Stephen Curry IS Not Alone: Other Mid-Majors Deserve Respect
"Hey man, did you see Lester Hudson go for 41 last night?"
"Yeah dude, but what about Portland State's buzzer-beating win over Cal State-Fullerton?"
These phrases aren't too prevalent in your typical break-room sports chatter. Usually the talk will revolve around mainstream spectacles like Jodie Meeks' 54-point explosion or another pillow fight between not-as-good-as-they-look Big East teams.
But whether the media and fans acknowledge them or not, there are still 347 teams in college basketball. Unfortunately, fewer than 50 of them are consistently covered or aired on TV.
And, by golly, a few of those 300 deserted teams are worth acknowledging.
Take Kentucky and Meek's 54-point masterpiece last night against Tennessee. On Nov. 14 things weren't so Sportscenter-friendly, as UK lost by eight at home against VMI.
Speaking of the Vols—ask Bruce Pearl the hardest fought game he's been in this year and he'll likely point to UT's 79-77 sigh-of-relief-inducing win over Belmont.
"Well, what about Stephen Curry? Everyone knows about Davidson."
Sure, and Davidson is a great story and Curry is a great player, but that is only scraping the surface of what mid-majors have to offer.
The aforementioned Lester Hudson for Tennessee-Martin is averaging 27.4 point-per-game, just behind Curry. Read a little further down that list and you'll see players from Chicago State, Liberty (Steph's bro), and North Dakota State (at least Ben Woodside got his 15 seconds of fame for dropping 60 in a losing effort to Stephen F. Austin).
But are any of these mid's good enough to ball with the best in the NBA? Well, of course it depends on the player, but look up Steve Nash's alma mater and then try to tell me these guys can't play.
Although, not all hope is lost when trying to get some of these smaller schools bigger recognition. For instance, stations like ESPNU and CBS College Sports are doing their part to spread the message. But there is one man who stands alone with his undying dedication to the little guys—Kyle Whelliston.
Whelliston is a brave troubadour, traveling the country and singing the praises of mid-majors. He scours the nation, visiting small-time arenas, covering the teams that no one else dares to. Luckily for the world, Whelliston chronicles his journeys and adventures on www.midmajority.com.
So, the next time you're watching Duke or Georgetown on ESPN (these are the only teams shown on ESPN, right?) and you see a seemingly useless box score at the bottom of the screen, know that the characters and players behind those scores may be a little more worthy than you think.
And you never know—a little extra attention to the small-guys could end up helping out with your bracket in March. Or those NBA Draft predictions.
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