1. SMU Mustangs (22-6, 11-4 AAC)
SMU finally got that monkey off their back with a huge 64-55 win at Connecticut. They can now add a marquee road victory to their terrific tournament resume. Huskies head coach Kevin Ollie could not have been more impressed by the Ponies, either.
Says Kevin Ollie Via Sports Illustrated:
They’ve got a good group of guys over there, and they play hard and they play together. They were tough defensively, but you just have to move the basketball. We made them even tougher by staying on the first side. But they are tough defensively. They’re long and aggressive. Nic Moore is a tough-headed point guard. And they go 10 deep. Everybody who comes off is long and athletic. They play hard and they know his system. And they trust each other.
Ollie’s description of the Mustangs is right on the money. This team’s depth and toughness allows them wear opponents down, which is exactly what they did to Connecticut on Sunday. Their stifling defense continues to excel, as SMU only allows 61.4 points per game. It is truly amazing that head coach Larry Brown has turned this program around in only his second season on the job. There will be much to celebrate in Dallas on Selection Sunday in a few weeks.
Up Next: 3/1 vs. UCF, 3/5 vs. Louisville