It’s customary on Mondays that we release The Other Top 25 rankings, featuring the 25 best teams from mid-major conferences. But it seems that the AP Poll has beaten us to the punch.
With Gonzaga at No. 1 overall, Nevada ranked sixth, Buffalo cracking the top 20, Furman entering the poll, and Radford suddenly receiving votes, the AP Poll looks a lot like something you’d see on our site.
And we can’t get enough of it.
Oh, and you read that right. The Furman Paladins out of the Southern Conference are now officially a ranked team for the first time in program history. Granted, they didn’t get there in the most impressive fashion. They knocked on the door last week as the third team out of the poll, then benefited from the misfortune of others to move up this week. They needed double-overtime to beat Western Carolina — a sub-300 KenPom team — on Saturday, but their resume was already Top 25 quality with wins at Villanova and Loyola University Chicago, and a still-undefeated record.
Elsewhere, Buffalo continued its climb up the rankings with a pair of wins in Belfast — the second one a four-point win over a solid San Francisco squad. The Bulls’ next real challenge will be Dec. 18 at Syracuse. If they are still unbeaten by that point, then we’ll know they are true at-large contenders.
Nevada may have had the toughest luck of any mid-major this week. The Wolf Pack won at Loyola and USC...and somehow dropped from No. 5 to No. 6. This says more about what Michigan and Virginia have done than what Nevada hasn’t, but it’s still disappointing.
Here’s the full poll. No. 1 votes in parentheses:
- Gonzaga (43)
- Kansas (19)
- Duke (1)
- Virginia (1)
- Michigan State
- Florida State
- Texas Tech
- North Carolina
- Virginia Tech
- Kansas State
- Ohio State
- Arizona State
- Mississippi State
Also receiving votes: Purdue, Syracuse, Marquette, Iowa State, Texas, Creighton, St. John’s, Houston, NC State, Indiana, Arizona, Louisville, Clemson, Radford, TCU, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Oregon, UCLA, Florida, Boston College, Davidson, Oklahoma