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Top Five: Mid-majors this season

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Scott Gleeson
With conference play starting up soon in college basketball, here are five mid-major teams that were impressive in nonconference play:

5. Ohio (10-1) » The Bobcats' only loss this season came against No. 4 Louisville, and a recent 17-point obliteration of Northern Iowa was perhaps their biggest win. Ohio will need to fend off a strong Kent State squad to win the Mid-American.

4. Harvard (9-1) » The Crimson Tide jumped into the AP Top 25 for the first time ever following impressive wins over Central Florida and Florida State. They got clobbered by Connecticut but have a tournament-worthy resume should they not win the Ivy League.

3. Wichita State (9-2) » The Shockers return a bulk of their cast from a 29-win team. They started off shaky with back-to-back losses to Alabama and Temple in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. But with quality wins over UNLV, Utah State and Tulsa, Wichita State could be one of multiple Missouri Valley teams in the NCAAs.

2. Creighton (9-1) »

The No. 23 Bluejays have lost only to scrappy Saint Joseph's but have dominated the rest of their nonconference competition. Their only close call was an 85-83 win over San Diego State, a game in which they came back from 17 points down. Sophomore Doug McDermott, the coach's son, is having an All-American year (25.2 ppg, 8.6 rpg).

1. Murray State (13-0) » The Racers are the only undefeated mid-major left. The Ohio Valley team had a signature win over Memphis and started its conference season with a dominating win over Tennessee-Martin. Junior point guard Isaiah Canaan (19.3 ppg, 3.8 apg) paces the 22nd-ranked Racers.

- Scott Gleeson

sgleeson@washingtonexaminer.com

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