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The Other Top 25: Here comes the Thundering Herd

The A-10 and WCC maintain a strong presence, but CUSA is making a push.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-West Virginia vs Marshall Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a lot of high quality matchups for The Other Top 25 teams, there were ample opportunities to move up the rankings.

San Diego State took advantage of a top 25 matchup against Arizona State and walked away with the best win of the week. The Aztecs sit at No. 2 in the Other Top 25 this week behind Gonzaga. Is this the 2019-20 season all over again?

Boise State also rose up the top 10 following a win over fellow top 10 team BYU, and Dayton used a 2OT win over Mississippi State to crack the top 10 as well.

Dan D’Antoni and the Marshall Thundering Herd are perhaps the biggest winners this week as they went from unranked to No. 16. The Herd have won all of their games by at least 10 and are quickly climbing up the KenPom ranks.

The other new entrant to the Other Top 25 is Grand Canyon, who nearly gave Arizona State a second loss of the week, but nonetheless sit at 4-1 on the year.

The full rankings can be found here.

The Other Top 25 Week 4

Rank School Record Change Our reasoning
Rank School Record Change Our reasoning
1 Gonzaga 3-0 - The Zags will be tasked with slowing down Iowa on Saturday in their first game back from a Covid shutdown. Expect points. A lot of points. A win would give them 3 wins over top 10 KenPom teams.
2 San Diego State 5-0 2 SDSU picked up one of the best wins of the season for any mid-major in the country last week by taking down No. 23 Arizona State. Another quality opportunity awaits this week with BYU coming to town.
3 Saint Louis 4-0 - The Billikens forced 27 turnovers in a no-nonsense win against Central Arkansas. SLU ranks 8th in the nation in opponent turnover rate.
4 Richmond 4-1 -2 Richmond couldn't withstand a red-hot shooting performance from a really, really good West Virginia team. Jacob Gilyard and Blake Francis will need to find their rhythm from three-point range soon as A-10 play creeps up.
5 Western Kentucky 5-2 1 A late tip-in from Charles Bassey gave the Toppers a solid win over Rhode Island, and sets them up nicely to be 7-2 heading into CUSA play.
6 Loyola University Chicago 3-0 -1 Loyola handled a pair of in-state opponents last week and have decided to turn their sights towards bigger fish. The Ramblers procured a matchup against Wisconsin this Tuesday.
7 Boise State 4-1 3 RayJ Dennis's 19 points helped BSU hold off a late push by BYU to seal a win in Provo. They're off this week with Mountain West play set to begin next week.
8 BYU 6-2 - BYU split their marquee matchups last week with the aforementioned loss to Boise State, but bounced back by dominating Utah to secure a third top 100 win.
9 St. Bonaventure 0-0 -2 At some point the Bonnies will play a game. Maybe this week against Akron or Hofstra? Preseason expectations can only hold for so long.
10 Dayton 3-1 2 Jalen Crutcher, Chase Johnson, and Ibi Watson all played at least 48 minutes in Dayton's 2OT win over Mississippi State in the Holiday Hoopsgiving event. Anthony Grant is keeping a short rotation this season.
11 Saint Mary's 6-1 - The slow and steady Gaels handled their business and won their sixth straight game. An improvement on the defensive end from last season has kept the Saint Mary's machine humming.
12 VCU 5-2 2 Bones Hyland might be the next great VCU point guard. He had 30 points against NC A&T and 6 steals against Old Dominion in last week's wins.
13 Furman 5-1 -4 Two HUGE games loom this week with road trips to Alabama and Winthrop on the docket after the Fur Men dropped a close one to Cincinnati last week.
14 Duquesne 1-1 -1 A Covid shutdown has the Dukes on pause for the time being. They're tentantively scheduled to open A-10 play with road games against Richmond and Saint Louis. Oof.
15 Belmont 5-1 2 The Battle of the Boulevard's lone matchup this season went to the Bruins behind double-figures scoring from all 5 starters.
16 Marshall 4-0 NR Marshall has won all four of their games by double digits and have climbed to No. 77 in KenPom. Taevion Kinsey is lighting up defenses by scoring 22.3 points per game.
17 Winthrop 4-0 8 Chandler Vaudrin's triple-double on Saturday propelled Winthrop to a 2-0 start in Big South play. Furman coming to town on Saturday will be must-see TV.
18 Rhode Island 3-4 -3 A sub .500 record may raise eyebrows, but Rhody has played 6 of its 7 games on the road and against top 100 teams They'll need to start winning the close ones though.
19 Vermont 0-0 - The America East comes back next week for the start of its conference only schedule.
20 Abilene Christian 5-1 4 It didn't result in a win, but ACU hung in against No. 17 Texas Tech and gave them a second half scare. Joe Golding is starting to lay the foundation for a consistently strong program.
21 South Dakota State 5-3 -1 A mixed bag of results for the Jacks in the Dakota Showcase as they split their games with a win over North Dakota and a loss to South Dakota. They'll play both of those teams at home twice in Summit League play. That's a lot of Dakota action.
22 Pepperdine 3-3 -6 The Waves giveth and taketh away. Finally closing one out against a Cal team? Good! Following it up with a home loss to CSUN? Bad!
23 North Texas 1-3 -5 The Mean Green's schedule is in fact mean. A reprieve against a pair of KenPom bottom feeders should hopefully get UNT back in the win column before traveling to LSU on Saturday.
24 San Francisco 5-3 -3 A crushing buzzer-beater loss to Cal dinged the Dons on Sunday. They'll get right back on the horse against solid opponents with USC and Grand Canyon this week. More litmus tests!
25 Grand Canyon 4-1 NR Bryce Drew is off to a strong start in Phoenix, even if the Lopes couldn't close it out against Arizona State at home. Jovan Blacksher and Alessandro Lever might be the best inside-out combo in the WAC.

Also receiving votes: UAB, Liberty, Mercer, Austin Peay, New Mexico State, Drake, Georgia State, Davidson, UNC Greensboro, Santa Clara