Yesterday, I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon (and early evening, thanks to the power outage during game one) in Sunrise at the Orange Bowl Classic. The drives up (in the rain) and back (in the fog), did leave a bit to be desired, however.
The opener saw UCF overturn a 10-point halftime deficit to beat Miami, 84-78, in a game that featured a 20-minute delay. Marcus Jordan led the way for the Knights, scoring 23 before leaving with an ankle injury, while three others hit double figures. The margin would have been more comfortable had UCF, ahem, HIT SOME FREE THROWS, as they went 21 for 43 from the line. Ouch. Malcolm Grant led the Hurricanes with 19, featuring a 3 for 3 performance from beyond the arc. Durand Scott scored 16 before fouling out. He was one of four Canes to be disqualified on the afternoon.
Florida looked absolutely putrid in the first 12 minutes of the nightcap, falling behind 20-8 to Kansas State. But the Gators closed the half with a 12-3 run, which they continued on into the second, prevailing 57-44. Billy Donovan's team surprisingly outdefended the Wildcats, forcing K-State to take a lot of bad shots (15 for 55, 27.3%), even though the Wildcats won the turnover battle, 18 to 9. Jacob Pullen was the only Wildcat to hit double figures, ringing up 19 on a very poor shooting day (6-17 and 1-7 from 3). Kenny Boynton and Erving Walker combined for 28 UF points, and Vernon Macklin added 10.
As for the atmosphere, the crowd of a little more than 13 thousand was mostly clad in orange and blue, as you'd suspect, and Miami's fan base made itself known only in the later stages of the game with UCF. There were plenty of Knights fans' there, many of whom I encountered on the Turnpike on the way south. With this being Frank Martin's homecoming and early meteorological winter, there were even a noticeable number of fans clad in K-State purple.
Otherwise, the music was as you'd expect at one of the few NHL only arenas in the United States (two of which are, oddly enough, in the State of Florida)...heavy on the rock, some of which can be considered particularly questionable (though I was happy they played the entirety of Toto's "Africa," a personal favorite, during the delay). The color balance of the Jumbotrons was off yet again (an issue I tweeted about last year), and there were the usual shot/game clock and scoreboard issues. At one point before the power outage, the Hurricanes and Golden Knights appeared to have seven timeouts apiece...as if that particular contest wasn't long enough.
With all of yesterday's goings-on, it's no wonder Ken Pomeroy voted via tweet to no longer play games at Sunrise.
After an active, exciting Saturday, the Sunday TV schedule is significantly lighter. More on the slate after the jump.
South Carolina State at Indiana (Las Vegas Classic regional round), Big Ten Network (4 p.m. ET): This is the final game for both of these teams before they head to Sin City for games on Wednesday and Thursday. The Hoosiers topped SIU Edwardsville by 34 on Friday, while the Bulldogs are still looking for their first Division I win of the season, after falling at UNI two days ago.
Arizona at NC State, FSN/Comcast SportsNet (4:30 p.m. ET): This should be an entertaining matchup between two teams who still have a lot to prove. The Wolfpack own a 6-3 record, but were completely handled by two of their three Big Six-level opponents (they lost at Syracuse by 6), while the visiting Wildcats are 9-2, with the two losses coming at the hands of Kansas (close) and BYU (not so much). Arizona won a thriller in Tucson last season, 76-74.
Stony Brook at Notre Dame, ESPNU (4:30 p.m. ET): The Seawolves have struggled on offense this season (41.4 eFG%, good for 333rd in the country per KenPom.com), which is going to be an issue heading into South Bend.
Eastern Illinois at Tennessee Tech, Wazoo Sports/ESPN3/Full Court (5 p.m. ET): The Panthers will look to move over .500 in the OVC, while the Golden Eagles look to move to 2-0.
Florida Atlantic at Louisiana-Monroe, CSS/ESPN3/Full Court (7 p.m. ET): The Owls will look to move to 2-0 in the Sun Belt, after they grabbed a five-point OT win at Troy on Thursday.
For information on games that will be aired regionally, like Dartmouth at Iowa State, The Citadel at New Mexico, Longwood at Colorado, and UNC Greensboro at Clemson, visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site. Another good resource is the schedule page at BB State.
Please share your thoughts about today and tonight's action in the comments, after you sign up for a free SB Nation account, of course.
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