ROANOKE, Va. (en route to Charlotte) -- Hello again, friends, and welcome to your mid-major Pre-Hump Day.
Before we get to yesterday's action, though, something's been bugging me. I was driving through Maryland this morning, and out of nowhere a beer ad jingle from the Eighties jumped from the deep storage of the subconscious and into a permanent loop in the frontal lobe structure. Not unlike an old unjacketed 78, it's got dustwebs and cob-bunnies, and now it sounds like this:Who... said... you can't have it all?
Who said you can't have bacon... and rock and roll?
If anybody can remember this commercial, what beer it was for, and/or the correct lyrics, please drop me a line with the Magic Comment Machine at the bottom of the page. I reserve the right to say that my 2006 version is better.
George Michael!Vermont (A-East) 77, Boston College 63
- Cat-tastic! The Ultra-Violence Mechanism
that is the Vermont basketball team went into Silvio O. Conte Arena and handcuffed the upwardly mobile Eagles of the
ACC, holding them to 30 percent shooting and nullifying a 19-and-14 dub-dub by Jared Dudley. The Catamounts took the lead after six minutes and never looked back. America East... YES!
A bit of background: BC has been involved in some close mid-major calls in the last couple years, most notably with Sacred Heart, Holy Cross and Yale. In all cases, ridiculous foul disparities helped the Eagles freebie themselves to wins they didn't earn. Despite a 32-24 foul shot advantage in this game, Mike Lonergan's boys and their hot floor-shooting prevailed and no refs, off-duty local cops or otherwise, could stop them.Franklin Pierce 60, New Hampshire 59 (OT)
-- On a night of America East... YES!, a little bit of no as well. "Overtime thriller" are not words you want to hear when playing a D2 team, and you don't want to do it at home so the other school can then go and put a picture of the scoreboard on their website
. Semifinalists in Bill Herrion's first year in Durham, last year's Wildcats had some near-losses in the exhibition games. So the best cliche we can churn about this is: it's how you finish. Top Five Tuesday!
That's right, it's a holdover from the old ESPN blog. You're not going to find this much fun anywhere else, for $6.95 a month or otherwise. You think Jay Bilas is going to do Top Five Tuesday? (Seriously, though, I'm not bitter. They do take good care of me.)
Everybody's asking about March, so for our first T5T of the season, we'll be getting totally speculative. Which five mids have the best chance of not only getting to the Tournament, but winning a game (or four) when they're there? There won't be any surprises when CAA and Valley teams make their runs, so we'll be sticking to the presumptive one-bid leagues for the purposes of this demonstration.5. Albany (America East... YES!)
- Theme developing, for sure. There was the near miss against Connecticut, so they know what March tastes like now, and the Scoobies aren't all just reigning league POY Jamar Wilson either. A player to watch for is senior wing Jason Siggers, who came in last year as a juco transfer. Siggers can get up in the air just as well as Wilson, and put on a show last Saturday against...4. Bucknell (Patriot)
- This is an easy one, because of the two-year track record and the returning talent. As mentioned yesterday in this space, the Bison's 55-49 drop to UA gave them little maneuvering room for at-large consideration, but if they can win out with their old-school tooth-and-nail style, they'll be in positiona gain. They literally look like a team that just jumped out of a time machine from the mid-Sixties.3. Eastern Washington (Big Sky)
- A name you'll be hearing around here this year a lot is that of sophomore guard Rodney Stuckey, so much so that we may end up renaming the site Stuckeyville. A one-man show is one thing, but when that one man can jump, drive and penetrate like Stuckey can, big goodness is possible. A good night against UMPFN
recently just added to the legend.2. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
- The Toppers are stockpiling steal-this-recruits and building themselves into a long-term dominant force in the Belt. But after landing one spot out of the NCAA's after a title game loss, this could be a "surprise" Tournament run that sets up status as a solid at-large candidate on everyone's watchlist throughout 2007-08. Oh yeah, and 6-5 junior Courtney Lee (SBC preseason POY) is good at basketball.1. Winthrop (Big South)
- The Eagles were literally a blocked shot away from beating Tennessee back in March, and they have plenty of the four S's: size, speed, shooting and seniors. If they can get by Iona tonight in Charlotte at the p-nutty PNIT, they'll have a shot at North Carolina in a venue that's (geographically, at least) closer to campus than Chapel Hill.