Gooood afternoon, BBN! It’s time for another weekly roundup of last week’s college basketball. Also I didn’t know it until last night, but conference tournaments start tonight! Yes, you read that right: we are mere hours away from NCAA D1 postseason play in the Horizon League. It makes me want to jump up and down with excitement that we’re back where last year’s covid-halted season left off and are a little over 30 conference tourneys away from Selection Sunday and March Madness!
Detroit Mercy vs Robert Morris tonight @7. Loser’s season is over. Chills down the spine.
Biggest Winner: Kentucky Wildcats!
I just have to give it to them because we’re all a bunch of homers. If Kentucky smashes Tennessee in Knoxville they’re the biggest winner in my articles (the football team got that honor also back in October). Plus, look what UK’s been through this season—they entered the game 7-13...and beat a ranked Vols squad on the road by 15. That’s big time and a huge confidence boost ahead of the SEC Tournament: the ‘Cats last chance for a ticket to the Big Dance.
Biggest Question: Is Baylor In Trouble?
Yeesh that was ugly. Imagine winning your first 17 games against super tough competition, trying to match Gonzaga win-for-win in a quest for an undefeated season and national championship, trying to have your school’s best season ever, and being down 17 in the first half at home to a team that’s 2-17. That can cause some panic. Fortunately, the Bears got their act together and eked out the win by five.
Sure, we expected rust from a team that took a three week covid pause, but they were a hair away from a Quad 4 home loss that would’ve been the biggest upset since Duke lost to Stephen F. Austin last year. They better hope they can shake this off quick because while beating a 2-17 team at home is one thing, beating Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse is another.
This undefeated season might be in trouble.
Flashback: Last Year’s Conference Tournaments
I mentioned at the top of the article that conference tourneys kick off tonight with the Horizon League 1st Round. This is a big moment for all the players, coaches, and families that had their season stolen by covid last year right in the middle of these tournaments.
Here’s some of the highlights of the conference tournament games we did get last year in the last two weeks of pre-pandemic college basketball:
Sam Merrill’s Buzzer Beater: Utah State’s Thrilling Comeback vs 30-1 San Diego State: March 11th
Belmont’s Backdoor Cut to Beat Murray State: March 9th
Gonzaga Punches Ticket with Big Win Over St. Mary’s: March 10th
And finally, the last one: Washington State Beats Colorado in Last Game of 2019-2020: March 11th.
These conferences have had a year to prepare. They’re ready this time.