Belmont survives, just barely on Opening Night

Friday night in Nashville, upset minded Lipscomb University nearly pulled off the season’s first shocker.  With the schools located about 3 miles apart, senior J.J. Mann scored 21 points to lead Belmont, while Drew Windler tabulated 16 points and was a perfect 4 for 4 from 3-point range. Reece Chamberlain added 14 points. Blake Jenkins nearly had a double-double with 10 points and led the Bruins with nine rebounds.

Carter Sanderson led Lipscomb with 21 points, while Khion Sankey had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The most ironic storyline was that new Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander was going against his old mentor in Belmont coach Rick Byrd.  Casey was Byrd’s assistant for 16 years and was a standout player from the years 1992 to 1995.

Other close shave contests included Purdue surviving at Mackey Arena 77-76 to Northern Kentucky, while UConn slipped by future Big Ten member Maryland 78-77.  The Huskies were led by Shabazz Napier who had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists.  Nick Faust had a nice game for the Terps compiling 17 points, but only had 4 rebounds and 3 assists.

Are You Ready for 30 Straight Hours of Hoops?

Tuesday’s prime-time games promise to be fun.  Here is the general key slate of games, including the top 2 teams in the first poll released on Monday by the Associated Press:

Full Marathon Schedule:

  • Kent State at Temple (Monday, 7 p.m., Eastern time ESPNU)
  • Colorado State at No. 15 Gonzaga (Monday, 9 p.m., ESPNU)
  • BYU at Stanford (Monday, 11 p.m., ESPN2)
  • Western Kentucky at No. 16 Wichita State (Tuesday, 1 a.m., ESPN2)
  • Akron at Saint Mary’s (Tuesday, 3 a.m., ESPN2)
  • New Mexico State at Hawaii (Tuesday, 5 a.m., ESPN2)
  • Hartford at Florida Gulf Coast (Tuesday, 7 a.m., ESPN2)
  • Quinnipiac at La Salle (Tuesday, 9 a.m., ESPN2)
  • LSU at Massachusetts (Tuesday, 11 a.m., ESPN2)
  • West Viriginia at Virginia Tech(Tuesday, 1 p.m., ESPN)
  • South Carolina at No. 25 Baylor (Tuesday, 3 p.m., ESPN)
  • North Carolina State at Cincinnati (Tuesday, 5 p.m., ESPN)
  • No. 14 VCU at No. 24 Virginia (Tuesday, 7 p.m., ESPN2)
  • No. 2 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Kentucky (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN) in Chicago
  • No. 10 Florida at No. 20 Wisconsin (Tuesday, 9 p.m., ESPN2)
  • No. 5 Kansas vs. No. 4 Duke (Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., ESPN) in Chicago

If any major upsets occur, I will try to post it as soon as I can.  In the meantime, you can always get the updates on ESPN Radio overnight with Jay Reynolds and on “Mike and Mike in the Morning” weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. Eastern time.

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