Things got weird on Thanksgiving Eve.
Seton Hall lost a game they should have won. Kansas won a game Dayton should have won. And Virginia did something I didn’t think was possible in the game of basketball.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. SETON HALL BLOWS A 19 POINT LEAD TO OREGON
Late in the first half, after Myles Powell someone found a way to bank in a three in the deep corner, right in front of the Oregon bench, Lok Wur stuck a leg out and tripped Powell as he ran by.
Powell was pissed.
And he came out of halftime absolutely on fire. He hit his first six threes of the second half and the Pirates opened up a 49-30 lead on Oregon that, in theory, should have been enough to allow them to cruise to a win. Except, it did not play out that way. Payton Pritchard, who finished with 16 points and six assists, starting making some plays. Chandler Lawson and C.J. Walker came off the bench to provide huge minutes and Oregon’s press turned Seton Hall over time and again.
Eventually, the Ducks took the lead with just 15 seconds left in the game on a Shakur Juiston putback.
Oregon will advance to play Gonzaga on Thanksgiving in the semifinals of the event.
2. DAYTON IS VERY, VERY LEGIT
The Flyers lost to Kansas in overtime in the final of the Maui Invitational, and if I am Anthony Grant or anyone else on that roster I would be very disappointed tonight.
Dayton outplayed Kansas for much of Wednesday night’s matchup. The Flyers held an eight point lead with six minutes left in the game. That was a win they should have had, and while I hesitate to say they choked – the truth is that Udoka Azubuike completely took over, which is something that will happen quite a bit this season – this should not feel like a moral victory.
Because Dayton might actually be a better basketball team.
The Flyers are built in the same mode as the 2018 Villanova team that won the national title. They’re not as talented, but they create some of the same challenges for defense that have to guard them. Dayton puts five guys on the floor that are not only guys that can make threes but are players that you would classify as good shooters, but with Ryan Mikesell and Obi Toppin on the floor, they are never going to be at a disadvantage against size. Mikesell can hold his own against most posts while Toppin is a lottery pick that can guard anyone while providing some of the best rim protection you’ll find.
That is a good, well-coached basketball team that understands what their roles are.
This will not be the last time you hear from the Flyers this season.
3. VIRGINIA WON A GAME BY 20 WHILE SCORING 46 POINTS
I did not think that it was possible, in the sport of basketball in the year of our lord, 2019, to score 46 points and win a game by 20.
But that’s precisely what happened today in Charlottesville.
Virginia beat Maine 46-26. The Black Bears scored 14 points in the first half and 12 points in the second half. They shot 8-for-43 from the floor and 5-for-26 from three. They turned the ball over 21 times. They scored, and this is not a typo, .473 points per possession.
And they only lost by 20 points.
Virginia, it is probably worth noting, played without Braxton Key, who is out for an indefinite amount of time following surgery on his wrist.