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Mid-Major Top 25

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Lots of losses by teams in last week's top 25 = good news for future major conference bubble teams. I think it's a safe bet that you're not going to see as many multi-bid mid-major conferences this year as you have the past two, which is fantastic news for the Marylands, Floridas and West Virginias of the world.

25. Cornell (NR) (12-5, 4-0 Ivy League)

Andy Bernard University is off to a 4-0 start in the 14-game tournament, and has won three of those contests by double digits. In an odd scheduling move, the Big Red will play home games against Princeton and Penn (the only other unbeatens in the conference) on back-to-back nights, beginning this evening against the Tigers. No school either than the two Cornell will play this weekend has won the Ivy League in 20 years.

24. Wright State (NR) (16-6, 8-4 Horizon League)

All of the sudden the Butler-slayers have won seven straight and find themselves back in second place.

23. Cal State Northridge (12) (15-6, 7-2 Big West)

The Matadors' perfect run in the league was assassinated by way of consecutive losses to Fullerton and Pacific.

22. Pacific (NR) (16-6, 7-2 Big West)

Chad Troyer's 30 points sparked Pacific's huge overtime win over then league-leading Northridge.

21. Creighton (20) (16-6, 7-5 Missouri Valley)

The Jays snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Wichita State by a bucket and then blowing out Northern Iowa. A huge Sunday home game against SIU looms.

20. Ohio (17) (15-7, 6-3 Mid-American)

OU saw its five-game win streak snapped by Eastern Michigan on Wednesday.

19. Illinois State (18) (16-7, 8-4 Missouri Valley)

Four losses in six games has made an at-large bid for the Redbirds wishful thinking.

18. UC Santa Barbara (20) (17-5, 6-3 Big West)

The Gauchos should be winners of six straight when they travel to Pacific on Feb. 20.

17. IUPUI (19) (18-5, 10-2 Summit League)

One week away from another shot at Oral Roberts.

16. Akron (14) (16-6, 6-3 Mid-American)

Western Michigan smacked the Zips by 20 on Wednesday, further fueling the belief that nobody in the MAC wants to have any shot at an at-large bid.

15. Rider (21) (17-6, 10-2 Metro Atlantic Athletic)

The Broncs have won nine straight heading into tonight's showdown with Niagara (7 p.m./ESPNU), which will pit league player of the year candidates Jason Thompson (nation's third leading rebounder) and Charron Fisher (nation's second leading scorer) against one another. If you don't have anything going on before nine tonight, then this one should definitely be worth checking out...or at least inventing a drinking game for.

14. Sam Houston State (11) (17-4, 5-3 Southland)

The Bearkats (the ones with the k are way scarier than the ones with the c) bounced back from an overtime loss to Texas State by stomping Texas-San Antonio.

13. Oral Roberts (16) (16-5, 11-0 Summit League)

A Bracket Buster tilt with Creighton on Feb. 23 should provide more insight into just how for real these guys are.

12. Stephen F. Austin (15) (18-3, 6-2 Southland)

The Lumberjacks may have established themselves as the team to beat in the league when they went on the road and knocked off Texas-Arlington by 22.

11. Kent State (5) (18-5, 7-2 Mid-American)

The Golden Flashes may be on the verge of a collapse after falling to 7-14 Toledo, and then needing overtime to beat 3-18 Ball State at home.

10. North Carolina Asheville (13) (18-4, 7-0 Big South)

The arrival of a new top dog in the Big South was ushered in when Asheville trounced Winthrop 71-56 last Saturday.

9. George Mason (9) (17-6, 9-3 Colonial Athletic Association)

Will Thomas and company have road games at Old Dominion and Towson before getting a crack at UNC Wilmington at home on Feb. 16. The Seahawks were the last team to beat Mason, winning 61-58 on Jan. 26.

8. Western Kentucky (10) (19-5, 11-1 Sun Belt)

Future NBA Draft pick Courtney Lee has averaged just under 24 points per game during Western's current nine-game win streak.

7. Davidson (8) (16-6, 14-0 Southern)

They're liable to head into the postseason winners of 19 in a row.

6. South Alabama (6) (19-4, 11-1 Sun Belt)

South Alabama has responded to losing its first conference game by winning its last two by a combined 41 points.

5. Virginia Commonwealth (5) (17-5, 10-2 Colonial Athletic Association)

Things can change in a month, but neither of yesterday's mock brackets included the Rams. A George Mason/VCU CAA Tournament final with both squarely on the bubble would be intense.

4. Gonzaga (3) (17-6, 6-1 West Coast)

Yeah, but did you see Pargo's dunk?

3. Saint Mary's (4) (19-3, 6-1 West Coast)

The ESPN announcing crew expected the St. Mary faithful to storm the floor after the their team's huge overtime win over Gonzaga, but why would they?  It's the Gaels who are ranked, and who have beaten the 'Zags in three of the last four years.

2. Butler (2) (20-2, 9-2 Horizon League)

Butler/Drake was the only possible headlining matchup for Bracket Busters.

1. Drake (1) (21-1, 12-0 Missouri Valley)

They may very well end up proving to be the pretender many are already painting them, but that doesn't change just how truly remarkable a story this is. This is a 21-1 team that was picked to finish last (behind Evansville!) in the Missouri Valley before the season, lost four starters from a team that went 6-12 in the league a year ago, has a first-year head coach, and has a former walk-on nearly averaging a double-double.

If they win the national title I'm totally auditioning for the role of seldom-used walk-on guard Kit Avery. The small town sharp shooter with a heart of gold.