Saint Louis Will be 2014 Cinderella Story

By Demario Phipps-Smith
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

As soon as you are done feeding your girlfriend Valentine’s Day chocolate that you bought her, you’ll realize that March is right around the corner. More importantly than March, (sorry March—but it’s true) is the fact that March Madness will be here soon.

Around this time of the year everyone becomes enamored with glitz and glamor of the big-name programs. Somehow, there is usually at least one mid-major program that receives hardly any exposure while playing just as well as any team in the country.

This year that team is the Saint Louis Billikens.

How does a team with its only two losses coming at the hands of Wisconsin and undefeated Wichita State fly under the radar? Playing in the Atlantic 10 Conference, that’s how.

But even the A 10 as a conference is vastly underrated. Although the Billikens (22-2, 9-0) are the first place team, the next six teams are less than 4.5 games behind with seven conference games left to play.

This is no cupcake conference; George Mason, Virginia Commonwealth, St. Joseph’s and Richmond have been prominent programs recently. The balance within the conference allows SLU to work out the kinks and prepare properly for the NCAA tournament.

The Billikens won’t wow many people watching their highlight film, but they are an impressive team nonetheless. They execute well and play unselfishly. SLU has four players scoring more than eight points per game and four players grabbing more than four rebounds per game. Seniors Jordair Jett and Dwayne Evans are the leading scorers on the team at 13.2 and 14.5 PPG respectively.

Jett is particularly valuable to his team because he is a good ball-handler who can rebound well for his size (4.0 RPG). Although the seniors provide the heavy lifting it is hard to determine who will assist in the scoring load, as SLU is a team with good depth.

This is an experienced team that has already seen some success. This year, they are currently on a 16-game winning streak. This is a team to watch out for in March.

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