The mid-major label used to be a negative thing, but no longer. George Mason, Butler, and VCU have all helped many college basketball fans realize that it isn’t only about the major conferences. Not all small conferences are created equal, so I wanted to take a look at five conferences that I believe are underrated by the average fan
1. CAA- How does this league continually get overlooked? George Mason made it to the Final Four by beating some great teams, then VCU did the same thing last year. Drexel, George Mason, and VCU are all dangerous teams that could do some damage in the NCAA Tournament this year if they get a bid.
2. Mountain West- This conference took a bit of a hit when BYU left to play in the West Coast Conference, but the Mountain West is still an excellent league. New Mexico has the talent to make a deep run in the tournament. UNLV is pushing the pace again in a big way this year and they showed what they can do when they beat North Carolina. The bottom of this conference is much better than most realize as well.
3. West Coast- It’s not just Gonzaga and the rest of the teams this year, though the Zags are still very good. BYU gives the league much better depth. Loyola-Marymount is a team capable of beating anyone in the league on any given night. St. Mary’s has injury issues, but they are tough as well. The bottom of the conference is weak, but the top is very strong.
4. WAC- I’m not saying this is a terrific conference, but I do think they are overlooked even more than they should be. Nevada has a great inside/outside combination in Burton on the outside and Hunt and Czyz inside. Utah State is never an easy team to beat, and New Mexico State is a high flying offensive team.
5. Summit- South Dakota State drilled Washington on the road, and Oakland is still a very tricky opponent. Scott Sutton is turning Oral Roberts into a very tough team to beat. The top of this conference is much tougher than the average fan realizes. The team that comes out of this conference tournament is going to be a tough out in the NCAA Tournament.
Written by Kyle Hunter of VegasTopDogs.com