The Force is strong with these ones.
Monmouth and its inventive bench frat has done it again, notching another win on the road against a team from a major conference. The Hawks — who I argued a few days ago deserve to be ranked — beat Rutgers 73-67 on Sunday afternoon to improve to 8-3 and extend their winning streak to four.
The victory over mediocre Rutgers improved Monmouth’s program to a 1-17 career mark against Big Ten programs currently in the conference. This team keeps setting new marks with every game; its 15-point pounding of Georgetown five days back marked the first win for Monmouth ever over a Big East team.
The highlight from Sunday’s win came when the walk-ons brought out a Star Wars classic as part of their latest package of pantomimes. Behold, the Force choke. A modern allusion to the biggest movie in the world.
No surprise: The @MonmouthBench likes Star Wars, too. https://t.co/wdNCQA1Vkp
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 20, 2015
The guys also busted out a home run celebration and Santa-with-reindeer. Just fabulous. The video of those can be seen at the bottom of this post.
For Monmouth and its basketball team’s ability, let there be no debate: This is one of the 25 best teams in the country right now. Let us consider the ways:
• The Hawks have played just one game at home to this point. Think about what they’ll do in the win column once they don’t have to travel for as many games.
• MU’s seven combined road and neutral victories ties for the most in the country right now with Navy (8-4).
• Five of Monmouth’s eight wins have come against teams from major conferences, including UCLA, Georgetown and Notre Dame.
• Monmouth’s nonconference schedule ranks third in the nation.
• It’s been a long time since Monmouth put together a serious winning streak. If it wins at 5-5 Cornell on Wednesday, it will complete the first five-game winning streak for the program since the 2009-10 season.
Monmouth’s takedown on Sunday was apparently so dispiriting to Rutgers that the school has called off all plans to continue its annual series with Monmouth. (And that’s a WEAK move, Rutgers.)
Look around at the sport. Teams are dropping games everywhere, and only a handful of schools can claim as good of an overall resume as Monmouth. I’m not saying this team should be 12th or 17th or 20th, but finding a spot for it on the back end of the top 25 shouldn’t be too hard to justify.
College hoops is better with Monmouth doing the unprecedented, both on the court and on the sidelines.
To those who can’t bring themselves to rank this team, I think I speak on behalf of the Hawks when I say I find your lack of faith … disturbing.
Home run celebrations, Santa and his reindeer and STAR WARS. Monmouth bench does it again. pic.twitter.com/IXsfxklMdj
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) December 20, 2015