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The Mid-Major Top 25 Class of 2019

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NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - Second Round Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

As I sit here on Sunday night, flipping through the options for this evening’s conference tournament viewing, I come across Wofford vs. Chattanooga battling it out in the SoCon semifinals, and to my surprise Wofford is the seven seed. As many will remember Wofford was something of UB’s contemporary last season. The Terriers spent 4 weeks last season in the AP Top 25 to UB’s 19, and grabbed a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament just behind UB at 6. Both programs lost their leader to a high-major school in the offseason with Nate Oats leaving for Alabama, and Mike Young heading to Virginia Tech. This realization put into perspective the accomplishment of Jim Whitesell and the Buffalo Bulls this season. Another mid-major program that experienced similar success last season and then lost their coach to a high-major school in the offseason is Nevada.

I won’t pontificate on what reasonable expectations for the program should be the rest of this season or going forward as that has been rehashed in various places for almost a year. However, I wanted to throw up a quick post that provided context of what our most comparable programs have done this season.

The percentage of returning possession minutes is the percentage of minutes for that team that returned from 2019 to 2020, weighted by the percentage of offensive possessions used by the player (i.e. how important they were to the offense). Numbers pulled from BartTorvik.