"I do think it's interesting that Creighton was one of the top teams with us the last couple years in this league," said Marshall, whose Shockers already have wrapped up the Missouri Valley title. "Now they go to the Big East, considered an elite league, and they're dominating the league, and us with them gone are having to justify our (30-0) record. That's an interesting quandary."
For its part, the NCAA insists that it never labels teams as majors or mid-majors, but it sure becomes point of discussion — or dissension — every time Selection Sunday rolls around.
"We don't get into conference details," said Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman, the chairman of the Division I men's basketball committee. "We pay no attention to what a team's label publicly might be, whether it's mid-major, major. That is not a factor that we look at."
Now, it may not be a factor looked at by anybody.
The Shockers are receiving first-place votes, and Saint Louis remained No. 10 in this week's Top 25. San Diego State rose to No. 6 before a recent loss, and schools such as Southern Methodist and New Mexico — schools formerly known as mid-majors — are also appearing in the polls.
Thus, the death of the term mid-major appears to be at hand.
It is survived by other more meaningful ways to compare teams, such as RPI, one of the metrics used by the NCAA selection committee. It was preceded in death by the peach basket, short-shorts and other basketball novelties that ultimately outgrew their relevancy.
"You mention Wichita State and San Diego State," Indiana State coach Greg Lansing said. "Those two teams, as far as I'm concerned, are high majors. That's how they should be viewed."
AP Sports Writer Bernie Wilson in San Diego contributed to this report.