Mid-Major Madness – Trestyn M. & Van F.

Trestyn Mayberry

From Kennesaw State (26-8) finally making the tournament for the 1st time in program history to Antonie Davis from Detroit Mercy being 3 points short of breaking “Pistol” Pete Maravich’s shot in a loss that ended their season against Youngstown State. Starting off March there was a lot of hype going into the 1st conference tournament of the 2022-23 season with the ASUN tournament with Kennesaw State and Liberty (26-8) leading the conference during the season and going in dominating the whole tourney and meeting in the Championship. This game means everything to Kennesaw State as 3 years they were 1-28 and had no idea in what direction their program would end up but after signing Amir-Abdur Rahiem as their next Head Coach and changing the whole program in a couple of years. Liberty was one team that stood neck-and-neck with Kennesaw State, so this game was going to battle no matter what. That it was with the game going down to the final seconds with Kennesaw State’s Terrell Burdin being fouled with a second to go Burdin drilled a free-throw and internally missed the 2nd to send the Owls to their 1st ever NCAA Tournament.

There were still many surprises to come as the Northeast conference had one of the most controversial endings of a tournament this season as both of the top teams faced off. Merrimack (18-16) had taken the 1 seed with a lot of great playing but the only thing wrong with this is that they had just transitioned from FCS to Division 1, which means that they have probation of 3 years of not making the tournament. This meant whether they made the championship or not they would not be able to see an NCAA Tournament until they played 3 full seasons of Divison 1 basketball. Merrimack did end up facing Farleigh Dickinson (19-15) where they did win 67-66 but this championship meant nothing to the Warriors as Farleigh Dickinson would be dancing in March. Another team that we would see dancing from some lower-named conferences like the Summit League was a previous bracket spoiler, Oral Roberts (30-4) steamrolled their way through the conference to secure a conference championship and NCAA Tournament berth. Also out of the West Coast Confrence, there were 2 teams that outshined them all and that was Gonzaga (28-5) and Saint Mary’s (26-7),  with both teams battling it out in the Championship and Gonzaga getting the edge over the Gaels as Saint Mary’s had upsetting Gonzaga earlier in the year.


In addition to all these cinderella stories the College of Charleston (31-3) has had a season of wonders with dominating opponents left and right led by Senior guard Dalton Bolon. FAU had a turnaround season under head coach Dusty May going 19-15 last season and being another middle-of-the-pack team in Confrence USA but the Owls are led by guards Johnell Davis (born in Gary, IN) and Alijah Martin. Going across the country to the Mountain West, they currently look like they could have 3 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament like San Diego State, Utah State, and Boise State. They could have 1 less team now with Boise State possibly not looking powerful enough with their Quad wins and a loss in the Mountain West tournament to Utah State. This season has been full of surprises and I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to see a mid-major program making it to the Final 4.