2023 James Madison vs Hampton - Men's

Mid-Major Power Rankings: Upsets Cause Chaos, A New No. 1 Takes Over

Mid-Major Power Rankings: Upsets Cause Chaos, A New No. 1 Takes Over

A week of upsets throughout college basketball claimed a variety of the top teams in the FloHoops Mid-Major Power Rankings, paving the way for a new No. 1.

Dec 11, 2023 by Kyle Kensing
Mid-Major Power Rankings: Upsets Cause Chaos, A New No. 1 Takes Over

Six of the top seven teams in the Dec. 4 FloHoops.com Mid-Major Power Rankings lost in a week when upsets ruled college basketball. 

Gonzaga, Colorado State, FAU, San Diego State, Princeton and Nevada all dropped decisions — four of the six within 24 hours of each other on a wild weekend — to shake up the Dec. 11 Power-Rankings. 

A new No. 1 emerges for the first time in the 2023-24, as James Madison remains undefeated through the most chaotic week of the campaign to date. 

The Dukes are one of only seven unbeaten teams remaining throughout college basketball, and the only from a mid-major conference after Princeton's 74-70 loss at Saint Joseph's on Sunday. 

That's noteworthy in the context of the Power Rankings especially. James Madison's non-conference schedule may not be as impressive as some of the other teams appearing here, and Michigan State's recent struggles may take some of the luster off the opening-night, overtime win. 

However, the dearth of undefeated teams around the nation speaks to just how difficult it is to go more than a month into the season without a loss. The Dukes should still be unbeaten come Jan. 13 when they host Sun Belt Conference counterpart Appalachian State, one of the breakout surprises of the campaign's first few weeks. 

As this past week proved, however, should and will are two much different realities in this sport. 

Games to Watch Dec. 12-17 

Tuesday, Dec. 12  

Monmouth at Seton Hall, 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT

On a wild weekend around college basketball, Monmouth's Jakari Spence delivered the wildest finish. His buzzer-beating 3-pointer to complete the Hawks' comeback against Northern Illinois had personal significance.


Monmouth heads into a Garden State showdown with the BIG EAST's Seton Hall Pirates, and the Hawks are seeking their second signature win over a power-conference opponent. 

  • Hofstra at Duke, 7 p.m./4 p.m.
  • Cal Baptist at Oregon

Wednesday, Dec. 13 

  • Appalachian State at Queens, 7 p.m./4 p.m. 
  • Southern Miss at McNeese, 8 p.m./5 p.m. 
  • Seattle U. at San Francisco, 10 p.m./7 p.m. 
  • Weber State at Nevada, 10 p.m./7 p.m.
  • Utah State at Santa Clara, 10 p.m./7 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 14

  • The Citadel at Charleston, 7 p.m./4 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 15

  • Cleveland State at Bradley, 8 p.m./5 p.m.
  • UConn vs. Gonzaga (in Seattle), 10 p.m./7 p.m.
  • Portland State at San Diego, 10 p.m./7p.m.

The University of San Diego knocked off Arizona State over the weekend in a game that included one of the more entertaining inbounds plays you'll see all season.


Saturday, Dec. 16

  • Ball State vs. Indiana State (in Indianapolis), 1:45 p.m./10:45 a.m. 
  • Norfolk State at Hofstra, 2 p.m./11 a.m.
  • Santa Clara vs. Washington State (in Phoenix), 2 p.m./11 a.m.
  • Temple at VCU, 2 p.m/11 a.m.
  • Clemson at Memphis, 3 p.m./12 noon 
  • Missouri State at Tulsa, 3 p.m./12 noon
  • FAU vs. Saint Bonaventure (in Springfield, Mass.), 4 p.m./1 p.m.
  • James Madison at Hampton, 4 p.m./1 p.m.
  • High Point at Georgia, 5:30 p.m./2:30 p.m.
  • Southern Illinois at Wichita State, 7 p.m./4 p.m.
  • Dayton at Cincinnati, 7 p.m./4 p.m.
  • Winthrop at Xavier, 7:30 p.m./4:30 p.m.
  • South Dakota at UC Irvine, 10 p.m./7 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 17

  • Cal State Fullerton at Boise State, 4 p.m./1 p.m. 
  • Northern Kentucky at Eastern Kentucky, 4 p.m./1 p.m.
  • Louisiana at McNeese, 4 p.m./1 p.m.
  • Nevada at Hawai'i, 10 p.m./7 p.m.

Dec. 11 Top 15

1. James Madison

Continuing along as the last remaining undefeated mid-major program, James Madison returns to Coastal Athletic Association territory for a non-conference matchup this week with commonwealth counterpart Hampton. 

Hampton's Tristan Maxwell put up a triple-double for the Pirates last week in a blowout of Virginia-Lynchburg. 


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2. Gonzaga 

Gonzaga's customary non-conference gauntlet cost the Bulldogs in the past week, as they dropped an in-state showdown with Washington for their second blemish of the season. Now this week, Mark Few's team will try to regroup with defending national champion Connecticut coming to Seattle for a quasi-neutral site matchup. 

The showdown is a rematch of last season's NCAA West Regional final, which the Huskies dominated 82-54 en route to their fifth national championship — and second since the retirement of legendary Jim Calhoun from the Div. I level. 

3. FAU 

The rigors of playing an absolute murderer's row in non-conference competition caught up with FAU over the weekend. The Owls had put together an impressive winning streak following a confounding loss to Bryant, but a 98-89 setback vs. Illinois in Madison Square Garden delivered the 2023 Final Four team its second loss of the season. 

FAU's difficult schedule continues in the coming week with a meeting against Saint Bonaventure in the birth of basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts. The Bonnies can make noise in the Mid-Major Power Rankings, sitting just beyond the top 15 this week but on a five-game winning streak since their 2-2 start. 

5. Colorado State 

A Saint Mary's team desperate for a signature win got it at Colorado State's expense. The Gaels succeeded in forcing the Rams into a rock fight, which played into Saint Mary's strengths in a 64-61 decision. 

That knocked Colorado State from the ranks of unbeaten. CSU plays three more non-conference games before jumping in the treacherous Mountain West Conference slate against fellow Power Rankings top-15 team New Mexico. 

6. Utah State  

The Aggies' ascent continues. Utah State's strong showing at last month's Cayman Islands Classic helped ignite a winning streak that's now at eight games after wins last week against good UC Irvine and University of San Diego teams. 


Great Osobor is making a solid case for All-American consideration early into the campaign with averages of 19.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game to pace USU.

7. New Mexico 

One of the hottest teams in the country with wins in its last eight, New Mexico routed Santa Clara in the weekend's Jack Jones Classic, 93-76. The Lobos' uptempo brand of basketball is producing 86.1 points per game — good for 19th in the nation — and has done so largely without Jamal Mashburn Jr. in the lineup. 

Donovan Dent's emergence as a primary scorer adds another layer to a New Mexico team that came into 2023-24 already boasting two potential leading weapons in Mashburn and Jaelen House. 

8. San Diego State  

A difficult week almost became a lost week for 2023 national runner-up San Diego State. The Aztecs fell at Grand Canyon in a game with major implications for the Mid-Major Power Rankings, then returned home to face a tough UC Irvine bunch without Jaedon LeDee. 

LeDee, an early front-runner for National Player of the Year, sat out due to an elbow injury. SDSU struggled to score without him and nearly coughed up a double-digit-point lead to the Anteaters. However, Darrion Trammell, Micah Parrish and Jay Pal stepped up down the stretch to give the Aztecs a one-point win with their clutch play in the final minute. 

9. Grand Canyon 

Speaking of GCU, the Antelopes had a massive week. The 79-73 win over San Diego State marked the program's first-ever win against an AP Top 25 opponent, as Ray Harrison and Gabe McGlothan each stepped up in significant ways. Harrison finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, while McGlothan had 15 points and 13 boards playing opposite SDSU's standout LeDee. 

Then, the 'Lopes went on the road to beat Conference USA favorite Liberty, 69-64. The victory extended Grand Canyon's winning streak to five games before a year-end stretch that pits GCU against a tough Louisiana Tech bunch. 

10. Drake 

Since its loss to Stephen F. Austin in the Cayman Islands Classic, Drake has been on a roll. The Bulldogs closed out the Thanksgiving week tournament with an emphatic win over an Akron team projected to contend for the Mid-American Conference championship, beat perennial NCAA Tournament qualifier Texas Southern upon returning stateside, and went into the Las Vegas area to rout Nevada over the weekend, 72-53. 


Tucker DeVries is posting 19.6 points, seven rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game as one of the nation's most complete playmakers. 

11. Indiana State 

Make it eight straight for Indiana State. The Sycamores catapulted into the Power Rankings for the first time this season with wins over Missouri Valley Conference foes Southern Illinois and Bradley. They followed up with a dominant week in non-conference competition, blasting Northern Illinois on the road, 90-67, and cruising past Southern Indiana, 98-54. 

Indiana State now boasts the nation's ninth-most prolific offense at 88.5 points per game, paced by five players scoring in double-figures per game. 

12. Princeton 

Princeton's outstanding start finally came to an end to close out the upset-filled weekend. After a hard-fought win over a Drexel team fresh off beating Villanova, the Tigers fell to another Philadelphia opponent, Saint Joseph's, 74-70. 

To Saint Joseph's credit, the Hawks are just outside the top 15 and could make that jump before the New Year. Princeton will aim to start another winning streak with a couple of non-Div. I matchups before Christmastime, and a marquee matchup with Delaware on Dec. 30. 

13. Dayton 

Playing a challenging non-conference schedule sent Dayton to a 3-2 start, but the Flyers have since run off four straight in impressive fashion. UD beat a high-quality SMU squad on Nov. 29, 65-63 in Dallas, then put up 82 points in one of the Flyers' best offensive performances of the season Saturday vs. Troy. 

A trip to Cincinnati this coming weekend marks a significant opportunity for Dayton to stake its claim as the team to beat in the Atlantic 10. 

14. Nevada 

The Wolf Pack's first loss of the season sent them sliding down to No. 14 after sitting squarely in the top 10 last week. An impressive win at Washington was the real highlight of an otherwise middling schedule for Nevada to date, and coming up on the wrong side of a blowout vs. Drake at the Jack Jones Classic sets the team back a bit. 

It will have plenty of chance to reestablish itself as one of the premier mid-major teams with the upcoming stretch, however. The Pack hosts Weber State before heading to Hawai'i for a non-conference date with UH — a potential Mid-Major Power Rankings team as the season unfolds — and then taking on a tough field at the Diamond Head Classic. 

15. Appalachian State 

No team around the country responded better to a slow start than Appalachian State. The Mountaineers dropped two of their first three, but have since won six straight including a rout of UNC Wilmington — a team just outside of this week's top 15 thanks to the Seahawks' historic win at Kentucky — and an upset of AP Top 25-ranked Auburn. 

All the more impressive is that Appalachian State is off to perhaps the most impressive start in program history without a clear star player. No one averages more than 13 points per game — however, of players who have appeared in at least eight games, eight are averaging at least 7.1 points per contest. 

It's one of the most balanced attacks in all of college basketball.