Mid-Major Top 25: Harvard, Murray State Take Home Early Season Tournament Titles

Jesse KramerCorrespondent INovember 28, 2011

1. Gonzaga Bulldogs

Record: 4-0

Best Win: Washington State (Home)

Gonzaga improved to 4-0 with a win over Western Michigan on Saturday. The Zags play start a tough stretch, which includes games against Illinois, Michigan State, Arizona and Butler, on Wednesday night.


2. Creighton Bluejays

Record: 5-0

Best Win: Campbell (Home)

Creighton ended Campbell's undefeated season with a whopping, 104-81 win behind Doug McDermott's 31 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bluejays play their toughest game to this point in the season at San Diego State on Wednesday.


3. Harvard Crimson

Record: 6-0

Best Win: Florida State (Neutral)

Over the course of three games in the Bahamas, Harvard opponents averaged just 45.7 points per game. Harvard outlasted Utah, No. 20 Florida State and Central Florida en route to a Battle 4 Atlantis championship.

The Crimson have a pair of easier games coming up against Vermont and Seattle, but then it will play its toughest match of the season at Connecticut on December 8.


4. Iona Gaels

Record: 3-1

Best Win: St. Joseph's (Home)

Iona hung on for a double overtime win over St. Joseph's in its most recent game. Tonight, the Gaels take on the defending NEC champions, the Long Island Blackbirds.


5. Belmont Bruins

Record: 2-2

Best Win: Middle Tennessee (Road)

Belmont picked up a much-needed win over Middle Tennessee last week. The Bruins will get a rematch with the Blue Raiders on December 13.


6. Kent State Golden Flashes

Record: 2-1

Best Win: West Virginia (Road)

Kent State picked up its first loss of the year at the hands of Cleveland State. The Golden Flashes continue their homestand against Louisiana Lafayette on Monday.


7. Long Beach State 49ers

Record: 3-2

Best Win: Pittsburgh (Road)

Long Beach State blew a second half lead against Montana on Saturday night. The 49ers will get a chance to get another win over a top 25 team when they play Louisville tonight.


8. Cleveland State Vikings

Record: 5-1

Best Win: Vanderbilt (Road)

Cleveland State picked up its first win of the season, falling to Hofstra, 63-53. The Vikings rebounded on Sunday with a win over Rhode Island.


9. Wichita State Shockers

Record: 3-2

Best Win: Colorado (Neutral)

Wichita State ended a two-game losing streak with a 68-46 win over UAB. The Shockers have an opportunity for a key win over UNLV on December 4.


10. Northern Iowa Panthers

Record: 5-1

Best Win: Old Dominion (Road)

Northern Iowa has won four straight games since losing at St. Mary's. The Panthers take on their in-state rival, Iowa State, on Wednesday.


11. George Mason Patriots

Record: 4-2

Best Win: Rhode Island (Home)

George Mason has won three of its last four, with the one loss during that stretch coming in overtime against Florida Atlantic.

The Patriots end their three-game homestand against Bucknell, and then they start CAA play at Towson on Saturday.


12. Brigham Young Cougars

Record: 3-2

Best Win: Nevada (Neutral)

BYU's three-game winning streak ended with a loss to Wisconsin on Saturday. The Cougars stay on the road and will have a chance for their first true road win at Northern Arizona on Wednesday night. 


13. St. Mary's Gaels

Record: 1-1

Best Win: Northern Iowa (Home)

After picking up a solid win over Northern Iowa, St. Mary's fell to Denver. The Gaels play at Cal Poly on Saturday.


14. Weber State Wildcats

Record: 3-0

Best Win: Utah State (Home)

Weber State remained undefeated with a win over Jacksonville State on Sunday. The Wildcats host San Jose State on Saturday.


15. Charleston Cougars

Record: 5-1

Best Win: Massachusetts (Neutral)

After losing its first round game at the Battle 4 Atlantis, Charleston beat UNC-Asheville and Massachusetts to finish No. 5 in the early season tournament. 

The Cougars start a four-game homestand against Citadel on Thursday.


16. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders

Record: 5-1

Best Win: UCLA (Road)

Middle Tennessee pulled away from Austin Peay in the second half on Saturday to improve to 5-1. On the season, the Blue Raiders are No. 14 in three-point percentage.


17. Ohio Bobcats

Record: 3-1

Best Win: Arkansas State (Home)

Ohio picked up its first loss of the season at No. 7 Louisville, 59-54. The Bobcats will most likely not play any other top 25 teams this year, but they will play a solid team in Marshall on Wednesday night. 


18. Missouri State Bears

Record: 3-0

Best Win: Tulsa (Home)

Following an overtime win over Tulsa, Missouri State will be on the road for its next two games against Oral Roberts and New Mexico.


19. Virginia Commonwealth Rams

Record: 3-3

Best Win: Western Kentucky (Road)

VCU fell short against No. 13 Alabama last night. The Rams return home to face South Florida on Wednesday.


20. Butler Bulldogs

Record: 3-3

Best Win: Gardner-Webb (Home)

Butler continues to struggle. The Bulldogs fell back to .500 with a loss at Indiana on Sunday night. 


21. Drexel Dragons

Record: 2-2

Best Win: Rider (Road)

Due to playing without Chris Fouch and Tavon Allen, Drexel has struggled. The Dragons have lost winnable games to Norfolk State and Virginia, and their two wins are over Rider and Winthrop, which are a combined 1-11 this year.

Drexel stays on the road this week and will not play its home opener until December 10.


22. Wagner Seahawks

Record: 5-1

Best Win: Penn (Road)

Wagner's only loss this year came at No. 4 Connecticut.

The Seahawks open up NEC play against defending champion Long Island on Thursday.


23. UC Santa Barbara Gauchos

Record: 2-1

Best Win: Santa Clara (Home)

Santa Barbara picked up its first loss of the season in overtime to San Diego State. The Gauchos face another Mountain West opponent in UNLV, which is coming off a win over No. 1 North Carolina, on Wednesday.


24. Old Dominion Monarchs

Record: 3-3

Best Win: South Florida (Neutral)

Old Dominion had a chance to pick up a big win over Kentucky, but could not. The Monarchs then lost at home to Vermont in overtime.


25. Murray State Racers

Record: 5-0

Best Win: Southern Miss (Neutral)

Murray State defeated Southern Miss in double overtime to take home a Great Alaska Shootout title. The Racers look to keep their hot start going at Western Kentucky on Thursday.

Added: Santa Barbara, Wagner, Murray State

Dropped: Fairfield, Detroit, Valparaiso

Considered: North Dakota State, Indiana State, New Mexico State, Norfolk State, Montana, Santa Clara