Five lessons from BracketBusters
Mid-Major Power Rankings: Why Dragons, Jackrabbits could be dangerous
All season long, Insider will be keeping a close eye on teams from conferences that haven't usually produced multiple NCAA tournament bids to see which squads outside of the spotlight look the strongest come tournament time. To that end, we'll be ranking the top performers from all conferences outside of the A-10, ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Mountain West, Pac-12 and SEC. One new caveat for this season: With the movement of BYU to the WCC, we will not be including the Cougars because of their established performance record. Likewise, Gonzaga and Memphis will not be considered in these rankings.
The slate of BracketBusters games this weekend gave us the opportunity to get a meaningful look at many of the teams we've been monitoring all season. While this past weekend's results don't negate long-term efficiency trends, they do add context. So what did we learn? Here are five lessons:
1. The Murray State Racers' efficiency problems aren't exactly dire.
Yes, the Racers are still short of the top 10 in efficiency margin (they're 13th at 12.5), but that didn't matter as the Racers handled the Saint Mary's Gaels at home, 65-51. Granted, the ongoing efficiency issues foreshadowed some close conference games and the eventual loss to Tennessee State, but there are some things the team does exceptionally well, most notably shooting and defending beyond the arc. Both skills were on display against Saint Mary's, as the Racers went 9-for-17 from deep while holding the Gaels to just 2-of-14 shooting.
To see the full Mid-Major Power Rankings, you must be an ESPN Insider.
MORE MEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
- UNC's Williams 'worried sick' about probe
- Boeheim: Upcoming hearing not a distraction
- Coach K expects one-and-done rule to stay
- Monson, Long Beach St. agree to extension
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider College Basketball
New on Insider
Lunardi: Pac-12 locked into 2 bids?
Player Rankings: Davis over Robinson for POY
Lunardi: Where UW, Northwestern fall
Hume: Bid thieves are few
Bilas: Sizing up the Big East
Gasaway: Pac-12 stronger than it seems
Hume: Best bets among bubble teams
Lunardi: VCU may be first bid thief
Ford: Time running out for 5 NBA prospects
Lunardi: How UConn, Texas, others earn bids
Lunardi: Latest look at the bubble
Fraschilla: Previewing Big 12 tournament
Bilas Index: UNC remains at No. 3
Pomeroy: Trends predict UNC-Duke clash
Lunardi: No No. 1 seed for Big Ten?
Player Rankings: Purdue's pivotal players
Ford: Will MKG, Cody Zeller stay in school?
Gasaway: Rebounding won't crush Orange
Telep: UCLA's top recruits remain committed
Bilas: How Michigan State can still improve
Bilas: Keys to the Hoyas' continued success
Lunardi: Watch out for NCAA bid thieves
Lunardi Rundown: Kentucky is No. 1 overall
Bilas Index: Kansas returns to the top five
Make smart bracket picks by spotting Cinderella early.
And don't forget these Insider mainstays:
Doug Gottlieb, Fran Fraschilla, Joe Lunardi and Jay Williams offer their opinions.
Insights from the mind of the College Gameday analyst.
The national recruiting analyst weighs in on news and rumors surrounding the top high school prospects.
Stay on top of all the latest recruiting buzz.
Every D-1 player's efficiency rating.