Up and coming
Pittsburg State: Once at 6-5 in the league, the Gorillas have catapulted up to 11-5 with five straight wins, including victories over Truman, Northeastern State and Emporia State.
On the skids
Emporia State: The Hornets were 9-0 at home before going hosting two games last week. They are now 9-2. Emporia State bombed and plummeted into a tie for fifth in the league. It doesn't get any easier this week at home for the Hornets with Washburn visiting on Wednesday.
Zelenka nabs accolade: Southwest Baptist swept the weekly accolades when Jacqui Zelenka was named the MIAA's Women's Basketball Athlete of the Week. The 6-foot junior from Australia averaged 18.5 points and 16 rebounds per game against Central Missouri and Lincoln.
Race to the finish: With a week left until the league tournament starts, there are still tournament byes up for grabs. Only Washburn has earned a pass to the Kansas City portion of the tournament — when the field is down to eight teams.
Regional jockeying going on: Washburn and Central Missouri seem to be locks for the NCAA tournament, currently sitting in first and second in the Central Region rankings. Truman is fifth, Northeastern State is ninth and Fort Hays State is 10th. Northeastern State and Fort Hays State have to keep winning and hope for losses by Southwestern Oklahoma State and Arkansas Tech to try and slip into the NCAA tournament field. Or, a MIAA Championship crown would do the job, too.
Lizzy scoring at will: Pittsburg State's Lizzy Jeronimus seems to be a lock for the league's scoring title. The sophomore forward is putting up 18.3 points per game, nearly two points better than Northeastern State's Taylor Lewis (16.6).
Games of the week
Men: Central Missouri at Washburn, Saturday. Even if it doesn't have any impact on the league's final standings — for instance, a winner-take-all for first place — this could still end up being a preview of the MIAA tournament finals at the end of next week. And it's fitting that this game tips off at night and is the last game between any schools during the regular season. Very appropriate.
Women: Washburn at Emporia State, Thursday. Interesting story lines for this one. Washburn can win the regullar-season crown outright with a win. Emporia State looks to avoid losing three straight at home after winning its first nine on its home floor. With a loss, Washburn's game against Central Missouri on Saturday could be rather interesting.