The story of the Monday night before Christmas was third-ranked Kentucky's 88-44 victory over Drexel. The win was the Wildcats' 2000th in program history, making UK the first Division I program to reach that number.
Two doubleheaders provided holiday cheers to fans in New York and Oklahoma City.
Madison Square Garden hosted the Holiday Festival finals.
- Davidson took third place thanks to a 61-52 win over coach Bob McKillop's alma mater, Hofstra.
- Cornell took the crown with a 71-66 victory over St. John's.
In Oklahoma City, it was a mixed night for the local teams at the All-College Classic.
- UTEP blasted Oklahoma, 89-74, thanks to 27 from Randy Culpepper and a double-double from Derrick Caracter.
- Meanwhile, Oklahoma State had little trouble with La Salle, prevailing, 77-62.
In other Monday action
- No. 12 Kansas State defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 90-76.
- South Carolina rebounded from their loss Saturday to Wofford by smashing Furman, 81-57.
- Iowa beat South Carolina State in their first game without Anthony Tucker, 82-69.
- LIpscomb looked to have won at Arizona, but another clock review meant that Nic Wise's three attempt at the OT buzzer counted. The Wildcats escaped 83-82.
- Dayton took out Appalachian State, 65-49.
- Houston had no trouble with the Citadel, winning 81-58.
- East Tennessee State looks to be a serious contender in the A-Sun, as they blew out preseason favorite Jacksonville, 93-70.
- Weber State defeated Cal State Fullerton, 82-71, in the round-robin tournament at Utah State.
- The Aggies won their opener over Ohio Valley champ Morehead State, 79-72.
- Northern Colorado pounded San Jose State, 93-69.
- Montana knocked off Fresno State in Missoula, 59-56, to cap a big night for the Big Sky.
- Portland State wasn't a part of it, however. They fell at Boise State, 69-62.
- Pacific dropped a close one at Santa Clara, 54-53.
- To compound the Big West's misery, Long Beach State lost at Loyola Marymount, who could very well be competitive in the WCC this season, 85-80.
If you don't see your team's result, click any of the score links. You'll find a rundown of all of Monday's scores on the right side of the screen.
After the jump, I'll take a look at a very busy Tuesday.
The two final big exempt tournaments tip off Tuesday.
The inaugural Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu may be light on ranked teams, but there are plenty of interesting storylines. From my Early Season Tournament preview post,
This first year tournament may lack the star power of the other four ESPN-run events, but it should be one of the most wide open and unpredictable events of the season. In the top half of the draw Matt Janning and Northeastern battle St. Mary's (sans Patty Mills of course), while David Kool and Western Michigan hope to spring a surprise on Kevin O'Neill's rebuilding USC. In the bottom half, two teams who spent about an hour and a half together in the WAC, C-USA's SMU and the Mountain West's UNLV meet, with the Chace Stanback and Derrick Jasper-led Rebels thinking of this event as a coming out party. Another school with big plans for this event finds itself in this half of the bracket, as Andrew Goudelock and the College of Charleston, who hope to win the SoCon this year, open with host Hawai'i.
Considering the Rebels have already been ranked once this season, the Trojans seem to have a point guard in newly-eligible Mike Gerrity and the Gaels are doing pretty well without Mills, this should be a thrilling tourney. Here's the schedule for today's quarterfinals. All times are p.m. ET, unless noted.
- Northeastern vs. St. Mary's (ESPNU, 3)
- Western Michigan vs. USC (ESPNU, 5:30)
- SMU vs. UNLV (ESPNU, 10:30)
- Charleston at Hawaii (ESPNU, 1 a.m. ET)
The Las Vegas Classic semifinals take over the Orleans Arena Tuesday afternoon. The marquee games were moved up because BYU will be playing in the Las Vegas Bowl this evening, so now Cougar fans can attend both events. Here's what I wrote about this tourney back in November.
Jimmer Fredette, Jonathan Tavernari and Mountain West favorite BYU face a tough test in the semifinals of this event, as they take on Luke Babbitt and Nevada. (I have the feeling the UNLV fans who don't travel to Hawai'i for their tournament will avoid that game.) While Doc Sadler's Nebraska squad will have a hard time with C-USA favorite Tulsa in the other semifinal. In the undercard bracket, Chicago State faces Eastern Washington, while SWAC contender Jackson State takes on NEC strugglers Wagner.
Only one of the two semifinals is on television.
There is plenty of other action on tap for Tuesday, with three ranked Big 12 teams -- including the top two teams in the AP poll -- facing big tests.
- No.9 Michigan State visits second-ranked Texas, a team who just knocked off 10th-ranked North Carolina Saturday (ESPN2, 7).
- California visits No. 1 Kansas in search of a marquee win (ESPN2, 9). Even though this is a Big 12 vs. Pac 10 matchup, it's not part of the Hardwood Series.
- However, 19th-ranked Texas A&M's visit to 22nd-ranked Washington is the final game of that event (FSN, 11). The Huskies lost their first game in the Series, a 99-92 overtime loss to then-unranked Texas Tech back on December 3.
In other televised action Tuesday
- Maine visits No. 11 Connecticut (Big East/Full Court, 7) and the Huskies hope the Black Bears won't be as hard to beat as UCF was Sunday.
- South Alabama heads to Gainesville to take on no. 18 Florida (SEC on CSS/Full Court, 7), who's looking to rebound after two straight semi-home losses.
- Transitional D-I member SIU Edwardsville visits no. 4 Purdue (ESPNU, 8) in what should be an easy W for the Boilermakers.
- Cleveland State visits no. 17 Ohio State (Big Ten, 8:30), hoping to pull the upset that escaped them on Saturday in Morgantown.
- Loyola (MD) travels to Indiana (Big Ten, 6:30).
- Ohio plays at Pitt (Big East/Full Court, 7) in a game that should be a lot more interesting than it appears at first glance.
- Winthrop is at Cincinnati (FS Ohio/Full Court, 7:30).
- CS-Northridge visits Colorado (FS Rocky Mountain/Full Court, 7:30).
- North Dakota heads to Iowa State (Full Court, 8).
- Murray State heads to Western Kentucky (FCS Atlantic, 9) in what should be a great contest between Ohio Valley and Sun Belt challengers and in-state rivals.
- Seattle at Denver (FS Rocky Mountain/FCS Central, 9) is not an NBA game.