After non-con, the top 5 teams in rankings and/or rpi
Grand Canyon (#1/rpi1): Early impressive victories for St Edwards and West Virginia Wesleyan plus a ridiculous ability to put the ball through the hoop equals the top ranked team via both measures. 12 seniors and juniors are experienced in the motion/press attack. Half the roster possesses LP or PER above 90. Grand Canyon owns the largest scoring differential at 22.9 against the 12th ranked SOS. ATH isn't elite, but GC has the highest SPD and PER of any team. 6 games remaining against ranked teams in the Cal CAA.
St Mary's (#2/2): All the consensus #2 team has done is beat everyone in front of them, including an undefeated run through the Yarnell. They are fresh off their most impressive victory, a 22 point beatdown of ranked Queens. Few have better ATH, DEF, and STA than mduncanhogs team and C Mark Murphy rules the paint. St marys has 6 games remaining against ranked teams in the Heartland and has amassed the 17th SOS before conference play.
Pfeiffer (#4/4): If you want to see a blueprint for a zone team, check out bow2dacowz squad. Pfeiffer has athletic defenders, particularly in the post, that make any adventure to the paint suicidal. They are a bucket away from a perfect 10-0 record and have impressive wins over California Davis and Valdosta St. The 8th ranked SOS and 2nd best FG% defense are a formidable combo. 2 games remaining against teams (Longwood) in the always tough CVAC.
incarnate Word (#3/7): A talented roster brings a good combo of offense and defense to the table, but it doesn't always translate to results. Good wins over Bellarmine and Queens are offset by a respectable 4 point loss to Longwood and an inexplicable 10 point loss to a Ouachita Baptist team with 8 scholarship players. 5 players score in double digits and there is a chance IW approaches an overall team score of 700. SOS is 9th and 6 games remain against ranked teams in the Heartland.
West Virginia Wesleyan (#10/3): WVW has won 9 of 10 to start, with the best win being an OT victory over Adams St. The lone loss is a 32 point demolition at the hands of Grand Canyon. Another good win just came versus ranked St Rose. The SOS is 11, but there are no ranked teams remaining in N AmericN conference play. This looks like one of those teams people will question at tourney time, but in the words of DJ Khalid, all they do is win.
California Davis (#12/5): Cal Davis owns impressive wins against Wisconsin Parkside and Bryant, while dropping games against Pfieffer and Chadron St. This well rounded team has zero freshmen on the roster and few teams work harder than the kids on this team. 6 games remaining against ranked teams in Cal CAA play.
Longwood (#5/23): bbunch owns a 4 point victory against Incarnate Word, and two losses to N Alabama and St Rose by a combined 4 points. It's a typical Longwood team built around ATH and DEF. The SOS is only 70th, but I'd attribute that to some underachieving by the teams on Longwood's schedule. Longwood faces Pfeiffer twice in CVAC play.
I'd add the defensive studs of Wisconsin Parkside to the mix. Who do you like?