NATCHITOCHES, La. — Fans of the Lamar Cardinals have been waiting patiently for a few years for their team to become a factor in the Southland Conference.
Some thought it would be last season when the Cardinals opened the season with an 8-4 record in non-conference action. However, they struggled mightily in Southland play, finishing the season at 11-19 overall, and 3-15 in conference action.
This season has been a different story, as the Cardinals have kept themselves at or above the .500 clip for the entire year.
On Wednesday night, the Cardinals were looking to clinch their first winning season since 2012. They had their hands full, however, as they were on the road to take on the Northwestern State Demons.
Senior guard Zeek Woodley was making his return to the lineup for the Demons after sustaining a broken wrist earlier in the year, which forced him to miss eight weeks of action. His return gave Northwestern State some extra motivation, but it wouldn’t be enough against the Cardinals.
Every year, teams see their dreams of making the NCAA Tournament come true, while others accept bids into other post-season tournaments.
Last season, 68 teams made the NCAA Tournament, 32 made the NIT, 16 made the College Basketball Invitational, 32 made the CollegeInsider.Com Tournament, and 8 teams took part in the inaugural Vegas 16 tournament. If the math is correct, that leaves 195 teams without a spot in post-season play.
Some teams aren’t even eligible for post-season play due to off-court issues, whether it’s due to low APR scorers or self-imposed bans.
That’s where we come in. We don’t discriminate, and even teams who aren’t eligible in the real world are welcome in our eyes. Living up to the Canadian stereotype of always being nice, we have included all 351 teams into one hypothetical post-season tournament.
CALGARY, Alta. — While the Vermont Catamounts look to be the clear favourite to win the America East title, there are several teams who they should be worried about as the conference tournament approaches.
One of those teams possesses one of the stronger guard-forward tandems in the conference, if not the NCAA as a whole.
The New Hampshire Wildcats boast junior forward Tanner Leissner inside, and senior scoring guard Jaleen Smith on the outside. The two have combined to average more than 32 points and 14 rebounds per contest this year, and they have helped to lead the Wildcats to a 17-11 record overall.
This past week, Smith put all of his talents on display in a pair of wins for New Hampshire. He can impact the game on so many levels, and that was prevalent over the past seven days.
CALGARY, Alta. — We would like to apologize to the rest of the MAAC once again for igniting a fire under Justin Robinson before the season began.
In the off-season, we ranked the senior as the 62nd-best player in the country. On social media, Robinson, his teammates, and fans expressed their dislike around the ranking, and it’s tough to blame them.
This season, the 5’8” guard has once again led the Monmouth Hawks to a regular season MAAC title, and has them in a prime spot to make it to the NCAA Tournament. After being snubbed last season, the Hawks have been on a tear in 2016-17.
Monmouth continued rolling this past week, posting two wins and extending their winning streak to 13 games and clinching the regular season conference title in the process.
Robinson was at the forefront of the Hawks’ two wins this week, posting his first 40-point game of the season on Monday to boot.
CALGARY, Alta. — His nickname is ‘The Dauminator’, and for good reason.
Mike Daum is undoubtedly one of the best players in all of college basketball, and he’s only in his second season with the South Dakota State Jackrabbits. The nickname fits right into his last name, and he dominates each time he steps foot onto the hardwood.
Ever since his first game as a freshman last year, Daum has been a household name among those in the Summit League. Slowly but surely, he has become a household name on a national level.
This past week was another example of just how dominate the 6’9” sophomore can be. The Jackrabbits came into the week riding a two-game losing streak, but thanks to Daum’s strong play, they got back on the right track.
Over the two wins for South Dakota State, Daum was at the forefront of the offensive attack. He set a season-high mark for the entire NCAA in Saturday’s contest, and has inched ever so close to etching his name into the record books with the Jackrabbits.
POCATELLO, ID. — The 2016-17 season hasn’t been too kind to the Idaho State Bengals, especially after how they fared a season ago.
The arrival of guard Ethan Telfair last year changed the fortunes for the Bengals, and they vaulted up into fourth spot in the Big Sky standings. Entering this year, the Bengals were a trendy pick in the race for the Big Sky crown, but they have been unable to build off the momentum they created last season.
On Thursday night, Idaho State welcomed the North Dakota Fighting Hawks to town. A win over North Dakota would give the Bengals a big boost of momentum heading into the conference in just a couple of weeks.
While the Bengals would hold a slim lead early on, the Fighting Hawks would pull away as the opening half ticked away. After taking a seven-point lead into the break, North Dakota wouldn’t trail in the second half.