Hello all, and greetings from Las Vegas. Its been a very busy but fun two days here and despite the trips to Hoover Dam and the golf outing at Royal Links Golf course, the nice winnings from hold em poker here at the casino, I still have found time to keep track of mid major college basketball.
First, as promised Tom Kemp is all aboard now and yes Tom, a very big win for Kent State Saturday. Saw the score and the first thing I thought is "Tom is going to be posting to the site shortly". And no, I didn't see the game and that's why Kent State won! But I can guarantee you I will be watching that Kent State St Mary's game. Second, you and my friend Tony, who I am here in Las Vegas with, both called the UNCW upset of George Mason Saturday night, effectively ending the Patriots' bid for an at large berth in the NCAA tourney (in fact Tony was very upset he didn't get a bet on the game in time). I watched the second half with my friend Tony at the Gold Coast Casino sports book and it was a very solid performance by the Seahawks. Hopefully now a lot of people know how good TJ Carter is.
By the way, Tom, did you watch how for some reason the Patriots kept shooting threes immediately for a good part of the second half, despite Will Thomas being inside? The only time Mason would score is when they worked in to Thomas and once doubled teamed he found the open shooter. And is there anymore erratic player in the mid majors than Patriot guard Dre Smith. A few weeks ago, Smith went 10 from 10 from the three point arc. Saturday night, Smith took only five shots, all from three, and all missed (but that performance is more the norm for Smith)
The Seahawks are now tied for second in the CAA with Mason, with UNCW holding the tiebreaker, sweeping the series.
Perhaps even more shocking was the one loss by VCU at home to ODU, 67-66, though again my friend Tony called this one (but this time he got the bet in). The key difference for ODU was the play of their guards, Brandon Johnson and Brian Henderson combined to shoot 12 of 17 from the field for 34 points including 4 of 6 from three. When the ODU guards can shoot effectively, it takes the burden off the Monarchs best player, forward Gerald Lee. Another important factor that I have noted in a previous blog posting is that VCU has no scoring options in the frontcourt. VCU got 52 of their 66 points from their guards, including 44 combined from Eric Maynor and Jamal Shuler.
And finally, yes that was a nice win by Hofstra at JMU, 86-85. My friend Mal was text messaging updates as we drove to Hoover Dam. Antonie Agudio again torched JMU, this time scoring 30 points. The key for Hofstra was the points in the paint. From what my friend Mal told us, Hofstra had more than 40 points in the paint, which is important to allowing Agudio to be open for three point shot attempts. Hofstra shot 57 percent from the field.
All in all it was a great weekend in Las Vegas. What happens in Vegas, ends up in my blog. :-)