Mid-Major Lives Matter (Jan 23-26)

So much attention in college basketball is given to the Power 6 conference, causing us to forget there are 26 other D1 conferences. It is time for these mid-major conferences to get the love they deserve. These conferences matter, too!

Mid-Major Lives Matter is a new bi-weekly special that shows the top mid-major games for the week and explains why they matter.

Monday

Rider at St Peters
Why You Should Care: Rider currently sits in a tie for fourth in the MAAC at 5-4, while St Peter’s is second 6-3. With Monmouth being at the top of the league, being a 2 or 3 is important so you can avoid the Hawks until the conference championship. This one is big for each team to themselves in that position.

UL Lafayette at UT Arlington
Why You Should Care: UT Arlington currently sits two games out of first place in the Sun Belt (behind Georgia Southern), with Lafayette one game behind the Mavericks. Arlington, who beat Saint Mary’s and Texas earlier this season, needs this one to stay in the conference title race.

Tuesday

Ball State at Eastern Michigan
Why You Should Care: Eastern Michigan is tied at the top of the MAC West division at 4-2 with Toledo, while Ball State sits one behind them. Toledo plays at Ohio on Tuesday night as well, so it should be an interesting night that has big implications on the MAC West race.

Wednesday

SMU sophomore Shake Milton scored 27 points during Saturday’s win over Houston

SMU at UCF
Why You Should Care: Besides the two point loss to Cincy, SMU has been rolling through the American. UCF needs a big win to keep their slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

Vermont at Albany
Why You Should Care: Vermont is still undefeated in the America East, but it’s never easy to win at Albany, who has won three straight.

Jairus Lyles is averaging 20.3 PPG and 6.9 RPG for UMBC.

UMBC at Stony Brook
Why You Should Care: Sitting right behind Vermont in the America East is Stony Brook at 5-1, while UMBC is two games back at 4-2. If either teams wants to challenge for the conference title, they’ll need to win this one.

UNF guard Dallas Moore is third in the nation in scoring at 23.7 PPG.

FGCU at UNF
Why You Should Care: The two Sunshine State schools are part of a three way tie with USC Upstate for the conference lead at 4-1.

USC Upstate at Lipscomb
Why You a Should Care: USC Upstate is in that three way tie for the top spot in the conference, while Lipscomb is one back of the three leaders at 3-2.

ETSU at Samford
Why You Should Care: ETSU is 5-2 and in third place in the SoCon, very much still in the conference title race with UNCG and Chattanooga. Samford is proving to be a tough out as they played the Mocs to a 4 point game on Saturday.

TJ Cline leads Richmond in points, rebounds and assists.

Rhode Island at Richmond
Why You Should Care: Rhode Island is a bubble team and has to win games like this if they want an at large bid come March. Both teams are part of a group of five teams with 2 losses in the Atlantic 10, all trailing 6-1 Dayton. This is a must win to stay in the title chase.

Nevada at Boise State
Why You Should Care: Because the Mountain West is crazy this year and these two teams currently are tied at the top at 5-2.

Thursday

Charleston at Towson
Why You Should Care: Charleston is 7-1 in the Colonial, one game behind UNCW. They can’t afford to lose any ground on the Seahawks if they want to earn even a share of the league title.

TJ Williams has been sensational for Northeastern this season (21.9 PPG, 5.4 APG)

Elon at Northeastern
Why You Should Care: Like the MAAC, you really want to be at the bottom of the bracket in the CAA so you can avoid UNCW until the title game. Northeastern is third at 5-3, while Elon is tied for fourth at 4-4, so this is a big one in the pursuit to grab a 2 or 3 seed in the conference tournament.

Eastern Washington at Montana
Why You Should Care: Another game that has implications on a conference title race, the Big Sky is crowded at the top this season, with Eastern Washington a half game back of Weber State at 5-2, while Montana is 5-3.

San Francisco at Saint Mary’s
Why You Should Care: This will be no cakewalk for Saint Mary’s, as San Francisco has won three in a row and had wins over Utah and Illinois State earlier this season. The Gaels already beat the Dons on the road by 11, but this could be an upset if Saint Mary’s doesn’t show up.

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