Each year, mid-major schools put the Madness into March. They make the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament the most exciting four consecutive days of the entire sports year.
Last year, we had two (Butler and VCU) in the Final Four, with Butler in the national title game. In 2010, four of the Sweet 16 were mid-majors (Butler, Cornell, Northern Iowa, Saint Mary's). Butler of course went to the Final Four and title game that year as well.
This year, mid-majors entered the tournament with very high expectations, given the recent success of Butler and VCU, as well as some very high seedings as a result of outstanding regular seasons.
So how did all these mid-majors fare in the first weekend of the tournament? Here's a look at each of the 24 who were part of the original field of 68.
Note: The "mid-major" label applied in this piece does not include teams from the Atlantic 10 (Temple, Xavier, Saint Louis, St. Bonaventure), Conference USA (Memphis, Southern Miss) or Mountain West (New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State). Gonzaga and BYU are also not included, as they are two programs with enough prestige to move above the mid-major status.