Author Kraig Williams

55 entries

Team RLU

SALT LAKE CITY- Since opening in 1969 the Jon M. Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City has been a friendly place for mid-majors. The building has hosted 81 NCAA tournament games including the 1979 Final Four that saw Larry Bird's Indiana State team duel Magic Johnson and Michigan State for the national title. In the...

Did This Game Mean Something?

Utah State's Brockeith Pane's final heave bounced off the front of the rim and the game was over. Mercer rushed the floor to celebrate; on the other side, several Aggies crumpled to the floor and looked pained having to sit through the trophy presentation. The media assembled in the hallway outside the locker...

Love and Basketball

As the years go by, the memories get dimmer, but I still remember a lot about my first college basketball game. I remember attending the game with two friendly girls who lived in the apartment next door, whose names I've long forgotten. I remember not getting to the arena until almost halftime. I remember feeling...

Context

One of my favorite parts of college basketball has always been the great unknown. While you may see something new at every baseball game, you rarely see the same thing twice at a college basketball game. There is always something new to discover. This season there are over 350 teams in NCAA Division-I, most of...

Getting to Know: America East

Unless you have one of those complicated crime solving bulletin board- the one with strings and pictures and your gut feeling that the husband did it - you probably don't have all the new conference alignments memorized yet. To help out, here is a primer to get familiar with each of the conferences in The Mid-Majority,...

Getting to Know: The Atlantic 10

Unless you have one of those complicated crime solving bulletin board- the one with strings and pictures and your gut feeling that the husband did it - you probably don't have all the new conference alignments memorized yet. To help out, here is a primer to get familiar with each of the conferences in The Mid-Majority,...

MMBOW #1: Dyami Starks, Bryant

There are a lot of things that go into a good basketball player, but nothing quite grabs the eye like a pile of points. That's why Bryant Bulldog guard Dyami Starks is the first Mid-Majority Baller of the Week for season 10. Starks led the Bulldogs to wins over Dartmouth and Vermont last week and put the ball...

Getting to Know: Atlantic Sun

WHO LEFT? Nobody! The conference known as a landing spot for D-I schools is still the same as last year. Northern Kentucky is still in the transition period and is not eligible for postseason. WHO ARE THE FAVORITES? Have you heard of Florida Gulf Coast? The 15 seed that stole the hearts of mid-major...

MMBOW #2: D.J. Balentine, Evansville

Evansville was a bit of an afterthought in the Missouri Valley Conference race and was picked to finish in the middle of the pack behind the usual suspects of Wichita State and Indiana State.  The consensus was the Aces lost four starters and would be hard pressed to repeat their 21 victories from last...

MMBOW #3: Austin Tillotson, Colgate

Plenty of good performances over the holiday weekend to consider, but let's focus in on a perfect game for the Mid-Major Baller of the Week #3. Last Tuesday Colgate sophomore guard Austin Tillotson scored 12 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished 4 assists in a 98-86 win over Tulane on the road. That's a...

Getting to Know: Big Sky

ANY CHANGES? Nope. Idaho joins the fun next season. WHO ARE THE FAVORITES? It seems like the Big Sky has been a battle between Weber State and Montana for the last decade. The Grizzlies have edged out the Wildcats for the regular season title each of the last two years and then punched their ticket in front...

MMBOW #4: Alan Williams, USCB

The MMBOW title has been rotating its way around the Midwest and East Coast, but this week it's a time for a little left coast love. UCSB's Alan 'Big Sauce' Williams is the fourth Mid-Major Baller of the Week for the TMMX.Williams has been the motor for UCSB early in the season. With the big man in the lineup...

MMBOW #5: Brad Waldow, Saint Mary's College

In the 10 years of this website Saint Mary's has been one of the proudest carriers of the mid-major banner.  Moraga has been home to Omar Samhan, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova and the beautiful game. That was all supposed to change this year. SMC was smacked with the ever ominous and vague 'failure...

MMBOW #6: Aaric Murray, Texas Southern

There is always a unique story about how a player arrives at a school. Sometimes it's the hometown team they grew up playing for, sometimes it's the only school that wanted them and sometimes it's a long complicated tale. That's the case with Texas Southern center Aaric Murray who spent two years at La Salle...

MMBOW #7: Anthony Drmic, Boise State

Boise State is an interesting case study for the definition of midmajor. The Broncos no longer play in a TMM conference, but the basketball team has long been the forgotten son. While the school and football team looked for big TV money in the Big East the basketball team was shopped around many ill-fitting conferences....

MMBOW #8: Willis Hall, College of Charleston

Conference season is right around the corner, but as the final throws of the preseason finish up Willis Hall of College of Charleston put together one of the best performances of the season. For that and a stellar all-around week Hall is the eighth Mid-Major Baller of the Week for the TMMX season.  Over the...

G!O!T!N! 1/7- Saint Louis at Rhode Island

Conference season means a new start and some more consistent Game! Of! The! Nights! Let's get he party started with some A-10 action with Saint Louis visiting Rhode Island.  The Billikens were pretty dang good last year and (BREAKING!) are pretty good this year. SLU is 13-2 with close losses to Wisconsin...

G!O!T!N! 1/9 - Manhattan at Quinnipiac

It's a big early conference showdown in the MAAC in the Game of the Night. Quietly Manhattan is putting together one of the best seasons in Hoops Nation, coming into the game winners of eight straight and holding a 11-2 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 mark in conference. The Jaspers have a couple of real...

MMBOW #9 Karvel Anderson, Robert Morris

One of the best things about conference play starting on this side of hoops nation is that it allows teams to check the guarantee games and losses and start a new season. A season where the odds are more even and a bid to the NCAA Tournament still in view as long as conference season goes well. This weeks Mid-Major...

G!O!T!N! 1/14 - VCU at George Washington

Richmond, Virginia and Washington, D.C.  The two cities can add a chapter to their historic rivalry with a Game! Of! The! Night! between VCU and George Washington on Tuesday night.  VCU, you may have heard, is pretty good at defense. Havoc was the hot slogan last year and despite the Rams receiving little...

G!O!T!N! 1/15 - Buffalo at Toledo

Midweek MACtion is not just reserved for American-style football as Buffalo travels to Toledo for Wednesday's Game! Of! The! Night! Bobby Hurley is in his first season as Buffalo head coach and has the Bulls playing some excellent defense. The Bulls have the second best 3 point defense, allowing 26.2 percent to...

G!O!T!N! 1/16 - Northern Colorado at Montana State

It seems like it has been decades since a school not named Montana or Weber State was considered a front runner for the Big Sky championship. There will be a big game for the early Big Sky standings in Montana tonight, but it wont be in Missoula, but rather Bozeman when Northern Colorado visits Montana State for...

G!O!T!W! - Indiana State at Wichita State

Plenty of great games available this weekend, but the Game! Of! The! Weekend! happens at Koch Arena where Indiana State visits Wichita State on Saturday afternoon. Indiana State is having an incredible season, but #TreeFever has been somewhat overshadowed by the dominance of Wichita State in the conference. The...

MMBOW #10 - Mitch Bruneel, Utah Valley

As we have talked about in this space before, TMM has always been a celebration of the wonderful basketball that goes unnoticed by most. With that in mind it is only fitting to give out the occasional Mid-Major Baller of the Week to a player that isn't necessarily a star on his own team labors in the smallest...

G!O!T!N 1/21 - Milwaukee at Wright State

Out in the Horizon League things look like this at the moment: Green Bay and a battle royale for second place. That leads to a good game on Tuesday night as Milwaukee and Wright State battle for that spot right behind the Phoenix. Even though GB has beaten both of these teams already, every place is important...

G!O!T!N! 1/22 Radford at Campbell

Conference season is still young, but there might not be a more wide open race than the one going on in the Big South. Four teams sit with a 3-1 record and another six are just a game back at 2-2 (only poor Longwood and Presbyterian are off the pace at 0-4). On Wednesday night all four 3-1 teams will play each...

G!O!T!N! 1/23 - Florida Gulf Coast at Mercer

You might remember the last time Florida Gulf Coast and Mercer met. It was the Atlantic Sun title game in Macon, Georgia. Mercer was hosting the conference tournament and had already won the regular season championship. The Bears were undefeated at home and presumed to be on their way to the NCAA Tournament for...

G!O!T!N! 1/24 - Vermont at Stony Brook

Friday night isn't traditionally a strong night in Hoops Nation, but it doesn't get much better than the American East heavyweight battle on ESPNU tonight. Both Vermont and Stony Brook sit at a perfect 5-0 in the conference standings and are heads and shoulders ahead of the rest of the league in the early running. ...

MMBOW #11 Jacob Parker, Stephen F. Austin

Out in the Southland, Stephen F. Austin is threatening to run away and hide from the rest of the competition. The Lumberjacks have won 15 straight games, last falling before Thanksgiving. Not only is SFA undefeated in conference play at 7-0, they have won the last five league games all away from home. With the...

G!O!T!N! 1/29 - Delaware at William & Mary

The Colonial is like many of the great conferences that following the realignment storm of the last few years doesn't quite resemble the league when it was at its peak. There is still great basketball being played out in the CAA and on Wednesday night the top two teams in the league standings meet for a rematch....

G!O!T!N! 1/30 - Bryant at Robert Morris

For the last three years Long Island has been the king of the NEC. They have three straight league tournament titles and won the two out of the last three regular season titles. That changes this year as the Blackbirds are well out of the race as we close in on the midpoint of league play. The top two contenders...

MMBOW #12 - Maurice Ndour, Ohio

For this weeks installment in the Mid-Major Baller of the Week we take time to honor a player who stepped up his game in a week that his team so desperately needed it. Ohio forward Maurice Ndour put together his best game and week of the season in Bobcat wins over Central Michigan and Toledo and for that is the...

G!O!T!N! - 2/5 Wichita State at Indiana State

Forgive me for being repetitive, but as you may have already heard this is a big week for Wichita State. The Shockers are 23-0 and looking down the stretch of the Missouri Valley Conference slate. This has led the national media to quickly take sides: Will the Shockers be undefeated come March? Will they lose...

G!O!T!N! - 2/7 Brown at Harvard

Friday nights in Hoops Nation are generally sparse with the exception of the Ivy, but the Ancient 8 have a good matchup to keep an eye on when you get tired of the Winter Olympic opening ceremonies. #2BidIvy is dead and was a pipe dream anyway so now its time to focus on the longest tournament in college hoops,...

MMBOW #13 - Davon Usher, Delaware

Out in the Colonial Delaware is running away from the pack. The Blue Hens are 10-0 in the CAA and in the midst of a 12-game winning streak. Those numbers almost came crashing to a halt last Wednesday, but Delaware guard Davon Usher came to the rescue. For a great week and one of the better single game performances...

G!O!T!N! 2/12 - Coastal Carolina at VMI

A few weeks ago we profiled the Big South for a GOTN and mentioned that the no conference race is as wide open. Much to the delight of those who like a close race, nothing has changed 20 some odd days later. Seven of the 12 teams in the conference sit between 7-3 or 6-4. Any team from that group can win the league...

G!O!T!N! 2/13 - UCSB at Long Beach

For those of you out on the east coast you can get your late night college hoops munchies on with a big game in the Big West. California-Santa Barbara travels to Long Beach with a shot at leaping to the top of the table on the line. The man for the Gauchos is former MMBOW Alan Williams. Big Sauce leads the team...

MMBOW #14 - Doug McDermott - Creighton

Let's go ahead and call this a Mid-Major Baller of the Week and Mid-Major career achievement award. As you may have heard Doug McDermott passed Mid-Major legend Larry Bird on the career points list and is now 13th in NCAA history with 2,863 points. This is the part of the post where you might say Creighton is...

G!O!T!N! 2/19 - American at Boston

There is a battle for the soul of the former Last Amateur Conference tonight between two teams that weren't in the conference when John Feinstein wrote his seminal mid-major book.  American isn't really that new to the Patriot League, they joined in 2001 and have been the conference representative in the...

G!O!T!N! 2/20 - Quinnipiac at Canisius

In a lot of leagues a 12-4 conference record would be enough to win you a league title, but in the marathon 20 game MAAC schedule 12-4 is only good enough for a tie for third place with four games to go. Qunnipiac and Canisius are both looking to make the final push to catch Iona (14-2) and Manhattan (13-4) and...

MMBOW #14 - Chris Udofia, Denver

The great Mid-Majority fan Paul Hampson (@ThisLeadenPaul) dropped a tweet to the @midmajority this afternoon suggesting Chris Udofia as Mid-Major Baller of the Week and after some research it has been rubber stamped. Udofia becomes the 14th MMBOW for the #TMMX season. Udofia's best game of the week came on Thursday...

G!O!T!N! 2/27 - Sacramento State at Weber State

Thursday night might just be the biggest night of the season so far with big games everywhere. There is Chattanooga-Western Carolina and Elon-Wofford in the Southern Conference, the highly anticipated Vermont-Stony Brook rematch in the American East, Middle Tennessee-Louisiana Tech fighting it out for the Conference...

MMBOW #15 - Jerelle Benimon - Towson

The Colonial regular season is all wrapped up and while Towson didn't win the league (Delaware did at 14-2, The Tigers finished 13-3), perhaps a Mid-Major Baller of the Week title will serve as a nice consolation prize before the conference tournament.  Senior Forward Jerrelle Benimon did his part to help...

Tournament Central - 3/5

Three more conference tournaments begin on Wednesday and the Patriot League picks up in the quarterfinals. Big SouthThe top two teams in each division take a bye so High Point and VMI from the north and Coastal Carolina and UNC Asheville from the south don't get started until Friday. Those four are the presumptive...

Tournament Central - 3/6

A-FunIt was all chalk in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Sun (although ETSU needing two overtimes to take out Lipscomb brought the drama.) Semifinals are available on ESPN3 as ETSU and USC Upstate try and stop the seemingly inevitable Florida Gulf Coast-Mercer trilogy. #4 ETSU at #1 FGCU 6:30 p.m.#3 USC Upstate...

Tournament Central - 3/7

Friday night has big shoes to fill as the A-Fun was bananas last night with Florida Gulf Coast surviving against a very game ETSU squad and Mercer needing two OT's to advance past Upstate setting up a championship rematch.  On to today: Big SouthAfter a day off it is on to the quarterfinals in the Big South....

Tournament Central - 3/8

Congrats to Harvard for earning the first NCAA Tournament bid. One more bid to give out today in the Ohio Valley. Ohio ValleyChampionship Saturday in the OVC. Belmont has only lost twice in 2014, but one of those loses was at the hands of Eastern Kentucky. As you might expect with a Rick Byrd coached team, Belmont...

Tournament Central - 3/9

Congratulations to Eastern Kentucky who came out of the gates firing and then did just enough to hold off Belmont to win the OVC crown. The Colonels return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. Three more titles and bids to give away today as Championship Fortnight rolls on.  A-FunWith apologies...

Tournament Central - 3/10

Shout out to Coastal Carolina for their first NCAA Tournament bid since 1995 and Mercer for getting revenge on FGCU and getting to the dance for the first time since 1985. Also congrats to Wichita State, 34-0 in the regular season is pretty cool too, I guess. Two more bids go out on Monday night. CAAIn keeping...

Tournament Central - 3/11

Monday night saw three more teams crowned champions. Congrats are in order for Delaware, Manhattan and Wofford. Hearts go out to Iona, Western Carolina and especially William & Mary who were so tantalizingly close to a first ever NCAA Tournament bid only to have the Blue Hens steal it away in the final moments....

Tournament Central - 3/12

So much for the home court advantage. Congrats are in order to Milwaukee and Mount St. Mary's who both won two straight road games to claim their titles. Also get ready for another case of #BisonFever coming to you next week.  Take a deep breath as there is only one title game tonight and a bunch of very...

Tournament Central - 3/13

Nobody loved you in the preseason American, but I guess that's why we play out the season anyway. Great job and congratulations. No championships tonight as the big networks are too busy airing the early rounds of the bloated power conferences. ATLANTIC 12George Mason got bounced by Fordham in the opening opening...

Tournament Central - 3/14

Tons of semi-finals today to set up championship Saturday. Get ready Atlantic 8Some juicy games in Brooklyn today including the renewal of the Richmond rivalry a few hours north. UMass and George Washington as a night cap doesn't suck either. Games are all on NBCSports if you are looking for some daytime hoops....

Tournament Central - 3/15

CHAMPIONSHIP SATURDAY Y'ALL Conference USA #2 Tulsa vs. #1 Louisiana Tech - 11:30 - CBS American EastThe semi-finals in this tournament felt like a month ago, but it is finally time for the finals. The Scooby-Doos are looking for their second-straight tournament bid and fourth since 2006. Stony Brook has never...

Tournament Central - 3/16

Many congratulations from a busy Saturday. Happy for all of our friends in Albany, Tulsa, NC Central, Weber State, Stephen F. Austin, Cal Poly, Western Michigan, Texas Southern and New Mexico State.  Just two champions today before selection Sunday.  Sun BeltGames like this are a lot of fun because...

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David & Goliath: A Love Story

A new underdog book about disadvantage, survival, justice and probabilities by Kyle Whelliston, coming late 2019 Q2.