Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Long Holiday

So you're saying to yourself, "Sure, we hit Christmas and New Year's and all that, but where's SHOUT been?"

A long holiday break out of town with family, followed by some computer problems, silenced SHOUT for a couple of weeks (the longest break we've had between entries since coming online at the end of February '08), but it's back for 2009 and ready to roll forward with a great year in the Big South Conference.

We're planning another entry for Friday, but here are a few things we just have to point out from the basketball side of life: at the time of this posting...

*** VMI is on top of the men's standings: 4-0 in Conference play...the Keydets are riding an eight-game winning streak overall and a total record of 12-2...and they are undefeated at home, something to remember when you also consider that the Keydets are 3-0 in Big South road games!

*** There's only one other men's team in the Big South with a winning record overall. That team is Liberty...and here's the thing with the Flames--they're just not getting it done on the road this year: LU is 9-0 at home or in a neutral site, but 1-6 as the visiting team (including 0-3 in Conference away games). That record includes a loss at Winthrop--one of only two victories the Eagles have grabbed this season (2-10 overall).

*** On the women's side, it looks like the non-conference schedule was just as harsh overall as it was for the men--only one team has a winning record for the full season at this point: Coastal Carolina (9-6). When you look at Big South Conference games, High Point has the early lead with a 2-0 start (and both wins on the road at that).

*** Keep in mind as we wind our way through the next two months that seeding on the men's side is critical, as the top four teams will host quarterfinal games in the tournament and the top seed has an opportunity for home court advantage in each round. On the women's side, seeding will decide the match-ups but it will not factor into game sites, since that championship will be held at a single site (High Point).

*** One more twist to throw at you--there are indeed ten member teams now in the Big South, but while PC is eligible for regular season titles, the Blue Hose cannot participate in postseason play this year. And since VMI does not field a women's team, that leaves eight teams to fill the WBB bracket...while on the other side, the men still have nine eligible--meaning that whoever brings up the rear will not be part of the championship bracket in MBB.

Hope that gives you something to ponder on as the games and storylines continue to unfold this season...

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