The Never Made the Tourney Club has come down from the highs of last week, but there’s still plenty of interesting results coming through the tape.
What’s the most improbable thing that has happened to William and Mary? Well, if we’re being honest, it’s the Glorious Revolution of 1688-1689, when the English people rose up to overthrow the Stuarts and installed a Dutch prince on the throne without any violence. But last Thursday’s comeback from the Tribe is certainly up there! Look at this win probability graph!
That’s wild. William & Mary was down by 11 with under four minutes and hit a bunch of ridiculous threes to send the game to overtime. However, the Tribe followed it up with a disappointing blowout loss to Towson. They needed that win to stay afloat in the Colonial and to hold off Towson, Northeastern and Hofstra.
Then there’s Elon, another club member who has been playing quite well this month. Elon picked up a key win over Charleston and is 4-2 in conference.
The MEAC may be the second-worst conference in college basketball, but still, no one expected Bethune-Cookman to be UNDEFEATED in conference play through four games. The Wildcats were projected to be one of the 15 worst teams in the country, and now they are only one of the 50 worst teams in the country, which is quite an accomplishment. Undefeated NC Central is the consensus favorite in the MEAC, but Bethune-Cookman now has a win over the Stetson Hatters of the Atlantic Sun, which is just adding to the résumé.
In the great history of the Never Made the Tourney Club, there might be no greater villain than South Dakota State’s Mike Daum (admittedly a hero of this site). Yeah, he’s a great player who scores a million points per game. He’s a legend and criminally underrated...blah, blah, blah. He’s also destroyed the dreams of many an NMTC member. Last year, he took down South Dakota and Nebraska-Omaha in the Summit League Tournament.
Now he’s averaging over 30 points a game in the Summit League and South Dakota State looks like it’s the class of the conference again. This is at the expense of South Dakota, our heroes, who are still good but have fallen behind in KenPom. Right now, it looks like Daum is probably going to somehow get his third NCAA Tournament appearance with South Dakota State, crushing our dreams yet again.
Grand Canyon has an uphill battle
Grand Canyon had a WAC showdown with New Mexico State. It went badly. New Mexico State dominated the game and won by 11, rising to No. 57 in KenPom and establishing itself as a very, very dangerous mid-major. Grand Canyon is on the ropes and doesn’t really have a path to the tournament that doesn’t go through New Mexico State. An easy win over fellow member UT Rio Grande Valley won’t assuage Dan Majerle much looking forward.
No one else really sticks out
All the teams that were doing well in our last installment have fallen off. St. Francis Brooklyn, Presbyterian and Quinnipiac are all still pretty bad. Florida Gulf Coast is looking really good in the Atlantic Sun, which is a bad sign for Lipscomb and Garrison Matthews. We’ll have to wait for the conference tournaments to see what the other teams can do right now.