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Wichita State (and others) shed mid-major tag

Associated Press
Wichita State's Garrett Stutz (41) goes to the basket against Washington State's Abe Lodwick (31) in the first half of a semifinal in the NIT college basketball tournament, Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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Wichita State's Garrett Stutz (41) goes to the basket against Washington State's Abe Lodwick (31) in …

Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall bristles when he hears the term "mid-major" applied to his team, even though he understands where people are coming from.

"There is not a lot that is mid-major about these guys," Marshall says.

The Shockers have yet another opportunity to prove that Thursday night, when they face top-seeded Alabama in the NIT championship game. It's the first of two title games pitting teams from smaller conferences against those from the so-called major conferences.

Butler and VCU meet in the Final Four in Houston on Saturday, with the winner facing UConn or Kentucky — a pair of traditional basketball heavyweights — for the national championship.

"I like to refer to our situation as a non-BCS program," Marshall says. "There are a lot of major programs that would like these guys."

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