Archive - Blog entry
January 23rd, 2017
We’re starting to settle in to conference play, and this week helped further establish teams that should be playing in the NCAA tournament when March rolls around. With their blowout win over Baylor, West Virginia has established themselves as a legitimate threat to Kansas for the regular season title. Those three teams, Baylor, Kansas, and West Virginia, have all but guaranteed themselves a spot in the NCAA tournament.
5-28. That is what the SEC’s record is against opponents in the current AP top 25 so far this year with all 5 wins coming from a combination of Kentucky and South Carolina who happen to play this Saturday. Anyway, there are three good teams in the SEC and they all happen to be ranked. And depending on the day, Arkansas may show up and look impressive, but the rest of the league is pretty putrid outside of those four teams. Auburn has flashed potential, but they still seem to be a year away.
In the beginning of the season SEC basketball seemed as if it was going to overachieve and more than three teams would punch their tickets into the tournament. When looking at the resumes of every team in the SEC, three seems about right. Kentucky, South Carolina, and Florida look like the only three locks to play in meaningful games past the conference tournament. No, the NIT or CBI do not count when talking about a power five conference and being successful.
Before I begin this week’s mid major blog, there are two mid major players that deserve some recognition. With the 2016 Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 candidates being announced, senior forward Alec Peters of Valparaiso and junior guard Nigel Williams Goss of Gonzaga have been named finalists. Both players are having spectacular seasons for their respective schools and conferences. Peters is averaging 23.8 points per game, 10.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, while he is shooting 45 percent from the field and 92 percent from the free throw line.
It was quite a week in the Big 12, with quality games around the conference, including an upset in Lubbock and near upsets of Baylor and Kansas. Texas Tech defeated West Virginia by a score of 77-76 in overtime, scoring the biggest upset of the season to this point in the Big 12. Baylor was taken to the wire by Iowa State and Oklahoma State, while the Jayhawks took down Kansas State on a very controversial game-winning layup by Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.