The start of the 2011-12 college basketball season means it is once again time to start figuring out which mid-major squads will play Cinderella when March rolls around. Butler has been the biggest Cinderella in recent memory, but there are a lot of solid teams coming out of mid-major conferences.
The West Coast Conference could put forth its claim as the best mid-major in all the land and make a solid argument in its favor. The release of the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 only serves to verify the impressive nature of the WCC. Gonzaga sits on top garnering 21 first place votes, BYU is ninth with one first place vote, Saint Mary's sits at No. 11 and Santa Clara is No. 25. The San Francisco Dons are sixth in "getting votes" with 45 votes. The four schools in the top 25 equals that of the Colonial Athletic Association, which is also in the "best mid-major" argument.
Santa Clara and San Francisco both took part in last season's CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Santa Clara took home the championship, while San Francisco made it to the quarterfinals before losing to the Broncos. Both schools are dark horses in the WCC and will look to take a step up from the CIT this season.