What I learned picking against SMU vs Tulsa basketball

As the process of licking my wounds from this weekend’s predictions continue, I am debriefing on the teams I liked.

Tulsa let a golden opportunity slip away by losing at home to #23 ranked SMU.  Game broadcasters questioned, with good reason before the game, why Tulsa wasn’t the ranked team and SMU on the outside looking in.

I give SMU even more credit for this win because the most promising player (actually on the court) for the Mustangs had been Keith Frazier.  The sophomore guard lost his appeal on an academic issue.

Bill Nichols of the Dallas Morning News has been all over this story (as for the entire Mustangs season).  Click here to check out more specifics on the Frazier news (and the colorful reaction from SMU fans to the NCAA’s refusal).

Keith Frazier was a 2014 McDonald’s All-American and his loss was insult to injury after lost Emmanuel Mudiay to the pros in China.

Tulsa played a high-energy game.  Its guards James Woodard and Shaquille Harrison, to their credit, were aggressive on the offensive end.  However, they each struggled in the second half, missing eight and seven shots respectively.  Tulsa shot only 28% from the field.  A lot of missed shots in the second half were layups.

Tulsa also did not have an answer for Cannen Cunningam.  The senior big man had a season-high 16 points.  Many of those were rim runs that broke the back of Tulsa at the end of the shot clock.

Speaking of inside presence, De’Andre Wright was repeatedly the only Tulsa player fighting in the paint for offensive rebounds.  I know Tulsa is a good defensive rebound game, but I would have like to see them game plan for more players to crash the glass.

(Easy for me to say, as I sit in my basement eating skittles while writing this).

SMU did not make the tournament last year after a very controversial decision by the committee.  Although the Mustangs beat the eventual champion UCONN Huskies twice that season, the committee apparently disapproved of their non-conference schedule and didn’t extend an invite.  This year they scheduled Gonzaga, Indiana, Michigan and Arkansas.  Although the Wolverines are the only win in that group, Cincinnati is their only in-conference lost yet.

If and when SMU makes the tournament, watch out.  If they have PG Nic Moore, they have a shot.  The kid scored 23 points and dished 7 assists Saturday.

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