Around the Mid-Majors: Week 10 (Basketball)

Story posted January 28, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Matt Scalzo

While there is a lot of buzz around schools in the major conferences of college basketball, there are still plenty of mid-major schools poised to make a run in March.

There are currently three teams ranked in the top-25 and multiple other teams receiving votes; the mid-majors are not pushovers.

Leading it off is the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs who are a perfect 15-0 and lead the nation with 94.4 points per game.

They are led by forward Corey Kispert who averages 20.6 points per game. Another bright spot for the Zags is freshman guard Jalen Suggs who leads the team in assists with 4.9 and steals with 2.3 per game.

Gonzaga has dominated conference competition and looks ready for another deep run in the postseason.

The Houston Cougars are a surprise team as they have climbed all the way up to No. 6 in the rankings. Guards Quentin Grimes and Marcus Sasser lead the team in points per game with 17.6 and 16.3, respectively. Having avenged their only loss to Tulsa last week, the Cougars prepare for their final stretch of conference play.

In the A10, No. 22 Saint Louis is back in action after a month-long hiatus due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Senior Javonte Perkins had 20 points in their first game back, but it was not good enough as Saint Louis fell to Dayton, 76-71. The Billikens will be back in action Friday night when they travel to face Richmond.

Sticking with the A10, there are a lot of other good teams, including Davidson, Richmond and VCU. However, atop them all is St. Bonaventure.

The Bonnies are 6-1 in-conference and 8-1 overall. Strong guard play from Kyle Lofton and Jaren Holmes have them in a good spot.

A team that is currently going under the radar is the Winthrop Eagles. The Eagles currently sit on top of the Big South with a 15-0 record.

Guard Chandler Vaudrin leads the team in points, assists, rebounds and steals per game. Winthrop is a team to keep an eye come March.

A couple more teams to keep an eye are Drake and Loyola Chicago, who sit at No. 1 and No. 2 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

The Drake Bulldogs are currently 15-0 and are starting to receive votes for the AP poll.

The Bulldogs have been taking care of business all year in and out of conference. This week they beat Missouri State, who’s third in the MVC, 68-61 on Tuesday and 78-73 on Wednesday.

The Ramblers of Loyola Chicago are a team who has gotten better as the year has progressed.

After taking tough losses to No. 12 Wisconsin and Richmond, Loyola Chicago has won 10 of its last 11. This week they’ll face a tough Missouri State team on Sunday and Monday.

Over in the Mountain West, the Boise State Broncos are the top team and are on the cusp of cracking the top-25. After starting the year with a loss to Houston, the Broncos then won 13 straight before dropping to Colorado State on Tuesday night, 78-56.

Finally, the Belmont Bruins who currently sit on top of the Ohio Valley Conference. They are currently undefeated in conference play and 16-1 overall. The Bruins are led by their balanced attack as five players average double figures in points per game.

There are plenty of talented teams in the mid-major conferences as we head into the final stretch of the regular season, where there are a few big matchups. There are a few teams that are eyeing a spot for a spot in the NCAA tournament.

 

Matt Scalzo is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email mms7477@psu.edu.

About the Contributors

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Matt Scalzo

Second Year / Broadcast Journalism

Matthew “Matt” Scalzo is a second-year from Ridgefield, Connecticut majoring in broadcast journalism. Matt is a part of the CommRadio sports department as a broadcaster and writer. With CommRadio he has called football, volleyball, basketball and hockey games. Matt is also the Penn State Women’s Volleyball play-by-play broadcaster calling games on both TV and radio. He has written countless articles and appeared on podcasts, live shows and is a part of The Extra Point, a talk show centered around the NFL. If you want to contact him, email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).