Thursday, January 17, 2008


Whew- that was close.

The Tulane Green Wave salvaged its season last night- going on the road as a modest ‘dog to beat the quality mid-major operation that is Tulsa. The Wave really, really, really needed that one. While the out of conference season was full of pleasant surprises (get bent Tigers!)- this opening three game C-USA conference slate was tough. I’d have preferred 2-1- but they were road ‘dogs twice, against squads that figure to be upper division teams, in that three game stretch. So 1-2 will do. Just couldn't afford the disappointment associated with a doughnut after their solid start.

It is funny how just one win changes a conference season. Last year, a key win over Tulsa in the conference tournament produced convincing evidence that Tulane had restored itself a germane program in our semi-decent League. This year, Tulane was one loss away from a potential season-long slog from 0-3 back to something like break even. Now Tulane is right back to a legitimate shot at double-digit League wins.

For a first round conference bye and twenty total wins, the Wave probably needs to sweep the next five, get four at a minimum. Three are on the road- but they get horrid Rice (3-13) twice, SMU is bad and a good Tulane C-USA team should beat East Carolina even away from New Orleans. UTEP at 11-4 does look tough on paper- but if you look closely that current mark is close to outright fraud.

They can’t lose to the Owls or Mustangs and be credible- but I guess they could survive a slip versus ECU or UTEP. But a good 20-win team in a decent mid-major League has to play consistent night after night- it is part of last season’s 10-6 legacy. Outside of Memphis, they’ve proven themselves relevant to the League story. Now, Tulane has the pressure of winning the winnable games- or there is disappointment.

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