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CUSA MBB Power Rankings: 1.25.21

Our apologies for not live-tweeting or live-streaming the games this weekend. CR was on something like a vacation but did watch the games. If this were a film this would be the montage part. We are well into the basketball season and postponements and wins and losses do not hit the timeline with much fanfare. We missed out on NT vs ODU because of COVID cases in VA, an dit looks like the same thing will happen with this week’s WKU vs ODU.

We reached out to the league inquiring about the plan to make up these games.

We’re considering all postponed games as potential matchups for the final week of the regular season – the open weekend on March 5-6. Priority of makeups will be based on different factors like travel and impact on championship seeding if there are multiple series needing to be made up.

As far as adjustments to the schedule during the season, we will consider pairing healthy teams together if there are multiple series in jeopardy on a single weekend.

I can see the logic in not rescheduling games that could possibly have lesser meaning than others right now, and instead waiting to finalize the matchups based on the need. The danger here is that it can seem like the league is playing favorites –a criticism it received as it tried to schedule a game for UAB football late in the season.

Right now our estimation is that NT vs ODU game that was postponed this weekend will take lesser priority than the NT vs UAB matchup (a division matchup now) that was postponed to start league play. The same with this week’s upcoming WKU vs Middle games. I can see that being important but if Middle is so far out of the race for the division, I can see other games taking priority.

As the league told me, “Priority of makeups will be based on different factors like travel and impact on championship seeding”.

Players Of The Week, According to CR:

  1. Tavin Lovan, UAB: 46 points, 13 rebounds, 1 block, three steals, 7 assists in two wins vs Rice
  2. Charles Bassey, WKU: 39 points, 27 rebounds, 3 assists, 9 blocks in two wins vs Middle

Players That Caught My Eye

  • See above.

1. UAB 12-2, 5-1

The Rice Owls are good and UAB handled that challenge relatively easily. In two games vs Rice they win both by 10+ and did not look overly threatened. There were questions about the Blazers so far this season and they have answered most of those. They did get blown out by Charlotte last week but that was more than made up for. Everyone is allowed a mistake.

Last week: 3rd

2. WKU 13-4, 6-2

The Hilltoppers handled their matchup with Middle easily and with no surprises. One sign of a good team is that they beat the teams they are supposed to beat with no issues. So far this season they have dropped one game to a good team but the schedule suggests they should win most of the rest of the schedule.

Last week: 2nd

3. La Tech 12-5, 5-3

Everyone gets one is something I wrote a couple paragraphs ago. The loss to UTEP on Friday was concerning but Tech dominated and Isaiah Crawford was amazing. We expect Tech to make short work of USM next week before a challenging trip to Denton the first week of February. That should tell us if this was a temporary dip. We still like this team a lot.

Last week: 1st

4. Marshall 9-4, 3-3

After a couple of losses to WKU, Marshall bounced back with a couple of blowouts over FIU. The tough part of the schedule is behind them and that time should be spent to build up some seeding strength before the conference tournament.

Last week: 4th

5. North Texas 7-5, 3-1

The Mean Green did not play this weekend as the ODU team had COVID issues. That game was going to tell us something about both squads and now we will have to wait for this Rice matchup. We think Rice is good, but the Owls went up against a better team. We will learn how good North Texas is in much the same way.

Last week: 5th

6. ODU 8-4, 1-2

ODU had COVID and those protocols look to be keeping the Monarchs out of the game against WKU also. There is some rust to consider.

7. Rice 10-6, 4-2

We really like Rice and they showed some good things in the losses to UAB. We consider that to be more of a sign of how good the Blazers are than anything to do with Rice. The Owls look to be in the second tier in the league but that is an accomplishment.

Last week: 7th.

8. UTEP 6-6, 2-2

The Miners beat our previous number one at home in something of a sign of life for Rodney Terry’s group. Then they got waxed off the floor the next game. The good is that they are talented enough to beat damned-near anyone and they are dysfunctional enough to get blown out by anyone.

Last week: 8th

9-14: FAU, CLT, UTSA, USM, MTSU, FIU

We should probably drop UTEP in this tier here but for now they have that special place above.

FAU: They got a nice OT win vs Charlotte and barely lost at home in the next one by just three. Showing some signs!

CLT: Split against FAU after splitting with UAB. I can see anything happening with this team which is why they are in this tier.

UTSA: We learned that UTSA is good enough to outscore talented-but-learning squads like USM.

MTSU: More of the same is coming.

FIU: Really and truly you can put Middle here at the very bottom but we are putting the Panthers here because we feel they should be doing a bit better.

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