Mid-Major Top 25: Murray State Keeps Winning, Keeps No. 1 Spot

MOREHEAD, KY - JANUARY 18: Isaiah Canaan #3 of the Murray State Racers dribbles the ball during the OVC game against the Morehead State Eagles at Johnson Arena on January 18, 2012 in Morehead, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

None of the sparkling records among the top five teams in this week's SB Nation Mid-Major Top 25 stand out more than that of the unbeaten Racers'.

The records of the top seven here are as impressive as I can remember from a group of mid-majors at this point in the season. This, of course, bodes extremely well for the likelihood of an exciting March.

1. MURRAY STATE (20-0, 8-0) (1)

The Racers are six wins away from taking part in what will be the most talked-about BracketBusters game ever.

2. CREIGHTON (19-2, 9-1) (2)

The Bluejays have won six straight games away from home, the program's longest road winning streak in 37 years.

3. SAINT MARY'S (19-2, 8-0) (3)

Saint Mary's has essentially held serve against the best in the league at home, but now they'll face Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga and BYU on the road all in the next two weeks. If they can somehow make it through that the stretch unscathed, then the Gaels might an even bigger threat to play their way deep into the NCAA Tournament than they appear to be now.

4. WICHITA STATE (18-3, 9-1) (5)

In what had seemed like it would be a jumbled league from start to finish, Wichita State and Creighton have now put a full four games of distance between themselves and the next-best teams in the Missouri Valley.

5. HARVARD (16-2, 2-0) (5)

Harvard has some demons to exorcise at the John J. Lee Amphitheater, where last March they were beaten at the buzzer in a one-game playoff for the Ivy League championship. The Crimson will face Yale there on Friday night.

6. GONZAGA (16-3, 6-1) (6)

The Zags will play three straight on the road before their rematch with Saint Mary's on Feb. 9.

7. MIDDLE TENNESSEE (19-2, 8-0) (7)

I'm not entirely sure what the Blue Raiders have to do in order to work their way into some aspect of the national conversation. I swear they really are 19-2 and unbeaten in the Sun Belt.

8. LONG BEACH STATE (14-6, 7-0) (10)

A 71-48 win at Santa Barbara couldn't have spoken much louder. Chances are high that the Beach will be best 11-13 seed in the tournament.

9. DAVIDSON (14-4, 8-0) (8)

Only one opponent (Appalachian State) has played Davidson within 18 points in 2012. The Wildcats are absolutely destroying the rest of the SoCon right now.

10. ORAL ROBERTS (18-4, 10-0) (13)

All of the sudden, Oral Roberts has an outside shot at an at-large bid, a fact which has not gone unnoticed by the members of the team.

"We don't want to lose a regular-season game, so probably - hopefully - if we did slip up in the conference tournament, we would probably get a shot at going to the NCAA tournament," said guard Warren Niles.

11. WEBER STATE (15-3, 7-0) (12)

Weber State is off to its best start since the 1979-80 season and is 7-0 in Big Sky play for the first time since 2003. That year, the Wildcats went on to run the table with a perfect 14-0 mark in conference play.

12. CLEVELAND STATE (17-4, 7-2) (16)

Through five weeks of conference play, it's apparent that the Vikings are the most balanced - and probably the best - team in the Horizon League. Senior Trey Harmon leads the way in scoring at 12.1 points per game followed by senior D'Aundray Brown at 11.6 a contest. Three other players average between 7.5 and 10.7 ppg.

13. BYU (18-5, 6-2) (14)

BYU's two point win over Virginia Tech in Blacksburg Wednesday night drastically increased the chances of the WCC potentially being a three-bid league.

14. OHIO (16-4, 4-2) (15)

The Bobcats looked less than impressive in a pair of narrow home wins over Miami University and Western Michigan.

15. GEORGE MASON (17-5, 9-1) (17)

It's strange to see a Mason team that is 9-1 in the CAA being projected as a 15 seed in so many mock brackets, but the computers are way down on the Colonial this season.

16. IONA (15-5, 7-2) (9)

Iona gave easily its worst offensive performance of the season in a 65-62 loss to struggling Siena earlier this week. The Gaels raced out to a 20-2 lead and led by 10 at the break before a dismal second half led to their second MAAC defeat.

17. DENVER (15-5, 5-2) (11)

The Pioneers suffered their second Sun Belt loss of the season when Alzee Williams' tip-in at the buzzer gave North Texas an 75-74 overtime victory.

18. VCU (17-5, 8-2) (20)

VCU did what so few teams have been able to do when it toppled Towson 67-42 on Wednesday night. I'm just kidding, the Tigers have lost 41 in a row.

19. LIU BROOKLYN (14-6, 8-0) (25)

The Blackbirds solidified their status as the team to beat in the NEC by going into Wagner and winning 73-66. They now own a two-game advantage in the league standings.

20. SOUTH DAKOTA STATE (16-5, 8-1) (23)

The Jackrabbits will look to remain just a game behind Oral Roberts in the Summit League when they face two-time defending champion Oakland on Thursday.

21. DREXEL (16-5, 8-2 (NR)

The Dragons have quietly won eight straight and 14 of their last 15. Bruiser Flint, your thoughts?

"I think we're the best team in Philly," Flint said after Drexel won its eighth straight game. "I think we can beat anybody in the city, and I'm not just saying that. I think we can do it.

"And honestly? If you ask them guys? I think without hesitation they'll say (the same thing). I think we can beat all those teams. I think we've proven it. When we have good teams, we can beat teams in the city. I think that's been proven."

Well all right.

22. UT-ARLINGTON (14-5, 6-0) (NR)

The Mavericks are off to their best start since the 1990-91 season, and are currently riding a program-best 10-game winning streak.

23. WAGNER (15-4, 6-2) (19)

Suddenly, Seahawks head coach Dan Hurley is one of the hottest names in college basketball.

24. KENT STATE (13-6, 3-3) (18)

There's no excuse for the Flashes to be 3-3 in a very average MAC.

25. YALE (12-4, 2-0) (NR)

The Bulldogs will look to take their first major step toward an improbable Ivy League title run when they host decided league favorite Harvard on Friday night. On a bizarre schedule note, Yale is off to a 2-0 start in conference play...with both of those wins coming against Brown. They defeated the Bears on consecutive Saturdays to begin "the 14-game tournament."

DROPPED OUT: Milwaukee (21), Belmont (22), Norfolk State (24).

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