Today marks the final day of Thanksgiving weekend – a few exempt events conclude today along with a few other notable matchups on the docket. While David Griggs is in a drunken stupor celebrating Nebraska’s win over Tennessee, I have volunteered to fill in today for the puppet.
NEWS AND NOTES
– The Fun Belt Conference strikes again – Little Rock scores another win of note away from home with a 64-60 win at Tulsa. This moves the Trojans to 3-0 against Division I competition.
– As we alluded to in the open, the Barclays Center Classic featured a few teams with NCAA Tournament aspirations; Cincinnati and George Washington squared off in a tight game featuring several lead changes. In the end, the Bearcats won and keeps their record perfect at 7-0. Nebraska also salvaged their weekend a little bit with a win over Tennessee in the consolation matchup.
– In the UTR version of the Emerald Coast Classic, Florida A&M actually recorded a victory against Alcorn State. In the main event, Iowa State and Illinois had a closely contested game for about 30 minutes before the Cyclones shifted gears and wound up winning 84-73. In the 3rd place game, Virginia Tech knocked off UAB in overtime; the Blazers aren’t going to have many opportunities remaining (if any) to cement an at-large NCAA profile.
– Up in the Great Alaska Shootout, Middle Tennessee ended up beating Toledo for that championship. Even more noteworthy may well be San Jose State racking up 2 wins (even if one of them was non-DI Alaska-Anchorage).
– In the Colonial Athletic Association, it was a mixed bag yesterday.
VCU got a much-needed win over in-state rival Old Dominion; one of the league favorites in Hofstra got a road win at St. Bonaventure. However, the road was not kind to William & Mary yesterday; they travelled to the Beltway to face off against Howard and wound up losing 79-77.
– Creighton is still a tough out, at least in their own dungeon in Omaha. After coming off of a blowout loss at Indiana and a pair of wins in the Heavyweight Division of the Men Who Speak Up Main Event in Las Vegas, the Bluejays came back home and blasted what was an undefeated Western Illinois squad 97-67.
-XAVIER vs. DAYTON – Advocare Classic Championship (Mythical Miami Valley Conference) – 4:30 PM on ESPN2. This dormant rivalry will revive itself for one day at the HP Fieldhouse at Disney World’s campus in Orlando. With lots of Dayton and Xavier fans in attendance, this could be a rare sellout for an exempt tournament event. (Click here for highlights from their last encounter).
-WISCONSIN at OKLAHOMA – 2:30 PM on ESPN2. There aren’t too many marquee games outside of the exempt tournaments this weekend, but it does offer a shot at redemption for Wisconsin for their season-opening loss to Western Illinois. This is also a good tune-up for the Badgers’ upcoming ACC tilt at Syracuse later this week.
-MICHIGAN STATE vs. PROVIDENCE – Wooden Legacy Championship – 10:00 PM on ESPN2. Just like they did last year, the Friars scored a significant victory away from home during Thanksgiving weekend with their win over Arizona on Friday (they beat Notre Dame at this time last year). The matchup of Kris Dunn vs. Denzel Valentine should be a very entertaining one.
-MONMOUTH vs. USC – Advocare Classic 3rd Place – 12:30 PM on ESPN2. This will actually be the 2nd game between the Hawks and Trojans since they already played a non-bracketed game at USC a couple of weeks earlier. Monmouth is in search of another signature win this weekend; USC will look to restore some lost pride after getting blasted by Xavier for the bulk of their last contest.
-BOISE STATE vs. ARIZONA – Wooden Legacy 3rd Place – 4:30 PM on ESPNU. Another recurring theme of teams needing signature wins to bolster their at-large profile; the Broncos get 1 more chance against an Arizona team that is not 100% healthy.
-NOTRE DAME vs. ALABAMA – Advocare Classic 5th Place – 7:00 PM on ESPNU. Alabama managed to score a Top 25 win for the first time in 4 seasons after their win over Wichita State on Friday. They’ll get another opportunity against a Notre Dame team that’s still learning their roles without Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton.
-UC IRVINE vs. EVANSVILLE – Wooden Legacy 5th Place – 2:30 PM on ESPNU. The Anteaters feature one of the tallest post players in Mamadou Ndiaye; the Purple Aces feature an inside-out combination with D.J. Balentine and Egidiju Mockevicius. As this is also Chad Sherwood’s UTR game of the day, click here for a detailed preview.
BUY GAMES OF THE DAY
Utah State at Duke – 12:30 PM, ESPNU – While this technically does fall under a buy game, there is some intrigue for a Utah State program who saw their star player David Collette leave the team prior to the beginning of the season. The Aggies already have 2 wins over in-state rivals Weber State on the road and Utah Valley University at home, but a trip to Durham, NC will be a big step up in competition for the Aggies.
Jackson State at Marquette – 1:30 PM, FS1
Rider at Rhode Island
Brown at SMU
South Carolina State at Kansas State
Harvard at Holy Cross
Penn at Lafayette
Northern Colorado at Colorado (Front Range)
Delaware at Temple
Pacific at Sacramento State