Mid-Major Madness Power 15: Opening Weekend

USA TODAY Sports

Opening weekend is in the books. Who climbed our Mid-Major Madness Power 15 and who has dropped out already?

1. VCU Rams (1-0), 7 First Place Votes
Last Week's Rank: 1

Shaka Smart's squad had no problem dispatching Illinois State on opening night. Now the Rams focus on their long awaited match up with Virgina. VCU has not tangled with the Wahoos since 1998 and many around the Commonwealth are deeming this the "State Championship Game". These two teams sport very different styles and this should be a hard fought game for serious bragging rights.

Last Week: W 96-58 vs Illinois State
This Week: 11/12 at #25 Virginia (1-0) ESPN2, 11/16 vs Winthrop (1-0)

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (1-0), 4 First Place Votes
LW: 2

Gonzaga beat down their Bulldog brethren from the east coast, Bryant, in a 100-76 victory. The competition heats up a little this week as Colorado State and a feisty Oakland squad comes to town before the Zags trip to Maui. Sam Dower had 21 points and 17 rebounds in Gonzaga's debut, he'll be a fun watch this week against quality competition.

Last Week: W 100-76 vs Bryant
This Week: 11/11 vs Colorado State (1-0) ESPNU. 11/17 vs Oakland (0-1)

3. Wichita State Wheat Shockers (1-0)
LW: 3

Gregg Marshall's team had no problem with raising a banner and dispatching Division II opponent Emporia State. The Shockers now start out the week with a tricky match up against perennial mid-major power Western Kentucky and then host a few other mid-majors later this week. Many mid-major fans have the Shockers December 1 game with Saint Louis circled on their schedule and their is a good chance both teams will be unbeaten.

Last Week: W 93-50 vs Emporia State
This Week: 11/11 vs Western Kentucky ESPN2, 11/14 vs William & Mary (0-1), 11/16 vs Tennessee State (0-2)

4. Saint Louis Billikens (1-0)
LW: 4

Four Billikens scored in double-figures in the opener versus SEMO, including 16 points from Dwayne Evans and Grandy Glaze, to grab an easy win. Saint Louis will now tour various Southern Illinois campuses this week, in hopes to move to 3-0 on the year.

Last Week: W 87-64 vs Southeast Missouri State
This Week: 11/13 at SIU-Edwardsville (0-1), 11/16 at Southern Illinois

5. Harvard Crimson (1-0)
LW: 5

Jonah Travis' 20 points lead the Crimson to an expected opening game victory over Boston are rival Holy Cross. Tommy Amaker's squad has a rather weak starting schedule for the year and the Crimson may not be tested until a late November match up against Colorado. The "Nerd Bowl" takes center-stage this week when crosstown brain factory MIT visits.

Last Week: W 82-72 vs Holy Cross
This Week: 11/12 vs MIT (non-D1), 11/15 vs Howard (2-0)

6. BYU Cougars (1-0)
LW: T-11

BYU took our Mid-Major Game of the Week with a 81-72 win over Weber State in a battle of "Beehive State" rivals. The Cougars moved all the way up from eleventh in our MMM Power 15 to sixth, how long will they stay their with a match up against Pac 12 member Stanford looming this week? Tyler Haws had 28 points and 13 board in the win over Weber State last week, they'll need that kind of effort again versus the Cardinal Monday night.

Last Week: W 81-72 vs Weber State
This Week: 11/11 at Stanford (1-0) ESPN2, 11/15 vs Mount St. Mary's (0-1)

7. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (1-0)
LW: 8

Southern Miss had no problem with Jackson State as Daveon Boardingham lived up to his name grabbing 9 rebounds and 15 points. The Golden Eagles now have a sticky match up heading to Chicago to take on Big East member DePaul. If they can get past the Blue Demons, then a big mid-major showdown versus North Dakota State looms large next week.

Last Week: W 67-51 vs Jackson State
This Week: 11/13 at DePaul

8. Towson Tigers (1-0)
LW: T-11

The Tigers crushed Navy in their opener, despite Jerrelle Benimon only scoring 6 points (he did grab 17 rebounds). Towson now has a very interesting and challenging week. They'll face crosstown rival Morgan State before facing off with a pair of Philly schools later this week in Temple and Villanova. This could be the week that Pat Skerry's team really leaves their mark.

Last Week: W 72-45 vs Navy
This Week: 11/12 vs Morgan State (0-1), 11/14 vs Temple (1-0), 11/17 at Villanova (1-0) FoxSports1

9. North Dakota State Bison (1-0)
LW: 9

North Dakota State had no problem in their warm-up game against non-Division I Viterbo this past weekend. The Bison now travel to St. Mary's, a place and a team that plummeted Louisiana Tech down our Power 15. The Bison have solid mid-major match ups throughout the next month and have a real shot to climb our Power 15.

Last Week: W 93-49 vs Viterbo
This Week: 11/14 at St. Mary's (1-0)

10. Saint Mary's Gaels (1-0)
LW: NR

No Matthew Dellavedova, no problem for the St. Mary's Gaels. They took down MMM Power 15 power Louisiana Tech in the opener and now will continue to host a myriad of quality mid-major programs in Moraga. Akron, North Dakota State, and Drake should all provide a good challenge during a busy week of basketball.

Last Week: W 83-70 vs Louisiana Tech
This Week: 11/12 vs Akron (1-0) ESPN2, 11/14 vs North Dakota State (1-0), 11/16 vs Drake (1-0)

11. UMass Minutemen (1-0)
LW: 12

Cady Lalanne had 27 points and 12 rebounds in a big win over ACC foe Boston College this past weekend. The Minutemen looked impressive and will look to keep it up with a match up against LSU early this week and then a tricky game against a hot Youngstown State team this weekend.

Last Week: W 86-73 vs Boston College
Next Week: 11/12 vs LSU (0-0) ESPN2, 11/17 vs Youngstown State (3-0)

12. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (0-1)
LW: 6

The Bulldogs stay in our Power 15 despite losing at St.Mary's on opening night. Louisiana Tech should have a pretty relaxing week as they only play non-Division I Centenary this week. The Bulldogs should have smooth sailing until December where they'll match up with in-state rival Louisiana. The Ragin' Cajuns are the only test they should see for a good while.

Last Week: L 83-70 at St. Mary's
This Week: 11/13 vs Centenary (Non-D1)

13. Indiana State Sycamores (1-0)
LW: NR

A win over Ball State sent the Sycamores into our Mid-Major Madness Power 15. It may be a short-lived trip for Indiana State though with big road match ups looming this week against Belmont and Notre Dame. Jake Odum should have a good chance to make some noise on the national scene against the Irish.

Last Week: W 82-73 vs Ball State
This Week: 11/14 vs Belmont (1-0), 11/17 at #21 Notre Dame (2-0)

14. Manhattan Jaspers (1-0)
LW: NR

George Beamon and the Jaspers bust into our MMM Power 15 after not even getting a single vote in our preseason Power 15. Beamon dropped 24 points on fellow MMM Power 15 ranked La Salle in a huge win for Manhattan to set the tone for their season. They'll get a match up versus a crosstown rival and another Atlantic 10 member this week.

Last Week: W 99-90 at La Salle
This Week: 11/12 at Columbia (1-0), 11/16 vs George Washington (1-0)

15. La Salle Explorers (0-1)
LW: 7

Tyrone Garland's 28 points just wasn't enough for La Salle to beat the preseason MAAC favorites, Manhattan. The Explorers will continue their MAAC heavy schedule in hopes of getting back on the winning side of .500.

Last Week: L 99-90 vs Manhattan
This Week: 11/12 vs Quinnipiac (1-0) ESPN2, 11/16 vs Siena (0-1)

Dropped Out: Iona, New Mexico State, Weber State

Others Receiving Votes: New Mexico State, Iona, Davidson, Montana, Youngstown State, Elon, UC-Santa Barbara, Ohio, Mercer, Charleston Southern, UW-Green Bay, Western Kentucky, Florida Gulf Coast, Weber State, Northern Iowa, VMI, Northern Colorado, Loyola Marymount

Voters: Parks Smith, Ben Miraski, Mike Bundt- UB Bull Run, Ryan Peters- Big Apple Buckets, Jake Fischer, Catlin Bogard, Kyle Nelson, Chris Hondros, Will Maupin, Liam Jones , Dan Bogle

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