Friday, January 20, 2012

Poised to Make Some Noise

The college basketball season is well under way and you're starting to hear with words "quality win" and "bracketology" more frequently. That can only mean the Madness of March is around the corner. Poised to Make Some is going to be a series of articles that will look at some mid-major teams that could show that they aren't necessarily a little guy when it comes to tournament time.

Everyone has probably heard of the top twp mid-majors of this season, the Creighton Blue Jays and the Murray St. Racers. Both teams have been ranked for a number of weeks but let's mention a couple of other teams that are sneaky good. This week those teams are Wichita St. and Long Beach St.

The Missouri Valley is back this season and should get multiple bids to the Big Dance. Originally the Valley looked like it might get three invites but Northern Iowa has slumped since conference play began. Wichita St. returned almost everyone from last season's NIT Championship team and have quietly compiled a 16-3 record so far. The Shockers are tied for the MVC lead with Creighton and have some quality wins on their resume. They have beaten Colorado and knocked off a ranked UNLV team. The Shockers only losses this season were to Alabama, who was ranked at the time, Temple in OT, and the Blue Jays. The Shockers have one of the most experienced teams in all of hoops land and are no strangers to big games. A rumored matchup against Murray St. in the upcoming Bracket Busters will no doubt get the Shockers some national exposure and if they continue playing well, watch out in March.

The Long Beach St. 49ers are the defending Big West champions and currently undefeated in conference play. The 49ers are coached by Dan Monson, who brought Gonzaga to hoops prominence. Monson is duplicating his successful Zag's approach and isn't afraid to put anyone on the schedule. The 49ers are 2-3 against ranked teams this season. Senior guard Casper Ware leads the way and is the early favorite to add his second conference Player of the Year award. Long Beach St. will need a win in their Bracket Buster matchup to add to the post season resume, but they are a dangerous team and definitely one to watch in March.

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