When Drexel lost to VCU in the finals of the CAA tournament last March, it was the first time they were on the wrong end of the box score since January 2nd. Prior to that, Drexel’s last loss was on December 3rd. Crunch a few numbers, and what that gives you is an 18 game winning streaks and victories in 25 of their last 26 games, yet that wasn’t enough to get the Dragons an at-large berth into the NCAA tournament.
Because they lost four of their first six games, and with a schedule that wasn’t exactly loaded with RPI top 50 teams, Bruiser Flint’s club simply didn’t have the computer profile to warrant a trip to the dance.
I bring this up because Drexel’s 2012-2013 start is beginning to look eerily reminiscent of the way they kicked off the 2011-2012 season. The Dragons dropped to 0-2 on Thursday night after losing to Illinois State 86-84 in overtime.
Now, Illinois State isn’t a bad team; they’ll probably finish somewhere in the top four in the Missouri Valley. Drexel’s first loss wasn’t exactly terrible either, as they dropped a road game to Kent State, which also happened to come in overtime. Drexel shouldn’t have the same kind of schedule issues they did last season, given that many of their non-conference opponents — Princeton, St. Mary’s, St. Joseph’s, Davidson — are expected to finish at the top of their leagues, but that doesn’t mean the Dragons can afford to keep losing games like this. That issue is exacerbated by the fact that VCU is no longer in the league.
This is a very good basketball team that Bruiser Flint has put together.
But until they start proving it on the floor, those are nothing other empty words.
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.
Monmouth used a 17-2 run in the final minutes to beat Rider on Friday night, a win that will keep the Hawks within striking distance of the kind of an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament should they fall in the MAAC tourney.
The run was capped by star point guard Justin Robinson, who buried this three with three seconds left to put Monmouth up for good, 79-78:
Allonzo Trier scored 15 of his 18 points in the second half and Parker Jackson-Cartwright scored 16 points in his second career start as No. 17 Arizona knocked off UCLA, 81-75, in Tucson on Friday night.
UCLA was up by as much as 11 points in the first half and took a ten point lead into half time, but in the second half, the Bruins were eventually done in by foul trouble and the stronger front line of the Wildcats.
Ryan Anderson and Kaleb Tarczewski were dominant down the stretch. The duo combined to score 12 of the last 23 point for the Wildcats, including the bucket that put the Wildcats ahead for the first time since early in the first half. Off of a missed free throw, UCLA’s Thomas Welsh battled with Tarczewski for the rebound, but when Welsh finally seemed to gain control of the loose ball, Anderson knocked it out of his hands and bullied through Jonah Bolden for a layup.
All told, those two combined for 20 points and 27 boards, seven of which were offensive. They also managed to foul out both Welsh and Tony Parker, although some of the calls that went against UCLA down the stretch were questionable.
The win keeps Arizona within a game of first place Oregon in the Pac-12 standings and tied for second with No. 23 USC, who will be visiting the McKale Center on Sunday night.