It’s possible that you accidentally watched the Big 12-SEC Challenge on Saturday instead of 12 hours of nonstop mid-major action. If that happened, shame on you.
Allow us to catch you up on what you missed.
It was a wild day on Saturday full of buzzer-beaters, heart-breaking finishes, comebacks, and, uh, whatever the MAC is. But it all started with the most anticipated game of the day, Davidson’s trip to Saint Louis.
Davidson 54 Saint Louis 53
OH MY GOD THIS GAME IS SO STUPID— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) January 26, 2019
The weird ending to this game overshadowed how much of a slog it was for the first, oh, 39 minutes. Davidson led 24-21 at the half as both teams struggled from the field. In fact, neither team was able to reach 40 percent from the field for the game and they shot a combined 31 percent from three. Blog favorite Jon Axel Gudmundsson was the exception to the rule as he went 9-12 from the field and scored 27 points.
His most important two came in the final seconds of what was a crazy ending. It started with the Wildcats leading 52-50, needing a stop to secure the win. They cut off the drive, preventing the Billikens from getting a good look at the basket. That left Dion Wiley open on the left wing:
DION DION DION LETS GO BILLS, WILEY PUTS SLU ON TOP 53-52 with 11.1 seconds left pic.twitter.com/7VmIh8kS8Y— The House That Rick Built (@HouseRickBuilt) January 26, 2019
So now all Saint Louis had to do was stop Davidson on one possession to escape with the win. Instead, Jordan Goodwin committed a foul beyond the three-point line to put Gudmundsson at the line. He calmly sank two free throws to make it 54-53.
And so it went back to Saint Louis with five seconds left. Javon Bess hoisted a deep three with time still on the clock that missed wide right. Jordan Goodwin tried to tip it in at the buzzer but missed as well. The game would have ended there had Kellan Grady not clocked Goodwin in the back of the head. With virtually no time left, Goodwin went to the line with a chance to win it.
He missed both free throws. It was brutal.
The Wildcats improved to 6-1 in the Atlantic 10 and sit a half game behind George Mason for first place.
VCU 80 Duquesne 74
A win at Duquesne isn’t going to push VCU into the tournament field, but a loss could have certainly kept the Rams out. Instead, VCU ended the Dukes’ five-game winning streak as Marcus Santos-Silva dominated in a 20-point (8-12 FG) and 12-rebound performance. Offense has been a struggle for the Rams this year, but they shot 56 percent from inside the arc and scored 1.10 points per possession — just enough to accompany a typical stifling defense that forced 17 turnovers.
The win put VCU into a four-way tie for third in the Atlantic 10 as we near the halfway point in the conference schedule.
Utah State 68 New Mexico 66
Between Loyola vs. Colgate going to overtime and that Davidson-SLU finish, CBS Sports had already had a great day. This one fit right in, complete with a crazy ending.
New Mexico fell behind early and was ice cold from the field, but finally found a groove shortly before halftime and played the second-place Aggies close the rest of the way. The Lobos finally went ahead on a three from Anthony Mathis with 5:33 to go. He scored all 16 of his points and hit all four of this threes in the second half.
New Mexico was in position to win the game, clinging to a one-point lead with 32 seconds left and possession. A bad call changed that:
Horrible call. Took that game from the Lobos. pic.twitter.com/YCuXlJLOm0— A_bal3 (@A_Bal3) January 26, 2019
The over-and-back call presumably came because Vance Jackson caught the ball before establishing himself in the front court. But on further review, the ball was never in the front court to begin with. So it could not have gone over before going back.
That gave Abel Porter (a walk-on who averages 3.3 points per game) the chance to nail this game-winner for Utah State:
OH MY!— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) January 26, 2019
Abel Porter has ICE in his veins. pic.twitter.com/gxhy7IY90s
That’s a tough one for the Lobos.
Penn 78 Saint Joseph’s 70
Here’s something we didn’t expect to be able to say this year: PENN IS YOUR OUTRIGHT 2018-19 BIG 5 CHAMPION
Yes, this Ivy League school swept the Big 5 by beating La Salle (A-10) and Villanova (Big East) back-to-back in December, then Temple (AAC) and Saint Joseph’s (A-10) back-to-back in January. Steve Donahue is a mid-major coaching wizard.
UTSA 74 Old Dominion 73
The meltdown of the day.
Old Dominion led by 18 (EIGHTEEN!) points with 4:33 (FOUR THIRTY THREE!) to go and lost. The Monarchs led by 17 (SEVENTEEN!) points with 3:09 (THREE OH NINE!) to go and lost.
Nick Allen made three (69-55, 3:08)
Two ODU missed free throws
Jhivvan Jackson made three (69-58, 2:06)
ODU missed free throw
Jackson made three (69-61, 1:44)
Jackson made free throws (69-63, 1:27)
Ahmad Caver free throws to temporarily restore order (71-63, 1:27)
Keaton Wallace made three (71-66, 1:15)
ODU missed free throw
B.J. Stith one made free throw (72-66, 0:49)
Wallace made three (72-69, 0:42)
Stith one made free throw (73-69, 0:37)
Jackson made layup (73-71, 0:32)
Wallace made three (74-73, 0:15)
That happened.In KenPom win probability form:
In video form:
Miami (OH) 67 Bowling Green 53
Just when we thought the MAC was starting to make sense, Bowling Green goes and loses at Miami. That snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Falcons and ended their unbeaten run in conference play. Next up: Buffalo at home. It’s not getting any easier.
Question: Is it bad to make only 30 percent of your two-point attempts? That seems bad.
The Citadel 84 VMI 82
Both these teams are awful, so the result wouldn’t be worth noting if not for the end.
Here’s Quayson Williams going coast-to-coast to break the tie with a buzzer-beating layup:
Hofstra 84 Towson 61
Hofstra won again.
Missouri State 55 Bradley 37
Nobody should play basketball games against Missouri State.
Your Sunday reminder that Missouri State has held its last two opponents to 35 and 37 points, respectively.— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) January 27, 2019
Southern Miss 101 Marshall 51
I swear this happened. I’m not making that up.
Let me read you the box score because I don’t know what else to do here.
- Southern Miss shot 65 percent from the field and made 13 threes
- Southern Miss had two players with 10 or more assists. Marshall had six for the game.
- Marshall shot 15-60 for the game.
- Marshall scored 0.72 ppp, Southern Miss scored 1.42.
- LaDavius Draine had 18 points off the bench in 18 minutes of play.
- Marshall has now lost three in a row and joins Western Kentucky (which also lost) as one of mid-major basketball’s biggest disappointments.
Other scores of note:
Georgia State 77 UT Arlington 71
Harvard 64 Dartmouth 59: The Crimson avoid an inexplicable season-sweep at the hands of Dartmouth.
Albany 84 Hartford 77: WTF Hartford was supposed to be good. This was Albany’s first America East win.
Presbyterian 99 Winthrop 91
UMBC 59 New Hampshire 51: RETRIEVERS BYKE????
Samford 75 Furman 73: FURMAN FAKE GOOD?????
Belmont 96 Austin Peay 92
Louisiana Tech 62 Western Kentucky 50: Wondering if WKU can snag a CIT bid at this point.
Vermont 73 Stony Brook 52: What was supposed to be one of the best games of the night was a rout. The more Duncans on your team, the better.
Pepperdine 84 Saint Mary’s 77: SAINT MARY’S FAKE GOOD!!!
Drake 70 Valparaiso 59: After a 1-3 conference start, the Bulldogs have pulled even with the Crusaders at second in the Valley standings
San Diego 67 San Francisco 63: Could this be the end of the Dons’ at-large hopes?