Thursday was the beginning of Feast Week. Which featured many mid-major squads going at it with high major programs. And of course, it also means the beginning of Silver Sword results.
Thursday also was the first day without a brutality. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t any upsets.
Let’s look at some of the games.
Illinois State 69, South Carolina 65 (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
Can there stop being so many fouls called? There were 52 called in this one, and it led to 69 free throws total. On the positive side, Illinois State held South Carolina to 29.5 percent from the field and nine-for-32 from deep. The Redbirds’ defense also racked up eight steals and forced 13 total turnovers. The Redbirds move on to face Boise State in the next round, and speaking of the Broncos…
Boise State 58, UTEP 56 (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
With three seconds to go, down 56-55, Boise State’s Chandler Hutchison hit a clutch layup and was fouled for the game winning and-one. Hutchison finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
UTEP was dreadful from behind the arc, shooting four-for-18 (22.2%). Boise State was not much better, shooting eight-for-26 from distance. The Miners were led by Keith Frazier, who scored for nearly half of UTEP’s points with 22. UTEP will take on South Carolina next.
Saint Louis, Virginia Tech 71 (2K Classic)
The Billikens were led by a strong performance from Javon Bess. The Michigan State transfer scored 22 points, while also posting nine rebounds and two assists. Saint Louis was consistently ahead the entire game, leading permanently from just under the 10-minute mark of the first half. Saint Louis outrebounded Va Tech 43-33 in the game. The Billikens will face Providence in the 2K Classic Championship Game Friday night.
La Salle 81, South Alabama 73
This game probably would not have made the cut if it was not for Syracuse transfer, and current La Salle superstar, B.J. Johnson. Johnson had a tremendous night, scoring 30 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the year.
Hofstra, Dayton 69 Hofstra (Charleston Classic)
Hofstra came out of the gates fast, leading 26-11 midway through the first half. The Flyers were playing catchup, for the 26 minutes of play. Dayton did manage to take the lead with two minutes left, but the Flyers would not score again. The Pride were led by Eli Pemberton with 27 points and five rebounds. Hofstra will face Clemson in the next round, while Dayton will take on Ohio.
Belmont 69 Middle Tennessee 63
Belmont was consistent from the floor, shooting 45.3% from the field and 45.5% from three. Amanze Egekeze had 24 points and Austin Luke totaled 11 assists for the Bruins. The Blue Raiders really struggled from three, in this game, shooting 5-17. Ultimately, the three ball was the difference, in the contest.