Late-season respect for mid-majors

Wichita State and top CAA teams among those that have proven they belong

Originally Published: February 28, 2012
By Jordan Brenner | ESPN Insider
Wichita StateAP Photo/Nati HarnikThe numbers have told us all season long that the Shockers are the best mid-majors.

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.

We've reached the end of the road. With conference tournaments beginning, this will be the final edition of the Mid-Major Power Rankings. But before we ship you off to our Giant Killers coverage of teams on the brink of NCAA tourney upsets, let's draw some final lessons from our season-long look at the nation's best mid-majors.

1.) Efficiency margin pegged the Wichita State Shockers before anyone else jumped on the bandwagon.
A few weeks ago we were taking some heat over how the Shockers could rank ahead of Creighton, which beat them, or Murray State, which was undefeated. Is anyone disagreeing with those rankings now?

Jordan Brenner | email

ESPN The Magazine contributing writer
Brenner writes for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Insider. He covers the NBA and college basketball.