How good is Murray State?
The Racers are far from perfect, but they're built to wreak havoc this March
All season long, Insider will be keeping a close eye on teams from conferences that haven't usually produced multiple NCAA tournament bids to see which squads outside of the spotlight look the strongest come tournament time. To that end, we'll be ranking the top performers from all conferences outside of the A-10, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Mountain West, Pac-12 and SEC. One new caveat for this season: With the movement of BYU to the WCC, we will not be including the Cougars because of their established performance record. Likewise, Gonzaga and Memphis will not be considered in these rankings.
They're ranked ninth in the latest coaches' poll. Joe Lunardi pegs them as a 7-seed in the NCAA tourney. And they still haven't lost a game.
So how in the world do the Murray State Racers only place eighth in this week's Mid-Major Power Rankings?
It's a great question. And the only answer is that while the Racers keep beating teams, they're not doing so particularly efficiently. Murray State ranks 40th in the nation in offensive efficiency and 70th at the defensive end. In barely beating a weak Morehead State team last Wednesday, the Racers turned it over 14 times in a slow-paced game and shot just 43.2 percent. Factor in a woeful schedule (266th in the nation, according to Kenpom.com) and this much is clear: The Racers have a perfect record, but they are far from a perfect team.
But there's a twist to this plot when it comes to how Murray State will perform in March. While these power rankings are built solely on efficiency margin, the secret sauce behind Giant Killers uses many more ingredients and targets different strengths in teams that are likely to knock off top dogs. At this point in the season, Murray State is already building a frighteningly good GK résumé.
To see the full Mid-Major Power Rankings, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- Stony Brook rallies to top No. 13 Washington
- No. 1 Wildcats use D to fend off No. 4 L'ville
- Fisher: Polee collapsed in practice last year
- Seton Hall loses Whitehead to stress fracture
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider College Basketball
New on Insider
Lunardi: Pac-12 locked into 2 bids?
Player Rankings: Davis over Robinson for POY
Lunardi: Where UW, Northwestern fall
Hume: Bid thieves are few
Bilas: Sizing up the Big East
Gasaway: Pac-12 stronger than it seems
Hume: Best bets among bubble teams
Lunardi: VCU may be first bid thief
Ford: Time running out for 5 NBA prospects
Lunardi: How UConn, Texas, others earn bids
Lunardi: Latest look at the bubble
Fraschilla: Previewing Big 12 tournament
Bilas Index: UNC remains at No. 3
Pomeroy: Trends predict UNC-Duke clash
Lunardi: No No. 1 seed for Big Ten?
Player Rankings: Purdue's pivotal players
Ford: Will MKG, Cody Zeller stay in school?
Gasaway: Rebounding won't crush Orange
Telep: UCLA's top recruits remain committed
Bilas: How Michigan State can still improve
Bilas: Keys to the Hoyas' continued success
Lunardi: Watch out for NCAA bid thieves
Lunardi Rundown: Kentucky is No. 1 overall
Bilas Index: Kansas returns to the top five
Make smart bracket picks by spotting Cinderella early.
And don't forget these Insider mainstays:
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
The national recruiting analyst weighs in on news and rumors surrounding the top high school prospects.
Stay on top of all the latest recruiting buzz.
Every D-1 player's efficiency rating.