73

Western Carolina has played great on their home floor, not losing once, but they have struggled on the road in conference play. The Catamounts have a big win over Charleston.

Key Wins: Louisville (Road), Charleston (Home)

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

23. Green Bay Phoenix (25)


Record: 15-8, 7-4 Horizon

RPI: 113

Green Bay is in second place in the Horizon League.

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

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

24. Oakland Golden Grizzlies (Not Ranked)


Record: 16-8, 10-1 Summit

RPI: 62

Oakland makes their first appearance in the Top 25 this week. The Golden Grizzlies have a half-game lead on IUPUI for first place in the Summit. They had a nine game winning streak snapped by IUPUI this week, but rebounded with a win over Western Illinois on Saturday.

Key Wins: Green Bay (Home), IUPUI (Home)

Key Losses: Eastern Michigan (Home), IUPUI (Road)

25. William & Mary Tribe (20)


Record: 14-6, 6-4 CAA

RPI: 51

William & Mary has lost three straight games to VCU, ODU, and James Madison. A William & Mary team that was once at the top of the mid-majors is now dangerously close to dropping out of the Top 25.

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

Key Losses: UNC Wilmington (Home), James Madison (Road)

Conference Breakdown:

CAA: 5

MVC: 4

WCC: 3

Horizon: 2

Ivy: 2

SoCon: 2

Big Sky: 1



OVC: 1

Summit: 1

Sun Belt: 1

WAC: 1

Added: Oakland

Dropped: Coastal Carolina

Considered (Alphabetically): Iona, IUPUI, Morehead State, Sam Houston State, Stephen F Austin, Weber State, Wright State

Mid-Major Player To Watch: Rico Pickett, Manhattan Jaspers

Rico Pickett averaged 24 points per game in January. In conference games, Pickett is averaging 23 points per game. Pickett scored 28 points in the first half against Rider on Thursday night. Pickett goes through stretches where he scores at will and can hit just about any shot. Pickett is in his first year at Manhattan after playing his freshman year at Alabama and his sophomore year at Miami Dade Junior College. Pickett is averaging 17.9 points per game on the year.