Eastern Michigan held off a semi-furious rally at Ann Arbor to upset Michigan 45-42. It was EMU’s first win against “Big Blue” since 1997.
Turnabout is fair play for Belmont
Joining my latest “Stock Up” profile is Evansville out of the Missouri Valley Conference. Just like last year when Belmont won on the road at North Carolina, the Purple Aces did the same by upsetting Belmont on the road. Evansville was led by D.J. Balentine, who scored 25 points along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Aided by an efficient shooting clip going 22 for 45 (48.9 percent), Evansville nursed a 53-51 lead with four minutes remaining before proceeding to reel off 10 of the next 15 points to put the game out of reach over the next three minutes. The key highlight came on a Jaylon Brown splash-on three-pointer, as the Purple Aces built a rather comfortable 63-56 lead. However, Belmont would cut into that lead on a three by Caleb Chowbay, but they could not get any closer.
The 20th anniversary of the Jimmy V Classic took place in New York, where Madison Square Garden made news earlier in the day of a different kind. Fyi, you can read my prior blog below for more details.
On Tuesday night, Villanova ran circles around the Fighting Illini in the second half as the Orange Crush got manhandled 73-59 and Indiana tried to make a game against Louisville in the second half. However, the Cardinals’ depth proved to be too much outscoring the Hoosiers 48-33 in the second half to win going away 94-74. ESPN ran a nice graphic on their late edition of SportsCenter where it mentioned Louisville has an .833 winning percentage of their games on neutral site courts. Uconn is second at .820. Where is Duke, you might ask? They are in the top five at a .780 clip.
Elsewhere, form pretty much held across the rest of the nation…
Notre Dame, Iowa State, and Wichita State all won by double digits. However, my runner-up choice for game of the night has to go to Creighton. The Blue Jays survived a double overtime affair, 91-88 over South Dakota. That must have been quite a game to witness.
The next really big day is Saturday with three measuring stick games to watch:
North Carolina at Kentucky, noon Eastern on CBS
Pitt at Kansas, 3:15 p.m. Eastern on ESPN
Michigan at Arizona, 5:15 p.m. Eastern on ESPN
Great tests before Christmas for each of the road teams and the possibility of having maybe some top teams jockeying for higher seed positioning come March.
Hope to see you then. Enjoy the rest of your week.