First 19 wins in a row, now a different kind of streak; two losses in a row for the Billikens. They weren’t the only highly ranked team to lose on Saturday. Five teams ranked in the top ten lost. Of the teams ranked in the top 25, ten of them went down to defeat on Saturday.
It’s all about parity in college basketball. Every team has talent. The Billikens were able to survive several close calls during their winning streak, but 17 turnovers against a team like VCU were more than SLU could overcome. They played poorly in the loss earlier in the week at home against Duquesne. “We played hard,” said SLU head coach Jim Crews, “but didn’t play well enough. There were no pity parties for us. I think that’s a good character trait. I think we didn’t play well enough.”
The Billikens are still in a good position to win their second straight A-10 conference championship. They need just one more win, or a loss by St. Joseph’s. SLU hosts Dayton on Wednesday, then finishes up the regular season next Sunday at U Mass.
A 25-4 regular season record is very impressive, but the last two defeats should serve as a wake up call for the Billikens. Ultimately, a team is remembered for how it performs in the NCAA tournament. They’ll be one and done if they repeat their performances against Duquesne and VCU.