Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Silent majority rankings #8

Not a lot of movement after a light week dominated by the Christmas break. This week should be more volatile, though, as several of these teams will get their last chances to make some national noise before settling into their conference races.


Previous weeks
Week 6
Week 5
Week 4
Week 3
Week 2
Week 1

1. Xavier (10-1)
Last week: 1
In their last two losses - by two points to Stanford in the Elite Eight last year and by one point at Duke last week - the Musketeers have gone down because of two missed layups, a Stanford layup at the buzzer and having their own layup blocked at the buzzer. Talk about torture. At least they get another crack at Stanford Tuesday.
UPDATE: Stanford 89, Xavier 52. Did not see this kind of result coming, at all. Can anyone out there explain it?

2. Marist (9-2)
Last week: 2
Would have loved to have seen what the Red Foxes could do at Arizona State this week, but winter storm issues forced the game to be canceled. No biggie, though. With wins over Louisville, Nebraska, Houston and at Villanova, Marist still got a whole lot done during its non-conference sked. Big props to senior guard and Duel in the Desert MVP Erica Allenspach, who earned MAAC player-of-the-week honors for the second time in a row.

3. Bowling Green (11-1)
Last week: 3
Lauren Prochaska saw her consecutive free throw streak end at 70 during the Falcons' 82-59 thumping of Canisius. Guess you really can't make them all, although with Prochaska, we were starting to wonder. UPDATE: Bowling Green 73, Butler 64

4. Green Bay (10-1)
Last week: 4
The Phoenix remain the No. 1 team in the collegeinsider.com mid-major poll, and while we're comfortable with where we have them here, we won't argue with anyone that believes this is the best team.
UPDATE: Green Bay 70, South Dakota 53. UPDATE: Green Bay 69, Detroit 62. Senior Kayla Tetschlag cracks the 1,000-point barrier.

5. Florida Gulf Coast (9-0)
Last week: 5
Last week's 73-69 victory over Indiana gave the Eagles three wins over BCS-conference teams this season - FGCU has also beaten Virginia Tech and Seton Hall. The win was also their 28th straight at home, the third-longest such streak behind UConn and Stanford. And with Stanford hosting Xavier and UConn this week, the Eagles just might find themselves in that No. 2 slot.

6. Charlotte (10-2)
Last week: 6
The 49ers will put their 7-game winning streak on the line Wednesday against No. 21 Old Dominion in the Tulane DoubleTree Classic. A win will set up a likely meeting with the No. 15 host school. UPDATE: Old Dominion 81, Charlotte 75. UPDATE: Charlotte 80, Nicholls State 54

7. Gonzaga (10-3)
Last week: 8
In their current 8-game winning streak, the Zags have scored at least 90 points six times and cracked the 100-point barrier twice. Anything close to that kind of firepower against their next opponent - No. 14 Notre Dame Wednesday in Seattle - would be a major statement. UPDATE: Notre Dame 70, Gonzaga 61. UPDATE: Gonzaga 91, Seattle 64

8. Princeton (8-3)
Last week: 7
As women's basketball guru Mel Greenberg points out, an Ivy League team with an RPI of 28 (according to collegerpi.com) is pretty much unheard of. UPDATE: Princeton 67, Davidson 61. UPDATE: Princeton 71, Wake Forest 63. Tigers beating an ACC team on the road is particularly impressive since they did it without sophomore star Niveen Rasheed, who suffered a knee injury early in Wednesday's second half against Davidson. Hope it's nothing serious.

9. Houston (8-2)
Last week: 9
The Cougars have a major opportunity Tuesday night when No. 19 Georgetown visits Hofheinz Pavillion. Houston is 1-0 against Big East teams so far, having downed Louisville in the Duel in the Desert.
UPDATE: Georgetown 77, Houston 37. The Hoyas scored 35 of the game's first 41 points. Maybe the Cougars thought their break ended Wednesday, not Tuesday. To be fair, the Cougars played without Sr. F Courtney Taylor (15.8 ppg, 11.7 rpg), who sat out with a knee injury. But that doesn't explain a 40-point loss at home. Check out these extremely candid quotes from Houston coach Todd Buchanan

10. Middle Tennessee State (9-3)
Last week: 10
The Blue Raiders have already played the nation's 14th-toughest schedule, and the degree of difficulty will be ratcheted up a notch or two after Wednesday's visit to No. 11 Kentucky. UPDATE: No. 11 Kentucky 81, MTSU 72

11. UC Davis (9-2)
Last week: 11
The Aggies continue to rule at their Pavilion. Last week's 70-54 victory over Santa Clara improved their record to 5-0 at home this season and was their 13th straight in their own building. No secret as to how they pulled their latest triumph off - the Aggies scored 35 points off 34 Santa Clara turnovers. UPDATE: Cal State  Fullerton 58, UC Davis 56: Aggies see their 13-game homecourt winning streak snapped.

12. Drexel (7-2)
Last week: 12
The Dragons made a nice statement last week by going on the road and knocking off Penn State. Junior guard Kamile Nacickaite earned shared the CAA weekly top player honors after her career high-tying 27-point effort against the Nittany Lions. The game also included the 1,000th career point by Dragons senior Jasmina Rosseel. UPDATE: No. 5 Texas A&M 74, Drexel 45. UPDATE: Drexel 64, UTSA 37

13. Central Michigan (8-3)
Last week: NR
We'll admit it, we were sleeping on these guys. Their 16-point victory over Ole Miss woke us up, and after they followed that up with a 25-point pasting of Wichita State, we now have both feet planted firmly on the Chippewa bandwagon. It's also opened our eyes to multi-talented senior forward Kaihla Szunko, a 3.84 grade-point average student who over the past two weeks had one double-double, one triple-double (21 points, 16 rebounds and 10 steals vs. Ole Miss) and two MAC Player of the Week awards. Oh, and she also became the 20th member of the program's 1,000-point club. Other than that....  UPDATE: Pittsburgh 94, Central Michigan 78. Sizzling Panthers shot 12-of-17 from 3-point range, 14-of-18 from the free throw line.

14. Louisiana Tech (6-4)
Last week: 14
Two of the most tradition-rich programs in the sport will square off when the Lady Techsters meet Georgia on Wednesday in the opening round of Florida International's Fun & Sun Classic. Georgia and Louisiana Tech rank No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in all-time NCAA Tournament bids and weeks ranked in the AP poll. Not a  lot of history between the two, though, as they've only met six times and the most recent meeting was 1996. UPDATE: Louisiana Tech 77, Georgia 62. Adrienne Johnson (30 points, 11 rebounds) was a beast. UPDATE: Marquette 83, Louisiana Tech 75. Marquette shot 65.3 percent from the field. Or, as Lady Techsters coach Teresa Weatherspoon put it, "We didn't defend."

15. Tulane (8-2)
Last week: 16
Ideal set-up for Tulane in its own DoubleTree Classic beginning Wednesday - a tune-up to work out the kinks against Nicholls State (RPI 272) followed by a quality Silent Majority matchup against either Old Dominion or Charlotte. UPDATE: Tulane 84, Nicholls State 65. UPDATE: Tulane 62, Old Dominion 59

16. Richmond (8-4)
Last week: 19
Another casualty to the winter storm - the Spiders' home game Tuesday against Boston University, which has been postponed indefinitely. Richmond will now put its four-game winning streak on the line Thursday at Radford. UPDATE: Richmond 73, Radford 50

17. Hampton (6-4)
Last week: 17
Interesting tests this week for the Lady Pirates, winners of five straight. On paper Hampton looks to be the class of the Georgia State Invitational beginning Wednesday (Troy, Mississippi Valley State and Georgia State round out the field). But it's not easy to come off a break and win two games on the road, with one potentially on your opponents' home floor. UPDATE: Hampton 61, Troy 43. UPDATE: Hampton 74, Georgia State 44. Lady Pirates dominate Panthers to win Georgia State Invitational.

18. Fresno State (8-4)
Last week: 18
Bulldogs will look to pick up a quality win Wednesday when USC (7-3) visits the Save Mart Center. Here's hoping their 3-point shots are falling. UPDATE: USC 82, Fresno State 78: Bulldogs fall despite 29 points from Jaleesa Ross (7 of 12 3 pointers) and 13-of-28 shooting from 3-point range. USC's Jacki Gemelos, the oft-injured former No. 1 national recruit, had a career-high 27 points.

19. Duquesne (9-2)
Last week: 20
The Dukes have won six straight road games, one shy of the program record. But stop the presses if they go on and collect consecutive victory No. 7 - next up is Tuesday's visit to No. 13 Ohio State.
UPDATE: Stop the presses - Duquesne 71, Ohio State 67

20. James Madison (6-5)
Last week: 22
Boosted by her school-record 42-point effort against Virginia, senior guard Dawn Evans now leads Division I in scoring (26.1 ppg). A reigning CAA Co-Player of the Week, Evans also broke two conference records against the Cavaliers, for 3-pointers made and attempted. Her career totals of 325 and 951 surpassed the old CAA standards of 323 and 941 set by Old Dominion's T.J. Jordan from 2004-08. UPDATE: JMU 82, Western Carolina 47

21. Old Dominion (6-4)
Last week: 23
The Lady Monarchs haven't won a non-conference game outside of their own Constant Center since Nov. 16, 2008 when they topped Dayton 70-58 at the World Vision Classic hosted by the University of Texas. They'll almost certainly snap that streak in one of the two games at this week's Tulane DoubleTree Classic, but the Lady Monarchs would love to get this gorilla off its back in Wednesday's opener against Charlotte. UPDATE: Old Dominion 81, Charlotte 75. UPDATE: Tulane 62, ODU 59

22. Nevada (9-2)
Last week: NR
Wolfpack guard Tahnee Robinson earned Caribbean Classic MVP honors after averaging 24.2 points in victories over Illinois State and Ball State. Nevada is off to the best start in program history. UPDATE: Nevada 74, Weber State 72

23. St. Joseph's (8-3)
Last week: 24
The Hawks' 50-45 victory over Delaware comes with a caveat, as Blue Hens star Elena Delle Donne sat out the contest after feeling fatigued. That's not St. Joseph's fault, though, and the victory was their fifth straight.
UPDATE: St. Joe's 67, New Hampshire (2-8) 66: Whew! The Hawks may have enjoyed their break a little too much. Michelle Baker's layup with 4.2 seconds left saved St. Joe's from an embarrassing first-round loss in their own tournament. UPDATE: St. Joseph's 75, Lafayette 40

24. Monmouth (8-2)
Last week: 25
The Hawks' opening-round opponent in their own tournament this week, Brown, may not sound too threatening. But Ivy League programs have bared some surprising teeth this non-conference season. In addition to Princeton's heroics, Yale shocked Florida State and Brown owns a win over Florida. Having said that, you have to like Monmouth's chances to extend its winning streak to eight. UPDATE: Brown 75, Monmouth 71. Like we said, you have to like Brown's chances.... UPDATE: Monmouth 60, Binghamton 51

25. Missouri State (9-3)
Last week: NR
The Bears sprinted off on a 30-2 run in last week's 66-39 demolition of Morgan State to wrap up their best non-conference performance in seven years. Can't understand why these guys fell out of the rankings in the first place. UPDATE: Missouri State 82, Southern Illinois 50. Lady Bears roll in MVC opener.

Hey, what about us?

St. Bonaventure (8-4): Won 5 of their last six, including a win over Marist. Loss by 5 to MTSU. UPDATE: St. Bonaventure 62, Sacred Heart 54. UPDATE: No. 6 West Virginia 62, St. Bonaventure 53

Gardner-Webb (7-4): Heartbreaking 59-58 loss to Purdue. UPDATE: Gardner-Webb 88, Tennessee Temple 40. UPDATE: No. 10 North Carolina 83, Gardner-Webb 62

Hofstra (8-1): Eight straight wins since a season-opening loss to Virginia. UPDATE: San Diego 85, Hofstra 83 (OT). Love the SD site's headline: "Conners, Mason Swallow the Pride". UPDATE: Cincinnati 65, Hofstra 63

Memphis (9-3): Six straight wins since losing at Kansas on Nov. 27. UPDATE: Memphis 62, McNeese State 47. UPDATE: Memphis 83, Jackson State 64

Dayton (7-5): Have a feeling this team is about to get on a roll. UPDATE: Dayton 101, Harvard 80. Flyers top 100 points for the third time this season.

Temple (7-5): Didn't see that loss to Eastern Michigan coming. UPDATE: No. 3 Duke 71, Temple 64

TCU (6-6) - Came oh-so-close before falling by 3 to Georgia. UPDATE: TCU 76, Texas Southern 55

San Diego State (5-5): Fell off our radar after dropping 4 of first 5 but have gone 4-1 since. UPDATE: San Diego State 72, UTSA 52. UPDATE: No. 7 Texas A&M 96, San Diego State 52

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