As another college basketball season is upon us the time old question comes around, who is the mid-major program that will cause the most damage this season? A few of these could even have what it takes to become the next cinderella once March Madness rolls around.
From the East Coast to the West Coast, these programs are the ones that capture the hearts of millions and bust brackets like a thin sheet of ice.
Starting with Atlantic 10, we have two teams with the capability to make a deep run in March. By now, these two programs have become household names across the college basketball world.
VCU and the Davidson Wildcats are no brainers when talking about mid-major college basketball no matter the year. With both teams picked preseason one and two in the A10 and both early favorites to make the Big Dance. It's a no brainer as to why these two teams would be top of our list heading into the 2019-2020 season.
Staying with the East Coast way of thinking, we take a trip up to Vermont, where the Catamounts are looking to pounce into the 2019- 2020 season after returning senior standout player Anthony Lamb. With Lamb returning for the Catamounts this season, and bringing back his 21 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. Look for this Vermont team to make a fight for a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
This next team comes from the rolling hills of Western Kentucky and has become one of the most recognizable names in college basketball. The Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky are poised to make a run not only in the Conference USA but also to make a statement within the college basketball world. With Charles Bassey and Taveion Hollingsworth returning for the Hilltoppers and the addition of Camron Justice, the Hilltoppers are the clear cut favorite to win the CUSA.
In the Atlantic Sun, the Liberty Flames look to repeat last year's trip to the Big Dance. The Flames return four starters from that team that not only made history by winning the Atlantic Sun in their inaugural season but also made a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Flames were able to advance to the second round after defeating the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Much like last season, this will be a team to watch out for as the season progresses into March.
It would not be a mid-major basketball conversation without the including of the two teams in the West Coast Conference.
Starting with the preseason favorite to win the WCC, the Gonzaga Bulldogs. The Zags have become one of the most feared teams in college basketball and rightfully so, after reaching a Sweet 16 or better in each of the last five seasons. Gonzaga is facing a rebuilding year, but the name alone will strike fear in any college basketball fan once the brackets are announced on Selection Sunday.
Staying in the WCC for our last team, the Gaels from St. Mary's will be a force to be reckoned with in the 2019-2020 season. The sharpshooting Gaels will look to play in their second NCAA Tournament and 7th in 15 years. This St. Mary's team returns 88.5% of last year's scoring. With that experience coming back this season, this team could be one of those teams that completely sneaks up on people and shocks the entire college basketball world.
With a brand new season upon us, it's time to sit back and appreciate mid-major basketball for what it truly is. These are the teams that capture the hearts of millions and live in the shadows of the elite.