Gooooood afternoon, BBN! It’s time to find the biggest winners of last week’s college basketball, ponder the sport’s biggest questions, and enjoy a blast from the past flashback to a thrilling game of yore.
Let’s get started.
Biggest Winner: Loyola-Chicago
The Missouri Valley Conference is the biggest winner, but they aren’t a team so I have to go with Loyola. Drake, a powerful team with a 19-1 record, hosted the 17-3 Ramblers twice over the weekend in a highly anticipated double-header. The result? A split, which helped both teams but mostly helped the conference since it kept alive the possibility of getting two (or three??) MVC teams in the NCAA Tournament.
Loyola is the big winner, though, because it blew Drake out of the water in the first game and played on the road. On top of that, they narrowly squeezed by Valparaiso by two last night to improve to 19-4. If they keep on winning like they did last week, they and 101 year-old team chaplain Sister Jean can begin another Final Four quest.
Biggest Question: Which bluebloods can still get an at-large?
Not many. Keeping the list to the seven main bluebloods of Kentucky, North Carolina, Duke, Indiana, Kansas, Indiana, and UCLA, you only have one surefire bet: Kansas. They are also the only ranked team of the bunch. If you read my Bracket Bouncer column, you’ll know that Kentucky and Duke have already been bounced. Indiana and North Carolina played with fire for a while, but I think they’re on track.
In summary, we’ll probably have 5 of 7, though it’s unlikely any of them reach the Elite 8.
Flashback: Oregon wins the first NCAA Tournament in 1939.
How about wearing those shorts in today’s snow?
That’s all for this week! Stay safe during the winter storms, and go ‘Cats!