The world is a better place when Tennessee loses. It’s even better when Duke does the same. And it’s usually the best when Louisville suffers, but when Sahvir Wheeler is more likely to hit a three (22.2% 3PT in ’23-24) than the Cardinals are to win (20.5% in 39 games dating back to last season), it just gets a little sad.
But two of the three isn’t a bad Wednesday.
The evening started with the No. 10 Volunteers falling to No. 17 North Carolina in the ACC/SEC Challenge by a final score of 100-92. Coming in with the top-ranked defense in college basketball, Tennessee gave up 61 points in the first half for the first time since February of 2006 — Check on It by Beyoncé and Slim Thug was the No. 1 song on the radio back then, in case you were curious. The Tar Heels led by as many as 23, closing out the win shooting 46% overall and 43% from deep.
Then came Duke’s 80-75 loss at Arkansas, the Blue Devils shooting just 36% from the field and 27% from three. It was Kyle Filipowski (26 points), Jeremy Roach (22 points) and just a bunch of dudes. Not dudes, but, like, dudes. Their best win is now a very average three-loss Michigan State squad that dropped out of the rankings this week.
Also, how are we supposed to act like the Razorbacks are a legitimate SEC power when they rush the floor every time they beat a team with a pulse? At least Eric Musselman’s shirt stayed on this time.
And what do you even say about Louisville, who squeaked by 2-6 Bellarmine in a 73-68 slog inside the Yum! Center? At least the Cards matched their season win total from a year ago in less than a quarter of the time. Baby steps.
They’re learning to fight through adversity — even if that adversity is not having the right tights available before the game.