Thursday, November 17, 2016

2017 Predictions: The Mid-Majors

So maybe I don't follow the NCAA criteria for conference classifications... sue me.  I remember a time when the WAC was so big and powerful, they had a WAC-off to see which of the 16 teams could garner the at-large bid.  Unsure why the WAC became the AIDS of college conferences, but nobody wants to go near it... poor New Mexico State has been trying to escape for ages.  Typically they would be a lock to win, but Grand Canyon has been playing some good ball and should lock up the regular season title despite not being eligible for the NCAA tournament.

Monmouth should cruise this year, and there are a few other fringe Top 25 teams lurking in this group.  The Ivy League should be a dogfight at the top, and those 2 Harvard/Princeton games are must see TV, but nobody can sleep on Yale.  Same with Chattanooga and East Tennessee State atop the Southern, but Mercer is lurking as a dark horse.  Valpo will see a drop off that will allow Green Bay to get back to the Dance with its methodical approach.  UNCW is geared to repeat, but the seismic shifts in the CAA have left a power void that could be grabbed by anyone, but my guess would be Charleston or Elon.  Belmont continues to rule the OVC, but probably doesn't have the threats to sneak up to the 12/13 line, nor do they have the talent or depth to win from the 15 line.  My "so dark it may be invisible" horse would be Northern Arizona to find their legs and start laying the wood in Flagstaff again.

Anyways, here are the projected standings.

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