If you checked college basketball scores today, you saw #5 Houston winning in blowout fashion.
That’s not unusual; Houston is good! But the team they beat, Our Lady of the Lake, may have given you reason to take a second look. That would have also been warranted, just for the name alone. But the San Antonio-based school also has a pretty interesting story this season.
The NAIA program went 10-18 last season, and this year they’ve had multiple games postponed or canceled. In fact, so far, that applies to their entire NAIA schedule. They’ve played just five games on the year, and all of them have been against Division 1 opposition. That’s thanks to smaller conference schools needing to fill out their own schedules after games have been lost, some of them added at the last minute.
That was the case for today’s game against Houston, which was only added to the schedule on Wednesday.
Going from playing an NAIA schedule to a year populated solely by D-1 opponents has to be a shock, but for OLOTL Saints players it certainly has to beat not having a season at all. And it also afforded them the chance to do the somewhat unthinkable back in December, when they knocked off D-1 Texas State. Texas State is actually pretty decent, too! They’re currently the second-highest rated Sun Belt team in the KenPom rankings, at #155.
HUGE CONGRATS to our founder @ChrisDial79 , who just led his NAIA @OLLUSaints to victory over the Division I Texas State Bobcats! We're so proud!! @TexasTop100 @NCAA @NAIAHoopsReport pic.twitter.com/kULbDUtAjw
— The Basketball Embassy (@bballembassy) December 13, 2020
Obviously Houston was a tough task, and there’s no real shame in the 112-46 loss today. The Saints currently have just two games remaining on their schedule, a back-t0-back series against Jarvis Christian College in a couple of weeks. But as we just saw, there’s always the chance that another top-ten school needs an extra game for their schedule between now and then.