As much as I often hate ESPN's overhype on things, it's 24 hours of college hoops is a great thing for mid major schools. It started at midnight and continues through late this evening. Right now on ESPN (not the U, the big channel) is Saint Peter's and Monmouth which tipped off at sunrise, 6:00 am. And the St Peter's gym is packed and loud.
As I was watching the game, I heard "Bacon spinning in the lane" from Bob Wischusen, the announcer covering the game. as in St Peter's forward Ryan Bacon scoring one of his baskets. How you can not have breakfast and college basketball at 6:00 am without "Bacon spinning in the lane?!" Awesome!
The second game on the 24 hour slate was a rematch of the NIT Quarterfinal from last season and revenge is a dish best served cold and late night. St Mary's smoked San Diego State 80-58. Mickey McConnell had 24 points and Omar "Enter the Sandman" Samhan had 17 points and 16 rebounds. Even without Patty Mills, who left St Mary's early to go to the NBA (again a huge mistake in my book), the Gaels look good. They deserved this game after barely losing to San Diego State on the Aztecs homecourt in the NIT AFTER they had beat them on a neutral court in the regular season. I talked about it when it happened back in March. Yes, I am not good at letting things go, C.M. Newton.
There are several good games today. Of course ESPN is promoting about the Kansas/Memphis and Gonzaga/Michigan State games that are on tonight. But dig deeper and you'll see other good games to watch.
To me, the game to watch is the noon tip off between Northeastern, my preseason pick for CAA champ and Siena, a team that has won three games in the NCAA tournament the last two years. It's Alex Franklin, Edwin Ubiles and Ryah Rossiter vs. Matt Janning, Chaisson Allen and Manny Adako. Both teams return four of their five starters from last season so it should be a very good game.
Another good game is the 8 am contest Drexel vs. Niagara, another CAA vs. MAAC showdown. Niagara looks to rebound from a tough loss at Auburn while Drexel tries to come back from it's own heartbreaker, an OT loss at St Joe's.
Last night at Storrs, Hofstra nearly blew a 17 point second half lead but held on for a 68-63 win over Yale. Nathaniel Lester bounced back from a disappointing game vs. Kansas to lead the way with 19 points. Charles Jenkins added 17 and Halil Kanacevic had 8 points and 9 rebounds for the Pride. Hofstra shot 49.5 percent from the field, 75 percent from the line, and outrebounded Yale 37-19, but kept the Bulldogs in the game by committing 22 turnovers. The Pride now play #13 UConn in the second round of the "UConn Pod" of the Preseason NIT.
My friend Tony Terentieff should be at the Hofstra-UConn game tonight (I will be unable to make it) and I will try to get his comments up later on this evening.