Some things in life are unexpected. It could be a death of a loved one, surprise twins, a parking ticket, or DePaul Basketball.
Wait. What? DePaul Basketball is back?
This probably doesn’t matter much if you’re not from Chicago, but this is a big deal.
There’s been little talk about College Basketball on The Turf lately, but it’s time to change that.
WHAT HAPPENED TONIGHT?
Prior to this game, DePaul had impressively beat two Big Ten teams on the road (Iowa and Minnesota). Beating a Big Ten team alone for a school like DePaul is one thing, but to take out two of them on the road is very impressive.
Tonight may have been their coming out party, though. DePaul defeated Texas Tech, last season’s NCAA runner-up, 65-60 in overtime. The victory increased DePaul’s record to 9-0, which is their longest winning streak since 1993-1994.
In an even battle throughout, DePaul was led by Jalen Coleman-Lands. Coleman-Lands, a former Illinois transfer, missed 27 games last season with a broken hand. He finished the game with 20 points, including three 3-pointers near the end of regulation and one with 8.3 left in regulation sending the crowd into delirium.
Coleman-Lands followed that up by hitting two more 3-pointers in overtime, one of which took the lead for good. This was very important because DePaul’s leading scorer, Charlie Moore, (also a transfer from Kansas), suffered through a 2 for 15 shooting night, finishing with six points.
This game was the talk of twitter for almost an hour.
Fans were piling on the bandwagon, clamoring that DePaul Basketball was back. Analysts were talking as if it was a done deal that DePaul would be ranked on Monday and are likely heading towards the NCAA Tournament. The game was even getting more buzz than the top 10 showdown between Ohio State and North Carolina.
DePaul is no joke. @DePaulHoops is a legit @marchmadness team. We had them safely in our bracket as a 9 seed. They would be moving up!!! There’s no reason DePaul can’t finish in the top four in the @BIGEASTMBB.@TheAndyKatz writer for NCAA.com
For the first time in years the team is beginning to create both local and national buzz:
WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
DePaul was once a treasure in Chicago Sports. Led by Hall of Fame Coach Ray Meyer from 1942 to 1984, DePaul finished with a record of 724-354. Meyer led his teams to 21 post-season appearances (including 12 straight) and two final fours.
Everything has been awful since.
Since entering the Big East in the 2005-2006 season, the Blue Demons have an outstanding record of 163-282. Their last NCAA Tournament appearance was in sadly in 2003-2004, ending with a second-round loss.
DePaul was the forgotten team of Chicago Sports, as evident by a popular Sports Radio host’s tweet:
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN MOVING FORWARD?
To say this on a loudspeaker: DePaul Basketball is relevant for the first time in a decade.
Chicago is a proud professional sports town. Aside from Loyola Basketball’s magical final four run (Remember Sister Jean?), the most significant College Basketball story in the last decade was Northwestern making their first ever NCAA appearance. Former hoops powerhouse Illinois Fighting Illini has been terrible since 2010, Northwestern has fallen off the face of the Earth since the aforementioned run, and no one cares about Notre Dame hoops; there was no immediate hope.
The time is perfect for DePaul to capture this city’s heart.
Can they make it to the NCAA Tournament this year?
We will see.
Should they be ranked next week?
- / 2 days ago
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