Grambling at East Carolina, 7:00 PM Eastern, ecupirates.com
Tonight’s Under the Radar Game of the Day features a team that has been surprisingly good this season against a team that has been amazingly bad. Normally, when a SWAC team takes on an American Athletic team, you don’t even have to know the teams to know which is the better one . . . but not so tonight. The Grambling Tigers are 4-7 on the season, with their 4 wins coming over the course of their past 7 games. Those wins include their incredible 64-63 road win at Georgia Tech on December 1, as well as wins at UTRGV and Southeastern Louisiana. Diontae Jones’ 18 points and 9 rebounds keyed the upset over the Yellow Jackets while Devante Jackson’s double-double off the bench was the deciding factor in the Southeastern Louisiana victory. However, the most telling stat for Grambling is this: their three true road wins against D1 foes this season is the most such wins the program has had since the 1985-86 season. Further, if they win tonight or next week at Seattle, they will have accumulated the most true road wins in a single season against D1 opponents in school history!!
Tonight’s opponent for the Tigers is a team that, while technically not Under the Radar, deserves to be there or lower based on their play so far this season. East Carolina has already had their head coach terminated/resign and has home losses to the likes of Central Connecticut, North Carolina A&T and most recently to a Charlotte team that was also without the same head coach they began the season with. The Pirates may be 5-5 on the season, but this already has the signs of an incredibly long year in Greenville, especially given that the home game against a dangerous Grambling team tonight is the most winnable game left on their schedule.