Gonzaga, Nevada proving they belong with big boys

Jason O. Watson for ESPN.com

Each season, the NCAA Tournament features a couple of mid-major programs -- though in recent years that's a nebulous label -- that emerge during March Madness and create Cinderella stories. Many of these programs (i.e. Gonzaga, George Mason, Kent State, Nevada and Butler) hail from mid-major conferences, yet their respective talent is that of high-major ability.

On the West Coast, Gonzaga and Nevada have shed the mid-major label and are now considered high-major programs, and their overall talent pool and recruiting ability speaks for themselves.