There are a number of really good mid-major programs you can expect to see inside the AP Top 25 this season.
The initial AP Top 25 rankings were released today with only two mid-major programs making the list.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs open as the No.1 seed for the second consecutive year along with St. Bonaventure cracking the list at No.23. Its fairly common for the mid-majors to get zero respect early in the season but more often than not you’ll see several more mid-majors receive votes as the year progresses.
Here are some mid-major programs you can expect to see crack the AP Top 25 at some point during the 2021-22 college basketball season:
Iona Gaels – It took Rick Pitino just one year to win the MAAC and bring his team to the NCAA tournament. Now he’s getting players into Iona and rival Siena lost their two best players (Manny Camper turned pro and Jalen Pickett transferred to Penn State).
Louisiana Tech – Went 24-8 last year led by Conference-USA Freshman of the Year Kenneth Lofton Jr. These guys can play and will cause problems for anybody.
Colorado State – They did receive 11 votes by the AP so they’re already in the mix to jump into the polls if they can get some key wins early. Stud David Roddy returns after being named first team All-MWC. Should’ve made the tournament last year so expect the Rams to play with purpose this year.
Boise State – Another MWC squad who had an argument to make March Madness at 19-9. Loaded with high major transfers who can play with anyone including Abu Kigab (Oregon), Devonaire Dutrive (Arizona) and Emmanuel Akot (Arizona).
Drake – Received four votes by the AP even though they lost Joseph Yesufu to Kansas via transfer. However, they return the likes of Roman Penn, Tank Hemphill, DJ Wilkins and Tremell Murphy who are four of their top five scorers from an NCAA tournament team.
Belmont – Went 26-4 last year and they return just about everybody including 6’11 Nick Muszynski who was first team All-OVC and one of the best bigs in the country. Sophomore guard Jacobi Wood is a star in the making as well.
Morehead State – Won the OVC and played in March Madness last year and they return the core of the team including stud forward 6’10 Johni Broome who was OVC Freshman of the Year and first team All-OVC plus they brought in Wofford transfer Tray Hollowell.
Long shot teams to break the Top 25 also include:
Hawaii– They’ve got some really nice players coming in including Kamaka Hepa who transferred from Texas and was a former 5-star recruit.
Oral Roberts – Although they lost Kevin Obanor to Texas Tech via transfer they do return Max Abmas the leading scorer in the country. They went to the Sweet 16 last year with Abmas who will get an NBA look next year. So its not unrealistic we see them in the Top 25 at some point this year.