Notes from the evening games of the MAC-involved BracketBusters. Here's the seven from the afternoon. It never got better.
Beyond all other outcomes, this was the most surprising. Yes, they played without Justin Greene, but the other team only played seven and KSU is still deeper than them. And it's not that Charleston is terrible, but they were middling their way through the SoCon and I guess they turned a corner at some point and nearly ran away with this. Nice job by KSU to try and come back from what seemed like miserable odds, chopping a 19-point lead down to two but never quite getting past the C of C.
Credit Nori Johnson for firing a bunch of threes and winding up with 27 points, but everybody wearing maroon was unstoppable — a sight we're not used to in the MAC. They also made their free throws and plenty of 'em: 26-for-37.
Chris Evans had a wonderful 16-point, 13-rebound game, while Carlton Guyton scored 12 of his 16 points in that second half. And no, this loss isn't going to hurt them (Akron and Buffalo also lost) but it really did strike a blow to the conference's seemingly uptick in top teams' prowess.
Just the fourth win for the MAC came in astounding fashion. I'm not entirely sure if UNCA showed up on time for the tipoff, but the Bobcats pounced on them from the get-go and never looked back. Walter Offutt led the strong shooting performance by getting 19 points on 10 shots, including 3-for-4 on threes. Nick Kellogg scored 10 points on four shots, while also dishing out three assists and stealing three balls. DJ Cooper was a facilitator, getting just five points but eight assists, and Stevie Taylor scored 12 points.
The fast pace and 58% shooting was no match for the Bulldogs, who got 16 points each out of Matt Dickey and Jeremy Atkinson. Fun fact pointed out by Tim Burke: Keith Hornsby, son of musician Bruce Hornsby, plays for UNCA. But the best news for them is that the game's over. That's just the way it is.
It looked promising for WMU when they held a six-point lead at halftime, but clearly that didn't last as the Bison (plural) just stormed away with that +19 in the second half. Seriously, how does a team score 58 points in a 20-minute frame? Well, scads upon scads of free throws certainly helps. And they went 20-for-25 in that second half, really wearing down the Broncos defense.
|Final - 2.18.2012
|Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Islanders
|Central Michigan Chippewas
And this pretty much seals it. Nothing is going right for CMU. I hate to dump on a bad team when they win, but A&M-CC won just four games all year. Now they've won five. The Chips have now dropped two games to 20-loss teams, if you count NIU. And I caught the tail-end of this game, but if the last possession was any indication, they're just doing the little things poorly. Trey Zeigler carried his team for 22 points, but on the final inbounds play he baseball passed the ball down the court with two seconds remaining, but his foot stepped on the inbounds line before letting go.
I'll also give CMU some slack because Austin McBroom was suspended and Finis Craddock was out sick. Then when Olivier Mbaigoto left the game injured in the second half they were without some reliable names. This team does not seem to be headed toward a happy place.