One-and-done athletes have turned the NCAA's traditional powerhouses into a flight layover—hanging out for a season before catching a plane to the NBA. And while big conference schools shuffle their rosters like a split-flap display at O'Hare Airport, the mid-majors have been able to build and develop their programs with calculated stability. The result? Butler makes a championship, George Mason shocks the world and Jeremy Lin saves a franchise.
While you may not recognize the names on the back of the jerseys (or the front for that matter) and scoff at their goofy mascots, the days of mid-major inferiority are history. With conference tournaments, Selection Sunday and March Madness upon us, Complex is hooking you up with all you need to know about the best ballers you've never heard of.
Derrick Whittenburg knows a thing or two about mid-majors. After he won a title with NC State when his air ball pass to Lorenzo Charles sealed the 1983 National Championship—he coached for Long Beach State, George Mason and Fordham before landing his current gig as an analyst with ESPN. So grab a seat on a bubble and let the madness begin as ESPN's Dereck Whittenburg Breaks Down 10 Mid-Major Players to Watch.
As told to Sean Evans (@seanseaevans)