Men’s basketball’s new NET rankings, the long-awaited replacement for RPI, had a bit of a bumpy launch this week with a bizarre Top 10 and math nerds saying very unkind things about the formula. After watching the telecast of tonight’s action at Viejas Arena, I’ll give the new rankings system this: Jackson State at 349 seems … about right.
San Diego State, which debuted at 96 in NET after losing by 30 to Iowa State in Maui last week, regrouped to crush the Tigers 87-44 in a performance as pretty as the Aztecs’ turquoise Native American Heritage Month unis. Or nearly as pretty, anyway.
Jordan Schakel works some magic and gets the and-1.
Back when things looked bleak for San Diego State men’s basketball, I would often try to break up all the bitter text in my grim recaps with a few visual aids. One of my favorite crutches was the win probability chart, because, hey, why expend brainpower writing angry words about another brutal loss when you can let a line graph tell the grim tale for you.
Anyway, here is what those charts looked like back then.
Say, would you like to see the win probability chart for the Aztecs’ Mountain West Conference semifinal game against the University of Nevada-Reno on Thursday night?
There are two ways to look at what transpired Saturday afternoon at Viejas Arena, where the San Diego State men’s basketball team crushed UNLV 94-56 in what felt like a November paycheck game against a Southland Conference team that starts a 6-foot-5 power forward wearing a headband and goggles.
On one hand, you’d be forgiven if you came away a little bitter.
Where the hell has this been? That aggressive defense, that commitment to doing something on offense besides jacking threes, that perfect use of the bench. If SDSU stated playing like that a couple of months ago we’d be talking about NCAA Tournament seeding rather than the thrilling quest to avoid the conference tournament play-in round.
On the other hand, LOLOLOLOL eat it UNLV.
The Aztecs just rained merciless destruction on one of our most hated rivals, delivering the biggest beating ever in this series. Keep in mind, that spans 69 games and includes several seasons in the ’90s when SDSU was seriously putrid. The Rebels are probably hitchhiking back to Vegas right now while Malik Pope joyrides their team bus through Pacific Beach. At least I hope so.
Yeah, I’m feeling like going with option No. 2 here. Today was awesome, so I say let’s sit back, relax and enjoy the following video of SDSU beating UNLV with a pillowcase full of doorknobs, metaphorically. Mostly metaphorically.
A little less than two months ago, a buddy and I went to a bar in North Park to watch the Aztecs-Boise State hoops game. We were the only two people in the establishment who gave a shit, to be sure, and I got a big eye roll from the bartender when I asked her to change one of the nine TVs showing NFL Network highlights onto ESPNU or whatever jerkwater channel the game was on. Then SDSU proceeded to suffer probably their most brutal, listless, depressing loss in a season of stanky-ass losses.
As you can imagine, I spent that night feeling kind of crappy about my choice of hobbies and my priorities in general.
Right now I’m writing this blog post in the middle of the night (thanks, 8:30 start) one day removed from an international flight and with a long day at work and a 9:30 p.m. game time (fucking hell) looming tomorrow. And you know what? At the moment, I’m good with it.
SDSU’s football season is shaping up to be a slightly improved facsimile of 2015. We’ve made it through the “losing to South Alabama” phase of the season. We passed through the “beating MWC teams convincingly but not overwhelmingly” stage. And now, here we are in the “housing fools by 30-plus” portion of the schedule.