Last in a series of article by sports handicapper Craig Trapp where he gave you his predictions broke down by all the major conferences. If you missed it here are links to Craig's other predictions by conference: Pac-10, ACC, Big East, SEC, BIG 10 and Big 12.
Today, he will look at the candidates for at large selections from the mid major conferences and predict their seedings and how they might do in the NCAA Tournament. As always ,many mid major find themselves on the bubble and will find themselves fighting for a spot against the BCS conferences.
Memphis: Nobody is surprised they are going to make the NCAA Tournament, but not many would have predicted that they would be ranked in the top 10 and fighting for top seeding.
Tyreke Evans has been unbelievable all year and now, with him playing point guard, they are much more explosive scoring the ball. They are most likely a No. 2 seed, as I can't imagine they could get up to the No. 1 line.
They do not a ton of impressive victories and, come the second round, I see them getting beat by a team with equal talent from a major conference.
Gonzaga: The best talent of any mid major makes this team a very scary match up for any team. They say point guards win games come NCAA Tournament time, and Pargo is a great one for the Zags.
Seeding for this team is tough. With an average-to-poor conference, the selection committee will have a tough decision. I predict they will get a No. 6 seed and win one game and lose to the No. 3 seed, most likely a PAC 10 school.
Xavier: Early in this season, the Muskies were ranked in the top 10 for several weeks. But lately, this team has fallen apart at one stretch, losing three of five games.
Lack of PG play will be costly for this team in the NCAA Tournament. Derrick Brown can be a nice player but lately his outside shot has gone missing.
They look like a solid No. 5 seed. Lack of PG play will cost them, as they will go down in the first round to always dangerous No. 12 seed.
Butler: Very young, but talented mid major squad. Key wins at Davidson and at Xavier's shows that this team can play with any team in the nation. Tough style of play for any BCS conference team. Defense and efficient offense makes this team a cinderella team to watch.
They are most likely a No. 8 seed, but the selection committee could move them up to the No. 7 line if they win out. Somehow, someway this team ends up in the sweet 16 and lose a close one.
Bubble is always the word for Mid Major teams if they don't win their conference tournaments. Strength of schedule and RPI are always lower than the BCS conference teams.
With the strength of the Big East and the ACC, I can't imagine more than two at large bids from the Mid Majors conferences. Can't wait for Selection Sunday and of course the Big Dance.
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