I'd like to introduce a new column that I'm going to release weekly each Monday (or at least that's the plan), "What I learned in Mid-Majors". The beautiful thing about covering college basketball, especially almost 300 teams, is that I'm always learning new things. Basically this will just be unfiltered observations of things I notice throughout the week.
I'd love to add a mailbag segment with any questions or anything you see among the mid-majors, so feel free to shoot me an email or send me a tweet. All that info is here.
So without further ado here is my first column for the year....
- I really love the tournaments or events that set off the college basketball new years. I'm not talking about aircraft carriers or anything goofy like that but more so events like the Connecticut 6 or the All-Military Classic. I like the events that pit like minded schools and competition against each other. In the four games of the All-Military Classic this weekend the average margin of victory was 6.5 points. Who doesn't want to see games like that to set off the season?
- Under Armour is absolutely ruining college basketball uniforms. From what I've heard from various reps and coaching staffs is that for the most part a lot of schools are choosing UA just to be cool and sure, UA makes plenty of good things but they ruined the jerseys for the Manhattan Jaspers. I loved Manhattan's kits a year ago, they were a unique shade of green and had a classic look. Now Manhattan's jerseys look like they were bought on discount from a yard sale that Hawaii had.
- I already knew this but have to vent a little anyways. When you have 150+ Division I games on a single day then you're going to get some pretty terrible referees. This couldn't be more true for the teams that opened up with a non-Division I opponent. Every time this seems to happen you seem to get a YMCA girls middle school refs that doesn't know any NCAA rules (hello restricted area) and also wants to make the games all about themselves. It sucks when a team is simply trying to get their rhythm going against a non-D1 and that is stymied by a ref who wants to make the game a two and half hour affair.
- I love fan sites, message boards, etc. but please for the love of god if you're one of these sites don't tweet out every single basket during your game! I use twitter to get a lot of different information from around the college hoops landscape and there is nothing worse than an account going play by play wild. If there is a big play tweet it, if it's a media timeout tweet it, but I don't need to know that VCU just missed a three from the wing and remains up 7-3. The other facet of this is if you're tweeting like this then how on earth are you really paying full attention to what's going on during the game? You're simply just watching the ball at that point.
- We started a fantasy league here at Mid-Major Madness and somehow I ended up with the first pick. I took Jalan West from Northwestern State who only had 10 points in his opener versus Texas A&M. Jalan, you let me down! Meanwhile I was happy to add Javonte Green to my squad who is already in beast mode for Radford with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 2 blocks in his first outing. Special shoutout to Brad Wadlow as well who registered a double-double during opening night for Big Wood. Yea I know, it's a great name for a Longwood alum.
- There are always teams that I do secret fist pumps for when I see them win a game and get a little down when I see them lose. After getting home from the Longwood game Friday one of those teams that let me down was Murray State. I know the Racers had a rocking house for an opener against a decent name in Houston. When scanning the scores the 77-74 loss seemed like a bit of a missed opportunity for Prohm's crew.
- On the other end it was great to see Barclay Radebaugh's Charleston Southern Buccaneers knock off Ole Miss in overtime. Radebaugh is a great guy and had always been great to us at Mid-Major Madness regularly appearing on our podcast.
- Lastly, I'd like to give a shoutout to the whole staff at Mid-Major Madness this weekend. We had a lot of really great content and everyone was really geeked up for the season to tip-off.