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Mid-Major Madness Live Blog: Bill Walton returns to Maui Monday

Make sure to get your Bill Walton Bingo card

NCAA Basketball: Washington State at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Update: 7:52 p.m.

Eastern Michigan just played what might be the worst half of basketball we see all season. At halftime, the Eagles trail Rutgers 31-4.

You read that right.

Easter Michigan scored four (4) first half points. They did so on 2-24 shooting from the field. They went 0-4 from three. THEY WENT 0 FOR SEVEN FROM THE LINE. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

The Eagles also committed 13 turnovers. Hilariously, they pulled down 17 rebounds including nine on the offensive glass, because, hey, that’s a lot of missed shots. Rutgers’ entire starting five is outscoring Eastern Michigan.

Here, just take a look:

Update: 7:07 p.m.

Buzzer beaters! First let’s take a look at Bowling Green’s win at the horn over Hampton.

Now let’s look at Long Beach State’s stunner over Iona.

This. Is. March.

Update: 4:15 p.m.

The disappointing start to the season continues for Illinois State. The Redbirds fell to Georgia in the Cayman Islands Classic in a game that was never really close. Illinois State look disinterested, sluggish, whatever term you prefer to describe a team that got dominated from wire to wire. It was ugly, bad basketball.

The loss drops the Redbirds to 2-2 on the year, and they’re a late comeback against Chicago State away from being 1-3. After being projected to be one of - if not the best - teams in the Missouri Valley, the early returns have been subpar. The talent is there. The execution has not been. It’s not time to panic just yet, but if they continue to underperform, it may get there quicker than many expected.

Update: 2:09 p.m.

Santa Claus has shown up to the Cayman Islands Classic, and he is an Illinois State fan.

The team broadcasting the game on Facebook took a few minutes to interview Santa, who said that his busy season is ramping up and the elves are hard at work. So it appears that Mr. Claus is in the Cayman Islands taking in some basketball while his minions work their fingers to the bone in freezing cold conditions for (presumably) nothing. What a great boss!

Unfortunately for him, his Redbirds are getting their tails kicked by Tom “Krampus” Crean and his Georgia Bulldogs.

Also, Santa seemed to have an extremely Minnesotan accent.

Update: 1:49 p.m.

The Sunshine State has not been kind to the Jackrabbits.

Coming off a loss at (we think) rebuilding FGCU, South Dakota State dropped its Gulf Coast Showcase opener to astonishingly-not-covered-by-this-site Tulane. It was a tight game locked behind a paywall. The Jacks took a 79-78 lead with 1:24 left on a Mike Daum three, but the Green Wave close the game on a 6-1 run to pick up the win. Daum (28 points, 13 rebounds) and David Jenkins (23 points) scored at their usual clips, but were a collective 42 percent from the field.

The Jacks await the loser of UTSA and UC Irvine in the consolation bracket in what must already feel like a trip of missed opportunities. The Gulf Coast Showcase has a chunk of quality mid-majors — SDSU, UC Irvine, Louisiana, Toledo — but the Jacks seemed like a team equipped to win the whole thing in Daum’s senior year. That said with two close away-from-home losses to top-191 KenPom teams, it wouldn’t seem time to sound the alarms in Brookings.

Maui Monday might not be the greatest day on the college basketball calendar, but it’s up there.

Yes, the quarterfinals of the Maui Invitational tip off this afternoon from the Lahina Civic Center, while back east, we get day one of the Paradise Jam, the Cayman Islands Classic, the Gulf Coast Showcase and more.

We’ll be here all day to update you on everything that’s happening around college basketball, but first thing’s first: Maui Monday means that Bill Walton is back in our lives. If you’re one of those people who hates Bill Walton because you hate fun, feel free to leave now and check back later. If not, here’s what you have to do:


We’re all gonna play. All of us. Tweet us if/when you get Bingo. We won’t give you a prize or anything, but it’ll be really cool.

Here’s a quick rundown of the big games on the schedule:

11 a.m.: Cayman Islands Classic, South Dakota State vs. Tulane
1:30 p.m.: Cayman Islands Classic, Illinois State vs. Georgia (Facebook)
2 p.m.: MGM Resorts Main Event, Hartford vs. Utah Valley
3 p.m.: Paradise Jam, Old Dominion vs. Northern Iowa (FLO)
4:30 p.m.: Maui Invitational, Duke vs. San Diego State (ESPN2)
5 p.m.: Cayman Islands Classic, Saint Bonaventure vs. Georgia State (Facebook)
5:30 p.m.: Paradise Jam, Oregon State vs. Penn (FLO)
6:30 p.m.: Fort Myers Tip-Off, Loyola University Chicago vs. Richmond (FS1)
7:30 p.m.: Cayman Islands Classic, Boise State vs. Creighton (Facebook)
7:30 p.m.: Gulf Coast Showcase, Florida Gulf Coast vs. Toledo
8:30 p.m.: MGM Resorts Main Event, Saint Mary’s vs. Utah State (ESPN3)
9:30 p.m.: Legends Classic, Temple vs. VCU (ESPN3)
11:30 p.m.: Maui Invitational, Gonzaga vs. Illinois (ESPN2)

Enjoy the games, everyone!