In The Paint

SI.com's All-American Hoops Blog

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Ronald Moore
Ronald Moore/Lou Capozzola/SI

For the second week in a row, the SI.com Mid-Major Top Ten suffered some major losses, with six teams going down in the dog days of the regular season. The most surprising was No. 1 Butler, which lost at home to a sub-.500 Loyola squad.
 
The mid-majors take center stage this weekend with BracketBusters, and a few teams will heavily influence what happens to them on Selection Sunday.
 
For the purposes of these power rankings and other mid-major reports that appear in this blog, the  mid-major teams are schools from OUTSIDE the following conferences: ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10, SEC, MWC, WAC, A-10, CUSA.
 
1. Siena (21-6) -- This spot has been reserved for Butler for a while, but the Saints slip past the Bulldogs after Butler's hiccup. Siena has a healthy No. 28 RPI after six Top 100 wins. Siena gets a shot at a seventh this weekend against Northern Iowa.
 
2. Butler (22-3)
-- When does Brad Stevens start to get some national Coach of the Year talk? With one of the most inexperienced teams in the nation, Stevens has guided the Bulldogs back into the Top 25 and has them poised for their third straight NCAA trip.
 
3. Gonzaga (19-5) -- The Zags were 2-0 this week, but were not overly impressive against a weakened St. Mary's (72-70) and a weak San Francisco (78-73), although both were on the road.
 
4. Davidson (22-4) -- There is a big sigh of relief coming out of Davidson as it appears Steph Curry's ankle injury is not too serious. Needless to say, the Wildcats need the potential All-American this weekend against Butler in BracketBusters' premier game.
 
5. Creighton (21-6) -- The Bluejays may be second in the Missouri Valley, one game behind Northern Iowa, but they are the conference's hottest team. Creighton has won six straight, including a win at UNI, and five of those wins have been by double digits.
 
6. Western Kentucky (17-8) -- I'm trying hard to believe in the Hilltoppers, but they must play better on the road. Saturday's loss at Troy dropped WKU to 5-7 on the road, with only two of those wins by double digits.
 
7. Northern Iowa (18-8) -- Creighton is hot, but the Panthers are still holding onto first place in the Missouri Valley. If the Panthers harbor any hope of getting an at-large bid, winning at Siena this weekend would be a big start.
 
8. Buffalo (17-6) -- The Mid-Major Power Rankings curse bit Buffalo last week as the Bulls lost at Ball State. Still, the Bulls are the favorite to win the MAC tournament and had won nine straight prior to the Ball State slip-up.
 
9. VCU (18-8) -- The Colonial has been a dogfight between VCU, Northeastern and George Mason, and right now VCU and Northeastern are tied for first. All three teams are strong, but none will earn an at-large, meaning it will all come down to the CAA. With Eric Maynor's history of clutch play, my money is on the Rams.
 
10. St. Mary's (20-5) -- It appears St. Mary's has gotten its feet back under it after losing Patty Mills. The Gaels almost beat Gonzaga, then avenged an 18-point loss to Portland -- the game after Mills was hurt. A win over Utah State (RPI: 33) this Saturday would do wonders for St. Mary's at-large consideration.

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