Two sites to bookmark
Finding quality coverage of low profile mid-major (or “low-major”) teams like Denver and Northern Colorado, in typically one-bid leagues like the Sun Belt and Big Sky, can be tough. Local newspaper coverage is often somewhere between cursory and nonexistent, and the national sports media focuses almost entirely on schools above the Red Line, plus the small handful of mid-major teams (e.g., Butler, Gonzaga*, this year maybe Belmont) and leagues (e.g., CAA, MVC) that threaten to produce trendy “bracket busters” in March.
Luckily, the Sun Belt and Big Sky are both blessed to have new(ish) blogs that appear committed to providing excellent, detailed coverage of these small but competitive conferences throughout the coming season.
Big Sky Basketball (on Twitter at @bigskybball) is run by Jonathan Reed, a University of North Dakota alum and fellow Colorado resident. He appears to have started up the site in July, and has already logged an impressive 240 posts, including the aptly titled “Most Comprehensive Big Sky Preview You’ll Ever Read.” If you follow Northern Colorado or any other Big Sky team, his site is a must-bookmark and must-read. I’ll certainly be following it throughout the coming season.
Similarly, Sun Belt Basketball (on Twitter at @SunBeltBBall) is a brand-new site by Danny Spewak, a TV and radio news director in Columbia, Missouri and a Sun Belt/Big 12/MVC hoops writer. Much like Reed’s Big Sky coverage, Spewak’s writing on the Sun Belt is more thorough than just about anything you’ll read elsewhere about the SBC. He has done extensive season previews for each individual conference team, recapped and linked here. Here’s his detailed Denver preview. Really good stuff. Again, a must-bookmark and must-read.
If and when I ever get a sidebar blogroll set up here (Tumblr doesn’t make it easy), those sites will definitely be near the top. Keep up the great work, Jon and Danny!
*Gonzaga and Xavier are considered “exceptions” by the Mid-Majority, but with all due respect to that peculiar Red Line construct, I personally consider them mid-majors, and will treat them as such on this site. Particularly Gonzaga, of which I’ve been a fan since before they had a bandwagon.