clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Other Top 25: Opening week overreactions edition

New, 1 comment
NCAA Basketball: Alabama State at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

That first week of basketball was fun, right?

But for the sake of the Other Top 25 and for our sanity, let’s not do that again.

Last week was not kind to The Other Top 25 preseason teams. Although nine of the top 10 teams remained in this week’s updated rankings — including the top four, which remained intact — the rest of the poll was a disaster. By the time the dust settled on opening week, 10 of the teams in the preseason poll lost, which made for a bit of a shakeup across the board.

While eight of the teams that lost are still here for a myriad of reasons, most of these teams still deserve to be ranked because of their personnel, reputation or the fact that they’re probably going to be good in the long run.

But there had to be changes. Last week’s No. 25 Bowling Green slid out of the rankings and UTSA flamed out by quickly racking up four (!) losses. The Northeastern Fightin’ Jordan Rolands and Northern Iowa have taken their places. Somebody had to.

Even in victory, some teams looked less-than-inspiring, but that’s par for the course on opening week. VCU, Saint Mary’s and Vermont remain in the top 10 after several nail-biting wins, while Gonzaga remains No. 1 (for now) with its pair of wins over sub-300 KenPom schools.

Here’s the list. Be sure to sound off in the comments or plead your case in 280 characters or less on Twitter.

The Other Top 25, Week 1

Rank School Record Change Our reasoning This week's games
Rank School Record Change Our reasoning This week's games
1 Gonzaga 2-0 It's safe to say Gonzaga would be the best team in the SWAC. The Zags beat Alabama State and UAPB by an average of 41 points this week. North Dakota (11/12); at Texas A&M (11/15)
2 Saint Mary's 1-0 It took overtime, but Saint Mary's knocked off a good Wisconsin team on a neutral court to start the season. Jordan Ford had 26. Winthrop (11/11); Long Beach State (11/14); Cal Poly (11/17)
3 VCU 2-0 With a pair of underwhelming wins to start the season, we could have knocked VCU down a couple spots, but Mike Rhoades' crew figured it out with wins over St. Francis PA and North Texas. Let's wait and see how they perform against LSU on Wednesday. LSU (11/13); Jacksonville State (11/17)
4 Utah State 2-0 Any concerns we had about the Aggies were eliminated with their 55-point drubbing of Weber State. No need to overreact to a close call against Montana State. Denver (11/12); North Carolina A&T (11/15)
5 New Mexico State 1-0 1 NMSU will pay its first game against D-I competition on Tuesday. We'll know more about them then. at UTEP (11/12); Southern (11/14); at Arizona (11/17)
6 Vermont 2-0 1 The Catamounts notched close wins in road games against St. Bonaventure and Bucknell, showing their toughness without Lamb on the court for an extended period of time in the latter matchup. Combine that with Davidson's loss, and that equals a rise in the rankings. Boston University (11/13); at St. John's (11/16)
7 Dayton 1-0 2 The Flyers only defeated Indiana State by five points at home, but the outcome never truly seemed in doubt, especially as Obi Toppin proved why he's a potential A10 Player of the Year. Charleston Southern (11/16)
8 San Diego State 2-0 2 The Aztecs' win over BYU isn't nearly as impressive since the Cougars were without Yoeli Childs, but it was still a challenging road test for a team with two fresh faces in the guard spots. Grand Canyon (11/13)
9 Davidson 0-1 -4 We were a bit worried after Davidson struggled in their exhibition game against Glenville State, and their loss to Auburn gave us even greater pause. Someone eager to find a silver lining might point to the Wildcats' ability to hang with the Tigers despite the paltry performances from Kellan Grady and Jon Axel Gudmundsson, but the result was nonetheless troublesome. at Charlotte (11/12); UNC Wilmington (11/16)
10 East Tennessee State 2-0 1 ETSU did what they needed to do this week, defeating a D-II school as well as UT Martin, ranked 307th in KenPom. Their rise can essentially be attributed to the fall of Harvard and Davidson. Winthrop (11/14)
11 Western Kentucky 2-0 1 Western Kentucky has taken care of business thanks to Charles Bassey doing Charles Bassey things, Northern Kentucky transfer Carson Williams (14.0 PPG, 7.5 RPG) filling in nicely and Camron Justice outshining basically everyone. The IUPUI grad transfer has averaged 18.5 PPG while shooting 7-13 from distance. at Eastern Kentucky (11/15)
12 Furman 2-0 4 The post-Matt Rafferty Era is off to a good start. Furman trounced Loyola University Chicago and deserved a considerable bump in our rankings. at Charleston Southern (11/12); Southern Wesleyan (11/15)
13 Harvard 1-1 -5 Harvard still hasn't fielded a complete product yet, but that loss to Northestern was discouraging. At some people, we have to sotp thinking about what Harvard can be and focus on what it actually is. Siena (11/14); Buffalo (in Toronto) (11/16)
14 Wright State 2-0 4 Wright State moves up thanks to a solid road win over Miami-Ohio and some losses from teams around it. A home game against Kent State on Saturday should be a good test. at Tennessee Tech (11/12); Kent State (11/16)
15 BYU 1-1 -1 Although there's no shame in losing a close game to San Diego State, the Cougars still slip in the rankings. Arizona transfer Alex Barcello (14 points, three steals per game) has played almost well enough to make BYU fans forget that TJ Haws has been shooting 14.3% from three. Southern Utah (11/13); at Houston (11/15)
16 Rhode Island 1-1 -1 Don't read too much into that loss at Maryland. The Terps are a top 10 team and the Rams were competitive almost the entire way. That loss will be forgotten as soon as they knock off Alabama. Alabama (11/15)
17 New Mexico 2-0 5 How about this for balance: Five players scored in double-figures in both of the Lobos' games last week. Despite the fact that one of those games was against a Division II school, New Mexico appears to have answers for the two starters it lost from last season. Green Bay (11/13); McNeese State (11/16)
18 Liberty 2-0 2 Liberty has scored 66 points in both wins and is the second-slowest team in Division I. Through two games, nothing has changed from last season. South Carolina State (11/12); at East Carolina (11/16)
19 Northeastern 2-0 NR Jordan Roland is the nation's leading scorer at 40.5 PPG (not a typo), freshman Tyson Walker has averaged 13.0 PPG and the Huskies took down Other Top 25 team Harvard. Now that's a way to make a splash in our rankings. at Massachusetts (11/12); Old Dominion (11/16)
20 Louisiana Tech 1-0 3 Yes, it was against Texas A&M Corpus Christi (KenPom rank: 312), but a 33-point road win is a 33-point road win. The Bulldogs won't be tested until Saturday's road trip to Creighton. Wiley (11/12); at Creighton (11/16)
21 Pepperdine 1-1 3 How improbable was that comeback against UC Irvine last Saturday? The Waves' 2.5% win probability is the third-lowest of the season, according to KenPom. This week's road games against CSUN and Abilene Christian will be Pepperdine's first true tests. at Cal State Northridge (11/12); at Abilene Christian (11/16)
22 Northern Iowa 2-0 NR The Panthers kicked off the season by grinding out a 58-53 win over an Old Dominion team that made the NCAA Tournament last season, then beat Northern Illinois by 10 on the road. Ben Jacobson's team has held opponents to a measly 25.7% from three so far. Cal State Bakersfield (11/13); Northern Colorado (11/16)
23 Missouri State 1-1 -10 Suffering brutality against Little Rock and letting Alabama State hang around was nearly enough to jettison the Bears from the rankings. The Bears have too much talent on the roster to give up on them yet. Cleveland State (11/12); at Xavier (11/15)
24 Belmont 0-1 -7 The Bruins were 10 minutes away from Casey Alexander's first win at Belmont. Illinois State had other plans. After Monday night's home opener against Samford, Belmont plays at Boston College, the latter of which should give us a better idea of where this team can be in the first year post-Rick Byrd. Samford (11/11); at Boston College (11/16)
25 UC Irvine 1-1 -4 The Anteaters were held scoreless for the final 2:11 of their 77-73 loss to Pepperdine last Saturday. It's hard to believe that would've happened if Evan Leonard played. On the bright side, true freshman Austin Johnson (7.0 PPG, 2.5 RPG, 75% shooting in 11.5 minutes per game) looks like the real deal. Life Pacific (11/12); at Boise State (11/15)

Also receiving votes: Charleston 8, Illinois State 7, Duquesne 6, Richmond 5, UT Arlington 4, Toledo 3, Colgate 1, Saint Louis 1.