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Mad Antics

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    You can check out today's coverage of the new affiliation alignments in the D-League -- the Mad Ants have 13 teams -- by
  • Explaining how Mad Ants have 13 NBA affiliations
    If you're wondering why the Mad Ants aren't a full-fledged affiliate of an NBA team, it's because they don't want to be. They don't want to sell their operations, opting to remain the lone independent in the D-League. “Our ownership doesn't
  • Mad Ants' affiliation in demand
    As the lone independent team in the D-League, not to mention the reigning champions, the Mad Ants were in demand this season by NBA franchises and potential place to put their prospects.

Ants on top of the hill

All together now, let's say it together: First-place Mad Ants. And do it quickly, before the standings change.

The attendance figure off the box score shows a number of 1,939, but not even that many were inside Memorial Coliseum on Sunday to watch the Mad Ants beat Iowa 109-102 and claim first place in the NBA D-League standings.

It was interesting, afterward, to talk to guard Walker Russell Jr., who said he hopes that the "culture" of Mad Ants basketball will change, now that there is a good team in Fort Wayne.

He said that nobody thought that the Mad Ants could win, but there they were Sunday, outscoring Iowa 43-23 in the last quarter to come away with what could be one of the top three wins since the franchise began three years and 13 games ago.

Clearly, this is not your father's Big Ten-style of basketball, so don't expect it if you haven't watched these guys play.

No question, things get sloppy at times, and play can run out of control. But contrary to popular belief, defense is a necessity and not a rarity, and if you cheered for Rod Wilmont several years ago when he was at IU, he's a better player now. Same will be said for Purdue's Chris Kramer, when he recovers from a knee injury.

One significant win doesn't make a franchise. And it was Russell who said that the team still has a long way to go.

The first step to the rest of the season comes Tuesday against Iowa - again.