Hoops Nation rejoice! College football season is finally over!Mid-Continent: Oral Roberts 73, Southern Utah 67 (story) - It was a ho-hum night for the Golden Eagles' wonder twin powers: pocket-sized guard Ken Tutt dropped 22 points, and Caleb Green dub-dubbed with 14 points and 11 rebounds. ORU also doubled up SUU on the boards 40-20 (including 16 offensive rebounds). So why was this, a home game for Oral Roberts (10-3, 1-0 MidCon) against the sad-sack Thunderbirds, even a close one? The Eagles committed 20 turnovers (seven above their season average), a figure which included 15 butterfingery moments for the starting frontcourt. This was such a factor that Tutt found himself shooting crucial free throws with a minute remaining.Mid-Continent: Valparaiso 54, Western Illinois 51 (story) - Flash back to December 11 for a moment - Valpo (and Mr. Zebra) beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee for their first win in six tries. In retrospect, it was a season turning point - they've won five games since, and their three losses in that period came to teams with a combined 32-3 record. This Crusader crew may turn out to be as streaky as last year's, but is the new boss of the Mid-Con the same as the old boss? We should know more after this Saturday, when Valpo hosts the overwhelming conference favorites that were mentioned in the previous paragraph. Oh, the game? Western rallied from a ten-point deficit in the last three minutes to cut the lead to one with 20 seconds left to play, but lunchpailer Dan Oppland hit two free-throws with time running out to ice the win. WIU's hoopsters (3-7, 0-1 MidCon) are known as the Leathernecks, have a dog mascot, and are not likely to be mentioned very much for the remainder of the season. That is all.
Games! Of! The! Night!
In the Colonial, Old Dominion
travels to Philly to take on primary league rival Drexel
. A Monarch blowout would all but assure that the CAA will fall to the red-state column, but my local sources are hinting that hobbled Dragon widebody Sean Brooks could make a surprise Willis Reed-style appearance. Out in the Missouri Valley, Bradley
and Southwest Missouri State
go at it; both teams are 1-1 in league play so far. SMS took down Evansville
last Saturday, and the Braves beat Indiana State
by ten in a showdown between two former Mid-Majority Ballers Of The Week
Also make sure to check out tonight's throwback Duke
game on ESPN, which provides the same matchup as for the first-ever game in Duke Indoor Stadium (now Cameron, natch) 65 years ago tomorrow
. The amount of academic legend linking the two schools is plentiful
, but the only time the Tiger cagers have managed a win in this 16-game series was in 1981, Coach K's second year at the helm. The players will be attired in the style of the bygone era tonight, but there is no truth to the rampant rumor that legendary basketball reporter "Ace" Whelliston
will be in attendance.
Congratulations to defending Division II champion Kennesaw State
, which has announced it will begin its four-year transition to fully-fledged D1 status
and likely join the Atlantic Sun conference. Hello, Owls! Welcome to the mid-majority!
Over these past few days, I've been running into plenty of mid-season predictions (sure, I'm guilty too
), all-This teams and all-That teams. One word keeps crossing my mind: accountability
. Some of these mainstream media wags do nothing but barf these lists out on a rapidly-recurring basis, and it's dizzyingly difficult to call them out for stupid selections when they keep on making more/better/different ones. The question becomes this: how to ensure that our prognosticators are giving proper thought, research and analysis to each prognostication?
I thought about the administration of powerful electric shocks for every wrong choice, but that would be way too harsh. Then I resolved to ignore any ESPN or CNNSI or CBS crystal-ball reading that doesn't include scanned copies of the writer's betting slips - if you can't put your money where your mouth is, I'm not interested.
So I guess this is good a time as any to announce my first All-Mid-Majority team
, it being the quarter-mark of the 100 Games Project
and all. It'd be too easy to populate it with former MMBOWs
, but I'll limit it to players I've actually seen play with my own two eyes and have gone all goo-goo over. Here's how it'll be done: I'll pull out a five-man unit every 25 games (no repeats), and pit them against each other in a riveting Playstation tournament on some March weekday when Hoops Nation is trying to find something other than NIT games to watch. Or something. Here we go...PG
- Abe Badmus
- Mike Dean
, Middle Tennessee StateSF
- Steven Smith
- Daniel Kickert
, St. Mary'sC
- Judson Wallace
Most All-Whatever Teams, if actually assembled in real life, would likely devolve into dreary bling-offs with "I'm the man" skirmishes. Actual games would also require rulebook amendments allowing for multiple basketballs to be put in play at once. My team is built to go out there and win ballgames.
The other night, independent darlings Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
(9-4) lost at their gulfside palace to Oklahoma State
. Even though they trailed by only just three at the half, they turned the ball over a lot and they might as well set their sights on the NIT now. But it got me to thinking... using today's advanced cybermetric statistical projection and simulation devices, how many of the thirty-one Division I conferences could the Islanders reasonably win this season (and collect a Dance ticket from) were they members? For instance, I'm fairly certain they could take the SWAC pretty easily. I know there are folks out there who do this type of thing for fun - I know, 'cause I get letters. The first, best, most detailed or only answer to this challenge
will result in an instant ascension to the Mid-Majority Pantheon Of Heroes.
NCAA President Myles Brand says that minority hiring practices in D1 are "unacceptable,"
but that there's nothing he can do about it. But wait, wouldn't this be a job for the Triple-Secret Basketball Ninja Task Force?
I was a mere child of ten when tiny Chaminade beat mighty Virginia
in December of 1982. I remember it because I had made an orange construction-paper Ralph Sampson jersey for my Lando Calrissian action figure 'round about that time, and the result crossed my mind again two weeks ago whilst daydreaming about Longwood's chances against Illinois
. Mark Wells, who hit the free throws that won that game for Chaminade, was found shot to death yesterday
in Hawaii. Looks like his fleeting basketball glory faded into homelessness, sketchy sexual assault charges, and mortal enemies - a sad story among sad stories.