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Mid-Major Top 25

Oh it's back.

Even if you don't care about any of the teams listed below, at least glance at the rankings so you'll have some Saturday night conversation starters. Because if a chick doesn't know who the best team in the Southland Conference is, chances are she isn't going to be worth a damn in the sack anyway.

25. Siena (NR) (13-7, 8-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic)

The Saints can claim first place in the MAAC for themselves if they take out Rider at home on Saturday afternoon.

24. Texas-Arlington (22) (14-5, 4-3 Southland)

There's no shame in losing on the road to Sam Houston State, but the 73-57 final score had to be a little disappointing for the Mavericks. A shot at redemption comes quickly in the form of Stephen F. Austin at home on Saturday.

23. Wagner (NR) (15-5, 8-1 Northeast)

Mike Deane's club continues to win, but not exactly in style. Wagner has won its last four games by a total of 11 points, and hasn't beaten anyone by more than four over that span. The Seahawks hit the road for three straight before a showdown with Sacred Heart on Feb. 14.

22. Creighton (10) (14-6, 5-5 Missouri Valley)

The Bluejays finally get a breather after a three-game stretch that included mirror games with Drake and a trip to Southern Illinois.

21. Rider (NR) (16-6, 9-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic)

NBA prospect Jason Thompson is averaging 20 and 11 for a Rider squad that has won eight straight.

20. UC Santa Barbara (24) (16-5, 5-3 Big West)

The Gauchos rolled over lowly UC Davis and UC Riverside this week.

19. IUPUI (NR) (16-5, 8-2 Summit League)

If these guys make the Tournament then the amount of "Coach Not Wearing Shoes" television pieces is going to be more than even the most kind-hearted of us can bare.

18. Illinois State (12) (15-6, 7-3 Missouri Valley)

An eight-point loss to Northern Iowa means the Redbirds have now lost three straight on the road and three of four overall.

17. Ohio (20) (14-6, 5-2 Mid-American)

The Bobcats have won four in a row, and are still the only team in the MAC to knock off Kent State.

16. Oral Roberts (21) (14-5, 9-0 Summit League)

The Golden Eagles remain one of the nine teams in Division I with an undefeated record in conference play.

15. Stephen F. Austin (17) (16-3, 4-2 Southland)

A win at Texas-Arlington on Saturday would go a long way toward earning a West Division title.

14. Akron (9) (15-5, 5-2 Mid-American)

The Zips bounced back from their first back-to-back losses of the season by pounding Toledo at home.

13. North Carolina-Asheville (18) (17-4, 6-0 Big South)

A chance to prove they belong here - or higher - comes Saturday against Winthrop.

12. Cal State Northridge (14) (15-4, 7-0 Big West)

If the Matadors win their next two - against Fullerton and at Pacific - then a number one seed in the conference tournament will become very visible.

11. Sam Houston State (15) (16-3, 4-2 Southland)

A pair of enormous wins means they deserve the right to be able to cruise for a couple of weeks.

10. Western Kentucky (13) (17-5, 9-1 Sun Belt)

The 'Toppers have won six straight since falling at South Alabama. If this team makes the NCAA Tournament, I guarantee Courtney Lee hangs at least 25 on whoever he plays.

9. George Mason (8) (15-6, 7-3 Colonial)

It wasn't exactly a banner week for the CAA as the Patriots hurt their shot at an at-large bid significantly by losing at Wilmington last Saturday, and then came right back and hurt VCU's by blasting the Rams by 12 on national television.

8. Davidson (11) (14-6, 12-0 Southern)

Saturday's game at Chattanooga likely presents the biggest obstacle in the way of SoCon perfection for the Wildcats.

7. Virginia Commonwealth (5) (15-5, 8-2 Colonial)

The Rams didn't do themselves any favors by laying down in the CAA game of the year Tuesday night. If they get revenge on George Mason it will have to come in the conference tournament, because the Patriots are one of the four Colonial teams VCU plays just once in the regular season.

6. South Alabama (6) (17-4, 9-1 Sun Belt)

The Jaguars finally tasted Sun Belt defeat by way of a 70-68 at North Texas Thursday night. The Mean Green were also the ones that shocked top-seeded USA in the quarterfinals of last year's conference tourney.

5. Kent State (7) (17-4, 6-1 Mid-American)

Kent State doesn't play another team with a winning record in the conference before a clash with Ohio on Feb. 16.

4. Saint Mary's (3) (17-3, 4-1 West Coast)

I don't care how great your RPI is, a 3-3 record on the road with those three losses coming by a combined 42 points just isn't that impressive.

3. Gonzaga (4) (16-5, 5-0 West Coast)

The 'Zags looked horribly overmatched against Memphis, but that Dec. 1 win over Connecticut is looking better every day.

2. Butler (2) (19-2, 8-2 Horizon League)

The Bulldogs will have had ten days off before they embark on a treacherous three-game road trip that includes dates at Valpo, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and UWGB.

1. Drake (1) (19-1, 10-0 Missouri Valley)

Six of Drake's final nine regular season games are on the road, including trips to Illinois State, Southern Illinois and Northern Iowa.


Fell Out: Cleveland State (16), Pacific (19), Valparaiso (23), Lafayette (25)