Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Rice Owls keep rolling 

In my continuing effort to convert M's fans into fans of the Rice Owls (in the spirit of optimism), here is a quick update.

Last week: 2-0 (81-61 over Boise St and 84-68 over UTEP, two WAC favorites) and Michael Harris was named WAC Player of the Week.

Yes, Rice clobbered the same UTEP team that just two months ago ended the Harlem Globetrotters 288-game win streak And the Globetrotters during that 8-game college tour beat Michigan St, UMass, and defending national champions Syracuse. So I think its safe for the Orangemen to pack up that pretty trophy and send it to Texas, care of William Marsh Rice.

For now, the Owls (11-3, 3-0) will have to be content with upping their vote total from 1 to 3(!) on the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll making us tied with Alabama for 35th in the nation and a mere 285 points behind Gonzaga in the race for top mid-tier school and media darling.

Beginning next Saturday, the Owls face a tough swing with 4 games in 8 days beginning with an ESPN2 televised game at Tulsa on Saturday. The Owls are 1-8 at the Reynolds Center and have lost by an average of 26 points, so it should be an easy win for the Owls. Then, we take on WAC front-runner Fresno State, and preseason favorite Nevada, who already kicked the Kansas Jayhawks ass this year. In between we get a home game with SMU who swept us last year.

I predict a 4-0 trip and a #9 seed in the NCAA South Regional!

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