March Madness officially begins on Selection Sunday.
On March 17, the pairings will be set and brackets will be filled out.
Some of the teams that will make deeps run in the tournament will be mid-majors.
When we are talking about mid-majors, we are talking about all of the schools that are outside of the power conferences (Big Ten, ACC, Big East, Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC).
Here are ten mid-majors that are poised to make a deep run in this year's tourney.
Stats provided by ESPN.com
Wichita State Shockers (24-7; 12-6 MVC)
Last 10: 5-5
Quality Wins: VCU, Southern Miss and Creighton
Key Player: Cleanthony Early
Gregg Marshall’s WSU Shockers jelled early this year and went 15-1 to start the 2012-13 season, including their first four Missouri Vallley Conference games.
Having plenty of upperclassmen on this roster will help in terms of leadership and maturity as they face off against some of the best teams.
The Shockers are beasts on the boards, sporting a 8.1 rebounding margin (No. 8 in the nation).
San Diego State Aztecs (20-8; 8-6)
Last 10: 6-4
Quality Wins: New Mexico, Colorado State, UCLA and Boise State
Key Player: Jamaal Franklin
When you have a player who is as versatile as Jamaal Franklin, you can be in any game against any team.
Franklin leads the Aztecs in every major statistical category. Who does that besides JF?
SDSU is another team with plenty of upperclassmen leadership that will help them in the close contests ahead.
UNLV Rebels (22-7; 9-5)
Last 10: 7-3
Quality Wins: New Mexico, Colorado State, San Diego State (2x), Cal and Iowa State
Key Player: Anthony Bennett
The fact that the Rebels are still learning to put all the parts together should be an absolutely terrifying thought to anyone who faces UNLV in the next few weeks.
If head coach Dave Rice could roll out a front line of freshman phenom Anthony Bennett, Mike Moser and Khem Birch at some point in the next few weeks, who could match up with them?
The Rebels challenge every shot and hold their opponents to a ridiculous 28.6 percent from beyond the arc (No. 10 in the nation).
Butler Bulldogs (22-7; 9-5 A-10)
Last 10: 6-4
Quality Wins: Indiana, Gonzaga, Marquette, North Carolina and Temple
Key Player: Rotnei Clarke
How can you do anything but have confidence in a Brad Stevens-coached team in March? Since taking over the Bulldogs head coaching job in 2007, Stevens is 22-8 in March.
Butler has shown throughout this season that they can beat some very good basketball teams.
Just ask Tom Crean, Mark Few, Buzz Williams, Roy Williams and Fran Dunphy.
Memphis Tigers (25-4; 14-0 Conference USA)
Last 10: 9-1
Quality Wins: Southern Miss (2x) and Tennessee
Key Player: Joe Jackson
This might be Memphis’ head coach Josh Pastner’s breakthrough season.
Going undefeated through an entire conference season shows that the Tigers know how to win.
Teams better be careful about taking the ball inside. Memphis is the No. 4 shot-blocking team in the nation (6.5 BPG).
St. Louis Billikens (23-5; 12-2 A-10)
Last 10: 10-0
Quality Wins: New Mexico, Butler (2x), VCU and UMass
Key Player: Dwayne Evans
No one knew how the Billikens were going to play this year when their coach Rick Majerus announced during the summer that he was not going to be on the sidelines this season.
But when Majerus died in December, it was possible that everything could fall apart.
The opposite has happened. St. Louis has played with a sharp sense of single-mindedness and determination that I expect will continue into the A-10 tourney and in March Madness.
VCU (23-6; 11-3 A-10)
Last 10: 7-3
Quality Wins: Memphis, Belmont, Butler, UMass and Alabama
Key Player: Treveon Graham
They don’t call VCU’s defense “Havoc” because they are peaceful and calm when they guard, defend and rebound.
The Rams are No. 1 in the nation in steals (12.2 per game) and turnover margin (+8.3).
Rams’ head coach Shaka Smart is another Mr. March like Butler's Brad Stevens. Since coming to Virginia Commonwealth, Smart has gone 33-7 in the month. That is sheer madness.
Creighton Bluejays: (24-7; 13-5 MVC)
Last 10: 6-4
Quality Wins: Wichita State, Wisconsin, California and Akron
Key Player: Doug McDermott
Creighton is one of the best offensive teams in college basketball.
They are the No. 1 shooting team (51.1 percent), the No. 4 assists team (17.4) and the No. 22 scoring team (76.3 points per game).
Doug McDermott can utterly take over a game with his shooting and scoring (23.4 PPG).
New Mexico Lobos: (25-4; 12-2 MWC)
Last 10: 8-2
Quality Wins: UNLV, Colorado State (2x), San Diego State, UConn, Boise State (2x) and Cincinnati.
Key Player: Kendall Williams
Steve Alford’s Lobos are hungry to show the college basketball world that they belong in the national discussion.
They have already clinched the Mountain West regular season title.
New Mexico is the kind of team that will rarely get their highlights on Sportscenter. The team is okay with relying on great execution and overall smart play...and winning!
Gonzaga Bulldogs (29-2; 16-0 WCC)
Last 10: 10-0
Quality Wins: Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, St. Mary’s (2x), BYU (2x) and Baylor
Key Player: Elias Harris
Gonzaga has never been ranked No. 1 in the country and has never made it to the Final Four.
The Bulldogs are currently the top-ranked team in the nation.
We’ll have to watch and see if the Zags can get to Atlanta.
Because they have both inside and outside strength, they are a difficult matchup for almost every other team.