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The Other Top 25: A pair of Missouri Valley teams break into the rankings

Six unbeaten teams made it in this week’s Other Top 25.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament-Bradley vs Drake Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It was a relatively quiet week in the college basketball world as most programs either had a break or played just a single game before the Christmas weekend, but that didn’t stop a pair of unbeaten Missouri Valley teams from bursting into the Other Top 25 from a strong week.

Drake became the first team in college basketball to win 10 games with a resounding road win against Indiana State to start MVC play. The Bulldogs have won every game by double digits and earned the highly coveted Sam’s Mid-Major Crush Of The Week designation.

Southern Illinois picked up one of the best wins of the week when they went into Hinkle Fieldhouse and walked out with a win against a banged-up but still solid Butler team. The Salukis are shooting 41% from three-point range and went 9-19 from deep in the aforementioned win over Butler.

Chattanooga also improved their record to 9-0 and finally cracked the Other Top 25. We’ll see if the Mocs are really legit as they host a fellow Top 25 team in Furman to open up SoCon play.

Overall, the Atlantic 10 led the way with six teams in the Other Top 25, while the WCC placed four.

Here is the full Other Top 25 for this week.

The Other Top 25 Week 6

Rank School Record Change Our reasoning
Rank School Record Change Our reasoning
1 Gonzaga 7-0 - With wins over Kansas, Iowa, West Virginia, and Virginia, the conversation is quickly going from "is Gonzaga the best team in the country?" to "can Gonzaga be one of the best teams ever?"
2 Saint Louis 7-1 - SLU held serve this week with a win over Zion Williams (yeah) and Kansas City.
3 Western Kentucky 7-2 1 Luke Frampton was the star du jour for Western Kentucky against Tennessee Tech this week with 22 points and five rebounds in 23 minutes. The Golden Eagles' were the 'Toppers' last tune-up before CUSA play.
4 BYU 9-2 1 With a win this week over Weber State, BYU is now 4-0 against in-state foes this season. BUT WHY WON'T THE COUGARS SCHEDULE DIXIE STATE?
5 San Diego State 6-1 1 The Aztecs demolished Saint Mary's this week, 74-49. It's a crime that we have to wait until late February to see them play Boise State.
6 Richmond 6-2 -3 Oh no, Richmond. Despite no real great wins (Kentucky is poo-poo), the Spiders had gotten the benefit of the doubt to this point, but we had to punish them for a loss to Hofstra, even if the Pride are the best team in the CAA.
7 Boise State 6-1 - A two-game sweep over New Mexico isn't as impressive as it sounds, but that's still good for a 2-0 start to Mountain West play. Derrick Alston has now logged three-straight 20-plus-point games.
8 Dayton 4-1 2 Dayton was idle last week and should rack up two A-10 wins this week with home games against La Salle and George Mason.
9 St. Bonaventure 2-0 - Bona has still played only two games but this week it gets Rhody and Richmond. We'll know by this time next week if the Bonnies are worth their ranking.
10 Loyola University Chicago 5-2 1 Loyola has only kept its rankings because of preseason expectations. It hasn't beaten a top-200 team yet but will face Bradley (KenPom 112) on Sunday.
11 VCU 7-2 1 James Madison outscored VCU by 16 over the final 10 minutes of last Tuesday's game and almost pulled the upset, but the Rams held on. By a point. With six double-figure-scoring games this season, maybe it's time to get to know Vince Williams.
12 Saint Mary's 8-2 -4 A loss to San Diego State isn't bad. A loss to the Aztecs by 25 is concerning. The Gaels managed a paltry 0.80 ppp against SDSU and went 5-22 from three.
13 Belmont 8-1 - Even with that 8-1 record, the Bruins haven't done much. Yet. Murray State comes to town on Wednesday.
14 Duquesne 1-1 - Oh my god freaking play already Duquesne* *The Dukes haven't played since 12/2 because they have wisely been on pause due to COVID-19 issues.
15 Winthrop 5-0 - KenPom projects Winthrop to win every game remaining on its schedule so we're fully prepared to discuss the Eagles' case for a 1 seed in March.
16 Furman 6-3 - A good way to get back on track after losing 3 out of 4 games is to win by 67. The 'dins have South Carolina State to thank for letting them put up 118 points on Monday.
17 Abilene Christian 7-2 - The Wildcats held their own against Arkansas this week and don't face a real test until Stephen F. Austin comes to town on 1/27.
18 Marshall 6-1 - I don't want to cause an uproar here, but it's possible that Taevion Kinsey is the best Taevion/Taveion in CUSA.
19 Drake 10-0 NR Any team that's 10-0 deserves ranking consideration. Now it'd be great if Drake could, maybe, beat a decent team.
20 San Francisco 6-4 - The Dons bounced back from consecutive losses to Pac-12 teams with a win over Grand Canyon. Khalil Shabazz went 5-9 from three against the Lopes.
21 South Dakota State 5-3 - Three KenPom tier B wins earlier in the season seem to have been enough to keep the Jackrabbits in The Other Top 25 despite not playing the last two weeks.
22 Chattanooga 9-0 NR Are the Mocs ready to contend against the top of the SoCon? They get Furman on Wednesday.
23 Southern Illinois 7-0 NR Trent Brown went 5-6 from three as the Salukis knocked off Butler at Hinkle last week. As a team, SIU is shooting 41% from deep.
24 North Texas 4-3 -2 Congrats to North Texas on beating [checks notes] LSU Alexandria, but we had to bump them down to squeeze some unbeatens in.
25 Liberty 8-3 -2 See note above, replaced LSU Alexandria with Alcorn State.

Also receiving votes: Rhode Island, Toledo, Georgia State, UAB, Davidson, UNC Greensboro, New Mexico State, Wright State