Ranking the Top 10 Mid-Majors in College Basketball
Top 10 Mid-Majors in College Hoops
Duke. Kansas. Kentucky. Those are just a few teams we have been hearing about a lot in college basketball this season. That is natural since all three teams are very talented and all three have very storied programs. What about the little guys in college hoops, though? What about the less known teams? Luckily for those teams, we will be ranking the top 10 mid-majors in this article.
You will notice that there are a lot of teams from the Atlantic 10. The A 10 has a bunch of talent and is arguably good enough to be a power conference. Until it is actually deemed that, the teams in this conference will still be considered mid-majors.
There are a couple of no-brainers in here and I am sure many people could guess at least one team. Some mid-majors are ranked in the top 25 and all. Heck, one team, that made the Final Four last year, is even ranked in the top 10 of the top 25 rankings. Sorry for the spoiler alert there.
Louisiana Tech, Charlotte, Boise State and Saint Mary’s are all off to pretty good starts, but none of them made the cut. All four still could make the dance, but that will depend on how well they finish in conference play. That tends to be the case in mid-major conferences since the power conferences rule the NCAA tournament.
Gonzaga has been one of the best mid-majors for a long time now. Does it make the cut? Find out by reading on to see the top 10 mid-majors in college basketball.
10. Dayton Flyers
Dayton being the No. 10 team on this list shows you how many talented mid-majors there are this season. The reason it is ranked so low is because it has lost to USC and Illinois State. Not the worst losses in the world, but not the best either considering both teams are not even close to being ranked.
The Flyers hold a 12-3 record. Their best victories have come against Gonzaga, California and Ole Miss. They even beat an ACC team on the road in Georgia Tech. It is important to know that they only lost to Baylor by one point back in November.
Dayton is good enough to make the tourney, but it plays in a jam-packed Atlantic 10. Beating Saint Louis next will do wonders for this team and will have it heading in the right direction when it comes to making the Big Dance.
9. George Washington Colonials
George Washington has a number of good wins. Maybe not quality, but good ones. It has beaten Miami, Creighton (quality), Maryland and Boston U.
The Colonials’ only losses have come against Marquette and Kansas State. The Golden Eagles were ranked at the time and the Wildcats are ranked right now. As you can see, this team has no bad losses, which is huge when it comes to sorting out resumes in March.
8. Harvard Crimson
Harvard doesn’t have the most impressive resume on this list, but it could be the most talented. The Crimson have lost to Colorado and Connecticut. However, they were missing Wesley Saunders (15.7 PPG) against the Huskies, so that game could have been much different. The team still only lost by six points on the road.
Princeton is going to push Harvard for a conference title, but this is a top 25 team when at full strength.
7. Saint Louis Billikens
Saint Louis has lost two games on the year. One to Wisconsin and one to Wichita State. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 right now and the Billikens only lost by a combined score of 11 points.
This team lost some talent over the offseason, but it did win the A 10 last year and earned a No. 4 seed as a result. I’m not sure if the Billikens can do that again, but they have NCAA tournament written all over them.
6. New Mexico Lobos
New Mexico should be ranked in the top 25 right now, but its three losses are kind of killing that (Massachusetts, Kansas and New Mexico State).
The Lobos have beaten Cincinnati and Marquette, though. No matter what their record is, the talent is there to win a MWC title and to have a deep run in the dance. They do have two players averaging 18 or more points per game and all.
The key for New Mexico will be beating San Diego State and winning the MWC.
5. VCU Rams
VCU has been one of the most disappointing teams in college basketball. It started off the season by being ranked as high as No. 14. It is no longer ranked and already has three losses on the season.
Losses to Florida State and Georgetown aren’t bad, but the Rams had no business losing to Northern Iowa. Still, this is one of the most talented mid-majors in the country. Heck, it is one of the most talented teams in general.
I am sure Shaka Smart’s team will get back on track, but Atlantic 10 play could be even more competitive than last year.
4. Gonzaga Bulldogs
Yes, Gonzaga lost to Dayton earlier in the year, but its only other loss came against Kansas State.
In the meantime, the Bulldogs have beaten Arkansas, New Mexico State, West Virginia and Saint Mary’s. None of those wins are going to blow anyone away, but they are still decent.
The Bulldogs still have Kevin Pangos. Their resume may not be the best in terms of quality wins, but this team is very good.
3. Massachusetts Minutemen
Massachusetts has been one of the biggest surprises so far and it is the favorite in the A 10 as a result.
The Minutemen have already beaten LSU, New Mexico, BYU and Providence. Their only loss came against Florida State by five points.
Chaz Williams and Cady Lalanne are two of the best players in the conference. From a mid-major standpoint, they are some of the best. However, I still think Williams is a top 50 or so player and his 15.9 points per game, 7.4 assists per game and 43.9 percent shooting from behind the arc would probably agree.
2. San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State could very easily be No. 1 on this list. The only thing keeping the Aztecs from achieving that feat is their one loss. However, that loss was against Arizona in the second game of the season. The Wildcats are ranked No. 1 in the country.
San Diego State has beaten a number of different teams, which includes Creighton, Marquette, Washington, Kansas and Boise State. Its 3-1 record against top 25 teams is one of the best in the country.
1. Wichita State Shockers
Wichita State had a magical run to the Final Four last season and they could be even better this season. The Shockers are currently undefeated at 16-0 and they are ranked No. 6 in both major polls.
Wins of note have come against BYU, Saint Louis, Tennessee and Alabama. The only thing that should have people worried about the Shockers is the fact that they have not played a single ranked opponent and probably won’t all season long.
Still, this is hands down one of the best teams in the country and a Final Four run for a second straight season is not out of the question.