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The Other Top 25: The unbeatens continue to rise

Drake and Winthrop are both in the top 15.

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

One of the fun quirks of this weird, weird season is that we have a handful of mid-major teams that were able to stay undefeated into conference play. Non-conference schedules were cut, guarantee games fell through, and as a result, Drake, Winthrop, and Chattanooga were all unbeaten going into this week.

The Mocs fell twice, first to Furman (understandable) then to VMI (not as much). But the Bulldogs and Eagles still haven’t lost as we break into conference play and are now in the top 15 of The Other Top 25. Winthrop should stick around for a while, as it is the clear class of the Big South. In fact, Winthrop is closer to No. 1 Gonzaga in KenPom than to the next-ranked team in its conference.

It’ll be a little tougher for Drake to keep the win streak going, but the Bulldogs have answered every challenge thrown their way so far. Drake is 3-0 in the Missouri Valley and has one more game against Southern Illinois before a two-game swing against Loyola.

Elsewhere in the rankings, Boise State’s 4-0 start in the Mountain West has brought it into the top five. VCU and St. Bonaventure inched up as well, while conference mates Richmond, Dayton, and Duquesne all dropped.

Here are the full rankings for this week:

The Other Top 25: Week 7

Rank School Record Change Our reasoning
Rank School Record Change Our reasoning
1 Gonzaga 10-0 - In addition to topping The Other Top 25, the AP Poll, and KenPom, Gonzaga is also the No. 1 team in the NET, which was released Monday.
2 Saint Louis 7-1 - Jordan Goodwin had 23-and-13 while SLU held UMKC to 0.79 PPP in their lone game of the week.
3 BYU 9-2 1 BYU was idle this week and begins WCC play on Thursday with a home game against Pacific.
4 Boise State 8-1 3 The Broncos are 4-0 in the Mountain West and haven't lost since November. Barring a major upset, they'll be 6-0 in-conference when the week is out.
5 San Diego State 6-2 - The loss to Colorado State isn't that bad. The loss happening because the Aztecs blew a 26-point lead? Well...
6 Western Kentucky 8-3 -3 The Toppers fell victim to Charlotte's Jahmir Young, who scored 23 and 24 points in two games. WKU managed a split and returns home this weekend for a couple games against Louisiana Tech.
7 Loyola University Chicago 7-2 3 The Ramblers notched their best win of the season on Saturday, knocking off North Texas behind 26 points from Aher Uguak.
8 St. Bonaventure 3-1 1 The A-10 is going to cannibalize itself this year. Bona lost to Rhode Island but bounced back with a win at Richmond on Saturday thanks to a late 3 from Kyle Lofton.
9 VCU 8-2 2 VCU's COVID-19 shutdown lasted 2 whole days and the Rams are set to play again Wednesday against George Mason.
10 Richmond 7-3 -4 With consecutive home losses to Hofstra and St. Bonaventure, Richmond is trending in the wrong direction. Still, the Spiders run a top-35 offense and are top-15 in 2-point percentage.
11 Belmont 10-1 2 Belmont cracked the top-100 of KenPom this week with a blowout win over Tennessee-Martin.
12 Saint Mary's 9-2 - Saint Mary's is getting thrown right into the fire in WCC play this week, opening with two road games then coming home to face BYU and Gonzaga.
13 Winthrop 7-0 2 A pair of wins over Campbell this week have the Eagles still undefeated. KenPom gives Winthrop an 80% chance or better to win each game remaining on the schedule.
14 Dayton 5-2 -6 The Flyers lost a shocker to La Salle and then barely avoided complete disaster by pulling away late against George Mason.
15 Drake 12-0 4 We've been waiting for Drake to play a tough team so we could see how good the Bulldogs really are. We'll get that chance on Sunday when they host Loyola.
16 Furman 8-3 - It wasn't easy, but the Paladins notched two wins this week, taking down then-unbeaten Chattanooga and holding off a late charge from Mercer.
17 Abilene Christian 9-2 - Abilene Christian is one of the best perimeter defending teams in the nation and held Lamar to a 4-20 showing from deep this week.
18 Rhode Island 5-5 NR The roller coaster season continues for Rhode Island and a win over St. Bonaventure has it back in The Other Top 25 despite a 5-5 record.
19 Marshall 7-2 -1 The Thundering Herd split with Louisiana Tech in Ruston — a perfectly excusable result. Taevion Kinsey is averaging 22.3 PPG over the last three games.
20 Duquesne 2-2 -6 Keith Dambrot's team took a bad loss to George Washington this weekend, turning it over 16 times.
21 Toledo 8-3 NR Toledo hasn't lost since Dec. 9 and is now 3-0 in the MAC. The Rockets rank first in the league in offensive and defensive efficiency.
22 South Dakota State 5-3 -1 Stanley Umude scored 41 and had 11 rebounds to lead South Dakota over the Jackrabbits last time out. A month ago. Odds are Mount Marty, their Monday night opponent, doesn't have a player who can do that.
23 Colorado State 6-1 NR Colorado State trailed 33-7 more than halfway through the first half against San Diego State, cut the deficit to seven by halftime and escaped with the biggest come-from-behind win in program history.
24 San Francisco 7-5 -4 Gonzaga blasted the Dons, not that it's a surprise. USF will have a shot to regroup with four straight games against sub-120 KenPom teams.
25 Utah State 7-3 NR Like Boise, Utah State is 4-0 in the Mountain West with no wins of note. But that's OK. The Aggies have clobbered each conferencde opponent this season and are back in The Other Top 25.