Mid-Major Conferences Season Preview

Story posted November 3, 2019 in Sports, CommRadio by Ben Geller

Every year, teams from the Mid Major conferences shock the world in the NCAA tournament. There are some powerhouses such as Gonzaga, but for the most part it is a bunch of hard-nosed teams trying to make a name for themselves. In order to help early season predictions look at this list of the 5 best teams in the Mid-Major Basketball Conferences.

Gonzaga

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have created a dynasty on the west coast. They are one of the best teams in the whole nation with the recruiting prowess they get. This year will be no different even with the loss of Rui Hachimura and that's because of Adman Gilder. 

A quality Saint Mary’s basketball team will provide the biggest challenge to the Bulldogs. It will be similar to the past five years in which The Gaels put up a fight but cannot get over the hump and beat The Bulldogs. Gonzaga is a solidified national title contender .

St. Mary’s

If it weren’t for the Gonzaga Bulldogs, Saint Mary’s basketball would be the dominant force in the Mid-Major Basketball Conferences. They consistently produce top quality talents that nobody watches because of the late night games.

Jordan Ford is a standout player this year that can control a game with his slow tempo and smooth scoring skills. The Gaels will play through him and play the three and D offense that teams often play in college. 

Davidson

The Davidson Wildcats have the claim to Steph Curry, seemingly representing the volume 3-point style they play with. The Wildcats often make tournament appearances, last year led by Peyton Aldridge who left to the NBA. 

Jon Axel Gudmundsson's freshman year almost averaged a triple-double and will help ease the transition from the loss of Aldridge. If the Wildcats play through Kellan Grady and Gudmundsson they will be destined for another NCAA Tournament berth.

VCU

The VCU Rams are one of the best teams to never get talked about every year, even after their Final Four appearance just a few years ago. They are returning almost thier whole roster from last year, and will continue poor offense but exceptional defense.

If the Rams can get any type of shooting going, then they will be a team no one wants to play. This is a team that, in the NCAA Tournament, can upset a big seed because they are experienced and a tough-minded defensive team. They are not higher on the list solely due to their inability to shoot the ball.

Utah State

Utah State is one of the least talked about teams in the country that has been making an odd amount of noise the past few years. Looking at their roster, it makes sense with the ability to develop talent from within the program. The star player Sam Merrill is an elite talent that head coach Craig Smith uses well in the offense.

As long as Merrill stays heathy, the team will make another appearance in the NCAA Tournament to make it back-to-back appearances. The Aggies are one of the most balanced teams in the nation, which will play to their advantage as they get later in the year and every possession is key.

 


Ben Geller is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email bjg5666@psu.edu.