Last year’s Final Four runs by Butler and Virginia Commonwealth are just the latest evidence that mid-major teams are here to stay when it comes to contending in the Big Dance. They’re called “bracket-busters” for a reason, and it’s never too early to start projecting which ones will upset the powers of the Big East or ACC in March.
The definition of mid-majors is a fluid one, but here they’ll be treated as non-power conferences that still get multiple teams into March Madness on a consistent basis. Note that by this assumption, many outstanding teams—Murray State, Harvard, Long Beach State—are removed from consideration.
One outstanding team that just misses the cut for this list is San Diego State. Steve Fisher’s squad has done an extraordinary job recovering from heavy graduation losses, but they don't have the experience to match last year’s Sweet 16 run.
Even without the Aztecs, plenty of other mid-majors are going to last past the tournament’s opening weekend. Have a look at this list of the leading contenders.
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