Cody Zeller

The lost century: 9 of 16 teams looking to break through

Mid-majors are the new Billy Beane. Sure, Beane hasn't actually won anything as the GM of the Oakland Athletics, but he has books and movies made about how he's changed the landscape – which, he has. Mid-majors have changed the basketball landscape as well, but they certainly haven't won anything. It's been since 1990 that a team outside of a current BCS conference has won it all (UNLV), and if you classify the Rebels as a "mid-major" then I think you might need to re-evaluate your definition. The last true mid-major to win it all was what – Marquette in 1977? Don Haskin's UTEP squad in 1966?

More importantly, modern basketball has been dominated by the big boys. And by that, I'm excluding what is without a doubt the best conference in college hoops – the Big Ten.

In the 12 years of the 21st century, only four conferences have been represented as the last team standing.

The ACC leads the way with five titles, the Big East and the SEC each have three, and the Big 12 has one.

No Big Ten. No Pac 12 (or Pac 10). No Atlantic Ten or Mountain West or anyone else. It's just those four.

Now, only seven teams remain from the four conferences which have won, and tonight, two of those teams (Marquette and Miami) play each other.

The conferences which haven't won are guaranteed to have at least one Final Four team (from the West Regional), and could have as many as seven of the Elite Eight.

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