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NCAA Basketball Mountain West BasketballNew Mexico Lobos

New Mexico Lobos are the Top Mid-major Threat Come Tournament Time

Ron Chenoy-USA Today Sports

In an ever changing college basketball world, the once underdog Mid-major programs have risen to the top as actual championship contenders in recent years.

Mid-majors used to be just tournament darlings that fans around the country fell in love with as the programs made miraculous runs while playing the role of Cinderella. Now more than ever the teams that were no more than an afterthought possess a certain undefinable quality that makes them real contenders in the parity-filled world of college basketball. In fact, many programs that were once off the radar nationally have now become household names as the popularity for mid-major programs has increased because of the accomplishments these programs have achieved on the court.

The New Mexico Lobos have risen to prominence in recent years for being a tournament contender, yet the team has not found the success of other Mid-major programs when it comes to the big dance. The Lobos look to build on past experiences this year as the team continues to find success down the stretch. New Mexico kept its winning streak alive by defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack 72-58 in Reno. While Cameron Bairstow led all scorers with 22 points, Kendall Williams continues to be the heartbeat of this Lobos squad that is looking to make a deep run in the tournament. Even with his past success, Williams remains one of the most underrated play makers in the country as he demonstrated what he is capable in the win scoring 11 points, handing out 10 assists and grabbing five rebounds.

New Mexico might not have the name recognition of a Butler or have a perfect season like Wichita State, but the Lobos have what it takes to outlast all Mid-major teams in the tournament and even make a run at a national championship. With all the hype that surrounds Mid-majors these days, it is hard to fly under the radar, but somehow the Lobos have managed to do just that even while sitting atop the Mountain West Conference standings.

Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.