For the week of Dec. 11-17, Mid-Major Madness has selected Chicago State guard Wesley Cardet Jr. as the Mid-Major Player of the Week behind a pair of notable wins for the program.
Chicago State made history last Wednesday, surmounting a 75-73 second half comeback win against No. 25 Northwestern for the Cougars first victory over a ranked opponent at the Division I level.
As our own Lance Hartzler pointed out, the KenPom probability graph from this one is, well … pretty improbable.
Leading the charges for MMM’s favorite independent program was, of course, Cardet with a season-high 30 points, adding four rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the win. Most importantly, his five straight points with the Cougars down 57-61 at the 7:09 mark saw a lead shift in favor of CSU that wouldn’t be relented for the remainder of the second half.
With Northwestern coming off a recent upset win of its own over No. 1 Purdue, this will undoubtedly be a program building win for the Northeast Conference bound Cougars.
On Saturday, Cardet and Chicago State followed up the historic win with another tightly contested matchup against Valparaiso on the road. Emerging with a 63-62 victory, the Cougars battled back from a nine-point deficit with 4:21 left in the second half to secure the teams fifth win of the season.
Cardet once again led Chicago State’s offensive attack with a team-high 28 points, shooting 100% from three-point range, along with six rebounds, four assists, and a steal on the night.
After another win to open the current week, beating UTRGV 78-68 on Monday night, is an at-large bid on the Horizon for the searing hot Cougars? This won’t be the last you hear about Chicago State from us here at MMM…
Ian Martinez (Utah State) - Led an upset win at Santa Clara with a season-high 28 points, and three steals before dropping 20 points and eight boards to help defeat San Francisco on a neutral court.
Kevin Cross (Tulane) - Managed consecutive triple-doubles, with 25 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, and six steals in a win over Furman, followed by 20 points, 10 boards, 11 assists, and four blocked shots to beat Southern.