Morning basketball is back!
Feast Week tips off on Thursday, giving us basketball all day and a reason to do another one of these live blog things.
First up: Illinois State takes on 2017 Final Four participant South Carolina, while Indiana State faces Bruce Pearl and Auburn.
The Redbirds made a statement by going toe-to-toe with Florida Gulf Coast on the road to open the season, proving that their depleted roster still has plenty of talent. The Sycamores got off to a strong start of their own, demolishing Indiana in their season opener.
Here are the other games of note:
(all times Eastern)
1:30: Old Dominion vs. Temple (Charleston Classic)
2:00: Boise State vs. UTEP (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
5:00: Clemson vs. Ohio (Charleston Classic)
7:00: Virginia Tech vs. Saint Louis (2K Classic)
7:30: Dayton vs. Hofstra (Charleston Classic)
7:30: Belmont vs. Middle Tennessee
We’ll check in with updates throughout the day, but for now, enjoy the basketball!
UPDATE: 8:09 p.m.
Look who says hi pic.twitter.com/7jco9KHMB1— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) November 17, 2017
UPDATE: 7:40 p.m.
Really quick note here, apropos of nothing.
Earlier today, the Charleston Classic announced its 2018 field, which will include: Alabama, Appalachian State, Ball State, Davidson, Northeastern, Purdue, Virginia Tech, and Wichita State.
The Shockers and Boilermakers are the obvious headliners here, and don’t be surprised if the four mids are matched with the four high-majors in the first round.
UPDATE: 4:11 p.m.
Boise State trailed by nine with 3:27 to play against UTEP in the first round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off. To make matters worse, Bronco star Chandler Hutchison was suffering through one of the most frustrating games of his career.
It looked like the Miners were headed for a matchup with Illinois State in the semis on Friday.
A quick summary of what happened from there:
Christian Sengfelder hit a jumper and Marcus Dickinson scored four consecutive points.
The two teams traded baskets and, in a three-point game, Boise State’s defense stepped up. The Broncos made it nearly impossible for UTEP run an inbounds play, finally forcing a turnover with 19 seconds to go.
That’s when Hutchison picked a good time to take over. The UTEP defense cleared the lane for a quick dunk and Keith Frazier missed a free throw on the ensuing possession. Hutchison took it to the rim again and this time converted a tough layup, plus one, to put the Broncos ahead.
Frazier missed a heave at the buzzer, sending Boise State into the semifinals.
What a game. Boise State-Illinois State tomorrow.
Chandler Hutchison. Nails.— Eli Boettger (@boettger_eli) November 16, 2017
Chandler Hutchison is for real, folks. Kid is undeniably awesome.— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) November 16, 2017
What a finish for Boise State. Chandler Hutchison took over.— Raphielle Johnson (@raphiellej) November 16, 2017
UPDATE: 3:27 p.m.
Greg Kampe has opinions about jelly.
I think this is photoshopped. Where is the Strawberry https://t.co/yDejhaCzb3— Greg Kampe (@KampeOU) November 16, 2017
Greg Kampe is cooler than all of us.
UPDATE: 1:55 p.m.
Illinois State kicked off Feast Week with a NICE win against South Carolina in the Puerto Rico Tip Off, 69-65. After opening up the season with a loss to the a good Florida Gulf Coast team, Dan Mullen made sure his team bounced back and didn’t start 0-2.
The Redbirds got notable contributions off the bench for the second consecutive game. After getting 14 points off the bench from Taylor Bruninga in the opener, Illinois State looked to Milik Yarbrough and Phil Fayne for a spark. Yarbrough poured in a game-high 18 points with the help of a 14-17 (!!) performance at the stripe. Fayne added 14 points and 10 rebounds for his second strong showing of the season.
This is a great win for an Illinois State team that many (including me) felt might take a step back. They now await the winner of Boise State-UTEP to determine tomorrow’s foe.