Saturday’s Den: An early look at mid-major conferences……

Early in conference play, we’re looking at some mid-major leagues…….

— Missouri Valley
Five teams are tied for first, with a 4-1 conference mark.
Looks like the third straight year the MVC will be a one-bid league.
Home favorites of 8 or less points are 10-5 ATS.
Home underdogs are 5-4 ATS.

— West Coast
Gonzaga is ranked #26 by KenPom; last time they finished that low for a season? 2011.
Zags had their 26-game win streak vs Santa Clara snapped by the Broncos Thursday. 
Saint Mary’s was only 9-6 in pre-conference play; they’re no lock for an at-large bid.
Home teams are 9-3 ATS in conference play.

— Western Athletic
Finished as #11 league LY, its best ranking since 2010; they’re #14 this year.
Grand Canyon is the #63 team in country; no one else is ranked in top 110.
Home favorites of 5+ points are 3-9 ATS.
Home underdogs are 7-2 ATS.

— Southern
Samford and Western Carolina are tied for first, with 3-0 SoCon marks.
Favorites are 12-2 ATS, 8-2 at home, 4-0 on road.
Furman was 50-20 the last two years; they’re off to a slow 7-9 start TY.
40.3% of shots in SoCon games are 3-pointers, 5th-highest % of any league.

— Big West
Irvine (5-0) and Cal-San Diego (4-0) are lone unbeatens in league play.
Cal-Northridge is 12-4; they haven’t had a winning season since 2009.
Santa Barbara is only 2-3 in Big West; they’re turning ball over 21.4% of time in league play.
Home favorites are 6-9 ATS, home underdogs are 4-6.

— Sun Belt
Average of 70.7 possessions/game, 4th-fastest tempo of any league.
James Madison is off to a 15-1 start, with a win at Michigan State.
Home favorites of 6 or fewer points are 5-2 ATS.
Home underdogs are 3-8 ATS.

Baseball Fact of the Day: In 1968, Dodgers’ P Don Drysdale had a streak of 58.2 consecutive scoreless IP; he finished with a 2.15 ERA that season, but his record was only 14-12.

Word of the Day: Quagmire- a situation that is hard to escape because there is no easy solution.

— Summit
St Thomas is 12-6, #133 team; three years ago, they were a Division III team.
Last 3 years, Oral Roberts was 67-28; their coach/best player bolted, now they’re 8-8.
South Dakota State has been in only 1 of last 5 NCAA tourneys, but they’re 12-4 this year.
Home favorites of 7 or fewer points are 1-6 ATS

— Big Sky
Weber State, Eastern Washington, Montana are only top 200 teams in league.
Big Sky teams are shooting 37.9% on arc in league games (#3)
Home favorites are 6-4 ATS.
Big Sky hasn’t won an NCAA Tourney game since 2006 (Montana).

— America East
Vermont is 12-5; they’ve been in four of last six NCAA Tournaments.
Last 1.5 years, Mass-Lowell is 37-12, its first two winning years at D-I level.
72.6 possessions/game; so far this season, this league is playing fastest tempo.
Albany fired a coach who won 5 league titles; they’re 30-48 since then, 13-23 in league.

— Atlantic Sun
Lipscomb, Stetson, Kennesaw State are only top 200 teams in league.
41.3% of the shots in this league are 3’s, #2 in country.
Eastern Kentucky was 4-9 in pre-conference; they’re 3-0 in A-Sun games.
Stetson is making 82.6% of its foul shots, best % in country.

— Southland
#90 McNeese State is only Southland team ranked in top 250.
McNeese is coached by former VCU/LSU coach Will Wade (211-101 career record)
Cowboys have road wins this year, at VCU, UAB and Michigan.
McNeese is shooting 41.1% on arc, #2 in country.

— Patriot League
Right now, they’re #30 league, their worst ranking in last 27 years.
#172 Colgate is only Patriot team ranked in top 275 in country.
Lafayette is 3-0 in Patriot games; they were 1-12 in pre-conference.
Last Patriot team to win NCAA tourney game; 2016- Holy Cross won a First Four tilt.

— We’re starting something a little different this week; on the college basketball page, I’ll post info on five of every day’s most interesting games. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.