Mid-Major Top 25
|19||Stephen F. Austin||5-3||1,402|
Here at TRN, we define a mid-major and eligibility in these rankings as anyone, not in a top 10 Major Conference. There have been pretty distinct tiers in recent years developed both in money and average NET finish.
It’s very clearly reflected in the average of the last 5 years of NET Rankings where the divides are.
Power 6: Big 12, SEC, ACC, Big East, Big 10, Pac 12
Major: AAC, WCC, Atlantic 10, MWC
Mid Major: led by CUSA, MVC, CAA, WAC, MAAC, Big West, Sun Belt, SoCon, Horizon, MAC
There is a Low Major tier, but for our purposes, they will be included in these rankings.
2023-24 Preview and Predictions
College basketball has always held a special charm in the world of college sports. With the thrill of the NCAA tournament looming each season, it’s not just the high majors that steal the show. The mid majors, those teams that often bubble under the surface, have consistently demonstrated they’re not to be underestimated.
Last season, San Diego State, a mid major team from the Mountain West, broke records and expectations alike. Guided by their head coach now in his fifth season, they defied odds to reach the second round of the NCAA tournament, outlasting many high majors in the process. Their remarkable journey became a testament to the sheer grit and talent found in mid major programs.
Another surprise came from a Conference USA team, who, in only their third season under a new coaching regime, earned an at-large bid to the tournament. Their conference champion title, earned after a grueling season, etched a significant mark in their program history. Their first team forward, averaging an impressive 20 points per game, bagged both the ‘Player of the Year honors’ and ‘Player of the Year award’, drawing the spotlight in a league typically dominated by bigger names.
However, the success stories weren’t limited to just these teams. Missouri Valley’s standout mid major program, in its fifth season under a dedicated coaching team, emerged as a force to be reckoned with, pushing through to the first round of the NCAA tourney. Their success was particularly notable given the challenges posed by the transfer portal, which has seen a flux of players moving across college basketball in search of opportunities.
Yet, while the glitz of the NCAA tournament shines bright, it’s essential to recognize the consistent performance throughout the season by these mid major schools. Teams that may not have the grandeur or reputation of some of the bigger names but play with heart, skill, and determination.
In conclusion, college basketball’s landscape is ever-evolving, and while high majors often grab the headlines, the prowess and potential of mid major teams and programs shouldn’t be overlooked. As we approach the upcoming season, the question remains: which mid major will rise, defy expectations, and etch its name in the annals of college sports history?