Mid-Major Top 25 For January 24: Bye-Bye To Gonzaga, Hello To Saint Mary's

Jesse Kramer@Jesse_KramerCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2011

These weekly rankings will rank which mid-majors are the best in the nation, factoring in record, RPI, and whom the teams have beaten and lost to. There are different opinions on which teams qualify as mid-majors. I say that mid-majors are teams not in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-10, Mountain West, Conference USA, or Atlantic 10. Teams from any other conference constitute as mid-majors.

Rank. Team (Previous Rank)

1. St. Mary's Gaels (3)

Record: 17-3, 5-0 WCC

RPI: 40

St. Mary's winning streak ended with a loss at Vanderbilt. However, the Gaels still control the WCC at 5-0.

Key Wins: St. John's (Home)

Key Losses: None


2. Missouri State Bears (4)

Record: 16-4, 8-1 MVC

RPI: 35

Missouri State lost a heartbreaker at Indiana State on a buzzer beater layup for its first loss in conference play. The Bears rebounded with a win of their own in the final seconds against Creighton. With an Indiana State loss, the Bears moved back into first place in the MVC.

Key Wins: Northern Iowa (Road), Creighton (Road), Wichita State (Road)

Key Losses: Tulsa (Road), Indiana State (Road)

3. Wichita State Shockers (5)

Record: 16-4, 7-2 MVC

RPI: 44

Wichita State lost at home in conference play for the second time this season, losing to Northern Iowa by a score of 77-74. The Shockers rebounded with a win over Indiana State in three overtimes to move into second place in the MVC.

Key Wins: Virginia (Neutral), Creighton (Road)

Key Losses: Northern Iowa (Home)

4. Utah State Aggies (6)

Record: 18-2, 7-0 WAC

RPI: 43

Utah State has not lost since it played Georgetown on December 4th. The Aggies have a two-game lead on Boise State in the WAC.

Key Wins: Denver (Road), Boise State (Road)

Key Losses: None

5. Old Dominion Monarchs (1)

Record: 14-5, 5-3 CAA

RPI: 33

Old Dominion is 2-2 in his last four games. The Monarchs currently stand in fourth place in the CAA and need to take advantage of their next three games, where they play UNC-Wilmington, Georgia State, and Towson.

Key Wins: Xavier (Neutral), Richmond (Home), George Mason (Home), Hofstra (Road), James Madison (Home)

Key Losses: Delaware (Road)

6. Virginia Commonwealth Rams (18)

Record: 15-5, 7-1 CAA

RPI: 54

Virginia Commonwealth has vaulted itself into first place in the CAA with six straight wins. The Rams play at 4-14 Towson in their next game.

Key Wins: UCLA (Neutral), Drexel (Home), Old Dominion (Road)

Key Losses: South Florida (Road), Georgia State (Road)

7. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (8)

Record: 18-2, 9-0 Big South

RPI: 68

Coastal Carolina continues to ride a its winning streak, which has progressed to 16 straight games. The Chanticleers finish off a four-game road trip this week with games at High Point at Radford. 

Key Wins: LSU (Road), Liberty (Road)

Key Losses: Charleston (Road)

8. Gonzaga Bulldogs (2)

Record: 13-7, 3-2 WCC

RPI: 66

Gonzaga dropped back-to-back road games to Santa Clara and San Francisco. Although the Bulldogs have many strong wins, they are currently in fourth place in the West Coast Conference.

Key Wins: Marquette (Neutral), Baylor (Neutral), Xavier (Home), Oklahoma State (Home), Portland (Home)

Key Losses: Washington State (Road), Santa Clara (Road), San Francisco (Home)

9. Cleveland State Vikings (11)

Record: 18-3, 7-2 Horizon

RPI: 32

Cleveland State has won three straight games to move into second place in the Horizon League. 

Key Wins: Iona (Home), Kent State (Home), Akron (Road), Wright State (Home)

Key Losses: Valparaiso (Road)

10. James Madison Dukes (9)

Record: 15-5, 5-3 CAA

RPI: 72

James Madison has dropped its last two games. With those two losses, the Dukes dropped down to fifth play in the CAA.

Key Wins: Princeton (Home), Marshall (Home), Kent State (Road)

Key Losses: Georgia State (Road), George Mason (Home)

11. Charleston Cougars (13)

Record: 14-6, 7-1 SoCon

RPI: 82

Wofford rebounded from a loss at Chattanooga to maintain control of first place in the SoCon.

Key Wins: Coastal Carolina (Home), Tennessee (Road), Furman (Road)

Key Losses: Chattanooga (Road)

12. Butler Bulldogs (7)

Record: 14-7, 6-3 Horizon

RPI: 41

Butler has lost two of its last three games. The slumping Bulldogs start a three-game road trip at first place Valparaiso on Saturday.

Key Wins: Florida State (Neutral), Valparaiso (Home), Cleveland State (Home)

Key Losses: Evansville (Home), Milwaukee (Road), Milwaukee (Home)

13. George Mason Patriots (12)

Record: 14-5, 6-2 CAA

RPI: 31

George Mason has won four straight games to rise into third place in the CAA. 

Key Wins: Harvard (Home), Florida Atlantic (Home), Duquesne (Road), Drexel (Home), James Madison Road)

Key Losses: Wofford (Neutral)

14. Oakland Golden Grizzlies (15)

Record: 14-8, 9-0 Summit

RPI: 59

Oakland swept its three-game road trip, but the Golden Grizzlies only won their last two games by an average of eight points—must have been scary after winning all their other league games by 20 points. The Golden Grizzlies hold a three-game lead in first place.

Key Wins: Tennessee (Road), South Dakota State (Road)

Key Losses: Wright State (Road), Valparaiso (Road)

15. Belmont Bruins (Not Ranked)

Record: 18-3, 10-0 A-Sun

RPI: 70

Belmont has dominated its Atlantic Sun opponents to this point, winning all but one of its 10 games by double digits. The Bruins three losses have come to Tennessee (twice, when the Volunteers were ranked) and to Vanderbilt. All of those games were on the road.

Key Wins: East Tennessee State (Road)

Key Losses: None

16. Princeton Tigers (17)

Record: 12-4

RPI: 60

Princeton came back from a vacation of nearly three weeks to dominate College of New Jersey. The Tigers will play their first game against a D-I opponent since Marist on December 5th in their Ivy League opener against Brown on Friday night.

Key Wins: Rutgers (Home)

Key Losses: Presbyterian (Neutral)

17. Harvard Crimson (20)

Record: 13-3, 2-0 Ivy

RPI: 50

Harvard has looked strong in conference play so far, defeating Dartmouth twice. The Crimson host Columbia on Friday night in their Ivy League game.

Key Wins: Colorado (Home), Boston College (Road)

Key Losses: George Mason (Road)

18. Valparaiso Crusaders (16)

Record: 15-6, 7-2 Horizon

RPI: 57

Valparaiso's winning streak ended with a loss to Green Bay. The Crusaders host Butler on Saturday, with the winner gaining control of first place.

Key Wins: Oakland (Road), Cleveland State (Home), Wright State (Road)

Key Losses: Ohio (Road), Toledo (Road), Green Bay (Home)

19. Hofstra Pride (22)

Record: 13-6, 7-1 CAA

RPI: 105

Hofstra enters a game against James Madison in a tie with Virginia Commonwealth for first place in the CAA. The Pride travel to play the Rams on Thursday.

Key Wins: Drexel (Road), George Mason (Home)

Key Losses: Western Kentucky (Neutral), Florida Atlantic (Home), Iona (Road)

20. North Texas Mean Green (19)

Record: 16-4, 5-2 Sun Belt

RPI: 114

North Texas had a rough entrance into Sun Belt play, but the Mean Green has shown resilience, pulling itself back up to second place in the Sun Belt West.

Key Wins: LSU (Road)

Key Losses: Sam Houston State (Road), Troy (Road)

21. Portland Pilots (10)

Record: 14-6, 2-3

RPI: 56

Portland slumped this week and dropped below .500 in conference play. The Pilots host St. Mary's and Gonzaga within the next two weeks.

Key Wins: Florida Atlantic (Home), Montana (Road)

Key Losses: Washington State (Road), San Francisco (Road), Santa Clara (Road)

22. Montana Grizzlies (Not Ranked)

Record: 15-5, 7-1 Big Sky

RPI: 98

Montana has put together a solid winning streak and stands in second place in the Big Sky. The Grizzlies only loss came at undefeated Northern Colorado.

Key Wins: UCLA (Road), Oregon State (Home)

Key Losses: Nevada (Road), Northern Colorado (Road)

23. Fairfield Stags (Not Ranked)

Record: 15-4, 8-1 MAAC

RPI: 118

Fairfield has won three straight games to retake first place in the MAAC. The Stags start a four-game home stand against ninth place Manhattan on Friday. 

Key Wins: Vermont (Home)

Key Losses: Penn State (Road), St. Joe's (Home), Loyola (Road)

24. Northern Iowa Panthers (23)

Record: 15-6, 6-3 MVC

RPI: 71

Northern Iowa has won five straight games after a slow start in conference play. 

Key Wins: Iowa State (Home), New Mexico (Neutral), Wichita State (Road)

Key Losses: Milwaukee (Road), Southern Illinois (Road), Indiana State (Road)

25. Drexel Dragons (14)

Record: 12-6, 4-4 CAA

RPI: 64

Drexel ended a two-game slide with a win over Northeastern. The Dragons play two of their next three games on the road. Three of Drexel's four conference losses have come away from home.

Key Wins: Louisville (Road), Old Dominion (Home)

Key Losses: Hofstra (Home), William & Mary (Road)


Added: Belmont, Fairfield, Montana

Dropped: Creighton, Kent State, Vermont

Considered: Ball State, Florida Atlantic, Indiana State, Iona, Murray State, South Dakota State, Vermont, Wright State


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