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College basketball opening night live blog: Brutality watch, Fletcher Magee, and the game of the night

Nevada vs. BYU is your 11 p.m. headliner

NCAA Basketball: Wofford at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: 1:22 a.m.

It wasn’t pretty, but No. 7 Nevada trounced BYU 86-70 behind Caleb Martin’s 21 second-half points and Jazz Johnson’s 12 points off the bench.

Nevada jumped out to a 9-0 lead early in the first thanks to Trey Porter, who was getting things done on both ends of the floor. Although BYU was scoreless until 14:55 to go, the Cougars stormed back to tie it at 34 by halftime.

How did BYU manage the comeback? Prepare to roll your eyes: The Cougars threw a matchup zone at Nevada. The Wolf Pack responded by [checks note scrawled on the back of a Jack-in-the-Box taco wrapper] going 1-12 from three. Caleb Martin got into early foul trouble, Jahshire Hardnett (17 points) was cooking and it looked like an upset was brewing.

The Wolf Pack turned to familiar faces for a spark. No zone could contain Jordan Caroline, who had a double-double midway through the first half.

Caroline showed his moxie underneath and notched an absurd 25-and-16 on the night. Perhaps it was Yoeli Childs (who posted a 16-and-12 himself) getting into early foul trouble, or the fact that BYU’s frontcourt was still getting used to playing as a unit, but the Wolf Pack bigs looked like the best unit on the floor. The aforementioned Porter filled the box score with 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, but Omaha transfer Tre’Shawn Thurman was the glue that held the Pack together. Despite fouling out early, Thurman’s 9 rebounds and 5 points were crucial.

Of course, both teams have a bit of work to do between now and March. BYU’s frontcourt needs to stay out of foul trouble; Childs and Dalton Nixon fouled out, whereas Gavin Baxter notched four fouls against Nevada’s deep frontcourt. And although Johnson and Caleb Martin heated up late, Nevada’s perimeter shooting needs to improve drastically.

Nevertheless, it’s been a fun day of basketball. Let’s get some rest and do this again tomorrow.

— Kyle Cajero

UPDATE: 10:59 p.m.

BUIES CREEK, N.C. --- In case you’ve been living under a Power 5 Conference-sized rock, you know that South Dakota State’s Mike Daum and Campbell’s Chris Clemons entered Tuesday night with the same amount of career points: 2,232.

While Daum put up an admirable 20 points and 13 rebounds, Clemons more than doubled him up, and pushed him out of the way in the early stages of the race for the 2018-19 college basketball scoring title. The 5-foot-9 guard donned the Superman cape and poured on 44 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five steals in an overtime 97-93 win for the Fighting Camels over in-state rival UNC Wilmington.

And get this: Clemons didn’t turn the ball over once.

“As I look at the stat sheet, sometimes I can’t even believe my eyes,” Camels’ head coach Kevin McGeehan said. “(Clemons) played 41 minutes and didn’t have a turnover. That couldn’t have happened as a younger player for him and that shows a lot of maturity. He made a ton of shots, a ton of plays, he made free throws when they mattered.”

UNCW and Campbell have played annually since 2009, but this was the first win for Campbell since 2014. For Clemons and Andrew Eudy, who added 21 points and nine rebounds, it was the first time they had beaten the Seahawks.

Eudy didn’t have an easy night, battling for much of the game in the paint with UNCW’s Devontae Cacok, the NCAA rebounding leader from a season ago. Cacok came away with 19 points and 13 rebounds, but Campbell outscored UNCW in the paint, 38-26. Eudy left the game with a battle wound, entering the postgame press conference with bandages on the side of his right eye. But he also came in wearing a big metal chain with a “CU” on it, given to the player of the game.

Despite Clemons’ scoring outburst, it was Eudy’s toughness that the team was impressed the most with.

“I thought at first they were going to give it to Chris. Having 44 points is unbelievable,” Eudy said. “But I guess, if you bust your eye open, you get the chain.”

--- Mitchell Northam

UPDATE: 10:42 p.m.

We’d just like to take a minute to tip our hats to the SID at Virginia*.

*Virginia lost to 16 seed UMBC in the 2018 NCAA Tournament, if you hadn’t heard.

- Russell Steinberg

Update: 10:09 p.m.

South Dakota State extended its Division I-leading 21-game home winning streak with a hard fought win over Grand Canyon. Emphasis on “hard,” as a battle between two quality mid-majors lived up to its billing. Both teams can take some positives away from Frost Arena.

Mike Daum did his thing (20 points, 13 rebounds) for the Jackrabbits, but it was the supporting cast that validated SDSU’s high ceiling. David Jenkins built on a breakout freshman season, scoring 31 points on eight-for-16 shooting, including two three pointers late in the second half as GCU was making a charge. Freshman forward Matt Dentlinger (11 points, 7 rebounds) looked like he could be a good enforcer next to Daum in the frontcourt, as he did a solid job guarding WAC preseason POY Alessandro Lever throughout the night.

For GCU’s part, the Lopes competed on the road against quality non-conference competition — something that’s been a rarity in their Div. I existence. And they did that despite getting an inconsistent, foul-riddled night from Lever (9 points, 3 rebounds). Div. II transfer Trey Drechsel (17 points, 4-9 3FG, 4 assists) was the Lopes best player, while Washington transfer Carlos Johnson was a force attacking the rim in the second half (17 points).

- Greg Mitchell

Update: 10 p.m.

Eric Carter is that man right now. He’s the hottest player on the court with 29 total points for the Blue Hens. Carter is 10-12 from the floor with six rebounds as well. He leads all scorers and pretty much is the star of the night.

The Carter watch starts now and the UMD fans are getting exposed to his greatness first hand. Overall, the Blue Hens are playing close to UMD, trailing by nine points with a little bit over 3 minutes left to go. They have outscored the Terps, 37-26 in the 2nd Half.

But at the end, UMD survived 73-67. The Terps got some help from the free throw line as well as some lucky bounces on the rim to survive here in College Park.

Eric Carter finished with 29 points in a gutsy effort by the Blue Hens. Kevin Anderson struggled by shooting 2-13 shooting from the floor. Delaware left a few points on the floor that could’ve helped them in the end.

- Stephen Thompson Jr.

UPDATE: 9:37

Here’s how George Washington’s season opener against Stony Brook started:

The Seawolves had missed their first 18 shots. Eighteen.

Here’s how it ended in overtime:

Mind you, George Washington was not supposed to be great this year. But the Colonials are an Atlantic 10 team projected to finish around the middle of the pack. And to lose to an America East team — a middle of the pack America East team — in this fashion is devastating.

Elijah Olaniyi led the Seawolves with 18 points after playing 40 minutes. Armel Potter had 20 for George Washington.

- Russell Steinberg

Update: 9:29 p.m.

One of the presumptive games of the night did not disappoint, as Penn edged George Mason in a 72-71 win. It was a wild finish, as the Quakers missed five straight free throws in the final 20 seconds while clinging to that one-point lead. That gave the Patriots a chance to win, but Otis Livingston (12 points, 3 assists) could not connect on a shot at the buzzer.

GMU, with its entire roster back, figures to be a factor in the A-10, giving Penn — which has its own realistic designs in the Ivy Leage — a quality road win to begin the season. Junior forward A.J. Brodeur led the Quakers with a double double (19 points, 10 rebounds), while freshman forward Michael Wang pitched in 14 points in his debut.

- Greg Mitchell

Update: 9:03 PM

The final buzzer has sounded in in Redbird Arena, and Illinois State has started its season with a 74-66 victory over FGCU. The Redbirds took control about midway through the first half, and really didn’t look back the rest of the way. A furious last-minute rally from FGCU, fueled by a couple of threes from Schadrac Casimir, made it a four point game with a minute and a half to play. However, clutch free throws down the stretch from Milik Yarbrough and Keyshawn Evans cemented the win for Illinois State.

- John Dales

Update: 8:55 PM

It’s about 14 minutes left in the second half and Delaware are trying to keep up with UMD; but they are getting killed in rebounding.

The Blue Hens have only has five rebounds compared to the nine of the Terps. Delaware has a taller team in terms who’s starting but UMD’s ability to box out when the ball is in the air is the breaking point right now for UD.

UMD leads UD, 58-38.

- Stephen Thompson Jr

UPDATE: 8:50 p.m.

Ledarrius Brewer is shining while his Southeast Missouri team is a bit overmatched. The 6’5 sophomore has nine of the 22 Redhawk points. Saint Louis has dominated throughout the first half. SLU can score inside and out. First half = impressive. 40-24 at the half.

- Harry Schroeder

Update: 8:30 PM

It’s halftime here at Maryland. Delaware trails Maryland 27-44.

Despite the deficit, the Blue Hens are keeping up with UMD by scoring 12 points off UMD turnovers, 10 points from bench players, and 14 points in the paint. Guard Ithiel Horton leads the team with eight points in a solid first half. Eric Carter added seven points as well.

The 37 percent shooting is hurting Delaware. 10 total rebounds do not help either. Expect Delaware to keep fighting in the second half.

- Stephen Thompson Jr

UPDATE: 8:24 p.m.

Saint Louis U is bigger, longer, stronger and deeper than Southeast Missouri. 19-7 with 11:55 left in the first half. Eight points from their three post players and the Billikens have forced seven turnovers in eight minutes.

- Harry Schroeder

UPDATE: 8:01 p.m.

We have our first buzzer-beater of the season and it’s a good one. Jeff Dowtin ended the first half for Rhode Island like this:

- Russell Steinberg

Update 7:56 p.m.

It’s halftime in Normal, Illinois and Illinois State is up on FGCU by a score of 37-28. The Redbirds’ strategy has been a simple one — get the ball to Phil Fayne in the post, and let him work. The big man has not disappointed. Fayne has 11 points already on 2-5 shooting from the floor, along with a 7-12 mark from the free throw line (yes, 12 free throws just in the first half). FGCU’s offense hasn’t been much better either; they already have 13 turnovers. Illinois State might run away with this one if the Eagles don’t make some drastic improvements during halftime.

- John Dales

Update: 7:23 p.m.

Rider has held a slim lead over UCF for most of the first half in Orlando. While the Knights have struggled from three and Tacko Fall has been on the bench in foul trouble, UCF has perhaps hurt itself by having this horrendous shooting backdrop in its home arena:

It’s a little bright, but it appears to be a giant banner, obstructing the area behind the basket where UCF is shooting. So while this has been a close one throughout and UCF has struggled from the field, Rider will have to deal with that monstrosity in the second half.

- Russell Steinberg

College basketball’s opening night slate is freakin’ loaded. With nearly 150 games on the schedule, we’re here to keep you up-to-date on everything you need to know.

That’s right, the Mid-Major Madness Live Blog is back!

We’ll be here all night, from those 6 p.m. tips to the end of Nevada’s game against BYU. Our writers are in gyms, arenas, and living rooms (their own) across the country and are dedicated to bringing you comprehensive coverage of one of the greatest nights on the sports calendar.

You can see the full schedule here, but these are the games to watch out for:

The Fletcher Magee Game: North Carolina at Wofford, 7 p.m., ESPN2
The Under-the-Radar Treat: Penn at George Mason, 7 p.m., ESPN+
The Mid-Major Titans: Florida Gulf Coast at Illinois State, 7 p.m. ESPN3
The Better Than The SEC Game: East Tennessee State at Georgia State, 7 p.m., ESPN+
The Big Five: La Salle at Temple, 7:30 p.m., ESPN3
Chris Clemons: UNC Wilmington at Campbell, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+
Mike Daum: Grand Canyon at South Dakota State, 8 p.m., ESPN3
The Stans Show: Western Kentucky at Washington, 10:30 p.m., ESPNU
The Headliner: BYU at Nevada, 11 p.m., CBS Sports

Updates to come throughout the night, but until then, sit back and enjoy the games!