In The Paint's All-American Hoops Blog

Butler vs. Davidson
Butler's win over Davidson in the BracketBusters game gave the Bulldogs a huge boost/AP

BracketBusters shook up the Mid-Major Power Rankings a bit this week. Gonzaga, which views itself as too cool for BracketBusters, takes over at No. 1 after a careful comparison with Siena, which recorded one of BracketBusters better wins when it beat Northern Iowa.

1. Gonzaga (21-5) -- The Zags get the nod over Siena due to a 4-4 mark against projected NCAA teams, while Siena checks in at 1-3. Plus, even though it was early, Siena went 0-3 at the Old Spice Classic, while Gonzaga went 3-0 to win the tourney.

2. Siena (22-6)
-- The Saints appear safe even if they don't win the MAAC tournament, but they shouldn't get overly comfortable. An 0-4 record vs. the RPI top 50 might be tough to overcome if the bids start to dwindle due to some surprise conference tournament winners.

3. Butler (23-4) -- How rare is freshman Gordon Hayward? He's averaging 16.0 points per game on the road and 11.6 at home after his 27-point masterpiece in Butler's convincing win at Davidson on Saturday.
4. Creighton (23-6) -- The Bluejays have steadily lowered their RPI from 74 on Jan. 27 to 47 less than a month later thanks to an eight-game win streak, capped by a BracketBusters home win over George Mason. Creighton is two wins shy of (at least) sharing its first Missouri Valley title since 2002.

5. St. Mary's (22-5) -- The Gaels have reassured the selection committee they can win without Patty Mills, going 3-1 in their last four games with the one loss being a two-pointer to Gonzaga. Mills is on track to return for the WCC tournament. A good showing there and St. Mary's will be in the tournament for the third time in five years as an at-large.
6. Western Kentucky (19-8) -- The Hilltoppers could have used a high-profile BracketBusters game to boost their resume, but for some reason, no Sun Belt teams participated this year. Western is closing in on its third regular season title in four years.

7. Davidson (22-6) -- It is Southern Conference tournament or bust for the Wildcats, who were manhandled by Butler at home. Stephen Curry was off all day, thanks in part to a bad ankle. The biggest threats facing Davidson in the SoCon tourney? The Citadel and College of Charleston, both of whom split with Davidson this year.
8. North Dakota State (21-6) -- The Bison picked up an impressive 77-69 BracketBusters win at Wisconsin-Milwaukee, which had just beaten Butler. North Dakota State has a shot to win the Summit regular season title if it can win its final game at second-place Oral Roberts.

9. American (19-7) -- The Eagles have won eight straight and are on the verge of clinching homecourt throughout the Patriot League tournament. Garrison Carr hopes to lead Jeff Jones's club to its second straight NCAA tourney and second berth in school history.

10. VCU (19-9) – My colleague Seth Davis said on CBS on Sunday he thinks VCU will go deeper in the NCAA tournament than any mid-major team. Personally, I like Butler, but guard Eric Maynor justifies Davis' faith in the Rams. The CAA tournament will be no picnic with Northeastern and George Mason, but VCU will enjoy a decided homecourt advantage in 'neutral' Richmond.


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