Getting some run on the Four Letter

STexMiner

MI Hall of Famer
Feb 15, 2004
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5. Which non-Power 5, but not quite true mid-major, programs could unexpectedly win their leagues and reap the rewards in March?

UTEP

The Miners have won seven in a row to slide in behind Louisiana Tech in the Conference USA standings, relying on the offense of Vince Hunter (15.8 points and 9.6 boards) and the defense of Julian Washburn. The latter has become a master shutdown artist. On Saturday, it held Old Dominion's Trey Freeman to just six points, 10 below his average.

"I can honestly say in my 38 years of coaching, he's the best defender I've ever coached,'' Floyd said after the game, adding that Washburn reminds him of Bruce Bowen.

Now the catch: The Miners did a similar thing a year ago. They won eight in a row in January and February, only to skid to three losses in their final seven games and an ouster in the C-USA Tournament that sent them packing for the CBI.

This team is older -- other than Hunter, the top five scorers are all seniors and freshmen. Soon we'll see if they're wiser. UTEP plays at Louisiana Tech on Feb. 26.
This post was edited on 2/16 11:27 AM by STexMiner

Questions
 

STexMiner

MI Hall of Famer
Feb 15, 2004
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699
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15. The C-USA title game will be as intriguing as just about any because it will likely feature Louisiana Tech and UTEP. Both of these teams were supposed to be at-large candidates, but that isn't the case, and will have to win the league tourney to get into the NCAA tournament. Both teams -- which have high-level coaches and players -- are more than capable of pulling the upset in the NCAA's.

Goodman predictions
 

utep2step

MI Miner Maniac
Jul 10, 2001
15,785
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Looking at the schedule...


....WKU chances are looking slim as they head into a meat grinder for the final two road games on their schedule. LT is tough as well as they have UTEP, UTSA (not a push over) ODU and 49'ers. UTEP has LT at LT as their lone top half team, however, the last game is Rice at UTEP and CUSA top performers are quite aware of them playing the role of David "The Slayer" of old Biblical lore.

(Speaking of Slayer, they're coming to El Paso. Anyone going?)
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This post was edited on 2/16 1:11 PM by utep2step
 

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