Mid-Major Madness Power 15: Mid-Majors Reign Over the Weekend

Grant Halverson

Exciting finishes, comebacks, and upsets highlighted our second week of college hoops? Who dropped and who rose in our weekly Mid-Major Madness Power 15?

1. VCU Rams (3-0), 8 First Place Votes
Last Weeks Rank: 1

The Rams picked up another first place vote from our panel during an impressive week of action against Winthrop and Virginia. Treveon Graham downed the Cavaliers with a three pointer for the ages at John Paul Jones Arena. The Rams will continue an ACC heavy schedule this week with a match up against Florida State in Puerto Rico. A possible NCAA Tournament rematch against Michigan also looms large for Shaka Smart's squad.

Last Week: W 59-56 at #25 Virginia, W 92-71 vs Winthrop
This Week: 11/21 vs Florida State (3-0) ESPNU, 11/22-24 Puerto Rico Tip Off

2. Gonzaga Bulldogs (3-0), 3 First Place Votes
LW: 2

The Zags dismantled Colorado State to open up the tip-off marathon last Monday and then beat up on a shorthanded Oakland squad this weekend. Five Bulldogs are scoring in double-figures right now, lead by Gary Bell Jr. with 17.3 points per game. Sam Dower's play has been off the charts averaging nearly 15 points and over 10 rebounds per game thus far. Gonzaga gets in-state rival Washington State this week before heading off the Maui Invitational.

Last Week: W 93-61 vs Colorado State, W 82-67 vs Oakland
This Week: 11/21 vs Washington State (2-0)

3. Saint Louis Billikens (3-0)
LW: 4

Jim Crews' Billikens jumped up over Wichita State in this week's Power 15 with their destruction of the Southern Illinois campuses. A pair of challenging home match ups await Saint Louis before they head to Cancun next week where they'll join a solid field, including an opening round match up versus Wisconsin.

Last Week: W 82-58 at SIU-Edwardsville, W 76-67 at Southern Illinois
This Week: 11/21 vs Oral Roberts (2-1), 11/23 vs Bowling Green (1-1)

4. Wichita State Wheat Shockers (4-0)
LW: 3

Saint Louis and Wichita State will play each other December 1, so we'll get this settled one way or another. Until then, the Shockers have a pretty relaxing week with only a match up versus Tulsa on the slate. The Shockers took care of business against Tennessee State and Western Kentucky last week, but struggled a bit in the first half against William & Mary. Everything right now is just a tune up for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic next week.

Last Week: W 66-49 vs Western Kentucky, W 79-62 vs William & Mary, W 85-71 vs Tennessee State
This Week: 11/20 vs Tulsa (0-2)

5. Brigham Young Cougars (4-0)
LW: 6

No one can seem to stop Tyler Haws, who is averaging 29.5 points per game in this young season. The Cougars beat Stanford, Mount St. Mary's, and Colorado-Mesa by double digits this past week. The road will get a lot tougher this week though as they welcome the twenty-first ranked Iowa State Cyclones to Provo for a mid-week showdown.

Last Week: W 112-103 at Stanford, W 108-76 vs Mount St. Mary's, W 84-60 vs Colorado-Mesa
This Week: 11/20 vs #21 Iowa State (3-0) ESPNU

6. Harvard Crimson (3-0)
LW: 5

Tommy Amaker's squad dropped in our Power 15 this week and the Crimson have yet to be challenged in this early season. Harvard won the "Nerd Bowl" over non-D1 MIT early on in the week and then crushed Howard on Friday night. The competition will finally stiffen this week as the Crimson welcome in the blazing hot Dyami Starks and the Bryant Bulldogs early this week before heading west to play at Colorado.

Last Week: W 79-37 vs MIT, W 76-44 vs Howard
This Week: 11/20 vs Bryant (2-1), 11/24 at Colorado (3-1) ESPNU

7. Saint Mary's Gaels (4-0)
LW: 10

The Gaels continue to climb after another successful week at home taking down fellow mid-majors Akron, North Dakota State, and Drake. Brad Wadlow is averaging 19.2 points per game and has lead the Gaels in scoring every game except for one. The Gaels almost have a whole week off and won't play away from home until December 14.

Last Week: W 85-63 vs Akron, W 78-65 vs North Dakota State, W 67-63 vs Drake
This Week: 11/24 vs Alcorn State (2-1)

8. UMass Minutemen (3-0)
LW: 11

Chaz Williams and the Minutemen have lived up to their preseason billing so far. Williams is averaging 21 points and 7.7 assists per game and UMass is 3-0 on the year. They slipped past a talented LSU team early on in the week and then ended the week by knocking Youngstown State out of our Power 15 after a one week stint. The Minutemen will head to Charleston, South Carolina this week to take on a challenging field at the Charleston Classic.

Last Week: W 92-90 vs LSU, W 85-69 vs Youngstown State
This Week: 11/21 vs Nebraska (3-0) 11/21-24 Charleston Classic

9. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (2-0)
LW: 7

A Big East win is a Big East win and that's what Golden Eagles fans will tell you after knocking off DePaul on the road this week. The Eagles will get some brisk competition this week with a visit to Fargo and North Dakota State coming to town and later to welcoming Augustine Rubit's South Alabama Jaguars. At this time next week you'll either see Southern Miss falling off the Power 15 or shooting up it.

Last Week: W 75-68 at DePaul
This Week: 11/18 vs North Dakota State (1-1), 11/22 vs South Alabama (1-1), 11/22 vs Houston Baptist (1-1)

10. Indiana State Sycamores (2-1)
LW: 13

It was an up and down week for the Sycamores. First they blew a 16 point lead at Belmont to lose to the Bruins, then they knocked off twenty-first ranked Notre Dame on the road Sunday. They'll get a bit more relaxing week this week with their only match up coming against a non-Division I opponent.

Last Week: L 96-95 at Belmont, W 83-70 at #21 Notre Dame
This Week: 11/22 vs Truman State (Non-D1)

11. Belmont Bruins (3-1)
LW: NR

Please don't send your hate mail to me because I voted the Bruins over the Sycamores in this week's Power 15. The Bruins started the week with a hard fought loss at Richmond and then struggled in the first half versus Indiana State. J.J. Mann then decided to take things into his own hands for Rick Byrd's squad and would not only take down the Sycamores but also hit the game-winning shot against twelfth ranked North Carolina on Sunday afternoon. No Ian Clark, no problem for the Bruins.

Last Week: 11/11 L 69-61 at Richmond, W 96-95 vs Indiana State, W 83-80 at #12 North Carolina
This Week: 11/20 vs Lipscomb (1-2), 11/23-24 Hall of Fame Tip Off, 11/23 vs Holy Cross 11/24 vs Hofstra/Fairfield

12. Towson Tigers (3-1)
LW: 8

Jerrelle Benimon got everyone excited and hyped up with his 32 point performance in a win over Temple. Mid-Major Nation was ready for him to do it again on national TV against Villanova Sunday, but the Tigers laid an egg in the Pavilion losing 78-44. Pat Skerry's squad will need to get their act together as they head into the Phog this week to take on the second ranked Kansas Jayhawks.

Last Week: W 95-75 vs Morgan State, W 75-69 vs Temple, L 78-44 at Villanova
This Week: 11/22 at #2 Kansas (2-0)

13. George Washington Colonials (3-0)
LW: NR

Mike Lonergan's squad bounced Manhattan out of our MM15 with a big win on the road this week and the Colonials are doing it with a limited super sophomore Patricio Garino. Indiana transfer Maurice Creek has been playing out of his mind and is averaging 19.3 points per game and adding almost 5 rebounds as well. GW will have a laid back week with just a match up against Delaware State before heading out west for the Wooden Legacy next week.

Last Week: W 109-81 vs Maine, W 80-74 at Manhattan
This Week: 11/19 vs Delaware State (1-2)

14. George Mason Patriots
LW: NR

The other school on the Washington, DC Metro Orange Line also bolts into our Top 15 this week by way of winning our Mid-Major Madness Game of the Week. Sherrod Wright's 23 points propelled the Patriots over Northern Iowa and now sets up another great mid-major match up against Iona this week.

Last Week: W 68-54 at Lamar, W 76-70 vs Northern Iowa
This Week: 11/19 vs St. Francis (PA) (1-3), 11/23 at Iona (1-1)

15. Mercer Bears (2-1)
LW: NR

The Bears let me down a bit on opening night by narrowly losing to Texas, but they rebounded by knocking off Big East member Seton Hall. Langston Hall is showing that he is the Atlantic Sun's best player by averaging 16 points and 5.3 assists per game. Mercer will start off the week with a tough one at Evansville.

Last Week: W 95-53 vs Reinhardt, W 77-74 vs Seton Hall
This Week: 11/18 at Evansville (2-0), 11/20 vs Johnson & Wales (Non-D1), 11/23 vs Yale (1-2)

Dropped Out: North Dakota State, Louisiana Tech, Manhattan, La Salle

Others Receiving Votes: Louisiana Tech, Ohio, Youngstown State, New Mexico State, La Salle, North Dakota State, Dayton, Western Michigan, Toledo, Denver, VMI, UC Santa Barbara, Loyola Marymount, UW-Milwaukee

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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