Around the Mid-Majors: Week 14 (Basketball)
There are now four mid-major teams that sit in the top-25, with No. 21 Loyola Chicago and No. 22 San Diego State climbing up the rankings.
Starting it off with the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are a perfect 22-0. This week, the Zags had no problems against San Diego this weekend winning, 106-69. Drew Timme led the way with a team-high 21 points.
Gonzaga has just two games left to complete the perfect season. On Thursday, they Bulldogs will face Santa Clara.
The Houston Cougars tumbled to No. 12 in the top-25 after their 68-63 loss to Witchita State. The Shockers now sit on top of the American Conference and are another team to keep an eye on if they get hot.
The Cougars, however, did bounce back as they cruised past Cincinnati, 90-52. Guard Quentin Grimes fueled the Cougars with 20 points. Houston will welcome Western Kentucky on Thursday night.
Over in the Atlantic 10, St. Bonaventure and VCU are tied at the top. The Bonnies beat Davidson two times this week, 69-58 the first time and 56-53 in the other matchup. St. Bonaventure is at home against George Washington tomorrow night.
The Rams, however, fell to George Mason on Saturday, 79-76, but were able to get past a tough Saint Louis team 67-65. Vince Williams Jr. fueled VCU with 16 points and 9 rebounds. VCU faces Davidson in their season finale.
In the Big South, Winthrop continues to stay hot after sweeping High Point this past week. Both games were tightly contested, but the Eagles did enough to get by, winning 76-70 the first night and 71-63 in the other game.
Winthrop had their Tuesday game against Hampton canceled and is looking for a team to play on March 1. If they didn’t play another game, they would finish the year 20-1 and the top team in the Big South.
Switching gears to the Missouri Valley Conference, No. 21 Loyola Chicago and the Drake Bulldogs sit tied atop the conference.
Loyola Chicago came back from their loss to Drake as they topped Valparaiso 54-52. Keith Clemons paced the Ramblers with 16 points. They finish off their regular season at home with a series against Southern Illinois.
Meanwhile, Drake has found themselves on a four-game win streak. The Bulldogs swept Evansville over the weekend. Joseph Yesufu propelled Drake in both games, scoring 32 the first night and a career-high 36 the next day.
The Bulldogs will be on the road to finish off their season, as they travel to Peoria, Illinois to face the Bradley Braves.
Next up: the Mountain West and there is a huge matchup coming up this weekend as Boise State travels to face No. 22 San Diego State in each team’s season finale.
The Broncos have found themselves as the top team in the MW after they swept the former top team Utah State last week. Senior Derrick Alston Jr. was the leading scorer for Boise State in both games, with 26 and 23 points.
As for the Aztecs, they’re one of the hottest teams coming in with an eight-game winning streak. In their most recent series, they cruised past Fresno State with ease.
Tip-off is set for 9 p.m. on Thursday night on FS1, and then on Saturday at 4 p.m. that one can be seen on CBSSN.
Finishing it off with the Ohio Valley Conference, it’s the Belmont Bruins who are winners of 21 straight. The Bruins dominated Tennessee Tech last Friday, 90-66, and in the process secured the regular-season title for the OVC.
Up next for Belmont: it finishes its season on the road against two teams trying to avenge a loss to the Bruins. On Thursday, Belmont will take on Eastern Kentucky and on Saturday, Morehead State welcomes Belmont to Ellis T. Johnson Arena.
The postseason is nearing for the mid-major conferences and some teams find themselves in control of their own destiny. Also, the Horizon League starts postseason play with both Wright State and Cleveland State vying for that automatic qualifier to the NCAA tournament.
Matt Scalzo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.