The Saint Louis Billikens proved that they are one of the most underrated teams in the country with their 77-57 victory over the Richmond Spiders.
The Billikens jumped out to a 25-8 lead and never looked back. Senior guard Jordair Jett led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds, while senior forward Dwayne Evans added 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The win puts the Billikens at 19-2 and 6-0 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
Those numbers should warrant a high ranking in the Top 25 polls, but somehow, the Bilikens are still hovering around 20 in the Coaches and AP polls. What makes the situation even more perplexing is the fact that five teams with four losses are ranked ahead of the Billikens. Saint Louis has no bad losses, as both teams they lost to are ranked above them.
What makes this Saint Louis team so good is their maturity. All five starters are seniors and the top three reserves are in their third year of college basketball. Those players, with the exception of transfer Austin McBroom, have played key roles in the Billikens’ back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in the past two seasons. In each season, the Billikens have won their opening game of the tournament before falling to a power conference opponent. In the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Saint Louis lost by just four points to a talented Michigan State Spartans team and fell to a red hot Oregon Ducks squad last year.
This season, the Billikens look ready to get past that second game. They have all the ingredients of past years’ Mid-Major teams that made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament, so why not Saint Louis this season?
Saint Louis will get a chance to prove to the country how good they really are, as they play both the Virginia Commonwealth Rams and the George Washington Colonials in the next month. Both of those teams sit just a game behind Saint Louis in the standings with only one loss in conference play.