Before the weekend started, we said that both the Mountain West and Missouri Valley had to make major statements this weekend in the annual MWC/MVC Challenge. As it turns out, both leagues came away with huge wins as Wichita State won big on the road and Wyoming knocked off Northern Iowa.
Those results won’t shock anyone, but there were still some big surprises: Indiana State upset Utah State, Evansville beat Boise State, and Loyola stunned San Diego State, to name a few.
So how do we make sense of it all? I don’t know. But here are some links that might help:
Injuries, slumps, and poor defense have combined to give the Cougars three losses in their last four games. It doesn’t get any easier coming up, as BYU hosts a tough Weber State team before facing Colorado and Illinois — and the Illini clobbered VCU over the weekend.
Jaylon Brown’s 21 points was too much for Boise State, which made a furious comeback in the final minutes to make this a game. The Broncos’ 11-1 spurt tied the game with 1:27 to go, but scored just one point the rest of the way.
The most important takeaway, clearly, was that Jay Bilas has agreed to grow a beard if Gonzaga makes the Final Four. I admit I’m not too savvy with constitutional law, but I believe the Founding Fathers would now require the Bulldogs to play on the season’s final weekend. Pretty sure that’s somewhere in the Bill of Rights.
The Black Bears wore special warmups displaying the LGBTQ flag before their game in Durham as a way to protest North Carolina’s infamous HB2 bill. While other schools have elected not to or been barred from traveling to the state, Maine decided to play the game, but make a statement in doing so.
We’ve liked Valpo from the start, in part because Peters is one of the best
mid-major players in the nation. Now, the national media is taking notice, starting with our own Mike Rutherford.
Deep down, we all knew this was coming. Grand Canyon is known for its exceptional fan support, particularly at this level, and Pitino is not one to keep his mouth shut. Still, it was great to see a coach from a national power recognizing the Lopes fans.
This one’s a few days old, but it’s worth a look. Rhody Rampage broke down the good and the bad from EC Matthews’ start to the season, and there’s been a clear difference. This was written before the Rams’ loss to Providence, and his 3-13 shooting performance against the Friars didn’t indicate much of a turnaround.