Murray State is not worthy.
First of all, if you’re like most people, you’re thinking, “What is Murray State?” Then you’re like, “Is that a college?” And, “Why is anyone writing about some college called Murray State?”
And who the hell is Murray?
First of all, Murray State is indeed a college — of about 10,000 students — in a place called Murray, Kentucky, which is located roughly, ah . . .
I don’t exactly know. Nor do I really care. Because normally I have no need to know anything about Murray, Kentucky, because nothing ever happens there. Except for this year. Because the Murray State basketball team — known as the Racers — are ranked #11 by the AP. Heck, guys on ESPN even mention the name Murray State and debate on whether they can remain undefeated.
But, again, who cares?
First of all, these guys have no business being ranked #11, ahead of real, actual good teams. I mean, seriously, can you imagine what a team like #23 Florida State, which rocked North Carolina earlier this season, would do to Murray State? Or Wisconsin, ranked #24? Or Louisville, not even ranked in the top 25?
I’ll tell you: They’d kill Murray State. All of them. By 20 points or more.
I’ve heard people argue that, “You can’t fault Murray State for not having a tough schedule.” Well, true. But you also can’t give them credit for teams they haven’t beaten. And ranking them ahead of teams that actually have beaten those teams just doesn’t make sense.
Despite their 21-0 record, who can be impressed by a schedule that doesn’t include a single top 25 team? If they’d beaten Illinois instead of Eastern Illinois or Kentucky instead of Eastern Kentucky, then, yeah. I might be impressed. They did beat Austin Peay, one of those teams that every real team usually beats in the cupcake part of their schedule before the real competition starts. But Murray State barely beat Alaska-Anchorage, which I’m guessing travels to most games via dog sleds.
They also had a close game against Morehead State, which makes me think more about blackhead pimples than basketball.
Sorry, but a top 15 team ought to beat Alaska-Anchorage and Blackhead State by 40, not two or six.
As the season winds down, there will be more debate as to whether Murray State can be the first college basketball team since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers to go undefeated. You know, if they can manage to knock off those titans of hoops Tennessee-Martin or Southeast Missouri State. (As a rule, if teams have “eastern” or “western” in their name, they’re a notch above junior college.) But, unfortunately for them, once the NCAA tournament starts, they’ll have to play real teams. And while their stellar regular season record will surely afford them a high seed — maybe they’ll get to play Austin Peay! — it shouldn’t get them a top seed.
Or a top 25 ranking.
Because, as soon as the Racers play a Kansas or a Michigan State or a UNLV, they’re gonna be racin’ back to Kentucky, where students can once again focus on their pre-veterinary studies.
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