Two bid Mid-Major conference possibilities for the 2022 NCAA Tournament

Photo by Chris McKee.

Taking a look at what mid-major conferences could be two bid leagues into March Madness.

Most mid-major coaches are realistic in their expectations of getting into the NCAA tournament; win the conference and get in. That’s it.

However, many fan bases don’t see things quite as clear and many hold on for hope that their league could be a two bid league. Here are some scenarios that could see two mid-major programs from the same conference get into the NCAA Tournament.

A-10: Its possible, but not likely. Davidson is currently No.1 at 18-3 (8-1) but their out of conference schedule was very week (two wins against non D1 teams). Dayton (15-7), Saint Louis (15-6), VCU (13-7) are all mediocre this season and would need a very hot Feb. and March to get in.

Conference USA: They have the talent, but the league is too balanced. North Texas leads the West at 15-4 (8-1) with Middle Tennessee leading the East 14-6 (5-2). C-USA was a better league last year than this year, so its not likely two C-USA teams get in.

MAAC: Iona is a tournament team at 18-3 (10-0), so if they get beat in their conference tournament, maybe they get an at large bid because of the name Rick Pitino. Its not a likely scenario, but certainly possible.

Mid-American: The MAC should get more than one team in. Toledo leads at 18-4 (10-1) but Ohio is just as good at 18-3 (9-1). It would be a shame if both don’t get into March Madness because they’re both excellent teams. There is zero doubt that Toledo and Ohio are two of the best 40 teams in college basketball.

MVC: Not this year. Loyola-Chicago 17-4 (8-2) losing back-to-back games this week put a dent in the two bid possibility. If the Ramblers had stayed in the Top 25 for a few more weeks it would’ve helped the league, but this is now a win and get in league for 2022. Drake has had too many injuries to be an at-large team this year again.

Mountain West: Here is where you could see several at-large bids for teams that don’t win the MWC. Boise State 17-4 (8-0) has won 14 in a row and now lead the MWC. However, Wyoming 17-3 (6-1), San Diego State 12-5 (4-2) and Colorado State 16-3 (6-3) are all outstanding teams that are capable of making runs if they get in. You should see at least two (maybe more) MWC teams in this year.

OVC: Murray State is now 21-2 and should be ranked. If they lose in the OVC tournament to either Morehead State 18-6 (10-1) or Belmont 17-5 (7-2) you could see the Racers get an at-large bid because they could be a 30 win team by March.

Sun Belt: Just like C-USA, the league is too balanced with as many as eight or nine teams capable of winning the conference tournament. Appalachian State leads at 14-9 (8-2) but just about anyone can win the Sun Belt tournament. Can’t see two teams getting in.

West Coast: If someone pulls a Buster Douglas style upset and takes down Gonzaga in the WCC tournament then its certain two teams will get in. Many in the media who go to bed at 10pm ET and don’t even watch WCC games seem to like BYU 17-6 (5-3) as well as Saint Mary’s 17-4 (5-1), but neither team has been as good as years past and they’d get run over in March Madness if they get in.

As for the rest of the mid-major conferences hoping for a two bid league, in the words of the great John Candy as Del Griffith in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, “We’d have more luck playing pick-up sticks with our butt-cheeks.”