Good morning! If you’re reading this, you’re clearly starting your day off right with an effort to better yourself by becoming more educated about the goings-on in the mid-major world.
In a landscape so dominated by the biggest schools and conferences, it’s quite hard to winnow down the information you want and need to hear about your favorite mid-major programs.
Thankfully, Mid-Major Madness is here to aggregate the news and links for you, providing you with a brand-new, daily post about the world of mid-major hoops.
#Content to Read
Evaluating UTEP’s 2017-2018 schedule (Miner Rush)
Our colleagues over at Miner Rush, SB Nation’s UTEP site, wrote a good piece yesterday about the Miners’ newly-released basketball schedule for the upcoming season. Miner Rush’s Alex Nicolas looked at some of the highlights of UTEP’s agenda, breaking down the team’s inclusion in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and its impending matchups with both New Mexico and New Mexico State.
In writing about UTEP’s upcoming experience in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Nicolas noted that:
Florida State has already dropped out, and the pairings have not been released, but this will certainly be the Miners first true test after two exhibitions and a season opener against Louisiana College for the second straight season. UTEP went through the same start schedule wise last year with the Charleston Classic, and went 1-2 in the tourney last season.
Even without Florida State in the field, the PR Tip-Off will test this UTEP squad in terms of depth, who will be a go-to-guy(s), and gives us a small taste of what the conference play rotation could look like in close games down on the island.
Gonzaga’s academics were better than any other Final Four team (Slipper Still Fits)
Yes, Gonzaga was clearly the most likable, fun-to-root-for, and mid-major-y team in last season’s Final Four. That much is evident. We now have another tangible way of noting the Zags’ greatness, as the Bulldogs were the only team from last year’s Final Four that won one of the NABC’s Team Academic Excellence Awards.
While bragging about Gonzaga’s commendable award, The Slipper Still Fits’ Peter Woodburn made a great point about the Bulldogs and how they’re committed to doing things on the level:
It is easy to guffaw at the terminology of “student-athlete,” but at Gonzaga, that is really the deal. Bud Withers mentioned it in his excellent book Glory Hounds, but the Gonzaga coaching staff has always been most focused on not recruiting the best players out there, but the players that best fit into the culture—both of the athletic program, and of the school program.
We now know the pitch IUPUI made to the Horizon League (Mid-Major Madness)
They were the dark horse candidate for invitation to the Horizon League, and their ultimate selection left many shocked while wondering what went on to cause them to get that spot. After viewing the presentation they made, it’s clear that IUPUI made some solid points, including the one below that our fantastic editors Russell Steinberg and Chris Schutte laid out:
Simply being located in Indianapolis was also a major selling point for IUPUI, and with good reason. The presentation points out that Indianapolis is a top 25 national media market, and the school receives regular coverage in the Indianapolis Star and on local TV and radio. Markets are important to the Horizon League, as shown by its current membership, with schools in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Green Bay.
That top 25 market also happens to be home to NCAA headquarters and professional venues for every major sport. The presentation specifically highlights Bankers Life Fieldhouse, which is home to the Indiana Pacers and has frequently hosted the Big Ten Tournament.
Tweets of Interest
Shout it from the mountaintops, Princeton
I’m not sure what this means, but it involves Connecticut’s best team
For those who need to learn how to shoot a basketball:
One team is about to get a great transfer
Southern Utah guard Randy Onwuasor told ESPN he has asked for his release. Averaged 23.6 points last season. Would be a grad transfer.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 12, 2017
Bryan’s BYU throwback jersey looks fantastic
What is it they always say about refs at Southern Miss? Seriously, what do they say? Is that a saying?
You’re doing it right, Zack
FAU is athletic, and they want you to know it
/Dave from Alvin & the Chipmunks voice: KELLLLLVINNNNN!
UMass transfers Dejon Jarreau and Brison Gresham will visit Houston on July 22nd, per a source.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) July 12, 2017
Any Ivy League school that doesn’t win this should be removed from the league
“Wagner...team to beat...” I think I fainted
Between Corey Henson returning and Nick Madray coming to Staten Island it really seems like Wagner might be the team to beat in #NECMBB.— John Templon (@nybuckets) July 12, 2017
Campbell F Khadre Lane is transferring to the University of Indianapolis— Tai Young (@TaiYoungVC) July 12, 2017
Former UC Santa Barbara F Felix White is transferring to Northwest Nazarene (DII). https://t.co/JWu48ZPjtR— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) July 12, 2017