I’ve made a lot of the “East vs West” comparisons this year, and honestly expected the whole “balance of power” to even out as conference play moved on.
That hasn’t happened yet. In fact, with each passing night of games, it only appears to get worse.
All four East Division teams won against the West again last night, as the win total is now 9-1 in favor of the East Division in inter-divisional games.
I don’t have a single explanation for this. Except this: The East is simply better. At least, they are right now.
Last Night’s Scores
Tennessee Tech 77, Eastern Illinois 73
UT Martin 48, Tennessee State 80
Jacksonville State 75, SIU Edwardsville 62
Three Point Shot
- Does anyone still believe Belmont isn’t the best team in the conference? Eastern Kentucky fans, and possibly even Tennessee State fans might feel as if they have a claim to that title, but from a sheer “eye test” point of view, I’ll take Belmont, easily. I’m not sure where I put the top two teams in the West right now, from an eye test point of view. Fourth and Fifth in the conference? Maybe. Possibly a bit lower than that. I keep stressing there’s a lot of basketball to play, and someone’s likely to make a run, and some fan will attempt to throw these words back in my face. I’m not saying which team will be best in March, I’m saying which team is the best right now. And that’s the Bruins.
- The odds of five teams making the OVC Tournament from the West are low, and Jacksonville State is part of the reason. That’s bad news for Tennessee Tech, who appears likely to finish last in the division, but could go as good as 4-2 against the West Division. That means four will make likely make it in from the West, meaning losses like the one tonight from Eastern Illinois are that much more painful.
- Somewhat off topic here, but when did the booing situation at Murray State become such a big deal? There was booing during Wednesday night’s loss to Eastern Kentucky, and anyone that says otherwise was not paying attention. There is much room for debate as to why people were booing, and even how many were, but honestly, who cares? Why make such a big deal out of this? If fans were booing the refs, fine. Booing the players during a 24-0 run? Okay, it wouldn’t make you the first fan base to boo a poor performance. But the angry upheaval at the sheer mention of the word is asinine. Disagree with what a person thinks? Fine. Disagree with what I think, there’s a comment section below, and entire message board posts on multiple boards as to how much of a dope I am. (Yes, I’ve read them) Just don’t expect anyone to change their minds because you yell loudly about it. In fact, yelling loudly about it only makes it a bigger deal than it is. And it shouldn’t be any kind of deal at all.
Co-Player of the Night: Jud Dillard, Tennessee Tech. Dillard continues to carry his team on his back, and should be in serious consideration for OVC player of the year honors. No player means more to his team than Dillard does to Tennessee Tech, with possibly one exception including a preseason All-American.
Co-Players of the Night on the same team: Ian Clark and Trevor Noack, Belmont. Two 30-point performances? On the same team, on the same night? You don’t see that often in college basketball.
Player of the Night in a loss: Morris Woods, Eastern Illinois. His 25 points is a career high for the junior, who has just six double-digit games in his career. Woods also his his first three of the year, halfway to his total from last season of two.
Unsung Hero: M.J. Rhett, Tennessee State. Eight points, and eight rebounds last night for the sophomore, who has had the best three game stretch of his career. In fact, there’s not another three game stretch even close.
Team Trending Upwards: Belmont. We knew they were good. I didn’t know they were this good.
Team Trending Downwards: Southeast Missouri. Is this team a title contender? The last five days say no.