It's fitting that college basketball's quietest night in weeks coincided with its loudest voice, Dick Vitale, being honored by having a court named after him. Following an extended pregame ceremony Monday night, Detroit - where the broadcasting legend coached from 1973-1977 - unveiled "Dick Vitale Court" at Calihan Hall.
"I can't run, I can't jump and I can't shoot, but I'm in 10 Halls of Fame," Vitale said. "None of that would have ever happened if the people at this school hadn't given me a chance all those years ago. This is where it all started."
Aside from that the on-court storylines were thin on Monday, with zero top 25 teams in action and just one in-conference matchup. Yet and still, we dive in head first...
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Austin Peay 86, Arkansas Satte 82 (OT)
How about some Gov love to get things started? Why not? Gov love's the 38th-best kind of love.
Austin Peay snapped a school-record nine-game losing streak to start the season and notched its first win with an 82-82 overtime victory over visiting Arkansas St. That's right, the same Arkansas St. team that scored 27 points against Louisville earlier this season hit the 80s. They actually scored 44 points in the second half alone. Break 'em up.
The game marked just the second appearance for the Governors at their Dunn Center home this season.
UPSET OF THE NIGHT: Detroit 69, St. John's 63
The Titans have been chronic underachievers this season, but their talent was evident on a night when Vitale was in the building and the game was televised nationally on ESPN2. There's no question that a team possessing Chase Simon and former McDonald's All-American Ray McCallum Jr. should be right in the thick of things in the Horizon League, but for whatever reason Detroit (4-6, 0-2) has appeared disinterested for the better part of the season. Perhaps this is the evening that gets things headed in the appropriate direction.
St. John's actually outrebounded the Titans 37-25, but the Red Storm's night was exemplified by sophomore guard Nurideen Lindsey, who had more turnovers (six) than points (four). Still playing without head coach Steve Lavin, the Johnnies have now lost three in a row and five of their last six. Lindsey has turned the ball over 16 times during the current losing streak.
PLAYER OF THE NIGHT: Vincent Council, Providence
Council, who is quietly having a tremendous season for the Friars, nearly produced a triple-double with 21 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in an 80-49 win over Brown. Council also held the Bears' leading scorer, Sean McGonagill, two just 2-of-12 shooting from the field.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: "We needed this pretty badly. The kids had fought back in every game without a lot of success. This should put us over the edge. I’ve said it all year, I love coaching this team." --Siena head coach Mitch Buonaguro after his team defeated Albany 64-60 to reclaim the Albany Cup. The Saints have now won nine of the 11 Division-I meetings between the rivals.
PICTURE OF THE NIGHT:
What he lacks in looks he more than makes up for in ability to focus on the game he's calling.
FIVE TO END:
1. Florida State had no problem handling Charleston Southern (76-51), but the Seminoles still turned the ball over 21 times. The addition of Ian Miller in the second semester could be a Godsend.
2. Fordham managed to beat Hampton 54-53 without scoring a single point in the final 2:48 of the game.
3. You don't really expect things to get chippy in a Yale game, but there were four technical fouls handed out in the Bulldogs' 73-71 win over in-state foe Sacred Heart. The Pioneers missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it.
4. After a 79-55 win over Idaho State, young Boise State (7-1) has now seen six of its seven victories come by 14 or more points. The Broncos are living behind the three-point line, a place responsible for 47% of their scoring.
5. Milwaukee took a big step in proving it's for real by dominating DePaul 87-76. The Panthers raced to a 35-13 lead and held off the Blue Demons, who got 27 points from sophomore Cleveland Melvin.