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Mid-Major Madness Twitter Mailbag: The final offseason edition

We answer your offseason questions one final time for the summer.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Buffalo Practice Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Guys, we’re so close.

In less than a month, college basketball teams will be officially back on the practice court. We’re on the home stretch of the offseason, and I think I speak for everyone when I say that I can’t wait for basketball to be back.

In celebration of making it to the final leg, we turned to our loyal readers for one of our favorite things: the Twitter mailbag. It’s something we’ve done often this offseason. Sometimes we’re serious, other times not so much. Next time we do this, it’ll be full speed ahead to preview the upcoming season.

Now, your questions.

The Ivy League should have one of the most competitive races in the country. There’s probably a general consensus that the top three are some order of Princeton, Harvard and Yale, but that fourth team is where there is some uncertainty. Similar to last year, I think that Penn ends up with the final spot for the conference tournament. Here’s how I’d rank them going into the season:

  1. Harvard
  2. Princeton
  3. Yale
  4. Penn

I’m not sure if we’ll a team assert itself as a dominant force at the level that the Shockers were during this decade. If anything, we’ll see more parity, which could be a good thing for the conference. Northern Iowa, Valparaiso (albeit in the Horizon League), and Illinois State to an extent have all found decent levels of success in recent years. Will they dominate year in and year out like Wichita State did? Probably not, but it shouldn’t be a surprise if those are some of the schools that end as regular contenders in the Valley.

Man, I’m going to miss covering the Shockers this year. As far as another mid-major making the leap to becoming a “high-major” program, there isn’t anyone that jumps out. Remember, football plays a big role in realignment, and it took special cases for Wichita State and Creighton to make the jumps that they did. We’ve discussed ad nauseam how Gonzaga is a high-major program operating in a mid-major league. They aren’t going anywhere. Neither is Saint Mary’s, Dayton, VCU, etc. The shuffling of teams at the mid-major level likely isn’t done, but I don’t foresee any programs making The Leap in the near future.

I don’t actually like cupcakes or cake of any kind, really. That being said, Valparaiso’s non-conference schedule isn’t anything to write home about, but it’s not terrible. Road games against Purdue and Northwestern are nice gets. Utah State, UNCW, Kent State and Santa Clara were all top-150 in KenPom last year. I personally think Ball State will be the best team in the MAC this year. Sure, there’s cupcakes on there, but it’s definitely not as bad as it could be.

Every fan base is bad.

I certainly hope they’re better than last year. Losing the final 16 games of the season doesn’t exactly instill much confidence. Khris Lane’s departure for VCU severely hurts a team that was already desperate for scoring. Isaiah Walton is going to have to carry a heavy burden for the Lancers. BK Ashe will be a nice addition, but it could be another long year for Jayson Gee and Co.

I too long for the opportunity to #ReadBenGoren again, but Ben Goren content has been lacking lately because he got a Big Boy job with his degree from the Medill School of Law. That, and he’s also a tennis brand now.

I went to the Indianapolis Zoo a couple weeks back, and there was in fact a reptile exhibit that had plenty of snakes. There were black snakes and brown snakes, venomous and non, snakes in the water and snakes in the leaves. There’s all kinds of snakes to see. I can confidently say that there are, at minimum, 10 snakes. There might even be more. It hard to say.