It might seem far-fetched that a team in competition for a No. 1 seed until the final weekend has now been whispered about to be the victim of a possible upset in their first game of the NCAA tournament.
Kansas and Detroit.
Even with National Player of the Year candidate Thomas Robinson and all-conference point guard Tyshawn Taylor, bracket-fillers beware: those pesky Horizon Leaguers aren’t to be dismissed.
For the Titans, Ray McCallum Jr. is the engine. The former McDonald’s All-American turned down offers from high-major schools to play for his father at Detroit and he is proving to be the truth.
McCallum is averaging 15 points and almost four assists per game this year, heading up a Titan attack that puts up close to 73 points per game. He will be matched up with Taylor so, despite this being a No. 2/15 matchup, Taylor will be seeing backcourt play as good almost any other he’s seen this season.
Also, Detroit is athletic and has size.
The frontcourt combination of LaMarcus Lowe and Eli Holman give the Titans two legitimate 6-10 players on the block to matchup with Thomas Robinson and Jeff Withey.
Doug Anderson can jump out of the gym and the Titans use their athleticism to force almost 15 turnovers per game. For Tyshawn Taylor, that means he’ll have to be careful with the basketball, which he has had trouble with at times in the past.
Am I saying lock it in, write it in stone, shout it from the mountaintops, “Detroit will beat Kansas!”?
No, but certainly keep it in mind.
If Butler has taught us anything over the last two seasons, it’s that the Horizon League can make some noise in March.