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Two years ago, I saw the unit that the Murray State Racers have become begin to form.

Led by Isaiah Canaan (pronounced “cannon”), the team thrills.

If you google “zigga zigga zoot zoot” you’ll find my piece about them, written then, but here’s a repost:

Zigga, Zigga, Zoot, Zoot Spinback: Why We Picked the Racers [2010]

Now headed by their assistant coach promoted to head, who has been through this ride with the players, men not much younger than himself, the cohesiveness has grown rather than faded in the absence of their head coach from last year.

For several years now, I predicted and then witnessed the rise of the mid-major programs in the NCAA Division One, based almost solely on the fact that the major programs lose their players to the NBA sooner and often have to introduce rookie point guards to lead a team through the minefield of March.

While mid-major, and even smaller programs, often keep players who end up playing together longer and who get tighter, more cohesive, play as a unit.

Steve Fisher and John Calipari notwithstanding, it was inevitable.

I was pretty excited when I decided to blog the 2010 NCAA March Madness on Yesterday’s Hoops