America's Most Dangerous Mid-Major: Long Beach State
Meet The Beach.
No, don't grab your towel and take off running. Say hello to a team who hardly should have to carry the title "mid-major." They may have shaken that halfway through the conference season anyway.
What does Long Beach State bring to the table?
The team has a total of seven seniors. One of them, T.J. Robinson, just recorded his 53rd career double-double.
Long Beach State has won 14 Big West games in a row, which is a new school record, and they are only one win away from going undefeated in their conference for the first time since 1974. This will be their 15th 20-win season overall, and first back-to-back 20-win seasons since 1973 and 1974.
Casper Ware's individual performances are drawing attention as well, as he is one of 11 finalists for the Bob Cusey Award. He is also one of 25 finalists for the Lou Henson Award, given annually to college basketball's best mid-major player.
Long Beach has played a very tough schedule, and they aren't afraid to take on NCAA tournament caliber competition.
Among their losses are Kansas, North Carolina and Louisville, all games that were close and lost on the road.
Among their wins are Pitt, Boise State, Xavier and Auburn. Clearly the 49ers are not afraid to play the big dogs, and come selection Sunday, their resume will look good for seeding.
ESPN currently has Long Beach State projected as a 13-seed, but many believe it will go higher.
If in fact "The Beach" drew a 13, whoever was paired up in the same region as a 4-seed would be facing a nightmare (read: upset) scenario.
Conference play concludes on Saturday at Cal. State-Fullerton. A win there would give Long Beach State just its fifth undefeated conference season ever, and Long Beach State might be just getting started.
All info courtesy longbeachstate.com.
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