College Basketball Region Power Rankings: SMU Soars To Top

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Feb 8, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs guard Sterling Brown (3) drives the ball up court against the Cincinnati Bearcats during the second half of a mens basketball game at Moody Coliseum. SMU won 76-55. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

1. #23 SMU Mustangs (19-5, 8-3 AAC)

It’s time to pony up, if you haven’t already. It’s time to party like it’s 1985, the last time this program was ranked until this week. It’s time to welcome back SMU to college hoops relevance. I thought the Mustangs had a great chance of knocking off then #7 Cincinnati at home. I did not expect a 76-55 defensive massacre that featured a basketball version of The Steel Curtain.

Seriously, it was that bad for the Bearcats. They had more turnovers (19) than field goals made (17). Their best player, Sean Kilpatrick, tallied 22 points, but was only 5-18 from the field and 3-12 from three-point range. With Kilpatrick out of rhythm, Coach Mick Cronin needed the next guy to step up. That didn’t happen. The rest of the team combined to go 1-12 from three-point range and added only 33 more points.

SMU, however, displayed another one of their strengths: depth. Markus Kennedy had an off night with only four points on two made field goals. A bad game from one of your best players usually spells trouble for your team against a top-10 opponent. Not the Ponies, though. The Mustang bench shot over 63% from field, led by junior center Cannen Cunningham (11 points, 13 minutes played) and freshman forward Ben Moore (15 points, 21 minutes played). More balanced scoring efforts like this one could have Larry Brown’s guys dancing for a while come March.

Up Next: 2/13 @Rutgers, 2/16@Temple

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  • Bear

    As one of the upstart Ags’ biggest fans, I honestly believe that the Gig ‘Em Group is only a big man away from being a real threat to do some damage in the SEC and in March. If we could have kept Keith $$Maker Davis around, there’s no way BK & Co. are missing from this list.
    It’s a real travesty that SFA is ahead of OK State on this list. Any team that scrapes out a win against the mighty Incarnate Word Cardinals does not belong. The Cards are about as talented as the McKinney Boyd squad this year. Just an embarrassment to all the McKinney Horses out there.

    • Colin Rose

      The Gig em Group needs all the fans they can get right now. I’m sure they appreciate the support. Don’t lose faith Bear!