Two more chances, that’s all Alcorn State has to get this season’s bragging rights.
Bryant? All it can hope for is that the Braves (1-28) keep tumbling so it doesn’t have to go alone with the worst Division-I team title.
Heading into the last week of the regular season, Alcorn State will have two shots to move past the Bulldogs (1-29) in the 2009-10 season win column. Not being the team with the least wins wasn’t exactly what the Braves were looking to brag about this year, but at this point, they’ll take it.
It’s not like they have much else to hang on to. Just like Bryant, the Braves won’t have post-season play.
The Braves knew from the very beginning it was going to be bad. Their season opener was a 40-point defeat at the hands of Ohio State, followed by a 62-point humiliation to Arkansas. Check, please?
Alcorn State kept on playing. Ten games later, it was 10 more double-digit losses, including a couple more 60-point losses. By the time the Braves won their first game — in their 25th try, 55-54, against Mississippi Valley State Feb. 13 — only 750 fans showed up to see it.
Bryant‘s path was a bit less embarrassing. The Bulldogs started off with 43- and 24-point losses before dropping a close one, 59-56, to Bucknell. Five of their next 23 losses were by six points or less before finally becoming the last Division-I team to win a game. Bryant defeated Wagner, 53-51, on the road Feb. 18.
The Bulldogs closed the season with three more losses, including an overtime one, 69-60, to St. Francis, N.Y., Thursday.
The résumés are alarming for both squads, although Bryant seems to have a slim edge just because Alcorn State was blown out in all but three games this season. And even in that one, the Braves tried to give it away. They led 54-47 with 32 seconds to go, but Mississippi Valley State was within one point 26 seconds later.
Alcorn State clanked two free throws to give Mississippi Valley State a last chance at the winner, but it didn’t go.
A few more close games, a road win and being a team in transition from Division II are the sad edges Bryant has over Alcorn State even though the Braves still have two games to go and could potentially end up with three times as many wins as the Bulldogs. But it isn’t happening.And even though the Braves score nine points more per game than Bryant did this season (51.9), defense matters more when you’re trying to find an identity. The Bulldogs held opponents to 69.5 points per game while Alcorn State has allowed them to score 82.5.
One can compare attempting to give an edge to either of these awful teams through the previous statistics to trying to find light in two black holes, though. The bottom line is neither one will be bragging. Bryant already left the 2009-10-season room very quietly; Alcorn State will follow soon, tip-toeing.