The first week of the college basketball season did not disappoint, especially if you’re a fan of mid-majors. A healthy dose of upsets and matchups between Other Top 25 teams made for a compelling holiday weekend of hoops, and that means it’s time to overreact.
Gonzaga obviously held onto the top spot after dispatching Kansas and Auburn. The Zags are the best team in the country and it might not be close.
The Atlantic 10 had a great opening week, including wins by Richmond and Saint Louis over Kentucky and LSU, respectively. Rhode Island and VCU also picked up quality wins in their MTEs, leading to seven A-10 teams cracking the Other Top 25.
Elsewhere, Northern Iowa fell 13 spots after an 0-3 showing at the Bad Boy Mowers Crossover Classic. The Panthers didn’t have Trae Berhow though, so it’s not quite time to hit the panic button just yet.
With a flurry of cancellations and constantly moving schedules, The Other Top 25 might end up being more volatile on a week-to-week basis than in prior years.
Nonetheless, here are the full rankings for Week 2.
The Other Top 25 Week 2
|1||Gonzaga||2-0||-||The best team in the country left no doubt about their strength in the opening week with a win over No. 6 Kansas and a thrashing of Auburn.|
|2||Richmond||2-0||4||Richmond handily beat No. 10 Kentucky to secure a road win that should vault the Spiders into the national conversation.|
|3||Saint Louis||2-0||-1||A monster 32-point effort from Javonte Perkins gave Saint Louis a huge resume booster with a win over a talented LSU team.|
|4||Western Kentucky||2-1||3||For a second it looked like WKU was going to escape Sioux Falls with three top-100 wins, but a 2-1 showing with the lone loss coming at the hands of No. 15 West Virginia is nothing to scoff at. The Hilltoppers are deep and talented.|
|5||San Diego State||2-0||-||The Aztecs convincingly won both of their games against No. 22 UCLA and UC Irvine. They look like the early class of the Mountain West once again.|
|6||Loyola Chicago||0-0||-3||The Ramblers dropped due to other teams scoring big wins by actually playing. Loyola is now out of COVID quarantine as of last Friday.|
|7||St. Bonaventure||0-0||2||We're still high on the Bonnies' potential, but we'll have to wait to watch them until they're out of COVID quarantine, which should be later this week.|
|8||Dayton||0-0||5||Again, COVID cancellations hindered Dayton's start to the season, but we'll get to see how Jalen Crutcher and Co. look this weekend against a solid SMU team.|
|9||Belmont||3-0||5||It's business as usual in Nashville. All of Belmont's starters are scoring in double figures through three games.|
|10||Duquesne||0-0||-||The Dukes have a solid trio of mid-majors on the docket this week that includes Little Rock, UNC Greensboro, and Winthrop. Let's hope that those games actually get played.|
|11||Boise State||1-1||-3||The Broncos looked a little flat against a Houston team that might be Final Four good, but bounced back easily against Sam Houston State behind 27 points from Derrick Alston.|
|12||North Texas||1-1||-1||The Mean Green went 21-33 from 3-point range against Mississippi Valley State, but struggled to score against an athletic Arkansas team.|
|13||BYU||3-0||3||Alex Barcello appears capable of leading the charge for a roster that lost a lot of scoring from last year's team. The senior point guard is averaging 21 points per game for the 3-0 Cougars.|
|14||Furman||2-0||3||Early signs point to a potent offense in Greenville following a pair of 90-point outings. Saturday's matchup against Richmond will be must-see television.|
|15||VCU||2-1||NR||The Rams picked up a nice pair of wins against Utah State and Memphis in Sioux Falls thanks to a defense that is still adept at forcing their opponents to turn the ball over at a high rate. The Rams rank 30th in that metric nationally after one week.|
|16||UNC Greensboro||1-0||5||Isaiah Miller showed why he's one of the country's best guards with a 24-point outing against a tough Little Rock team. Big matchups against Duquesne and Louisville await this week.|
|17||Northern Iowa||0-3||-13||It's not time to panic just yet, but an 0-3 showing against three quality mid-major programs leaves a lot to be desired. The Panthers need Trae Berhow back ASAP for games against Richmond and Wisconsin coming up.|
|18||Pepperdine||1-1||2||A 3OT thriller against UCLA ultimately didn't go the Waves' way, but the fight that Colbey Ross and Co. showed to keep battling back is encouraging for their overall outlook.|
|19||Saint Mary's||2-1||NR||SMC held UNI and South Dakota State under 1.00 points per possession in both of their wins last week.|
|20||Vermont||0-0||-2||Vermont has delayed all of their winter athletics until December 18. KenPom gives them a 5.6% chance of an unbeaten record with an America East-only schedule|
|21||Austin Peay||2-1||-9||Terry Taylor is doing Terry Taylor things with 3 double-doubles right off the bat. The Governors dropped due to a poor showing against an Abilene Christian team that is off to a strong 3-0 start.|
|22||Rhode Island||2-2||NR||A bit of a mixed bag for Rhody, but a pair of double-digit wins and a pair of single-digit losses to Power 5 foes at Mohegan Sun is a fine spot to be in with plenty of quality chances on the horizon.|
|23||Georgia State||2-0||NR||Georgia State won the wildest game of the opening week with a back-and-forth, 4OT win over Georgia Tech. KenPom has them favored in every game on their schedule right now.|
|24||New Mexico State||1-0||-1||NMSU had to sweat it out against Arionza Christian (NAIA), but ultimately escaped unscathed.|
|25||South Dakota State||1-2||-||The Jacks went 15-27 from deep against Utah State in their lone win in Sioux Falls. SDSU should have one of the more potent offenses in mid-major basketball, which has become like clockwork at this point.|
Also receiving votes: Utah State, Abilene Christian, Liberty, Nevada, San Francisco, UAB, Drake, UMass, Winthrop, Bradley.