The celebration is on in Des Moines as the AP voters have given undefeated Drake (16-0) a spot in the Top 25. That came in a week where the Bulldogs won three games, all by single-digits in an impressive display of tenacity.
That effort moved them into the top 10 of The Other Top 25 as well, just five spots behind Loyola University Chicago. The Ramblers are 16th in KenPom and have been dismantling the Valley en route to a 9-1 conference start. Drake and Loyola square off on Feb. 13 and 14 in a pair of must-see games as both teams have a chance to strengthen their at-large arguments.
Further down the rankings, Dayton moved up six spots by picking up two huge wins over Saint Louis and Richmond. The Flyers have had their share of struggles but are trending toward a double bye in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Here are our full rankings:
The Other Top 25: Week 11
|1||Gonzaga||17-0||-||A couple more blowout wins for the Zags and now it seems like the bold take would be saying they might NOT enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated.|
|2||Boise State||14-2||1||Boise State split at Colorado State this week and there's no shame in that. The Broncos didn't look great in that first game but came out re-charged in game two behind 21 points from Marcus Shaver.|
|3||St. Bonaventure||9-1||2||Bona has a one-game lead in the Atlantic 10 thanks to wins over Duquesne and George Mason this week. They'll face their biggest test of the season on Saturday at SLU.|
|4||Saint Louis||7-2||-2||It's hard to fault SLU for losing by five to Dayton in their first game in over a month. They key is to come back strong against La Salle before the schedule toughens up again.|
|5||Loyola University Chicago||14-3||1||Loyola is up to 16 in KenPom and it's getting kind of funny. Let's see how high the Ramblers can rise simply by bludgeoning opponents in the Valley.|
|6||BYU||14-4||-2||BYU drops a couple spots because of a loss to Pepperdine, but it could have been so much worse. The Cougars flirted with disaster as Pacific took them to double OT.|
|7||Western Kentucky||13-4||1||If WKU can finish in the top two or three of CUSA (it's 3rd now), it will have an interesting at-large case. Think about how good that win over Alabama looks now.|
|8||Belmont||18-1||1||Belmont had a pair of scares this week, but escaped with wins at Austin Peay and Murray State — arguably their two toughest contests of the season. The OVC is the Bruins' to lose.|
|9||San Diego State||13-4||1||San Diego State continued to murder the bottom of the Mountain West as the Aztecs start to make up for their sweep at Utah State's hands a few weeks ago. Expect four more wins coming up as New Mexico and San Jose State are next on the schedule.|
|10||Drake||16-0||3||Drake has won close, won big, and everything in between. The Bulldogs FINALLY cracked the AP Poll this week at 25.|
|11||Utah State||13-5||-4||The Aggies are awesome, but you can't lose to a mid-tier MWC team in a year where the league has four legit NCAA Tournament threats. They might need to pick off Boise State at least once later this month to solidify their resume.|
|12||VCU||12-4||-||VCU took care of business this week against La Salle and learned that it would co-host the Atlantic 10 Tournament with Richmond. That could be huge news for both teams.|
|13||Colorado State||12-4||1||Colorado State is doing what it has to do to build a resume — split with the league's best teams and beat up on everyone else. The margin for error, however, remains small.|
|14||Winthrop||16-1||-3||RIP to the Undefeate Winthrop Movement. The Eagles lost a close one to UNC Asheville and we can't knock them much for it. Play a full Big South schedule and a bad team could trip you up once or twice. Let's see how they respond.|
|15||Toledo||15-4||1||Toledo has quietly put together one of the best offensvie seasons in college basketball, ranking 10th nationally in efficiency. We shouted out Marreon Jackson last week, so let's do the same for Spencer Littleson, who routinely plays more than 35 minutes a game while shooting over 90% from the free throw line and 48% from three.|
|16||Richmond||10-4||-1||Richmond recovered from that La Salle loss by beating Saint Joseph's. A big one against Dayton is coming on Friday.|
|17||South Dakota State||10-3||-||Another no-games week for the Jacks as they prepare for a gigantic back-to-back against South Dakota this weekend. The rival Coyotes have sprinted out to an 8-0 league start and visit Frost Arena with plenty of momentum.|
|18||UAB||14-2||-||A pair of wins over struggling Middle Tennessee keep the Blazers atop CUSA. With that hardest part of their league schedule ahead of them, can the Blazers continue to surprise in Andy Kennedy's first season?|
|19||Dayton||10-4||6||The Flyers are, wait for it, flying back up the rankings. After a stready drop, Dayton stabilized by downing Saint Louis as it came out of its prolonged COVID pause with some late Jalen Crutcher heroics. Then they got a nice win over Rhode Island to cap a resurgent week.|
|20||Saint Mary's||11-5||-1||The Gaels are on pause and saw three games fall off the schedule. They'll hope to get back in action on Feb. 8 at San Diego in an effort to get to .500 in WCC play.|
|21||Marshall||9-4||-1||Marshall lost a series with Florida Atlantic due to COVID issues within the Owls' program. The Thundering Herd now hones in on Old Dominion, who itself hasn't played since Jan. 16.|
|22||Abilene Christian||14-3||-1||As it has done all year, Joe Golding's team clamped down on Stephen F. Austin for a massive midweek win. The Wildcats got through a tougher-than-expected test at Incarnate Word over the weekend and are at the top of a top-heavy Southland.|
|23||Furman||11-5||-1||Furman stabalized things by beating Western Carolina this week as the Paladins now look up at three other teams in the SoCon standings.|
|24||Davidson||10-5||-1||Right after running its winning streak to four, Davidson was hit with a COVID pause. The Wildcats are tentatively scheduled to resume action Saturday at Fordham.|
|25||Wright State||13-4||-1||Wright State's losing stretch of early January seems so long ago as the Raiders have won five straight, most recently sweeping Horizon League newcomer Robert Morris.|
Also receiving votes: UC Santa Barbara, Liberty, Grand Canyon, Louisiana Tech, East Tennessee State, Colgate.