Gonzaga, Nevada proving they belong with big boys

Luke Babbitt's decision for Nevada shows the program has made big strides under Mark Fox. Jason O. Watson for ESPN.com

Each season, the NCAA Tournament features a couple of mid-major programs -- though in recent years that's a nebulous label -- that emerge during March Madness and create Cinderella stories. Many of these programs (i.e. Gonzaga, George Mason, Kent State, Nevada and Butler) hail from mid-major conferences, yet their respective talent is that of high-major ability.

On the West Coast, Gonzaga and Nevada have shed the mid-major label and are now considered high-major programs, and their overall talent pool and recruiting ability speaks for themselves.