Everyone loves a good Cinderella story. This year’s college basketball season could be feature several chapters as nearly two dozen mid-major teams are still legitimately in the mix for March Madness bids.
The Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley, Mountain West and WCC lead the way with at-large candidates but some new names have entered the conversation as well.
Check out which mid-majors could hear their names called on Selection Sunday even without a conference tournament title.
Saint Louis (NET: 33; W-L: 7-2; Q1+Q2: 1-1): SLU’s season paused for over a month before returning Tuesday with a loss to Dayton. A win over NET No. 34 LSU should be enough to sneak the Billikens into the field if things get dicey the rest of the year.
St. Bonaventure (NET: 42; W-L: 8-1; Q1+Q2: 2-1): The Bonnies didn’t get going until Dec. 15 but have quality victories over VCU and Richmond. Mark Schmidt’s team should be comfortable favorites in each of its remaining games.
VCU (NET: 45; W-L: 11-4; Q1+Q2: 2-4): Each of VCU’s four losses are against KenPom top 70 opponents and the Rams have quality neutral-site wins against Utah State and Memphis from November. Mike Rhoades’ team still has seven top 100 KenPom opponents remaining, which could either make or break its resume.
Richmond (NET: 57; W-L: 10-4; Q1+Q2: 4-2): The Spiders were riding high after wins over Kentucky and Loyola Chicago but are just 4-3 since with losses to No. 166 Hofstra and No. 188 La Salle. With a sub-50 NET ranking and already two Quad-4 defeats, Richmond is squarely on the bubble until proven otherwise.
Davidson (NET: 66; W-L 10-5; Q1+Q2: 2-3): Bob McKillop’s Wildcats are quietly remaining in the mix. Two remaining games against VCU could be the difference between receiving an at-large bid or sitting at home during March Madness. A strong regular-season finish could be enough to garner a ticket.
Winthrop (NET: 54; W-L: 15-0; Q1+Q2: 2-0): If the Eagles don’t capture the Big South conference title, Selection Sunday could be a nervous one for Pat Kelsey’s squad. Winthrop is one of five remaining unbeatens but its best wins are against No. 71 Furman and No. 99 UNCG and it still sits outside the KenPom top 100.