Money underdogs in the Dance 

March, 18, 2008
The term "mid-major" does little to describe the low finances of teams outside the big-time leagues. Smaller colleges with smaller budgets have it harder when trying to maintain winning legacies -- highly successful coaches are routinely lured away by power-conference paychecks, and available cash determines a program's recruiting scope.

In college basketball, the big winners are nearly always the ones with the big wallets.

Don't believe it? Teams from the eight leagues with average athletic expenses of more than $20 million (Big Ten, ACC, SEC, Pac-10, Big East, Big 12, Conference USA and Mountain West) have dominated teams from the 23 poorer conferences, winning 89 percent of the time in nonconference and NCAA tournament play over the past three seasons.