After getting stuck in the snow for a game already postponed by Winter Storm Jonas, SMU will try to gather its wits and put its undefeated record (18-0) on the line on Sunday against Temple.
The Mustangs got stuck on the way to Philadelphia in the same snow that left the Duquesne team stranded for more than a day. The whole team tried to push the bus and Ben Moore even got out to make some snow angels in an attempt to have some fun in the unplanned delay.
Our Bus got stuck. pic.twitter.com/yyswmZkE6E
— Ben Moore (@JaminTheFiend) January 23, 2016
So how can we expect this team to bring its best against a well-coached Temple team that has a pair of wins against Cincinnati and a victory at UConn?
Our friends at SportsLine give the Owls just a 14 percent chance of pulling the upset, and give SMU a 7.2 percent chance of finishing the season undefeated in our most recent simulations of the Mustangs’ remaining schedule following the close call against Houston at home.
|SportsLine SMU Win Percentage|
|at Temple (Sunday)||86%|
|Memphis (Jan. 30)||91%|
|at Houston (Feb. 1)||74%|
|at USF (Feb. 7)||97%|
|Tulsa (Feb. 10)||87%|
|Gonzaga (Feb. 13)||81%|
|at UConn (Feb. 18)||57%|
|ECU (Feb. 21)||98%|
|at Memphis (Feb. 25)||77%|
|Tulane (Feb. 28)||96%|
|UConn (March 3)||76%|
|at Cincinnati (March 6)||57%|
|Chances of going undefeated: 7.2%|
SMU’s return visit to Houston (74 percent), along with road trips to UConn (57 percent) and Cincinnati (57 percent) are the most likely losses on the slate according to SportsLine, but don’t sleep on Sunday’s game as a potential back-breaker for the hopes of being the third team to finish the regular season in as many years (2014 Wichita State, 2015 Kentucky).
Larry Brown’s nine-game suspension and the looming early finish to the season are not the only challenges impacting SMU’s efforts to make the most of this season. After taking some time away from the team on a personal leave, embattled guard Keith Frazier announced his intentions to transfer from the program. Frazier’s online course work contributed to the NCAA violations that put the Mustanges in this odd position, and the former Dallas high school star has the support of Brown in his efforts to find a fresh start elsewhere.
But through it all SMU has continued chasing that elusive honor of finish a regular season undefeated. The odds aren’t great, but they’re getting better and better with each victory.