Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Houston, Gonzaga, and UConn headlines Sunday Mailbag

Conference season is here and that means it is time for the return of the NCAA Basketball Sunday Mailbag. Here's a look at the first edition.

Dec 30, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA;  Houston Cougars guard L.J. Cryer (4) drives to the basket during
Dec 30, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars guard L.J. Cryer (4) drives to the basket during / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
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Entering play on Sunday, who will be the last winless team?

This is something that I have been thinking about for a while and it is an interesting exercise to think about. As writers we always talk about the positive things that happen in the sport and sometimes ignore the teams that don’t win or fail to talk about them. There may not be much positive to talk about but those teams are still part of the sport and need to be covered. This question should be amended as to which team will be the last winless team against Division 1 competition. 

Heading into play on Sunday Mississippi Valley State, Lafayette, Southern Indiana, Houston Christian, VMI, Buffalo, Alcorn State, Detroit Mercy and Northwestern State are the teams who have yet to beat a Division 1 team. None of those teams are good and none of them have been able to get the job done. Buffalo was close to winning a game against Niagara on Friday night but were not able to get the job done. Alcorn State and Southern Indiana are the most talented of these teams and will get some division 1 wins in their conference.

Houston Christian has always been able to score but they do not play defense and they have to take a ton of buy games to function. The Southland is going to have some wins available. VMI is a mess and their best player just transferred out of the program. Mississippi Valley State is once again winless and has not been anywhere close to a win but given that they play in the SWAC they will likely win a few games as the year goes on.

There is one team who stands out above the rest of the winless teams and that is the Detroit Mercy Titans. Detroit Mercy was not projected to be very good in the post Antoine Davis era but they still did have some talented pieces, mainly Ryan Hurst and Jayden Stone. Hurst is a freshman and is leading them right now. However, Stone got hurt and no one knows when he will return from the severely sprained ankle. The one recent game that the Titans could win on their schedule was against IUPUI. The Titans got blown out in that game and were nowhere near winning.

They do not have many opportunities left to win games and they look like they may go winless. I hope that Detroit Mercy does win a game but it doesn’t look good for their post Antoine Davis days. The Titans are very young and very inexperienced and those teams usually get better as the year goes on. It is going to be a rough go until those players start to get acclimated with the speed of the game and learn to win.