1. You’re getting a rare Sunday Daily 3 in part because I’m in Dayton, as the Racers prepare to face to face the Flyers. Probably the most interesting game of the day, though, isn’t here, but is a Show-Me state matchup between SEMO and Missouri State. While their record is the best in the West, I’m hard pressed to say the Redhawks have been playing the best over the past few weeks, and this is a good chance to prove themselves, more or less, before conference play begins. Defensively, the Bears aren’t the largest team, and have struggled (relatively) on the interior, a clear strength of SEMO. I’m also curious to see how the Redhawks use Josh Langford. The Auburn transfer has played few minutes in his first two games, but has shown in his limited action he can be another inside threat for the Redhawks.
Eastern Kentucky at IPFW is one to watch as well today. The Mastadons have already handled two OVC teams, in Eastern Illinois and SIUE, but EKU is obviously neither of those two teams. IPFW is a deep team, with a solid interior presence, which has kind of been the Colonels kryptonite this year. (Don’t confuse this example to mean I’m referring to EKU as Superman. I’m not) The Colonels have been solid on the road, and this would be a good win over a 10-4 Summit League team heading into conference play.
To talk a bit about the game I’m at, the Racers are 16-point underdogs at a very good Dayton team. Head coach Steve Prohm hinted he wouldn’t start a 4-guard lineup (meaning, likely, T.J. Sapp comes off the bench yet again) today, as his team has gotten off to “great starts” the past few games. I’ll just ignore how Western Kentucky was up 6-0 before Jonathan Fairell was pulled just one week ago. Sure, the Racers rallied to take a big lead, but that was with Sapp in the game! Put him in coach! (He will.)
SIUE hosts non-Division I Robert-Morris Springfield today. Yeah…
2. I didn’t have a lot of expectations for yesterday’s Tennessee State – Eastern Illinois game. (Team Report is here, BTW) I sure didn’t expect what we got. EIU built a huge lead, Tennessee State went zone, Eastern Illinois lost said huge lead and fell behind double-digits, and then rallied late winning on a putback with :02 remaining. If that’s a preview of how conference play is going to go this year, yes please! I was encouraged by two things for both teams: EIU’s effectiveness against a man-to-man defense, and TSU’s ability to both get, and hit open shots. Two things that worry me: EIU really needs to work on their zone offense (somebody set a screen!) and Tennessee State can’t afford to start the game in a 15-point hole. They need to get other players than Patrick Miller involved much earlier than they did.
3. Non-OVC thought of the week: For a stats / numbers guy like me, this week’s NFL playoff scenarios are devilish, especially in the AFC. To summarize, four teams, Miami, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and San Diego, are fighting for the sixth seed. None control their own fate. I didn’t know this was possible. Seriously, thanks to the way the tiebreakers fall, there isn’t a single one of those four teams that is in a “win and in” situation, but one of those four teams will be the six-seed. It’ll make for a fun Sunday of football, which I will enjoy on Twitter and the radio on my way home from Dayton.