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Live Blog: Illinois State faces Boise State in Puerto Rico Tip-Off semis

Chandler Hutchison hit the game-winner yesterday. Today, the competition steps up.

NCAA Basketball: Puerto Rico Tip-Off-Boise State vs Texas-El Paso Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Remember how fun the end of that Boise State-UTEP game was?

Well, Chandler Hutchison and the Broncos are back, and this time they’re facing an Illinois State team that has proven to be better than expected over its first two games this season.

Hutchison struggled for most of the game yesterday, going just 3-14 from the field, with two of those shots coming in the final seconds. Marcus Dickinson (13 points) helped pick up the slack in a game where neither team shot particularly well from the floor.

Here’s the ending, if you forgot:

As for the Redbirds, they knocked off South Carolina behind 18 points from Milik Yarbrough, 17 from Keyshawn Evans, and 14 from Phil Fayne. A lot has been made about what Illinois State lost, but perhaps not enough about what it still has. Before beating the Gamecocks, the Redbirds opened the season by taking Florida Gulf Coast to the wire on the road.

Anyway, here are some other games of interest to watch out for (all times Eastern):

Indiana State vs. Old Dominion, Charleston Classic, 1:30 p.m., ESPNU
Tulane vs. Colorado State, Jamaica Classic, 2 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Virginia at VCU, 4 p.m., CBS Sports Network
Yale at Albany, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Stony Brook at Ball State, 7 p.m., ESPN3
Providence vs. Saint Louis, 2K Classic Championship, 7 p.m., ESPN2
UNC Asheville at Vanderbilt, 8 p.m., SEC+
South Dakota State at Kansas, 8 p.m., ESPN3
Weber State vs. Iona, Island of the Bahamas Showcase, 8 p.m.
UC Irvine at Kansas State, 9 p.m., ESPN3
New Mexico at New Mexico State, 9 p.m., ESPN3
Clemson vs. Hofstra, Charleston Classic, 9:30 p.m., ESPNU
Eastern Washington at UNLV, 10 p.m.

We’ll be checking in throughout the day, but for now, enjoy the games!


UPDATE: 10:25 p.m.

You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.


UPDATE: 9:22 p.m.

WE HAVE BRUTALITY!!!!!


UPDATE: 7:18 p.m.

It’s been a fairly quiet day on the mid-major front, save for a couple of games. Boise State picked up a dominant win over Illinois State early in the day, and Drexel took down a solid Houston team in a bit of an upset.

As we settle in for the night slate, here are some things to keep an eye on:

At the time of writing this, East Tennessee State is up on Kentucky. It’s early, but don’t be surprised if the Bucs hang around like Utah Valley did.

Mike Daum takes his talents to Kansas to face the Top 5 Jayhawks. He’s had a slow start to the season by his standards, but this could a be a perfect opportunity to show out on a national stage.

Those are a couple things to watch for as the night gets going. We’ll be back with more if things get weird (we hope they do).


UPDATE: 2:00 p.m.

Illinois State cannot defend Boise State. At all.

Seriously, the first half box score could not be a greater indictment of the Redbirds’ perimeter defense (or their putrid offense with Yarbrough on the bench) in the opening 20 minutes of their Friday afternoon matchup with the Broncos:

ESPN.com

In the first half of this Puerto Rico Tip-Off semifinal game, Boise State continually found open looks from behind the three-point line, helping them to a 24-point halftime lead.

Count me as someone who is very excited to see Leon Rice’s squad take on Nevada in MWC play later this year.


UPDATE: 12:32 p.m.

There aren’t any mid-majors on my TV right now, so here’s Bruce Pearl firing his team up. Tell me that doesn’t make you want to run through a brick wall for a guy who might not have a job in a few months.