It’s the second day of NCAA Tournament play-in action. TheSportsNotebook’s daily sports look previews tonight’s action, and looks back on Tuesday’s games.
LIU Brooklyn vs. James Madison (6:40 PM ET, truTV): This game has gotten some media attention it didn’t want, at the news that James Madison’s best player, Rayshawn Goins has been suspended for the first half due to an arrest for disorderly conduct last weekend.
What’s not being noted is that Long Island has at least three, maybe four players who are better than Goins. The Blackbirds have a really good forward tandem in Jamal Olesaware and Julian Boyd who each average 18 ppg. They have a good scoring guard in C.J. Garner and a pure three-point shooter in the ironically named Jason Brickman. Long Island is only a two-point favorite and should win this game regardless of Goins’ status. James Madison has to hope the suspension wakes up the echoes of the 1977 Arkansas football team. Lou Holtz suspended three key players before an Orange Bowl game against #2 Oklahoma and then promptly ran the Sooners off the field.
LaSalle vs. Boise State (9:10 PM ET, truTV): This one promises to be a good game, and with a path of Kansas State and then Ole Miss/Wisconsin ahead, it’s not unreasonable that the winner could survive the entire week and make it to the Sweet 16. Ramon Galloway and Tyrek Duren make up a good backcourt for LaSalle, while 6’6” sophomore Anthony Drmic leads the way for Boise State. Neither team is all that special rebounding the ball, so whomever finds a way to chase down some errant shots can gain a big edge. I’m leaning LaSalle here because I consider Galloway the best player on the floor. I’ll take the Explorers, who are also getting two at the betting window.
ESPN will have NBA coverage tonight, with Brooklyn-Dallas tipping off at 8 PM ET. The Mavericks still have a shot at that final playoff spot in the West, although there’s no margin for error. There are no NHL games on TV tonight, although you have the best two teams in the West, Chicago and Anaheim going head-to-head at 10 PM ET. What exactly is the point of the NHL having its own network if not to pick up a game like this?
CLEANING UP FROM TUESDAY
St. Mary’s 67 Middle Tennessee 54—As expected, St. Mary’s guard Matthew Dellavedova was the best player on the floor, scoring 22 points, and the Gaels enjoyed a big edge at the free throw line. St. Mary’s was 17-of-25 from the charity stripe, while Middle Tennessee only got seven chances, making six. The 11-point margin comes close to matching the final margin of victory.
North Carolina A&T 73 Liberty 72—Liberty got the three-point they needed, hitting 10 of 23 from behind the arc, with their premier shooter Davon Marshall going 6/15. But A&T was much better at executing in two-point range, where they hit 51 percent from the floor and escaped with the chance to play Louisville.