GREENVILLE, S.C -- Nonconference Thursdays, especially the ones right before the holiday season, are tough. Some schools are out of finals and on break, others are in finals, there aren't very many games out there.
So a couple quick notes: I know only a handful of you are on Twitter
, but it's fun and a lot less fussy than keeping up a blog. I'm doing live twitter-casts
of most of the games I go to (unless I'm on ESPN duty) and the banter has been great. We're even starting goofy contests, with one-year Basketball State subscriptions as prizes. We're at Furman tonight, so drop by and something just might happen.
After all, it's our 40th game of the season. During the 100 Games Project
four years ago, we didn't hit 40 until Jan. 24, the controversial "Snow Day"
episode that had readers wondering if I had my "son" do the drawing. Since we're going for 125 this year, the past isn't much of a measuring stick, but the previous record for fastest to 40 was two years ago, a Samford-Murray State game
on Dec. 21, 2006.
Also, it's your last day to get in on the Stephen Curry superhero contest
. As you know, this man is three superheroes in one, so put together a Photoshop or other artistic emission and send it to bally at midmajority dot com
. Winners will be announced next Tuesday...
Which will be our last posting day for a while. The Mid-Majority will be on holiday break from Wednesday the 24th to Sunday the 29th. But there might be a couple of Bally-related posts in there... so keep your RSS readers on "blast."Red Line UpsetSaint Mary's 78, at Oregon 73
-- At McArthur Court last night, someone left the Ducks out in the rain. Patty Mills
(who's not having the best shooting year at 38 percent) led the Gaels with 22, but it was the pair of double-doubles from the bigs (Diamon Simpson
and Omar Samhan
) that really put Oregon away. Rebounding advantages of 45-36 are generally uncommon when playing on the road against Pac-10 teams, and SMC doesn't get the credit for its inside game that it deserves. Mills is young and still developing, cut him some slack. If Curry had a front line like this, he wouldn't need
to be dropping 40 every night.They Came Close
at Memphis 59, Arkansas-Little Rock 51 -- See, this is what I'm talking about. Pisses me off. The national runner-ups are kept to zero field goals for the final 8:07 of a game, at home, by a Sun Belt team, and the story is all about Memphis. Instead of a pile of crap about poise and confidence not being what they were once, what about the fact that UALR was down by 18 and fought back to within five with less than a minute remaining before the free throw parade started? Where's the sidebar about the dude with a beer gut who got seven rebounds against the mighty Tigers?
U'useless Stat of the Day
Basketball is designed to discourage hacking, slapping and tickling, because time stops and your opponent gets to shoot free throws. Unless it's the last scene in Teen Wolf, there's no defender in front of you for those. In college, seven fouls in a half puts your opponent in the one-and-one, 10 is the awkwardly-named double-bonus. I mean, it's not really a bonus unless the free throws are converted. Am I right or am I right?
Anyway, two teams last night got through their games staying in single-digits with their fouls. Not surprisingly, both won. Cal Poly committed just nine fouls against Portland State, allowing the Vikings just three foul shots all night. Sure, they made all three, but the Mustangs won 65-62. Back east, Wright State was downright gentlemanly against Norfolk State, fouling only nine times in a 66-43 win. The Spartans went 4-for-8 from the line, but it wouldn't have helped if they had made all of them. Wright made 23 freebies, which just so happened to be the final margin. Drive to the hoop, people!
You might be interested in the lowest-foul performance of the year, I sure am. Three schools have tied at six for a game: Washington State against Canisius, Towson against New Jersey Tech, and Samford against non-D1 Spring Hill. The Bulldogs' slow style seems to be amenable to low fouls. Last season, Samford committed just three in a non-D1 game against Brewton Parker.