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NCAAM Mid Major Top-25: Week 1

Each Week on Wednesday I will be posting my Mid Major Top-25 highlighting the top 25 teams from non power conferences. These rankings exclude the A10 and WCC. Due to the season starting on a Friday this year, this post will cover all highlighted teams up until Tuesday Night the 21st. Also included each week will be a breakdown of all notable mid major topics around the country.

Mid Major Top 25

  1. Vermont
  2. Nevada
  3. UT Arlington
  4. Toledo
  5. Belmont
  6. Middle Tennesee
  7. Oakland
  8. Northern Kentucky
  9. Grand Canyon
  10. FGCU
  11. Boise State
  12. Wyoming
  13. Mercer
  14. Hawaii
  15. UNLV
  16. Loyola Chicago
  17. Albany
  18. Illinois State
  19. Charleston
  20. Fresno State
  21. Georgia Southern
  22. SDSU Jack Rabbits
  23. UNC Ashville
  24. Princeton
  25. Bucknell

Mid Major Headlines

*There are many teams listed so we can get an idea of how their season may play out, so each highlighted team will be in bold. Articles will not be nearly as long in the future.*

  • Lamar in one of the first games of the season got the first upset win over Tulsa.
  • Campbell was unable to get into striking distance to pull off an upset over Penn State.
  • Old Dominion wins a tight game over Towson 57-54 and beat James Madison by 16. In the Charleston Classic they won the 3rd place game over Dayton after losing to Temple.
  • Hofstra knocks off Army by 3, and look to get back to being relevant in basketball again. Following that they upset Dayton in the Charleston Classic, and lost the semifinal and 3rd place game to Clemson and Auburn.
  • Oakland looked fantastic in a big win over IPFW. Kendrick Nunn a transfer from Illinois played out of his mind dropping 36 points, as he looks to be a force to reckon with on this Oakland team. A few days after that they had a similar result taking out New Orleans 87-68 where Nunn had 24 points. Oakland then traveled to Toledo and played a terrible game to lose by 13. And to cap off their week they could not get passed the dynamite 2-3 zone from Syracuse losing by 24.
  • Northern Kentucky looked phenomenal in a blowout win over the defending SoCon champs ETSU who should have down year. A late push from the best mid major team in the country gives Vermont the win over the Norse in the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase championship.
  • Charleston wins in overtime over a solid Siena team, then falls to #6 Wichita State 81-63.
  • Delaware gets a shocking and dominant win over Richmond. They controlled the game the entire 40 minutes. However, they fell to Bradley a few days after that by 8. Bradley has two solid wins to open up the season, also beating IUPUI by 15, but falling to Vermont for their first loss.
  • Indiana State gave Indiana their worst season debut loss ever. They beat the Hoosiers by 21 points in the opener. However, the next two times they played they got blown out by Auburn and Old Dominion in the Charleston classic, and lost to Ohio in 4OTs.
  • Albany and Iona went back and forth all game, but Albany came out on top by two points. They also beat Boston U and Yale to start the season with 3 wins.
  • Big South favorites UNC Ashville had a terrible showing in their opening game losing to Rhode Island by 24 points. Then, they challenged Vandy, but lost by 3.
  • Georgia Southern upsets Wake 85-83 to start their season on a great note.
  • Missouri State had an unreal performance to beat the very good Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. However, they came back to give North Dakota State their first win. The Bison of NDSU played a very tough schedule.
  • Mercer could not find a way to set up a potential upset over UCF falling 88-79, but they win 4 straight, eventually falling to Colorado in the U.S Virgin Islands Paradise Jam championship. This Mercer team could win the SoCon, and get back to the NCAA Tournament.
  • Evansville played very well taking out Arkansas State by 14, and keeping momentum in a win over NC Central. The Missouri Valley is wide open with Wichita State gone so Evansville looks to take advantage.
  • UAB smokes Jacksonville 96-67 and Chattanooga 89-47, but fell to Richmond after looking fantastic in Week 1.
  • UIC got a nice win over a very young UNC Central team, but lost their next game in overtime to St Joes. UIC should be a force in the Horizon this year.
  • Utah Valley played their hearts out in back to back losses to blue bloods #1 Duke and #5 Kentucky. They looked very good as a team, so they could make some noise in the WAC.
  • South Dakota State wins at home against UC Irvine as leading scorer Mike Daum stays quiet with just 12 points. This Jack Rabbits team will be very solid all around this season.
  • Belmont could not find a way to beat Washington at the end of the game and lose 86-82. However, they came back a few days later to upset Vandy in an 89-80 win. Then, they beat mid major power Middle Tennessee by 6 to wrap up a very efficient opening week of basketball.
  • In a super high scoring game Dunk City FGCU took down Illinois State. Zach Johnson scored 27 points for FGCU, but Illinois States Keyshawn Evans looks to be the new star as he dropped 28 points in the loss. Then Dunk City absolutely destroyed Siena 86-53, but Dunk Citys fun came to a close as they dropped a game to a very bad Bowling Green team on a last second three.
  • Fairfield a very quietly good team from the MAAC beat Penn in comeback fashion 80-72 and beat Loyola (MD) who almost upset Northwestern, by 12. Then, they went to Purdue, and could not compete losing by 42.
  • Toledo shot the 3 very well in an amazing win over St Joes, and they dominated one of the best mid major teams Oakland. They are now considered one of the best mid major teams after the week they had.
  • Harvard starts the year with two wins, but one was hard to come by against Umass where they beat them with a last second deep 3 for the win. Then, they fell to Holy Cross by 4, as Holy Cross opens the year with two wins and a loss to Rhode Island.
  • Radford challenged Ohio State, but lost by 10, they then used their game against OSU to find a way to upset ECU.
  • Vermont who is perhaps the best mid major team in the country pulled a late lead by #5 Kentucky down to 3, and ran the craziest play to get the game tying bucket. However, the wide open 3 did not go down and Kentucky won by 4. Coming off their close battle with Kentucky they did not play nearly as well almost losing to Bradley beating them by 1 in the first round of the Islands of the Bahamas Showcase. The Catamounts ending up winning the whole tournament.
  • Boise State opens the year on a good note winning two games. One was vs a D2 team, and one was a blow out win over Southern Utah. Then, the went into a winnable Puerto Rico Tip Off Tournament where they beat UTEP by 2 in the first round, and blew out Illinois State in the semifinals. Boise State could not secure the championship falling to Iowa State.
  • Princeton went on many runs, but could not find a way to upset Butler losing by 10, had the same type of game falling to BYU by 9, and had another similar game losing to St Joes by 13 to start the year with three straight losses. Princeton will learn from these games, and begin to win games with the talent they have.
  • Bucknell lost to Monmouth by 1, struggled against Arkansas losing by 28 points, fell to #9 UNC challenging them until the very end, and blowing a big lead to Maryland to lose by 2, to get off to a shocking 0-4 start after running through their conference last year. Bucknell should get it together to be better than last year, they just had a tough schedule to start the year.
  • Hawaii has three wins under their belt gaining momentum by beating Ark Pine Bluff 82-70, North Dakota 81-78., and Troy in overtime 72-67.
  • Jacksonville State carries momentum from last year where they made the big dance, taking out Richmond in blow out fashion 94-61, but then fell to Buffalo by 5. Buffalo is very good out of the MAC.
  • Central Michigan who lost the leading scorer in the nation last year to the NBA, put up a great fight in a 7 point loss to Michigan.
  • Montana gets a great win over a very bad Pitt team in overtime, but lost to Penn State as they look to get back to winning the Big Sky this year.
  • Morgan State pulls off a mini upset over USF 63-53. They look to win the wide open SWAC.
  • Milwaukee who had a magical run in the Horizon League Tournament last year as the worst team in the conference, continues the trend of winning, and get a miraculous upset win over Iowa State. AFTER THIS THEY LOST TO A D2 SCHOOL IN A TOURAMENT THAT THEY HOSTED, then beat FIU and Elon for a major turn of events to become 4-1 on the week.
  • Western Michigan could not handle South Carolina losing by 18, and Tulsa losing by 7, then falling to South Carolina again for a disappointing start to the year as they were picked to win the MAC.
  •  Middle Tennessee won a very intriguing game at Murray State 72-67. Both teams looked promising. Middle Tennessee then fell to Belmont.
  • New Mexico State could not hang with #21 St Marys losing by 18, but they blew out in state rival New Mexico.
  • Wyoming does not let Oregon State feel like they had any momentum all game in a great 75-66 win. Also, in the Cayman Classic Wyoming goes on a late run to jump over the Jack Rabbits of South Dakota State for an undefeated start. They have made it to the championship in the tournament and will face #12 Cincinnati Wednesday Night.
  • Nevada proved to me that they are one of the best if not the best mid major team in the country right now after beating Rhode Island 88-81 looking great in all aspects of the game.
  • UNCW lost a lot, and could struggle this season. They lost to Davidson by 27.
  • Many people believe Colorado State got a great win by 4 over Winthrop, but Winthrop is very weak this year losing many players from last year’s team. CSU then showed us that their win over Winthrop was meaningless as they got blown out by Tulane by 27 and FSU by 17.
  • San Diego State who came in as one of the favorites in the Mountain West got blown out by a shockingly good Arizona State team 90-68.
  • Illinois State coming off a loss to FGCU, upset South Carolina, then got blown out by Boise State in the Puerto Rico Tip Off Tournament.
  • Georgia State still remembers upsetting Baylor in the NCAA Tourney two years ago on RJ Hunters astonishing 3 pointer for the win. Since then, Georgia State has not been good, but they looked very good in a tough loss to Ole Miss by 5. They also have a win over Rice by 21.
  • Drake becomes the 3rd mid major team to upset Wake Forest this week.
  • UNLV dismantles Eastern Washington in the 2nd half of their game for a solid win to get to win number 3 on the year.
  • IPFW lost their opener to Oakland, but they came back to win their next three with wins over Defiance, Delaware State and a solid UIC team. IPFW should contend in the Summit League.
  • UT Arlington, the clear favorites in the Sun Belt, and they got their first effective win of the year taking out BYU by 15.
  • Akron downs UT Martin by 15, but this team lost many key assets meaning they are not projected to do much in the MAC this year.

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