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NCAA DI Basketball Mid-Major Power Rankings At Mid-Way Point

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Which mid-major basketball teams have had strong starts? Daniel Benjamin gives his power rankings of the top small college DI teams in the nation.

The NCAA basketball season is just past its halfway point. This makes it the perfect time to look at the small colleges that could make some noise come March.  The mid-major power rankings don’t include any teams from the power 7 conferences, along with the WCC or Mountain West conferences. 


Mid Major Top 10 Power Rankings

No. 1 Charleston Cougars 19-1: 

Charleston, which already has two more victories than all of last year, is off to the best start in CAA history. CofC extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 18 games with an 82-54 victory over William & Mary on January 16. The Cougars set a season-high 16 treys against the Tribe, and their defense matched a season-best with seven blocks, while the 54 points allowed was also a season-best mark. They’ve done enough to be the number 1 team on the power rankings. 


No. 2 FAU Owls 17-1: 

FAU, off to its best start in program history, has the second-longest winning streak in the nation at 16 after winning at Western Kentucky 76-62 on Monday night. The victory over WKU was the Owls’ first double-digit victory in five games, as their previous four games were all by four or fewer points. FAU gets an NCAA-best 37.43 points a game from its bench.


No. 3 Kent State Golden Flashes 14-3

Kent State, on an eight-game winning streak, is the only MAC undefeated in conference and their 4-0 start is the program’s best start to conference play since 2004-05. All three of the Flashes’ losses are quality single-digit setbacks to Charleston, Gonzaga, and Houston. Senior guard Sincere Cary leads the way for Kent State with 17.7 points a game.


No. 4 Dayton Flyers 12-6

The Flyers have nearly a 10-point scoring defense as they have one of the best defenses in the nation, ranking fifth in field goal percentage, 6th in 3-point percentage, and 9th in scoring. DaRon Holmes (19.8 points, 8.2 rebounds) tops the nation with 50 dunks, while Toumani Camara leads the A-10 in rebounding at 9.2 a game. 


No. 5 Oral Roberts Golden Eagles 15-4 

ORU has won 12 of their last13 games, with its lone loss during this stretch coming at New Mexico (82-75) on Jan.9. The Golden Eagles, led by senior guard Max Abmas, rank 12th in the country in scoring and fifth in 3-pointers made per game. Abmas is one of the top offensive talents in DI, ranking 6th in scoring and 4th in 3-pointers made.  


No. 6  Marshall Thundering Herd 15-4

Marshall is one of the top offenses in the country. The Thundering Herd rank 22nd in scoring (81.6), second in field goal makes (32.3), first in field goals attempt (69.2), first in offensive rebounding (14.9), and fourth in assists (14.0). Leading scorer Tavion Kinsey (21.2 points, 6.0 assists), who has topped the 20-point mark 12 times this season, is third on the program’s all-time scoring list at 2,388.


No. 7 VCU Rams 13-5 

VCU has won eight of nine games, including a huge 63-62 victory at Dayton on January 13. The Rams struggle offensively a little as they turn the ball over 15 times a game. They do defend the 3-point line – ranking 37th in 3-point attempts and 21st in 3-pointers made – and force nearly 18 turnovers a game and defend the rim well, averaging 4.8 blocks


No. 8 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 15-4 

Southern Miss ranks 35th in the nation in scoring defense at 63.5 points and 57th in defensive field goal percentage at 40.5%.  Austin Cowley, Felipe Haase, and DeAndre Pinckney lead the way for the Golden Eagles, as all three average at least 13 points and 4 boards.


No. 9 North Texas Mean Green 15-4

The Mean Green have won 10 of 12 after picking up a 65-57 comeback victory at FIU on Monday. North Texas has one of the worst offenses (No. 339), and one of the best defense defenses (No. 3). Three of their four losses have been by four or fewer points, with two of those setbacks coming to FAU. 


No. 10 Southern Illinois Salukis 14-5 

SIU, which has won 9 of 10, is off to the program’s best start under fourth-year head coach Bryan Mullins. Forward Marcus Domansk needs just seven rebounds and two assists to become the fourth Saluki to post 1,300 points along with 500 boards and 300 dimes for his career. 


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No. 11-20 

  1. UNCW Seahawks 15-5
  2. Cornell Big Red 14-4
  3. Liberty Flames 14-5
  4. Quinnipiac Bobcats  14-5
  5. Utah Valley Wolverines 14-5
  6. Drake Bulldogs 14-5
  7. Seattle Redhawks 14-4
  8. Saint Louis Billikens 12-6
  9. Iona Gaels 12-6
  10. Youngstown State Penguins 14-5
  11. Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors 14-4
  12. Ball State Cardinals 12-5
  13. UC Santa Barbaraa Gauchos 14-3
  14. UMass-Lowell River Hawks 15-4
  15. T. Longwood Lancers 13-6
  1. T. UAB Blazers 13-6
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