Mid-Major Madness Power 15: Wichita State and UMass Battle for the Top Spot

USA TODAY Sports

Not much changed at the top of this week's Mid-Major Madness Power 15, but the gap is dissipating for our number one team Wichita State.

1. Wichita State Wheat Shockers (9-0), 6 First Place Votes
Last Week's Rank: 1

Wichita State holds onto the top spot in our Power 15 by the skin of their teeth. After a 71-58 win over Oral Roberts, Gregg Marshall's squad will get a bit more of a challenge this week as they take on an up and coming Tennessee team on Saturday afternoon. It will be the first of two straight games against SEC squads for the Shockers.

Last Week: W 71-58 vs Oral Roberts
This Week: 12/14 vs Tennessee (6-2) ESPN2

2. Massachusetts Minutemen (8-0), 3 First Place Votes
LW: 2

Chaz Williams and the Minutemen are pounding on Wichita State's door for our top spot. Williams had an incredible performance Saturday dropping 32 points and 15 assists on BYU in a 105-96 win for UMass. The Minutemen also took down Eastern Michigan last week and will continue their MAC conquest with three more members on their schedule, including a national television match up this weekend.

Last Week: W 69-57 at Eastern Illinois, W 105-96 vs BYU
This Week: 12/14 vs Northern Illinois, NBC Sports Network

3. Gonzaga Bulldogs (8-1)
LW: 3

Gonzaga has now won four straight after slipping up against Dayton. This week they took down New Mexico State and weren't even scared of Sim Bhullar (rumored). Mark Few's Zags will hit the road for the first true road game this year as they head to Morgantown to take on a rebuilding West Virginia team. Augustine Rubit and the South Alabama Jaguars visit the Kennel to finish off the week.

Last Week: W 80-68 vs New Mexico State
This Week: 12/10 at West Virginia (6-3) ESPN2, 12/14 vs South Alabama (5-4)

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

The Gaels absolutely rolled against Eastern Washington in a match up that looked really good on paper. We'll find out what they are made of this week as they finally leave home and play a very tough Boise State squad. Can the Gaels make it all the way to the Diamond Head Classic as an undefeated?

Last Week: W 93-65 vs Eastern Washington
This Week: 12/14 at Boise State (8-0)

5. VCU Rams (8-2)
LW: 5

Shaka Smart and the Rams got their swagger back this week in a big overtime win over a very talented Eastern Kentucky squad and then beating down in-state rival Old Dominion. Can the black and gold keep the momentum going as they head into a hostile environment at Northern Iowa.

Last Week: W 71-68 vs Eastern Kentucky, W 69-48 vs ODU
This Week: 12/14 at Northern Iowa (3-5) ESPNU

6. Saint Louis Billikens
LW: 6

Dwayne Evans and the Billikens continue to be a bit perplexing and their offense doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders. SLU barely slipped past Valpo on the road this week and will still need to work out a few kinks as they approach Atlantic 10 play.

Last Week: W 68-43 vs Rockhurst, W 67-65 at Valparaiso
This Week: 12/14 vs Wofford (3-5)

7. George Washington Colonials (8-1)
LW: 13

The Colonials make the biggest jump in MMM Power 15 this week courtesy of Maurice Creek's game winning shot over Maryland in the BB&T Classic. Mike Lonergan's Foggy Bottom boys last four wins have come against the Big East, American Athletic Conference, and the ACC...twice! A solid Boston University team comes to challenge GW this week.

Last Week: W 93-87 vs Rutgers, W 77-75 vs Maryland
This Week: 12/12 vs Boston University (6-3)

8. Harvard Crimson (9-1)
LW: 10

The Crimson proved they were the best team in Boston this past week as they took down Boston University in our Mid-Major Madness Game of the Week and also beat Northeastern. Now these brainiacs cram for exams and won't play against until December 21

Last Week: W 72-64 at Northeastern, W 79-68 at Boston University
This Week: OFF

9. Dayton Flyers (7-2)
LW: 7

Archie Miller's Flyers couldn't keep the Maui momentum going and dropped a game to Illinois State on the road. Our voters didn't penalize them too much and now they will look to rebound with a five game homestand that includes a talented slate coming into their gym.

Last Week: W 56-46 vs Delaware State,  L 81-75 at Illinois State
This Week: 12/14 vs Central Michigan (6-3)

10. Belmont Bruins (8-2)
LW: 11

J.J. Mann and Rick Byrd got the taste that collapse against VCU at home out of their mouth with a quality road win down the road at Middle Tennessee State. The Bruins will look to keep it going with a busy week with a home game versus Fairfield and a trip to the land of Nate Wolters.

Last Week: W 70-58 at Middle Tennessee State
This Week: 12/11 vs Fairfield (1-8), 12/14 at South Dakota State (4-6)

11. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (8-1)
LW: 13

Neil Watson and the Golden Eagles just continue to take care of business and took down Morehead State and Georgia State this week. Southern Miss can rest easy this week with just a non-Division I opponent on the schedule.

Last Week: W 74-60 vs Morehead State, W 75-65 vs Georgia State
This Week: 12/14 vs St. Catherine's (Non-D1)

12. BYU Cougars (7-3)
LW: 9

The Cougars are like the cockroaches of our MMM Power 15; they just won't go away. BYU has the most losses of anyone on our poll, but they have played a quality schedule. The Cougars get a warm up versus Prairie View A&M before facing in-state arch rival Utah this weekend.

Last Week: W 97-67 vs North Texas L 105-96 at UMass
This Week: 12/11 vs Prairie View (2-6), 12/14 at Utah (7-1)

13. Drexel Dragons (6-2)
LW: 13

Drexel didn't have any problems against a winless Tennessee State squad and also grabbed a quality win against Cleveland State.  Competition will certainly heat up for Bruiser Flint's Dragons this week as they head south to take on Davidson.

Last Week: W 85-82 vs Cleveland State, W 75-61 vs Tennessee State
This Week: 12/15 at Davidson (4-5)

14. Toledo Rockets
LW: 15

The Rockets remain undefeated after knocking off Detroit and winning at Robert Morris last week. A good Sam Houston State comes to town this week. Can the Rockets stay undefeated?

Last Week: W 91-75 vs Detroit, W 80-77 at Robert Morris 
This Week: 12/14 vs Sam Houston State (7-3)

15. Pacific Tigers (7-1)
LW: Not Ranked

It's been quite a start for first year head coach Ron Verlin and now the Tigers are rewarded by joining our MM15. Pacific went into Utah State and took care of business this past week. Now the Tigers will take care of exams before taking on a non-Division I team.

Last Week: W 78-68 at Utah State
This Week: 12/14 vs Menlo (Non D1)

Dropped Out: UAB, Ohio, Charlotte

Also Receiving Votes: UAB, Indiana State, Kent State, UW Milwaukee, UW Green Bay

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

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