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Morning Coffee: Princeton Wins Battle of Tigers Over Pacific, Marist Takes Second Straight

Princeton proved to have the much better brand of Tigers on Friday night while Marist earned its second straight win. That and more in this Saturday morning edition of the Morning Coffee.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It was quiet around here yesterday as there were some issues with the site. There is no truth to the rumor that Jay Bilas was trying to silence mid-majors once and for all. Even the big boys were affected by the issues that were making Mid-Major Madness unavailable. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.

On to the coffee.

What everyone will be talking about over over their morning coffee:

Princeton Cruises Past Pacific

So, we have been wondering how good Pacific really is, and this game was the one that we were using as our yard stick this early. The Battle of Tigers went to the team out East and it wasn't even close as Princeton took down Pacific 83-58.

This is not only an expectation setter for Pacific but it tells us a lot about how good Princeton really is. We spent some time on the podcast this week discussing how good the Ivy League has been early in the season, and this is just another feather in the cap for T.J. Bray and the Tigers.

The senior finished with 20 points and eight assists in a win that firmly puts the Princeton Tigers into our mid-major rankings and will likely cost the Pacific brand of Tigers its spot.

Side of Bacon:

Marist Wins Second Straight

Bucknell had been showing signs of life this season, and had us wondering at times whether we had seriously underrated the Bison in the preseason. Marist began with a nine-game losing streak, and much as Parks Smith had told us, looked as if they had severely hampered their team with the coaching hire and the team that was on the floor.

Well, things are looking very different after a 69-51 win by the Red Foxes over Bucknell on Friday night. Marist began with a 16-0 run to begin the game and never really had to look back as it ran to its second win in a row.

Now we aren't going to say that Marist is back after this, or that Chavaughn Lewis' 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, are a sign of good things to come. But this was a nice win for the Red Foxes after such a bumbling start to the year.

This might signal the end of the Bucknell hopes though. It just seems like everything was clicking as well as it could early in the season, and everything went right. Now we are seeing that this team has some severe flaws (the frontcourt had just nine total points in the game... not the starting frontcourt, everyone that plays forward or center on the team). There may not be many teams in the Patriot League that can exploit them, but those that will can make this a long season for the Bison.

Other bites:

  • Stephen Croone dropped 40 points as Furman held on for an 86-83 win over Liberty. Furman was one of those teams that we thought had an opportunity to take a big step forward this season, and it hasn't occurred yet. But 40 and 11 boards from Croone on a night when the Paladins shot 56.3 percent is pretty impressive. Furman almost blew a 24-point lead, but we will let that go for now.
  • UCSB blew a 10-point lead that it held midway through the second half and ended up losing in overtime to Utah State. The Gauchos just had a horrid shooting night by everyone not named Alan Wlliams or Kyle Boswell. The remainder of the team shot just 7-for-26 from the field in the 77-71 loss. Williams had 23 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while Boswell led UCSB with 27 points and added four assists.