Sunday, March 6, 2016

Farewell to the Norse

Northern Kentucky, the Commonwealth's newest D-1 competitor, had some big changes this year.  They had a new coach, as John Bannen replaced Dave Bezold.  They had a new league, as they shifted from the Atlantic Sun Conference to the Horizon League.  The Horizon League is a tough one -- it's the 18th-best conference in America, according to Ken Pom, well above C-USA (21st), the OVC (22d), or the Atlantic Sun (24th).  (It's not as good as the Sun Belt, which ranks 17th).

The Norse struggled in their new league, going 5-13 in the conference and 9-21 for the year.  They lost their last seven games of the season, including an 86-69 defeat to Milwaukee in the Horizon Tournament.  We will hope they do better next year.

Their departure leaves two old favorites -- the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University -- as the only Commonwealth teams with a shot at the title.

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