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The Other Top 25: Two conference champions join rankings

Drake, Kennesaw State cut down the nets

NCAA Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Finals - Bradley vs Drake
Missouri Valley Player of the Year Tucker DeVries shares a special moment with his father and head coach Darian DeVries as Drake clinched the conference championship. He tallied 22 points in the title game win over Bradley.
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Three new teams joined the Other Top 25. Drake tied for 15 with Toledo and New Mexico. Saint Louis, after a short absence, came in tied for 21 with Dayton. Kennesaw State rounded out the poll at 25.

Drake won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament Sunday with a 77-51 win over Bradley. The two were the top two teams in the conference all season long. The title game loss snapped the Braves’ 12-game winning streak and dropped them from the Other Top 25.

The Bulldogs are 27-7 on the year, which is the second-highest win total in program history. They have won 13 of their last 14. They are advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time and second in the last three seasons.

Kennesaw State has had one of the best turnarounds in history. The Owls won the Atlantic Sun championship with a 67-66 win over Liberty to claim their first conference title in Division I and ticket to March Madness.

KSU had never had a winning season in 17 years at the Division I level until this year as it has posted a 26-8 record. This year, the Owls have won seven more games than they did over the last three years combined. In 2019-20, they won just one game.

Liberty, who entered the title game ranked 40th in the NET, is the highest rated team Kennesaw State has ever beaten.

Saint Louis won its lone game this week. The Billikins defeated Dayton 65-61 in the regular-season finale. They have won four of their last six games. The win moved them into a three-way tie for second place in the Atlantic 10 with Fordham and Dayton. SLU enters the conference tournament at Barclays Center as the No. 4 seed.

Memphis and Utah State both moved up in the top 10. The Tigers find themselves at eight, up two spots. They went toe-to-toe with top-ranked Houston Sunday before ultimately falling 67-65 on Jamal Shead’s jumper at the buzzer.

The Aggies increased three spots to No. 7. They have won their last five games to close out the regular season, which was capped off by an 86-73 win over Boise State.

The Other Top 25: March 6, 2023

Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points Record Previous
Rank Team (First-Place Votes) Points Record Previous
1 Houston (3) 75 29-2 1
2 Gonzaga 71 26-5 T-2
3 San Diego State 69 24-6 T-2
4 Saint Mary's 67 25-6 T-2
5 Boise State 60 23-8 5
6 Memphis 58 23-8 8
7 Utah State 55 24-7 T-10
8 Florida Atlantic 52 28-3 T-6
9 Nevada 51 22-9 T-6
10 Oral Roberts 50 28-4 9
11 Charleston 42 29-3 T-10
T-12 North Texas 33 25-6 T-16
T-12 Kent State 33 25-6 T-13
14 VCU 31 24-7 15
T-15 New Mexico 29 21-10 12
T-15 Drake 29 27-7 NR
T-15 Toledo 29 25-6 T-22
18 Hofstra 28 24-8 T-19
19 Iona 25 24-7 18
20 UAB 22 23-8 T-13
T-21 Saint Louis 12 20-11 NR
T-21 Dayton 12 20-11 T-16
23 Liberty 9 26-8 T-19
24 Tulane 7 19-10 T-19
25 Kennesaw State 6 26-8 NR

Others Receiving Votes:

Yale 5; Utah Valley 4; Furman 3; Colgate 3; Louisiana 2; Sam Houston State 2; Bradley 1

Dropped from Ranking:

Southern Miss; Bradley; Utah Valley