The line between college basketball’s power conferences and the best of its mid-major programs has never been thinner than it is right now. With one-and-done freshman departures thinning the rosters of the SEC and Big East Goliaths, the talented, veteran teams of the West Coast Conference or the Missouri Valley are serious threats in any game against their higher-profile cousins.
The distinction is blurred so far that many of the elite mid-major squads could handle themselves perfectly well in more daunting leagues. The New Mexico Lobos, champions of the Mountain West for the fourth time in five years, would have no trouble contending on a regular basis in the Pac-12 or Big 12.
Read on for more on New Mexico and nine more outstanding mid-majors who would turn in strong finishes regardless of what conference they found themselves in.
Note: For purposes of this discussion, the power conferences are the same as football’s BCS automatic qualifiers. The mid-major teams are drawn from any of the other conferences. The lone exception is the Atlantic 10, which was excluded because its latest expansion gave it so many top teams that it would have crowded out many other worthy candidates.