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The Morning Dish – Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10, 2017 The Morning Dish No Comments

While college football again staged its light beer version of a national title game on Monday-and used an interminably long amount of time and an equally way-too-long list of cable channels to do so-the vast majority of NCAA Division I college basketball conferences once again punted on an opportunity for some exposure.

Only one D-I game was televised nationally Monday night: St. John’s at Georgetown, with an early 6:30 p.m. Eastern start on FS1. We’ve ruminated about this before, and it still doesn’t make sense to us why so many conferences and networks choose to bow to the altar of major football and refuse to even consider offering alternative programming on a night when college basketball fans just might be really, really looking for some options.

The night would be a prime chance for a channel like CBS Sports Network or FS1 to show a really good doubleheader. Maybe a Big East/Missouri Valley twinbill (how about Villanova vs. Xavier followed by Wichita State against Illinois State?), or perhaps put together a couple quality interconference games. Let’s get creative. What do the non-ESPN networks have to lose? (After St. John’s/Georgetown, FS1 televised MMA on Monday; CBSSN showed poker.) We know it’s not going to approach the ratings of a football game, but that doesn’t mean college basketball conferences and non-ESPN networks shouldn’t at least try something.

The one game available nationally was something of a sad sight. With the homestanding Hoyas off to a 0-4 start in the Big East, apparently nostalgia for this rivalry was light: attendance at the Verizon Center was abysmal, listed at what appeared to be a charitable 5,158.

The game itself was competitive for a half but a blowout by the end, Georgetown prevailing 83-55. The Hoyas’ Marcus Derrickson hit a three-pointer just before halftime for a 44-37 lead, and the hosts pulled away in the second half. The Johnnies had one field goal in a span of more than 11 minutes, forgoing their speed/quickness advantage for three-point attempts that wouldn’t go in. The Hoyas took care of business, and frustration set in for SJU so much that the final 10 minutes of the game were essentially garbage time.

Side Dishes:

  • In the Sun Belt, Cliff Ellis picked up his 799th career win as Coastal Carolina held on for a 66-63 win over Arkansas-Little Rock. The Chanticleers have recovered from a slow start this year and early on are 3-1 in their new conference. Also, Georgia Southern remained the only undefeated team in the Sun Belt, moving to 3-0 with an 84-79 overtime win over South Alabama.
  • St. Peter’s edged Quinnipiac 58-54 in the lone game of the night in the Metro Atlantic. The Peacocks and Bobcats are two of a gaggle of seven teams with two or three losses in the MAAC.
  • Maryland-Eastern Shore guard Ryan Andino had the individual performance of the night, draining nine three-pointers and pouring in 31 points in the Hawks’ 99-88 win over North Carolina A&T.
  • Jackson State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff stayed undefeated in the SWAC, with the Tigers edging Southern 65-61 and UAPB over Alabama A&M 81-65. Also, the last winless Division I team is in the win column as Mississippi Valley State topped Alabama State 73-70.
  • Finally, IPFW routed Division III Olivet (Mich.) 115-60, a result we wouldn’t normally note but for 1) the light schedule and 2) the Mastodons made 21 three-pointers.

Tonight’s Menu: College football wrapped up last night; the day after features three top-15 matchups in college basketball. Not bad.

  • Newly top-ranked Baylor has one of the toughest assignments a team can have as it heads to No. 10 West Virginia (7 p.m. Eastern, ESPN2). At the same time, 15th-ranked Xavier goes to No. 3 Villanova (FS1) and No. 7 Duke is at No. 9 Florida State.
  • As usual, Kentucky gets a lead role on ESPN’s main network, this time at Vanderbilt (7 p.m.).
  • Syracuse tries to keep its momentum going in a trip to Virginia Tech (7 p.m., ESPNU).
  • It’s another MAC Tuesday night, and all three undefeated league teams are on the road with Akron at Central Michigan, Ohio at Buffalo and Toledo traveling to Western Michigan.
  • A quality matchup in the MAAC is Canisius on the road at Fairfield.
  • It doesn’t seem right that neither Indiana nor Maryland is ranked for their matchup (9 p.m., ESPN), but that’s exactly the case after the Hoosiers have fallen out of the polls.
  • At the same time, Florida goes on the road for a tricky test at Alabama (9 p.m., ESPNU).
  • Kansas and Oklahoma played a couple classics a year ago, but the Sooners will be considerable underdogs even at home in their first meeting this year (9 p.m., ESPN2).
  • Kansas State is newly ranked at No. 25, but the Wildcats have a road test right away with a trip to Texas Tech (9:15 p.m., ESPNews).
  • Wrap up the night in the wild Mountain West where improved San Jose State goes to San Diego State (11 p.m., ESPNU).

Have a terrific Tuesday.

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