The 2009 Mid-Major Conference

Refer to this post if you don’t know what this is about or to catch up on the rules.

This year, only three conferences produced multiple bids to the NCAA Tournament: the MWC, A-10, and Horizon League. These conferences are guaranteed one spot each in the Mid-Major Conference.

Three teams reached the Sweet 16, all from different conferences. Of these, Gonzaga and Memphis did not come from a multi-bid conference, while Xavier did. From the Mountain West Conference, neither team won its first round game; from the Horizon League, one team won its first round game while the other did not. Utah and BYU split the season series, but Utah won the conference tournament and BYU, obviously, did not.

This leaves three spots in the MMC to be determined by my discretion, with no conference restrictions.

Without further ado, the eight members of the 2008 Mid-Major Conference:

Memphis (Conference USA)
Gonzaga (West Coast Conference)
Xavier (Atlantic 10)
Cleveland State (Horizon League)
Utah (Mountain West Conference)
Siena (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference)
Western Kentucky (Sun Belt Conference)
Utah State (Western Athletic Conference)

Davidson and Creighton were the only teams to make the NIT second round from conferences that didn’t qualify teams automatically, and both lost. After being passed over under the Northwestern State rule last year, Siena was a shoo-in for the MMC this year with a #9 seed and first-round tournament win. That left Western Kentucky, which won a first round game, to compete with VCU, Utah State, and Northern Iowa for the remaining spots. Northwestern State rule aside, I decided to push the Hilltoppers through because of their seed, and the remaining spot went to the team I most associated with an at-large bid opportunity.

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