1. Green Bay (6-2)
After getting blown out by Georgia State, Green Bay got a huge win at Miami (Fla.). Couple that with neutral-site wins against Florida Gulf Coast and Evansville, and the Phoenix have a pretty solid résumé so far.
2. Valparaiso (8-2)
Valpo rattled off an eight-game win streak that was snapped Saturday against New Mexico. The Crusaders’ dominance at the Challenge in Music City showed they have the pieces to compete for this conference title.
3. Detroit (6-3)
Detroit has lived up to its preseason billing. The Titans played a close game with Michigan and have a respectable wins against Toledo and South Florida. Saturday’s home game against Wichita State presents a huge opportunity for this program.
4. Cleveland State (4-4)
Starting point guard Charlie Lee was suspended for the first six games of the season, but Cleveland State remained competitive. The Vikings picked up a bad loss to Savannah State, but they also nearly beat MAAC favorite Iona and played a tight game with Louisville.
5. Youngstown State (7-4)
Youngstown State put together a challenging schedule, so a 5-4 record against Division I opponents isn’t bad. Only one of those nine games, a loss to Kent State, was played at home.
The Penguins’ worst loss is at Central Michigan, which ranks in Kenpom’s top 200.
6. Oakland (4-5)
After a 1-4 start, Oakland has won four of its last five and three in a row. The only loss in that five-game stretch is to Sun Belt favorite Georgia State. The Golden Grizzlies also have wins against MAC favorite Toledo and OVC contender Morehead State.
7. Wright State (5-4)
Wright State has not found any consistency, lacking consecutive wins against Division I opponents. The Raiders have a good win against Belmont, but they’ve also lost to Cal State Fullerton and Florida International.
It’s hard to know what to make of this up-and-down team as of now.
8. Milwaukee (4-5)
Guard Steve McWhorter is Milwaukee’s only consistent scorer, and that has been a problem. The Panthers are 0-5 in games where both teams score more than 65 points.
9. UIC (2-7)
UIC’s only Division I win is by three points at home against Western Illinois. Coming off a six-win season, this is starting to look like another rough one for the Flames.