Mid-Major Top 25—Dec. 13: Portland Drops Out Of Top 5 With Rough Week

Jesse Kramer@Jesse_KramerCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  Taishi Ito #5 of the Portland Pilots tries to make a pass play against West Virginia during the Championship Game of the 76 Classic at Anaheim Convention Center on November 29, 2009 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

Rank. Team (Rank Last Week)

1. Butler (1)

Record: 7-3, 1-0 Horizon

RPI: 57

After faltering against Top 25 teams earlier in the season, the Bulldogs beat an Evan Turner-less Ohio State on Saturday. Although the Buckeyes are clearly a weaker team without Turner, they are still a quality team and Butler showed that they still have what it takes to be the top mid-major.

Key Wins: Northwestern (Road), UCLA (Neutral), Ohio State (Home)

Key Losses: Clemson (Neutral)

2. Northern Iowa  (3)

Record: 7-1

RPI: 31

Northern Iowa beat in-state rival Iowa on Tuesday and then beat Siena on Saturday. With the win over Iowa they are now 3-1 against BCS teams.

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

Key Losses: Depaul (Neutral)

3. Gonzaga    (2)

Record: 8-2

RPI: 48

Gonzaga lost to Wake Forest a little over a week ago in a close game. They were dropped one spot in the rankings due to Northern Iowa winning both of their games this week.

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

Key Losses: Wake Forest (Home)

4. Illinois State (4)

Record: 7-0

RPI: 144

Illinois State did not play this week. They remain undefeated. They play a bracket buster return game against Niagara on Sunday.

Key Wins: Saint Bonaventure (Home)

Key Losses: None

5. VCU  (7)

Record: 6-2, 0-1 CAA

RPI: 36

VCU beat Richmond in their one game this week. Although Richmond is a quality team, a main reason that VCU moved up is because Portland and Old Dominion, the two teams ahead of them last week, both lost.

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

Key Losses: Western Michigan (Road)

6. Old Dominion  (6)

Record: 6-4, 1-0 CAA

RPI: 74

ODU lost at Dayton on Saturday after demolishing Mount Saint Mary's on Tuesday.

Key Wins: Marshall (Home)

Key Losses: Richmond (Road)

7. Siena  (8)

Record: 6-4, 1-0 MAAC

RPI: 72

Siena won at Iona in the conference opener. They then lost in a bracket buster return game at Northern Iowa. The Saints continue to disappoint this year after being put in SI's Preseason Top 20. Their chance for an at-large bid is just about done unless they run the table in conference play.

Key Wins: Northeastern (Home)

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

8. Portland  (5)

Record: 6-3

RPI: 93

The Pilots ended a three game losing streak with a win over Denver on Saturday. After entering the Top 25 following a second place finish in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Portland has disappointed mid-major fans with a rough stretch.

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

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

9. Wright State (11)

Record: 6-2, 2-0 Horizon

RPI: 91

Wright State breached the Top 10 with a win over Toledo this week.

Key Wins: Belmont (Neutral)

Key Losses: Northeastern (Road)

10. Morgan State  (10)

Record: 6-4, 1-0 MEAC

RPI: 133

Morgan State lost to Minnesota on Tuesday and then rebounded with a win over the Manhattan Jaspers on Saturday.

Key Wins: Arkansas (Road)

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

11. Western Kentucky (15)

Record: 5-3

RPI: 68

Western Kentucky won all three games this week against Tulane, Evansville, and Top 25 Vanderbilt. They play a big game this coming Saturday against a struggling Louisville squad.

Key Wins: Milwaukee (Neutral)

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

12. Murray State (13)

Record: 8-1, 2-0 OVC

RPI: 79

Murray State played one game this week, and they won against East Tennessee State.

Key Wins: Eastern Kentucky (Home)

Key Losses: None

13. Missouri State (20)

Record: 9-0

RPI: 16

Missouri State is still undefeated. Only Kentuckty, Western Carolina, and New Mexico have more wins than them.

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

Key Losses: None

14. George Mason (9)

Record: 5-5

RPI: 131

George Mason showed some new life this week as they just missed a win at Dayton and then won a close game against Creighton.

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

Key Losses: George Washington (Road)

15. Saint Mary's (19)

Record: 7-1

RPI: 55

Saint Mary's continues to play good basketball. They have only lost once in a close game to Vanderbilt. This week, they won at Oregon.

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

Key Losses: Vanderbilt (Home)

16. Green Bay (Not Ranked)

Record: 9-2, 2-0 Horizon

RPI: 96

Wisconsin Green Bay won in their first game against a BCS team this season. Head Coach Tom Kowalczyk must have had high hopes when he said, "First thing's first. Does that mean we are better than Duke?" Green Bay does not play anymore BCS teams this season, but they do play Butler twice in conference play.

Key Wins: Wisconsin (Home)

Key Losses: Long Beach State (Home)

17. Cornell (24)

Record: 7-2

RPI: 22

Cornell beat Saint Joe's this week to push their way into the Top 20.

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

Key Losses: None

18. Harvard (Not Ranked)

Record: 7-2

RPI: 51

The Crimson, led by star guard Jeremy Lin, proved the damage that they can do with great performances this week. They fell just short of a come from behind win at Connecticut, and then rebounded with a win at Boston College.

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

Key Losses: Army (Road)

19. Rider (17)

Record: 7-4, 1-0 MAAC

RPI: 181

The Broncs, from the MAAC, have disappointed the nation after defeating No. 19 Mississippi State in the season opener.

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

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

20. Northern Colorado (18)

Record: 8-2, 1-1 Big Sky

RPI: 84

Northern Colorado has dropped two out of their last three, but don't let that deceive you. Their win in this stretch was against Montana, who have proved to be a quality team this year.

Key Wins: Air Force (Road), Montana (Road)

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

21. Western Carolina (Not Ranked)

Record: 10-1, 2-0 SoCon

RPI: 20

Western Carolina has a league-high 10 wins this season. Their one loss was at Texas. They won three games this week consisting of two road wins against Bradley and Louisville.

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

Key Losses: None

22. Niagara  (21)

Record: 6-4

RPI: 137

The Purple Eagles of Niagara are another team from the MAAC that have been disappointing this year. However, there is still hope for them. They play a big game at Illinois State on Sunday.

Key Wins: UCF (Neutral)

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

23. Wichita State (24)

Record: 9-1

RPI: 172

The Shockers have shocked some college basketball fans this season with a 9-1 start. They are 1-1 against BCS teams this year.

Key Wins: Iowa (Neutral)

Key Losses: Pitt (Neutral)

24. William & Mary (25)

Record: 6-2, 1-0 CAA

RPI: 17

William & Mary have won their last six games after losing their first two.

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

Key Losses: None

25. Hofstra (Not Ranked)

Record: 7-3, 1-0 CAA

RPI: 56

The Pride have six out of their last seven. This past week, they defeated the Manhattan Jaspers and the New Hampshire Wildcats. Their star player is Chris Jenkins who is averaging 19.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.0 assists.

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

Creighton, Ohio, San Diego, Long Beach State

Teams Added

Green Bay, Harvard, Western Carolina, Hofstra

Other Teams Considered

Nevada, Detroit, Utah State, Iona, Fairfield, Bradley, 


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