Busting Brackets

Mid-Major Basketball: Final top 30 power rankings for 2021-22 season

Mar 12, 2022; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; St. Peter's Peacocks head coach Shaheen Holloway reacts during the second half at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2022; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; St. Peter's Peacocks head coach Shaheen Holloway reacts during the second half at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports /
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NCAA Basketball St. Peter’s Peacocks (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
NCAA Basketball St. Peter’s Peacocks (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

In the fourth installment of the top 30 mid-major basketball power rankings, most of these teams played in a postseason tournament and after some won their conference tournaments, certain teams competed in the NCAA tournament. These mid-major power rankings are different from the previous three power rankings and the main difference is that the five ranking systems that were used to rank the top 30 teams, played a significantly smaller role in these mid-major rankings. There are two main reasons for this big change in the power rankings.

As discussed before, in these specialized mid-major rankings, there are 236 eligible teams for the top 30 mid-major power rankings. The main criteria and factor for the previous three top 30 mid-major power ranking came from five ranking systems used to determine ranking which included the Rating Percentage Index (RPI), Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings, the College Basketball Power Index (BPI), NET Rankings, and the Sagarin’s College Basketball Ratings.

However, the season’s final installment was altered due to some mid-major teams not participating in a post-season tournament and the surprising run of Saint Peter’s NCAA tournament run. The metrics and analytics used in the previous three top 30 mid-major rankings proved to not determine post-season success and the best example of that was Saint Peter’s deep NCAA tournament run.

It was surprising that some of the 236 eligible teams chose not to participate in a post-season tournament like the Basketball Classic that was looking for teams to play in their post-season tournament. It is completely understandable why a power five conference team like Syracuse or even an Atlantic team like George Mason whose program has developed a good reputation.

If you were a team in one of the 22 conferences eligible for these mid-major power rankings, one may think that any extra exposure and opportunities to have your team compete in more games and have your players gain more experience would be a great benefit for your program heading into next season.

However, some teams like Furman and Grand Canyon did not participate in a post-season tournament. Winning the Basketball Classic or even the CBI tournament is not on par as the NCAA tournament but Middle Tennessee, for example, made it to the CBI tournament final and almost won but lost in double overtime and they can take that momentum into next season. Therefore, Middle Tennessee earned the right to be moved up two spots in the top 30 mid-major rankings.

Saint Peter’s magical run to the Elite Eight was another reason why these mid-major power rankings were altered to end the 2021-2022 season. The Peacocks came nowhere close to appearing in the first mid-major power rankings as they had just lost at home to a Rider team that by many metrics is not a good team. Saint Peter’s was inching toward being named honorable mention in the second mid-major power rankings but still had work to do even though they won at Monmouth.

Even in the latest mid-major power rankings, even on a six-game winning streak, their metrics were not high enough to be ranked in the top 30 of the power rankings. However, the Peacocks won their conference tournament and shocked the college basketball world with their first-round victory over No. 2 seed. They then followed it up with a stunning win over Purdue to reach the Elite Eight before falling to North Carolina in their quest for a Final Four appearance. Regardless of previous mid-major rankings, St. Peter’s proved that sometimes numbers are not good predictors of post-season success.

It would have been easier to have included the American, Mountain West, West Coast, and the Atlantic 10 conferences in these power rankings but the idea of including only schools from conferences who are traditionally one bid NCAA tournament leagues was the idea around creating this “mid-major” power rankings. These power ranking was to give recognition to lesser-known schools who had success on the hardwood courts this season and not to schools necessarily who may not be considered true mid-major programs in basketball.

The following teams listed in these power rankings came close to being ranked in these top 30 mid-major power rankings. However, even though not ranked in the top 30, all of these teams had some quality wins and highlights throughout their seasons.