18. Colorado State (11-1)
Throughout the first two months of this season, the MWC has proven that they are still a somewhat deep mid-major conference and undoubtedly one of the best non-power conferences. Colorado State has been a significant part of that proof, still sitting pretty with their lone blemish being to Saint Mary’s two weeks ago. They were back in action the last week and got back on track against subpar competition.
The Rams actually played way back on Sunday, though it was a game with very little drama, delivering a 86-54 over CSU Pueblo, a non-D1 school. All five Rams starters scored in double figures led by Isaiah Stevens and his 18 points. Friday was slightly tougher as Colorado State went on the road and won 76-67 at Loyola Marymount. Nique Clifford led the charge with 23 points while Stevens added 19 points and 7 assists, getting Colorado State their second road win of the season.
This team’s wins include Creighton (by 21 points), Colorado, and Washington, which is certainly a better resume than many other mid-major programs, even some of the other ranked teams on this list. While the Rams would certainly feel better if they were still unbeaten, there’s no shame in that loss to a strong Gaels squad and they’ve done more than enough to prove their value. Another non-D1 opponent (Adams St.) awaits before MWC play begins right after New Year’s.