Here we sit with a sparkling 12-0 home record and a filthy 4-5 road mark. The most important of those five road losses are the three conference ones including a horrible one last night at ULL.
All that good feeling about getting Tony Mitchell is gone after such a letdown.
OH GOD WE ARE DEAD!! RIGHT??
MGN has always maintained that if your goal is to get into the NCAA tournament then we really only have to concern ourselves with the Sunbelt Tournament in Hot Springs.
However, if the goal is to go relatively far into said tournament, then we are likely losing out on good juju with the NCAA Selection Committee. Long story short: it is not good for our overall resume to lose to relatively underwhelming teams such as ULL and Troy.
The difference between, say, the 12th seed and the 13th seed is about a 15-20% chance of winning, historically speaking. You are looking at lower Top-20 team rather than a lower Top-10 squad.
At first anyway. The next round is going to have tough competition regardless. So I don’t fret. Neither should you. There are eight games left. Four game are at home, four away. Next up is Denver at Denver. With the division lead at only a game-and-a-half for the Pioneers, this game is YOOGE. A win puts us within a half-game of first place in the division with seven to play including one more against Denver at the Super Pit.
Here is the schedule as of today:
If we win out then we the West Division, we get one of the byes in the Sunbelt tourney and it is all goodness. In that case Denver would finish with three defeats (same as us) if they won the rest of their games and would lose the tie-breaker due to the head-to-head losses against UNT. That is the best-case scenario.
There is still a lot of basketball to be played. UNT is only at the halfway point of the conference schedule.
Remember: Big Game tomorrow night. We want to win out to give ourselves some breathing room, confidence that we can win road games consistently and at least a shot at winning the Sunbelt overall season championship (best record in league play).*
*This is very possible, despite what Vito says. It isn’t likely but still possible. We need to win out and have Florida Atlantic lose three games. We play them once and so does Denver. That is two quality squads. We just need one more team to jump up and bite them in the other six games. It’s doable.