Memphis' last run before Big East

Drexel, VCU and Creighton are other non-Big Six teams loaded for 2012-13

Updated: April 27, 2012, 11:45 AM ET
By John Gasaway | ESPN Insider
MemphisAP Photo/Tony DejakJosh Pastner's Memphis Tigers should be one of the top mid-major teams again next season.

If you thought this year's Final Four looked strange somehow, you were right. It was the first time in three years that a mid-major did not make the final weekend. Will this puzzling new trend continue in 2013?

Assuming that it does, it may be because the following four mid-majors didn't quite get as far in the brackets as they'd hoped. Let's take a close performance-based look at how each team stacks up heading into next season.

To do so I'll again be using a familiar metric, returning possession-minutes (RPMs), which measures not only how much experience a team returns from one year to the next but also how large a role those returning players had in the offense.

Memphis Tigers

RPMs: 77 percent

This is the last time you'll see the Tigers on a list like this, of course. After next season Josh Pastner's team will leave Conference USA and join the Big East, and Memphis looks like a good bet to win still another league title in its last go-round in C-USA. Will Barton is leaving after his sophomore year to enter the NBA draft, but everyone else should be back. Not many mid-major head coaches can claim three McDonald's All-Americans, but that's what Pastner figures to have next season with point guard Joe Jackson, wing Adonis Thomas and new arrival Shaq Goodwin, a 6-foot-8 power forward.