Small Conference Game of the Day – December 20

Pacific vs Princeton, 10:30 PM Eastern, No TV, video stream here:

The SCGD heads to Las Vegas tonight for the South Point Casino Holiday Hoops Classic.  This two day, four team event’s* marquee matchup comes tonight with a battle of two Tigers – the Princeton Tigers out of the Ivy League and the Pacific tigers out of the West Coast Conference.  This is also a battle of two teams that enter tonight with 8-1 overall records.

Princeton has been a surprise so far this season, having only lost a 3 point game at Butler so far.  They have a road win over Rutgers and an almost unbelievable come-from-behind win last time out at Penn State.  Princeton was down 18 points late in this game and forcing overtime seemed next to impossible even under a minute left, but somehow they did and won it in OT, 81-79.  Harvard still appears to be the best team, on paper at least, in the Ivy League, but Princeton has shown so far that they may challenge the Crimson when we reach conference play.

Pacific has also gotten off to a great start in the first season in the WCC.  They lost 85-62 a few weeks back at Oregon, but that score does not show that Pacific actually had a double digit lead most of the first half of that game before the Ducks just poured it on the second.  The Tigers did score a solid road win two weeks ago against a pretty good Utah State team.  Their two games this weekend in Vegas (tonight and tomorrow night against Bradley) are their final two games before moving into WCC play.  If they can win the title in this event, Gonzaga, BYU and St. Mary’s should at least be put on some notice that the West Coast Conference race this year may be a four way fight and not just a three.


*Technically the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic is a four day event featuring a total of 14 teams, but all other games involve Division II men’s and women’s teams.

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