College Basketball: 6 Schools That Could Lose to High School Powerhouses

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2012

College Basketball: 6 Schools That Could Lose to High School Powerhouses

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    I probably shouldn’t have to include this disclaimer, but I am going to anyways for the sake of the fans of these college programs.

    My tongue may or may not have been firmly planted in my cheek when compiling this list.

    Nevertheless, for every Kentucky or Duke there is a team at the opposite end of the spectrum. These are teams that really don’t stand a chance at winning in almost every game they participate in, regardless of the opponent.

    With basketball factory programs arising across the country at the high school and AAU level, who’s to say one of the nation’s top high school powerhouses couldn’t pull off a victory over one of these college basketball teams?

    Here are six programs that, primarily based on last season’s performance, could possibly lose to one of these high school powerhouses.

    Stats and facts are courtesy of kenpom.com, espn.com and sports-reference.com.

Grambling State

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    There’s only one thing you need to know about Grambling State.

    The Tigers were ranked 345 out of 345 teams in Ken Pomeroy’s college basketball rankings, which are based on factors such as pace-adjusted offense, pace-adjusted defense and strength of schedule.

    Grambling State ranked 341st in points per game (54), 342nd in assists per game (8.8) and 344th in field-goal percentage. Look at that assists number again. Two players in the country averaged more assists per game than the entire Grambling State team (Scott Machado and Kendall Marshall).

    The Tigers finished 4-24 on the year. Included in those 24 losses was a 46-point loss to Houston, a 30-point loss to Utah Valley and a 42-point loss to North Texas.

    Grambling State scored in the 30s in three separate games.

    It never scored more than 75 in a game (and that one took overtime).

Towson

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    Last season, every team in the nation won at least two games.

    That is, except for Towson.

    The Tigers (it must be something about that name) finished with an astoundingly bad 1-31 record in 2011-12. In fact, they should have seen the writing on the wall after their 100-54 opening day loss to Kansas.

    It took Towson until its 23rd game to finally record a victory (over North Carolina-Wilmington) last year. The Tigers ranked 344th in points per game, 343rd in field goal percentage and 344th in assists per game.

    Just like Grambling State, two players averaged more assists per game than the entire Towson squad.

    Not exactly the formula for success.

South Carolina State

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    If you go 0-16 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, there’s a pretty good chance you are going to land on this list.

    The Bulldogs (hooray, someone besides the Tigers), inexplicably considering their record, finished 35th in the nation in rebounds per game. But that was probably because they missed so many shots (328th in field-goal percentage), so there were more rebounds up for grabs.

    It didn’t look that bad from the start when South Carolina State started the year 3-1, but the wheels quickly fell off the tracks.

    It’s somewhat unusual for a MEAC team to have more success in the nonconference schedule than when conference play begins, but somehow the Bulldogs found a way to pull it off.

Binghamton

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    It wasn’t that long ago that Binghamton was playing Duke in the national spotlight in an NCAA tournament game.

    In fact it was March of 2009. But it sure seems a lot longer ago than that.

    The Bearcats ranked 343rd (second worst) in Ken Pomeroy’s rankings at the end of last season. That was the result of a year that saw Binghamton finish 337th in scoring per game, 320th in field-goal percentage and 314th  in rebounds per game.

    The scary thing about the Bearcats’ incompetence is the fact that it took them 27 games to finally record their first victory. That’s even longer than Towson, who had fewer wins than any team in the nation last year.

    It might be a while before Binghamton is back playing the Dukes of the world again in March, even if it is as a sacrificial 15 or 16 seed.

Bryant

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    Here is Bryant University’s resume from last season—a 2-28 record, a 1-17 mark in Northeast conference play, 311th in field-goal percentage, a 15-game losing streak to end the year and the 333rd spot in Ken Pomeroy’s overall rankings.

    I would say that resume is not exactly at-large worthy for the Bulldogs when March comes along (for the record that is now two Bulldogs and two Tigers out of five teams so far).

    Bryant played three games last season against power conference teams and lost by a combined 85 points.

    Yikes.

Kennesaw State

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    Zero wins and 18 losses.

    That was Kennesaw State’s record in conference play last season. And the Owls play in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

    That means they finished behind such powerhouses as Stetson, Florida Gulf Coast and Lipscomb.

    Kennesaw State didn’t waste much time showing off its ineffectiveness either. The Owls lost to Wisconsin in their season opener by 54 points. The final score was 85-31. That’s right, 31.

    The thing is, 31 is fairly impressive considering the fact that Kennesaw State had eight points at halftime. I know Wisconsin is good on defense, but any Division I college basketball team should be able to find a way to score double-digit points in a half.

    I bet a high school powerhouse would.