If you were making a movie about college basketball, you couldn't write the script that was played out on Friday night, the opening night of college basketball. From upsets, to big performances, it was the perfect start in every way.
Jamal Olasewere had 26 points, but was just 6-for-16 from the floor. He did most of his damage standing still at the free throw line. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but you would have like him to get at least a few "and 1s" along the way.
Player of the year Julian Boyd went 8-for-13, but left the game with cramps. He didn't return because of previous issues with his heart, and coach Jack Perri not wanting to take chances.
This wasn't the start that you would want from the Blackbirds, especially given all the issues the team had last year during the opening slate. With everything that went on prior to the season starting, maybe it was just a lack of practice that stalled them out.
Discipline on defense -- their signature quality -- slipped away from Drexel in their opener against Kent State. It led to a wacky finish that definitely isn't what the Golden Flashes would have drawn up in the huddle. What went wrong with the Dragons?
Bucknell beats Purdue at home 70-65. I don't care who Purdue had or didn't have, that is making a statement early. One player missing on a Big 6 team should not be the determining factor in a win or loss.
It has been all defense through the half in Chicago. Or more like the lack of it.
You can watch the game go back and forth between Toledo and Loyola just based on who was getting their defensive sets correct. The Ramblers did it more often in the first half, and take a 36-28 lead to halftime.
The game hasn't even been about the stars of the two teams: Loyola's Ben Averkamp (even though he has nine points), or Toledo's Rian Pearson. The Rockets have gotten all their work from secondary option Julius Brown (13 points), Loyola has been driven by Cully Payne (just seven points, but offense would be moribund without him).
And maybe it is just opening night jitters, but neither team is shooting the ball particularly well (combined 37% FG, 25% from 3). It has been especially bad considering how unimpressive the defenses have been for the two teams.
That is only leading to frustration that has been close to boiling over with Pearson and Payne's tempers seeming to rise every time down the court. Fifteen minutes in the locker room is probably not a bad thing at this point.
Without Gabe Knutson, Lehigh is having a tough time dealing with the size of the Baylor. The Bears have pulled down 35 percent of the available offensive boards, and that is going to be difficult to overcome for the Mountain Hawks.
It isn't that they aren't trying. The shots just aren't falling unless your name is C.J. McCollum (big shocker there, right?). The All-American candidate has scored 24 of the 41 points for Lehigh, on 9 of 16 shooting.
The rest of the team: 6-for-19, 31%
That was helped by a late spark from Mackey McKnight, who is in double digits with 10 points.
McCollum though is showing off why he could be a first round NBA draft pick. He is cutting, slashing and making room for every single one of his shots. He is making it happen against a roster full of future NBA talent, and he is basically doing it alone.
He has had a couple of mental errors, trying to do too much, but who can blame him the way things are going.
The lead isn't insurmountable, but the McCollum is not going to be able to do it alone.
For the first time in a long while, college basketball tips off on a single night, and Mid-Major Madness will be at a number of games across the country to bring it all to you. Join us as we watch games from North Carolina to California. And the biggest show of all will be right in the middle of Nebraska, putting Tony Mitchell and North Texas against Doug McDermott and Creighton.
Once upon a time, Portland was content to play middle of the road schedules. That all changed prior to last season. But the upgrade in schedule didn't translate into an upgrade in play during the West Coast season. Will the second time out with a brutal slate prepare the Pilots better?
If you are looking up and down the ESPN schedule for tomorrow, you might be wondering what you should watch. Let us help you find the best matchups and tell you why you should be watching each one. A slate of nine previews to tip off your season.
In the run-up prior to the season opener between Mount St. Mary's and Pittsburgh, to be covered live and in person by Mid-Major Madness, we talked with SBN's own Cardiac Hill about what to look for from the Big Brother opponent.