2007 Mid Major Basketball Preview
After covering all the teams from the Big East, ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac Ten, and SEC, we always try to find a handful of other teams that figure to very well and should be NCAA tournament bound. The Mid Major term is loosely thrown around, and really just relates to some of the smaller conferneces, but on this page you will find teams like Memphis and Nevada who really are not "true" mid majors but becacuse we are not doing an individual college basketball preview on every conference USA and WAC school it just fits well putting them here. No worries mid major fans, you will still find some smaller schools like Gonzaga, Butler, and the newest kid on the block, Davidson below.
After finishing first in the MAC East last year, the Akron Zips (26- 7 overall, 13- 3 MAC) made no post-season appearance. Although coach Keith Dambrot (69- 27 in three years with Akron, 177- 97 overall in nine years) and company did not even get an invite to the NIT, due to their fairly easy non-conference schedule, no one could take away what was their best season in over five years. Click here to read full preview.
In 2007, the Bradley Braves (23- 13 overall, 10- 8 Missouri Valley) missed the NCAA despite the fact that they earned 22 wins just as they had the year before. That 2006 season, they did go to the Big Dance. This year coach Jim Les (84- 73 in five years with Bradley and overall) has a decent chance of going to the NCAA tournament and not the NIT. But Les will have to do some major work on this team in order to make them competitive. Click here to read full preview.
The Bulldogs of Butler (29- 7 overall, 13- 3 Horizon) tied for first-place in the Horizon League at a time when everyone thought that they’d be busy recovering from the loss of star player Brandon Polk. Polk was the league’s Player of the Year in 2006. In last year’s NCAA tourney, Butler got all the way to the Sweet 16, losing to Florida 65- 57. The major change for the Bulldogs this season is not on the court but on the sideline where Brad Stevens takes over for former head coach Todd Lickliter. The popular and highly successful Lickliter went to Iowa, leaving the Butler job open for Stevens, Lickliter’s former assistant. Click here to read full preview.
The BYU Cougars (25- 9 overall, 13- 3 Mountain West) were eliminated in the first round of March Madness betting by Xavier 79-77. Prior to the Big Dance, the Cougars captured first place in the Mountain West Conference. Coach Dave Rose (45- 18 in two years at BYU and overall) looks to have another competitive team, as BYU has the potential to go to the NCAA tourney for a second year running. Click here to read full preview.
Last season saw the Davidson Wildcats (29- 5 overall, 17- 1 SoCon) go to the NCAA tournament for the second year straight. The first place Southern Conference club was out in round one. Still, for a club that was supposed to be in a rebuilding year, the Wildcats had an amazing season. Bob McKillop (320- 222 at Davidson and overall in 19 years) welcomes back four starters and a total of 11 scholarship players. Click here to read full preview.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs (21- 11 overall, 11-3 West Coast) last exclusion from the conference tournament brackets was 1998. Last year, the Bulldogs, under coach Mark Few (211- 52 over eight years with Gonzaga and overall) finished first in the conference again. Despite losing two key players, the Zags look strong this season as Few has cultivated the best bunch of recruits the team has seen since he started coaching. All four of the new guys will contribute immediately. Click here to read full preview.
The Houston Cougars (18- 15 overall, 10- 6 C-USA) did not make it to the NCAA or NIT after placing third in C-USA last season. Coach Tom Penders (57- 39 in three years with Houston, 584- 400 overall in 33 years) will try once again to get this team to a place they have not been in 15 years—the NCAA tournament odds. Unlike past Cougar teams under Penders, this club possesses depth and talent. Click here to read full preview.
Last season, the Memphis Tigers (33- 4 overall, 16- 0 C-USA) finished first in their conference and then lost to Ohio State in the NCAA regional finals. This year expect more of the same or even better from coach John Calipari’s (181- 63 in seven years at Memphis, 374- 134 overall in 15 years) club. The Tigers are back virtually intact, and they look ready to roll. Click here to read full preview.
Missouri State Bears
Last season the Missouri State Bears (22- 11 overall, 12- 6 Missouri Valley) finished third in the conference and ended up in the NIT where they lost to San Diego 74- 70. Coach Barry Hinson ((152- 111 in eight years at MS, 188- 124 overall in 10 years) hopes that this season his Bears won’t hit that bump in the road slump that sent them to the NIT instead of the NCAA. Click here to read full preview.
It was a first-place conference finish for the Nevada Wolf Pack (29- 5, overall, 14- 2 WAC) in 2006- 2007, securing the team a trip to the NCAA tournament. After beating Creighton 77- 71 in round one, the Wolf Pack lost to Memphis 78- 62 in round two. This season, coach Mark Fox (81- 18 over three years with Nevada and overall) sees only one starter return, making folks wonder if he can get his team back into March Madness 2008. Click here to read full preview.
New Mexico Lobos
In 2006- 2007, the New Mexico Lobos (15- 17 overall, 4- 12 Mountain West) tied for eighth in the league and sat out both tournaments. Despite the low finish, the Lobos’ fans are optimistic. The reason being that New Mexico has brought in a new coach who is used to winning. Steve Alford (308- 183 overall in 16 years), former Iowa coach, replaces Ritchie McKay. Click here to read full preview.
New Mexico State Aggies
It was one game and the New Mexico State Aggies (25- 9 overall, 11- 5 WAC) were out of the NCAA tournament, as the team lost to a dominant Texas team 79- 67. Although the Aggies were out quickly, the second-place WAC finishers had to consider the season a success as the club made it back to the Big Dance for the first time since 1998- 1999. First-time head coach Marvin Menzies gets a gift in his initial year at the helm—the best team in the conference. Or is it? Menzies will be compared to former coach Reggie Theus, who is now coaching the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Click here to read full preview.