Four teams from mid-major conferences have reached the Final Four the past four years, so it is obvious those schools can be dangerous in single-elimination events like the NCAA tournament.
Ever since George Mason got to the Final Four in 2006, it has become common for at least one mid-major team to pull off a major surprise. Last season, it was Florida Gulf Coast, which came out of the Atlantic Sun Conference and beat Georgetown and San Diego State to reach the round of 16, and Wichita State, a Missouri Valley Conference squad that got to the Final Four.
Determining which schools should be classified as mid-majors is a problem. Wichita State and Gonzaga certainly don't seem like mid-major programs, but, by our parameters, they qualify as such.
For our purposes, a mid-major team is any program that is not a member of one of the following nine conferences: Pacific-12, Big 12, Big Ten, Southeastern, Atlantic 10, American Athletic, Atlantic Coast, Big East and Mountain West.
There was debate about whether the Mountain West Conference should be included, but since it was No. 1 in the final RPI conference rankings last season, when it had five teams in the NCAA tournament, it seemed silly to consider it a mid-major conference.
Toledo, Mercer, North Dakota State and Delaware received consideration for our list, but did not make the cut for the 10 most dangerous mid-major teams, some of which probably will not make the NCAA tournament field.