Bracket Bits: Monmouth makes November count
As it relates to building a potential at-large resume, Monmouth certainly made November count. Mid-majors have to take advantage of opportunities, and the Hawks ended the month with victories over UCLA, Notre Dame, and USC, the latter two as part of the Advocare Invitational in Orlando. The Hawks only losses this month were at USC and to Dayton in Orlando – both quality opponents. Consider this, too: Monmouth played all six of its November games away from home.
So what’s next for the Hawks? How about back-to-back road games against Canisius and Niagara to open Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) play. Then, after a home opener with Wagner on December 13, Monmouth gets another resume opportunity against Georgetown on December 15.
It’s too early to make any March decisions, but Monmouth has put some notable wins on its resume. Assuming the Hawks keep it going in MAAC play, they should be in the conversation for an at-large bid on Selection Sunday. We’ll see how it plays out.
Some other notable mid-major victories in November:
Valparaiso – Until a surprising loss at Ball State, the Crusaders posted road wins at Rhode Island and Oregon State.
Chattanooga – the Mocs won at Georgia and beat Illinois on a neutral-court in Springfield.
Northern Iowa – after a loss to Colorado State, the Panthers rebounded to beat North Carolina at home.
Louisiana Tech and UTEP – both from Conference USA. Tech won at Ohio State and UTEP beat Colorado State.
UT-Arlington – from the Sun Belt Conference, the Mavericks posted back-to-back road wins at Ohio State and Memphis.
Arkansas-Little Rock – also from the Sun Belt, the Trojans notched road wins at San Diego State and Tulsa.
William & Mary – the Tribe won at NC State and challenged Dayton on the road (three-point game) before an expected loss at Howard.
Western Illinois – the Leathernecks opened with a victory at Wisconsin, perhaps the most surprising result of the season’s opening weekend.
It’s also worth mentioning Radford’s win over Georgetown and North Florida’s win over Illinois.
If the drama continues in December, it’s going to be a great Holiday season.