There’s one game today. That’s it. Just one. Out of conference at that. At least this year.
It’s hard in February to get excited about this kind of game. It’s great in November, because the only thing we care about is that basketball is back. But in February? Yawn. Even if the schools are just 30 minutes or so apart. We go from conference games, in which every one right now is huge for tournament seeding to…this; This game, that has no real meaning to either team right now.
So, I really don’t care about it. Sue me. (Please, don’t sue me)
And if you get what that last line is a reference to, Kudos.
Here’s today’s First Word:
[Austin Peay (9-16) at Belmont (17-7), 7:00 p.m. CST]
Last time these teams met, Austin Peay was an atrocious 3-10. Now…they’re still a not so good 9-16, where as Belmont is 10-2 in the Atlantic Sun that has a higher conference RPI than the OVC, which still has Murray State propping it up the best they can. And the game’s at Belmont. Do you see where I’m going here?
Austin Peay was at full strength during the first meeting, so the 10-point loss can’t be blamed on injury. What it can be blamed on is the fact the Governors shot 10-22 from the free throw line. Other than that, things were pretty even between the 2. Neither team could hold onto the basketball, both teams had solid rebounding nights, both teams shot fairly well. The keys: John Fraley played just 22 minutes before fouling out for Austin Peay, and Scott Saunders inked a double-double.
Neither team still understand what half-court basketball is, or the benefits of it, so expect these to teams to run up and down the floor. Statistically, that’s where the similarities end. Belmont is better offensively this season efficiency wise, better defensively, commits fewer turnovers, shoots the 3-point shot better, shoots free throws better, and has blue as their primary color, which is simply and always better than red. (See: the webseries Red vs Blue, and the Legends of the Hidden Temple, because clearly a Blue Barracuda is better than a Red Jaguar. That’s right, I said it)
You can tell I’m taking this seriously, right? Because this is a very important game. In February.
In all seriousness, this is an uphill battle for the Governors, who simply don’t need any more uphill battles right now. Playing a quality opponent could benefit the Governors some, and a win would be huge for momentum going forward, whether the Bruins are a conference game or not, but I’m, personally, just not enthralled by this game right now. What I am worried about is an injury, which would be devastating.