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NCAAB · a month ago

Top 5 Non-Power 6 College Basketball Programs

David Connelly - SportsGrid

David Connelly - SportsGrid

Top 5 Non-Power 6 College Basketball Programs

As the Power Six conferences continue to realign across the world of college sports, we want to ensure the spotlight doesn’t stray too far away from the perennial mid-major programs across the country.

Whether it’s Gonzaga dominating or teams like VCU going on a run that brings the madness to March, we rank the five best non-Power Six programs in college basketball.

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1. Gonzaga

You could make a case for the Zags being the best program in the country, let alone non-Power Six. They’ve accrued a ridiculous 223-24 record across the past seven seasons and have shown no signs of slowing down. While a national title has alluded head coach Mark Few and the Bulldogs, we don’t believe it’ll be long before they cut down the nets and bring a championship back to Spokane.

2. San Diego State

The Aztecs are on the back of their deepest NCAA Tournament run in program history, but they’ve been making waves in the national spotlight for over a decade. The arrival of Kawhi Leonard at the turn of the 2010s helped bring incredible attention to the program after stringing together six consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Steve Fisher helped breathe life into the program, and Brian Dutcher is doing a brilliant job keeping San Diego State more than relevant.

3. Saint Mary’s

Few coaches are more underrated than Saint Mary’s head coach Randy Bennett. He has lifted the Gaels out of irrelevancy since being hired at the turn of the century, maintaining them as a WCC power alongside Gonzaga. All the program is missing is a deep NCAA Tournament run, and we believe it’s just a matter of time until we see the Gaels break through in March.

4. Dayton

The Flyers were robbed of making serious noise on the sport’s biggest stage in 2020 after locking up the top seed in the NCAA Tournament before it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve still done well to remain a regular NCAA Tournament participant out of the Atlantic 10 and have one of the best rosters heading into 2023-24 on this list.

5. VCU

VCU’s dream run to the Final Four has done wonders for the program. Since 2011’s Cinderella story, the Rams have missed the NCAA Tournament three times in 12 seasons with just one losing conference record. They ought to compete atop the Atlantic 10 in 2023-24 alongside the Flyers for many years.

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