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Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
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GoldenWarrior11 Offline
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Post: #1
Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
Outside of the power basketball conferences (ACC, B1G, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC), here are the numbers of the at-large non-power conference/mid-major teams making the NCAA Tournament for the past five years:

2017: 4
2016: 6
2015: 7
2014: 10
2013: 11

A couple of points:

1. By this trend, I think these leagues are currently unfairly judged and critiqued by the committee.

2. From this trend, it is also clear that some type of separation is occurring in basketball, as well as football.

3. Finally, I think the Big East's additions of Butler, Creighton and Xavier took away three of the strongest mid-majors from respective conferences - thus lowering the overall strength of the mid-majors.
03-13-2017 04:38 PM
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Lord Stanley Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
Mid-majors don't have Walmart fans.

Which is strange, because Walmart fans of mid-majors are all the rage during March Madness.......
03-13-2017 04:46 PM
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stever20 Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
The AAC is kind of the weird thing in this argument. They have seen massive improvement from Houston and UCF. But this year Tulsa slipped as expected after last years experienced team all left, but then UConn was so battered this year injury wise. Temple could never get it all together. The AAC feels like it should be a lot stronger than they've performed. They had this year for instance a whopping 16 losses OOC by 5 points or less(out of 50 losses total). The league would have looked a whole hell of a lot different winning just half of those. Just look at UConn- they lost 4 games by 5 or fewer points. If they won those games- their RPI would have been 19-13 with a RPI of 63. A whole lot different than 15-17 with a RPI of 119. And that improvement would have meant for example, Houston's 2 wins over UConn would have meant far more. Houston may have been in the top 50 at that point for RPI.
03-13-2017 04:59 PM
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Post: #4
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
(03-13-2017 04:38 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  Outside of the power basketball conferences (ACC, B1G, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC), here are the numbers of the at-large non-power conference/mid-major teams making the NCAA Tournament for the past five years:

2017: 4
2016: 6
2015: 7
2014: 10
2013: 11

A couple of points:

1. By this trend, I think these leagues are currently unfairly judged and critiqued by the committee.

2. From this trend, it is also clear that some type of separation is occurring in basketball, as well as football.

3. Finally, I think the Big East's additions of Butler, Creighton and Xavier took away three of the strongest mid-majors from respective conferences - thus lowering the overall strength of the mid-majors.

Really, it's just the A-10 and AAC that are getting the vast majority of at-large bids recently. This year 3 of the 4 at-large bids from so-called mid majors were from those two leagues and 5 of 6 from the year before. The American and A-10 will likely continue to get multiple at-large teams on a regular basis. I agree that the rest are really falling behind.
03-13-2017 04:59 PM
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BePcr07 Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
(03-13-2017 04:38 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  Outside of the power basketball conferences (ACC, B1G, Big 12, Big East, Pac-12 and SEC), here are the numbers of the at-large non-power conference/mid-major teams making the NCAA Tournament for the past five years:

2017: 4
2016: 6
2015: 7
2014: 10
2013: 11

A couple of points:

1. By this trend, I think these leagues are currently unfairly judged and critiqued by the committee.

2. From this trend, it is also clear that some type of separation is occurring in basketball, as well as football.

3. Finally, I think the Big East's additions of Butler, Creighton and Xavier took away three of the strongest mid-majors from respective conferences - thus lowering the overall strength of the mid-majors.

This is not surprising...

Non-Power At-Larges:

2017: Cincinnati (AAC), Dayton (A-10), St. Mary's (WCC), VCU (A-10)
2016: Temple (AAC), Wichita St (MVC), Cincinnati (AAC), VCU (A-10), Tulsa (AAC), Dayton (A-10)
2015: Wichita St (MVC), Cincinnati (AAC), BYU (WCC), Boise St (MWC), Dayton (A-10), San Diego St (MWC), Davidson (A-10)
2014: VCU (A-10), Dayton (A-10), San Diego St (MWC), BYU (WCC), Cincinnati (AAC), Connecticut (AAC), Memphis (AAC), George Washington (A-10), Saint Louis (A-10), Massachusetts (A-10)
2013: VCU (A-10), San Diego St (MWC), Wichita St (MVC), Boise St (MWC), La Salle (A-10), UNLV (MWC), Butler (A-10), Temple (A-10), Colorado St (MWC), Middle Tennessee (SBC), St. Mary's (WCC)

Of these...

A-10: 15 (4x Dayton, 4x VCU, 1x Davidson, 1x George Washington, 1x Saint Louis, 1x Massachusetts, 1x La Salle, 1x Butler, 1x Temple)
AAC: 8 (4x Cincinnati, 1x Connecticut, 1x Memphis, 1x Temple, 1x Tulsa)
MWC: 7 (3x San Diego St, 2x Boise St, 1x UNLV, 1x Colorado St)
WCC: 4 (2x St. Mary's, 2x BYU - conference dominated by Gonzaga)
MVC: 3 (3x Wichita St)
SBC: 1 (1x Middle Tennessee)

The Non-Power At-Large spots were/are essentially dominated by the same conferences and schools.
03-13-2017 05:13 PM
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_C2_ Offline
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RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
Butler, et al, etc... moving up hurt but there's also the idea that some years, some mid-majors steal bids, meaning a random team and at-large worthy team both get in. Like what would have happened if a random WCC team or MVC team had made it this year. Some years it happens but in a year like this, it didn't.
03-13-2017 05:13 PM
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YNot Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
MWC has been a huge casualty. 1-bid league the last couple of seasons. When will UNLV, SDSU, and New Mexico get back on track?
03-13-2017 05:13 PM
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MissouriStateBears Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
(03-13-2017 05:13 PM)YNot Wrote:  MWC has been a huge casualty. 1-bid league the last couple of seasons. When will UNLV, SDSU, and New Mexico get back on track?

MVC same way.
03-13-2017 05:19 PM
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GoldenWarrior11 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
The other interesting thing is the number of teams added to the power basketball conferences didn't really change. Almost all of the former Big East schools found homes in other power conferences (except Cincinnati, UConn and USF). Nebraska, Colorado, Texas A&M, Rutgers, Louisville, Maryland, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Missouri and West Virginia all just changed power conferences. The only real additions to the basketball group were Utah (Pac-12), TCU (Big 12), Butler, Creighton and Xavier (to the Big East).

By that assessment, the number of mid-major at-large bids should have remained relatively the same. However, that number went from 11 to 4 in just five seasons.
03-13-2017 05:19 PM
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adcorbett Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Decline of Mid-Major At-Large Tournament Appearances
Biggest difference: power conference games versus each other are WAAAAY up, even if the number of teams is relatively the same. That means less games for potential "mid majors" to play power conference teams. There used to be roughly 584 conference games between power schools in conference, as there were less teams who played less games (usually 16 conference games). Now the major conferences all play 18 conference games, and have 2 more teams. It's now 666 conference games. Less games for mid majors against Power teams. and thus their SOSs suffer. Thus their rpi and tournament hopes.
03-13-2017 05:48 PM
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