Hey, how’d you enjoy your weekend? Tell me something fun you did. We went to some basketball games and watched more on TV. Did you do that too?
Wow, so cool.
It was especially cool how Feast Week really got going and we crowned a bunch of early season tournament champions. Let’s talk about everything that happened.
We’re here at Hinkle for Furman’s bout with Butler.— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) November 18, 2017
Now its time to go find Trip. pic.twitter.com/Cg6ekYuK8t
These teams were good:
Mercer: Even though they lost to Colorado in the Paradise Jam title game, the Bears looked good this weekend. They played efficient basketball against Liberty (1.11 points per possession in a 57-possession game), then nearly matched that effort in a faster game against Drexel (1.10 ppp, 71 possessions). Ria’n Holland had 55 points in the tournament and shot 9-17 from three.
Saint Joseph’s: The injury bug bit the Hawks again this week when the team announced Lamarr Kimble would miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury. But that didn’t stop them from defeating Princeton behind 23 points from freshman Tayler Funk. Funk has now scored 20-or-more in two of his first three collegiate games.
Northern Kentucky: Yeah, the weekend ended in a loss to Vermont, but look at what the Norse have done so far. They are 4-1 with wins over Iona and East Tennessee State. They’ve scored 80-or-more in each of their four victories and it took a late run from the Catamounts on Sunday to keep Northern Kentucky from a 5-0 start.
UT Arlington: The Mavericks have only played twice, but both games have been wins over West Coast Conference competition, highlighted by a double-digit victory at BYU. UT Arlington has shown it is deeper than just Erick Neal and Kevin Hervey (as great as they are) — Kaelon Wilson and Johnny Hamilton have also scored in double figures in both of the Mavericks’ games so far, and as a team, they have been one of the best in the nation in effective field goal percentage.
Bowling Green: We had to give the Falcons a nod for taking down Florida Gulf Coast in thrilling fashion. In case you missed it, here was Dylan Frye’s three with a second to go that helped Bowling Green pull off the upset:
These teams were not:
Harvard: What is going on with the Crimson? First, they turn the ball over 23 times against Holy Cross and lose that one on the road. Then, they let Manhattan shoot 10-17 from three and lose at Draddy. In both games, Harvard got off to a slow start only to fight back in the second half.
Dayton: We knew it would be a rebuilding year in Dayton, but three out of the Flyers’ four games have been real struggles. They are 2-2 and fell to Hofstra in the opening round of the Charleston Classic, then lost to Old Dominion on Sunday to cap the tournament. A bright spot for Dayton? Darrell Davis, who scored 16 in the season opener against Ball State and has increased his output each game since. He had 27 against the Monarchs.
Coppin State: I don’t want to pile on the Eagles; they’re not good and it’s just too easy. But they scored 39 points against Rutgers on Sunday and that needs to be noted. They shot 29 percent overall and 26 percent from three. They attempted one free throw all game. They committed 17 turnovers and were out-rebounded 52-36. They scored 0.57 points per possession. Did I mention they were playing Rutgers?
Team of the Weekend (by GameScore):
G Corey Allen, Detroit: GmSc 32.3 | 39 pts | 5 rbd | 5 ast | 7-13 3PT
G Jordan Fox, Army: GmSc 30.4 | 33 pts | 5 rbd | 5 ast | 9-11 3PT
G Luwane Pipkins, Mass: GmSc 29.5 | 34 pts | 5 ast | 7-10 3PT
G Marcus Burk, Campbell: GmSc 29.3 | 33 pts | 8-13 3PT | 4-4 2PT
F TJ Holyfield, Stephen F. Austin: GmSc 32.2 | 25 pts | 9 rbd | 5 stl
Game of the Weekend:
Ohio 96 Indiana State 94 (4OT), Charleston Classic
The quadruple overtime game has to be the game of the weekend, right? Ohio came back from down 17 in the second half to pull out a thrilling win behind 25 points from Mike Laster, 21 from Jordan Dartis, and 20 from Teyvion Kirk. Down 16 with just over 11 minutes to go in regulation, the Bobcats reeled off an 18-2 run over the next five minutes to draw even. Laster put the Bobcats up for good on a layup with 1:35 left and Indiana State’s Brenton Scott missed a three at the buzzer that would have won it.
No brutality :(
This was not a good weekend for mid-majors searching for upsets in buy games. With so many neutral site games happening, however, there weren’t too many opportunities. At least we can rely on East Carolina.
The Bucknell Bison are perhaps the best 0-4 team you’ll ever see. Those four losses have all come against KenPom top 150 teams and only one of them (at Arkansas) was by more than 12 points. And on Saturday, they almost pulled off something really, really weird.
The Bison played Maryland tough all night, and even led 50-35 at halftime, but Maryland stormed back and it looked like the Terps were about to escape with the victory. Anthony Cowan hit a pair of free throws with 4.7 seconds left to put Maryland up by five. Bucknell raced down the court and Stephen Brown hit a three with just under a second to go, cutting the deficit to two.
Then, Maryland’s Darryl Morsell committed an offensive foul before the Terps could inbound the ball. The Bison’s three-point attempt at the buzzer came too late and fell short, but IF IT HAD GONE IN AND IF IT HAD COUNTED IT WOULD HAVE BEEN AMAZING.
Oh well. Bucknell will be fine. Trust us.
Marshall has some new jerseys
Cam might do a writeup of this one later, but give them a look-see.
What we learned:
Every week, I ask two questions in our weekend preview that I hope are answered with Saturday and Sunday’s games. Here they are for this week.
Can BYU hold serve at home?
Nope. The Cougars lost to UT Arlington, 89-75, in a game that, frankly, wasn’t even that close. You’ll see Will’s take on it linked below, but here’s what it means: BYU, once again, is going to have a tough road ahead if it wants an at-large bid. Its margin for error against the middle and bottom teams in the West Coast Conference is virtually zero.
Can the Ivy get on track?
Nope. Not yet, anyway. Yale was the only team in the Ivy’s “Big 3” to get a win this weekend and that was against Division III Curry. Princeton lost at Saint Joseph’s (excusable) and Harvard has now dropped back-to-back games at Holy Cross and Manhattan (in no way excusable). Yale, Princeton, and Harvard are now a combined 2-8 against Division I competition.
Usually I put the Undefeated Watch in this spot, but more than 80 schools have yet to lose a game and I’m not about to list all of them. So instead, here are the 37 schools who are 0-for-the-season so far:
Alabama A&M (0-3)
Alabama State (0-4)
Alcorn State (0-5)
Arkansas Pine Bluff (0-4)
Boston University (0-3)
Coppin State (0-5)
Florida A&M (0-4)
Grambling State (0-3)
Idaho State (0-3)
Little Rock (0-3)
Loyola Md. (0-3)
Mississippi Valley State (0-4)
New Orleans (0-2)
Norfolk State (0-3)
Northern Arizona (0-3)
North Florida (0-6)
Northwestern State (0-4)
Prairie View A&M (0-3)
South Carolina State (0-4)
Stony Brook (0-4)
Texas Southern (0-4)
Wright State (0-3)
Georgia State is off to a rollicking start | Greg Mitchell
Marquette vs. VCU, Maui Invitational, 2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
The Maui Invitational gets underway on Monday when VCU and Marquette tip off from the Lahina Civic Center. KenPom has this one as a five-point Marquette win, but weird things happen in those morning Maui games. Justin Tillman, who struggled against Virginia, is one of the best seniors in the Atlantic 10 and is 17-24 this season from inside the arc.