Arch Madness officially refers to the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, held annually in St. Louis. But a little bit of the magic seems to have rubbed off on St. Louis, the team, even though they play in the Atlantic 10 and are usually on the East Coast come March.
The Billikens followed up their upset of No. 9 Butler earlier this week with an absolute drilling of the Dayton Flyers. Forward Rob Loe had 17 points for St. Louis in the 81-52 win, which played out in front of a home crowd at Chaifetz Arena. He was joined in double figures by Dwayne Evans (15 points), Kwamain Mitchell (12) and Jordair Jett (11).
St. Louis is 5-2, having lost only to Temple and Rhode Island in league play. Pending the weekend’s results, that puts the Billikens atop the A-10 alongside Charlotte, VCU and Xavier.
Watch the video below for highlights of the blowout win.
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.