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Mid-major programs opting out of games against high-major foes, per report

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Hard to blame them.

NCAA Basketball: Eastern Kentucky at Xavier Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Mid-major programs are fed up with the high-majors poaching their top players, and it’s hard to blame them.

Now, it appears some of those mid-majors are set to take action, as Jon Rothstein reports “Multiple mid-major programs are opting to not play guarantee games against high-major programs because it gives power conference teams a “free live evaluation” of future players who could move up via the transfer portal.”

In many ways, college basketball has had a free agent market each offseason in recent years. Mid-major players with any potential of playing at the next level have often entered the portal in hopes of landing at a big-name program to boost their draft stock.

Now, with the NCAA looking to allow players transferring for the first time to gain instant eligibility, the portal will grow even more each year.

This comes despite players such as former Murray State star Ja Morant proving if you can play, scouts will find and draft you.

Kentucky Wildcats is one of many programs that have grabbed mid-major talent as this offseason they landed Davidson transfer and one of the top players in the Atlantic 10 in Kellan Grady.

They’ve also been in the running for players such as Evansville’s DeAndre Williams, who landed with Penny Hardaway at Memphis.

Not only do mid-majors have a disadvantage against bigger programs taking their players but most times, in head-to-head matches, they take road trips and suffer lopsided losses. The Evansville and Stephen F Austin upsets are rare to say the least and mid-majors have every right to avoid automatic scheduling losses.

Thus, college basketball and the NCAA again will have to figure out ways to keep mid-major talent at their respective programs, or else, we could see a repeat of the 2020-21 season where many powerhouse programs play loaded schedules.