Posted on: February 18, 2009 10:18 pm

Mid-Major Manifest: VMI (Back From Hiatus!)

That's right, SportsHead is back! And not a moment too soon. The big dance is less than a month away, racing is under a green flag, and it turns out that all this excitement has A-Rod pumped in more ways than one!

We come back from hiatus with a spotlight on the Keydets of the Virginia Military Institute. In recent history, when it comes to talking about dangerous Mid-Major teams, it's not unusual to pay a visit to Virginia. Remember way back when George Mason made it to the final four? They're housed out of Fairfax, VA. And the next year when CAA rival, Virginia Commonwealth sent Duke packing early in the first round then took Pittspurgh into overtime in the second round? They're from the state's capital.

This year, both of those programs are having very strong seasons again, which was manifested in their January 24th meeting in Richmond where VCU squeaked by 5 in a great game. However, like their in-state friends, Virginia Military Institute's basketball program has developed a bite of their own, beating the likes of Army and Richmond (another strong Virginia mid-major school). And let's not forget they started their 20-6 record off with a win at a small school called Kentucky!

VMI is in the Big South, a conference that has delivered dangerous dancers come tournament time in years past (i.e. UNC-Asheville, Winthrop, Gardner-Webb), and is a shoe-in to win the conference and nab the automatic bid. If that happens, it's likely VMI will see a seed somewhere between 15 and 13. And if you're a 2, 3, or 4 seed assigned to play them, you may not want to take them likely. Just ask the Wildcats, who will likely be a bubble team in the SEC thanks in no small part to their loss to the Keydets at the very beginning of the season.

Posted on: March 15, 2008 1:24 pm

Drinkin' the Mid-Major Hatorade

There's a sour taste in my mouth...and it's not the milk that's been sitting on my desk for the past two days. Believe me, it's disgusting. No, it's the taste of Mid-Major Hatorade, and the pundits are gulping it down.

Just a week ago, the buble teams in question were teams like New Mexico and Massachusetts. Now it's Arizona State, Kentucky, and Villanova. I mean seriously, who wants to see 8 teams from the Big East?! Even as the bubble teams lose, it's other Major teams taking their place. And I know a lot of the Mid-Major teams did themselves in. But look at people's bracket projections. 11 and 12 seeds look to be from the Pac-10 and SEC. I don't want to hear about the big upset of Kentucky over UCLA. I want to hear about Western Central Texas State Tech (please if there's anything I can add on to that, let me know), or any other ridiculously named school take down a two seed.

One of the cases is VCU. Yeah, I know I'm bias...but a week ago guys like Gary Parrish had them on the Last Four out. Well, logically speaking, if then a team of loses and their stock drops, shouldn't the team behind them then move up? I think they should. But it's not just VCU...it's Dayton and Massachusetts that people want to see knock off the top teams. It's just not the same if David and Goliath are from the same conference.

Even on SportsCenter today, the bubble teams they talked about were Arizona State and Kentucky. Give me a break, I don't want to see you in the tournament if you finished sixth in your conference. I want to see the ones and twos and threes play each other. Otherwise it takes away the spirit of the NCAA, where literally any team has a shot at winning. Where else can a team like Cornell be put in a spot where they are just a handful of wins away from the championship. That's what it's about. Because I can guaruntee you, it doesn't matter if they're Kentucky or if their Western Kentucky; if they're Virginia Teach or Virginia Commonwealth; or even if they're Memphis or Middle Tennessee State. You put a team in that position and they will play like there's no tomorrow.

In just about 28 and a half hours the selection committee will announce their results. And I, for one, hope they haven't been drinking the same Hatorade the pundits have so far.
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