(Champion Baptist College)

Who is Champion Baptist College and why are D-I programs scheduling them?

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Southern University set a new NCAA record for largest lead before an opponent scores at the start of the game on Monday night as the Jaguars jumped out to a 44-0 lead on Champion Baptist College on their way to a 116-12 win.

The previous record against a non-Division I opponent was set by Seton Hall against Kean College on November 29, 1998. The Pirates jumped out to a 34-0 lead against Kean, but on Monday, Southern shattered that record by 10 points, even though they’re a lowly 4-9 with one win against a Division I opponent.

Which begs the question: Why is a Southern team coming off of a NCAA Tournament bid scheduling a late December game against a team that can’t even score against them?

Why waste everyone’s time by playing this game in the first place?

It’s not as if Southern is even as bad as their record would indicate. The Jaguars have respectable losses by single digits at Marquette (seven points), at Middle Tennessee (three points) and against Tulane (three points) and they’ve also taken Summit League contender Denver to overtime and lost to national title contender Florida by 14.

So, again, why is Southern scheduling Champion Baptist College?

How does playing a team that’s lost by an average of 59 points in its three losses against Division I teams — that are a combined 5-20 against Division I opponents — going to make Southern a better basketball team?

How is it beneficial — or even fun? — when three of your players each outscore an entire team?

Champion Baptist College — located in Hot Springs, Arkansas — is an unaccredited four-year Christian vocational college associated with Gospel Light Baptist Church. The Tigers are an independent member of the Association of Christian College Athletics.

Champion Baptist College doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and the school’s website was down when I tried to access it tonight for information on this article because it probably crashed due to the curiosity associated with this joke of a basketball game. The Champion Baptist College basketball team doesn’t have a player over 6-foot-4.

So why is Southern University — or any other Division I program — playing a team like this?

I know it’s easy to point and laugh at Champion Baptist College for losing by 104 points to 4-9 Southern, but the Jaguars and head coach Roman Banks are the ones that should feel ashamed. A game this lopsided isn’t in the spirit of competition and a game like this isn’t making anyone a better basketball player.

In fact, it’s a giant waste of time.

Southern University may have entered the NCAA record books on Monday night, but they did it in a disgraceful way against an opponent it shouldn’t have been playing in the first place.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.