2010 NCAA Tournament: 10 Mid-Majors That Will Fare Well This March

Jesse KramerCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010

This article will evaluate which mid-major (non-BCS) teams have the best chance of winning games in the NCAA Tournament.

Midwest Region

Northern Iowa

The Panthers would have liked to be a higher seed to get an easier second round matchup and not need to face the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks. However, the Panthers are still set up for a win over No. 8 seed UNLV. UNLV has a good offense, but it is not good enough to get past this amazing Northern Iowa defense. The Panthers' defense should get them to the second round, but it will not be enough to stop the Jayhawks.

San Diego State

San Diego State does not have as good a chance at winning in the first round as Northern Iowa, but any team that beats New Mexico and UNLV in back-to-back days can beat a good, but not great, Tennessee team. Even if the Aztecs beat Tennessee, they will probably have more trouble with Georgetown. However, if San Diego State continues to play as well as it did in the MWC Tournament, it could catch streaky Georgetown on a bad day and go to the Sweet 16.

West Region


Butler has a solid chance at the Sweet 16, although its matchups are not too easy. Butler plays UTEP, who has a very good record and finished in first place in C-USA, but does not have big wins to back itself up. Butler has a good chance at beating the Miners. In the second round, the Bulldogs would play No. 4 seed Vanderbilt or No. 13 seed Murray State. Butler has a chance to beat both these teams, but nowhere near a guarantee.


BYU will play Florida in the first round. I personally do not like Florida this year, so BYU will definitely win in the first round. In the second round, the Cougars would most likely play Kansas State. The Wildcats brought up some questions when losing to Iowa State. The fact that they lost to a very bad Iowa State team leaves some hope for BYU pulling off a second round upset.

East Region


Temple will beat Cornell. Many love Cornell, but the Big Red are not well-fit to play Temple. For those who do not know, Cornell's main game is shooting. When Cornell is not shooting well, it dishes the ball into the post for Jeff Foote. Temple is one of the best three-point defense teams in the country and also have Lavoy Allen who will control the Foote.

In the second round, Temple would play Wisconsin or Wofford. Temple has a chance to beat either of these teams and go to the Sweet 16.


Some people think Wofford's first round opponent, Wisconsin, could go to Indianapolis this season. I think differently. Wisconsin will lose to Wofford in the first round. Wisconsin gets hold of its opponents through making three-point shots. Wofford is a great three-point defense team and can limit the Badgers. 

In the second round, Wofford would most likely play Temple. Wofford is a similar team to Temple and has a small chance of winning, leading to a Sweet 16 appearance in the school's first ever NCAA Tournament.

New Mexico

New Mexico has been great all season, with only four losses. The Lobos have a fairly easy first round matchup, and if everything plays out well, the Lobos could find themselves in the Elite Eight.

South Region

Utah State

Utah State matches up well with Texas A&M and has a good chance at winning. If Utah State and Siena both pull off first round upsets, the Aggies have a solid chance at moving to the Sweet 16.


Siena is fit to beat Purdue in the first round. However, the Saints most likely won't make it any farther. The only thing stopping the Saints from going to the second round is having a bad day.


Richmond is in a similar situation to Butler. There is a chance that Richmond could lose in the first round, but the Spiders could also go as far as the Elite Eight. If the Spiders can hold their own, they can make a deep run into March.


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