The Champions Classic is the focal point of the college basketball world tonight, and for good reason. Duke-Michigan State and Kansas-Kentucky are two of the best matchups we’ll see this season.
That doesn’t mean brutality takes a night off though, and after a strong debut that saw four instances on Monday night, your nightly brutality is back for more.
Tonight we start in North Carolina.
Liberty 79 Wake Forest 66
Wake Forest loses a buy game to Liberty. The epitome of brutality.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 15, 2017
They say lightning doesn’t strike the same place twice, but the same cannot be said for the epitome of brutality. After dropping their opener to Georgia Southern, Wake Forest followed it up with a resounding loss at the hands of the Flames.
As far as projections go, Kenpom gave the Demon Deacons an 88% chance of victory with a projected margin of victory of 13. Obviously, Liberty had something to say about that, and flipped that 13-point margin in their favor.
The Flames got a strong showing from Lovell Cabbil poured in 22 points. On the glass, Liberty dominated the boards with a 39-28 margin, including 14 by Scottie James off the bench.
Unlike most mid-majors, Liberty only has one chance at knocking off a Power 5 team this season, but at least they took advantage of their sole opportunity.
Will Wake Forest make it three straight games on the losing end of brutality on Friday against Drake? Stay tuned.
Eastern Washington 67 Stanford 61
Stanford loses a buy game to Eastern Washington. The epitome of brutality.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 15, 2017
Those who stayed up late were rewarded — not just with a Big Sky win over a Pac-12 school, but with a healthy dose of Bogdan Bliznyuk.
On a national scale, Bliznyuk has flown under the radar, but Big Sky folks REALLY wanted us to tell us how they already knew he was good (so did I. We’ve covered him. But shhhh.).
We been knowing this https://t.co/gWXR05zQVU— Sean Michael Kenneth Kramer (@SKramerWrites) November 15, 2017
Bliznyuk led Eastern Washington with 23 points, but the Eagles also got some key contributions from their bench. Ty Gibson (11 points) and Jesse Hunt (10 points) both scored in double figures, while Jack Perry had seven of his own.
Oh, and it helped that Stanford shot just 33 percent overall and 13 percent from three.
Eastern Washington’s win snapped a 21-game losing streak against the Pac-12.