LAS VEGAS — Based on how good the University of Denver has been in recent memory, it should be a shoo-in to advance to the Western Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals and today’s game with Texas State shouldn’t even be played, right?
Since New Year’s Eve, the Pioneers are 17-1. Denver’s only loss in that stretch came Jan. 23 against New Mexico State, a team it beat by six points seven weeks later.
Also, one would be remiss in failing to mention the Pioneers’ current 10-game win streak. Denver closed the regular season with consecutive wins over the fourth- (Texas-Arlington), third- (New Mexico State) and first-place (Louisiana Tech) teams in the conference.
“It doesn’t matter that they’ve won (10) in a row,” Bobcat head coach Doug Davalos said after his team’s 68-56 win over Seattle in the first round. “They’re zero and zero in the conference tournament.”
Davalos’ words rang true, because there is a beautiful finality about the postseason.
A team, like the Pioneers, could run through the regular season and then one loss would send all of those accomplishments down the drain. Or there could be a team, like Texas State, that struggled throughout the season, catches fire at the right time and goes dancing.
Even though the Bobcats had several extended losing streaks throughout the season — and in conference play — they hope that they’re warming up at the right time.