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Men's basketball ranked No. 17 in Mid-Major Top 25 poll

Davis named chairman of Top 25 voting panel in 2008-09

November 5, 2008 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee is ranked No. 17 in the preseason Mid-Major Top 25 poll released by CollegeInsider.com this week.

The Blue Raiders received 203 points in the balloting and are ranked ahead of future foes Belmont (18) and South Alabama (19) and they are the highest-ranked Sun Belt team in the Top 25.

"It's kind of the like the preseason rankings for the conference races," Middle Tennessee Head Coach Kermit Davis said. "It's something that is there, it's great for fans and it is good publicity but I'm interested to see where we are in March."

Davis has been on the 31-member voting panel for the Mid-Major Top 25 in recent years and he has been selected to serve as chairman of the panel for the 2008-09 season.

"It's a privilege to be the chair because you are surrounded by a ton of outstanding college coaches that coach really good programs," Davis said. "CollegeInsider.com has done a good job for college basketball in general and obviously the coaches on the panel give it tons of credibility. Everyone on the panel takes a lot of time to research the teams playing well throughout the country and it is something they take great pride in doing."

Gonzaga received 15 of a possible 31 first-place votes to assume the top spot in the preseason Top 25. The Bulldogs were just three points ahead of No. 2 Davidson, which received 15 first-place votes and 751 points. St. Mary's garnered the remaining first-place vote and is No. 3 with 616 points.

Davis believes the poll is not only useful, but helpful, regarding postseason possibilities for teams appearing in it consistently. He cites several of last year's NCAA Tournament entries as examples.

"The popularity of mid-major basketball has grown a great deal over the past nine years; which is due in large part to CollegeInsider.com's advent of the Mid-Major Top 25," Davis said. "I don't think it's an accident that mid-major programs that have received at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament were fixtures at the top of the Mid-Major Top 25 poll.

"There are some outstanding teams and you will see some of them in the Mid-Major Top 25 have some outstanding out of conference wins. I believe the poll is looked at closely by various committees, why wouldn't it be? The NCAA selection committee is taking every bit of information it can collect into that room so you know they are taking that and looking at the rankings and where the coaches who see and play these teams rank them."

As chair of the panel, Davis initiated the concept of an on-line "Mid-Major Forum" to involve voting members and educate fans regarding the process.

"I have discussed with CollegeInsider.com the idea of a 'Mid-Major Forum," which will give fans the opportunity to ask questions about the process, to be answered by me and other members of the voting panel," Davis said. "I think it's important to create interaction with fans and I believe this forum will be an excellent way to help do that. Fans can look for the forum on the CollegeInsider.com site in the coming days."

The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit League, Sun Belt, and West Coast.

The CollegeInsider.com Preseason
Mid-Major Top 25 poll

1 Gonzaga (15) 754
2 Davidson (15) 751
3. St. Mary's (1) 616
4 Creighton 591
5 Siena 577
6 VCU 572
7 Kent State 497
8 San Diego 481
9 Cleveland State 406
10 Butler 361
11 Stephen F. Austin 308
12 Southern Illinois 302
13 Wright State 282
14 Miami (Ohio) 281
15 Old Diminion 216
16 Cornell 214
17 Middle Tennessee 203
18 Belmont 183
19 South Alabama 181
20 Oral Roberts 159
21 Rider 141
22 Mount St. Mary's 139
23 American 136
24 Western Michigan 129
25 Cal-State Northridge 118

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Illinois State 111, Portland State 91, Morgan State 88, George Mason 85, Drake 78, Northeastern 75, Oakland 74, Murray State 56, Western Kentucky 56, Akron 55, Arkansas Little Rock 48, Fairfield 45, Boston University 44, Winthrop 41, Wisconsin-Green Bay 37, Chattanooga 36, Pacific 36, Texas-Arlington 36, IUPUI 35, North Texas 26, Vermont 25, Cal State Fullerton 24, UC Santa Barbara 23, Bradley 22, Northern Iowa 20, Northern Arizona 20, UC Davis 18, UT Martin 18, Robert Morris 17, Santa Clara 15, Lamar 14, Niagara 14, Illinois-Chicago 12, Eastern Michigan 11, North Dakota State 9, Hartford 9, Ohio 9, Austin Peay 7, Northwestern State 7, UMBC 6, Sam Houston State 6, Valparaiso 5, Montana 4, VMI 4, Appalachian State 3, Jacksonville 3, Georgia State 2, Pennsylvania 2, College of Charleston 1.

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