At 2:45 p.m. today, Tennessee will take on Colgate in an exciting, thrilling match up of two traditional college basketball powers.
Okay that might be an exaggeration. Colgate isn’t good. If you would have told me a week ago, you knew where Colgate was on a map, I would absolutely call you a liar. But, hey, it’s Tennessee basketball, and we all love Tennessee basketball. So what do you write when Tennessee is playing a bad team in an important game? How do you make that interesting?
A preview, drinking game combo, that’s how.
As we have already covered, Colgate isn’t an all-world type of team, but they aren’t pushovers. They qualified for the tournament by winning the Patriot League Tournament Championship, and are currently on an 11-game win streak headed into the NCAA Tournament. Obviously, they haven’t played a team like Tennessee during that stretch, but it is impressive, nonetheless.
Colgate has two players that Tennessee will be forced to keep an eye on. Jordan Burns, who will probably be confused with Jordan Bone at least 72 times by the announcers today, is a six-foot tall guard who is currently averaging 15.8 points and 5.8 assists per game. He balled out in the Patriot League Championship, going 10-of-16 from the field and six of nine on 3-point field goals, totaling 35 points. Not bad.
The other is, say it with me: Rapolas Ivanauskas. Ivanauskas, in addition to having a name that is difficult to spell, is the current Patriot League Player of the Year. At six-foot, 10-inches tall, he is averaging 16.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He can also stretch the floor and shoot the long ball.
So how do the two teams match up? Colgate’s offense is predicated on hitting 3-point shots, which has been Tennessee’s kryptonite all season. Colgate has five players, including Ivanauskas and Burns, that are shooting better than 36 percent from long range with 99 attempts or more. It will be interesting to see if Tennessee has a game plan to keep Colgate from shooting 40 3’s in one game like Auburn did less than a week ago. They certainly have the athleticism to do so. Defensively, Colgate isn’t exceptional. They rank 204th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency rankings.
All things considered, Tennessee should win comfortably, today. Emphasis on “should”. They don’t call this tournament March Madness for nothing.
The Drinking Game
Just in case we need help making this game interesting:
Rule 1: Every time someone mentions Tennessee’s run in the tournament last year, take a drink.
This includes any comments about underdogs making a run, Loyola-Chicago, or any mention of specific members of the clergy. We’re past all that, people.
Rule 2: Every time Jordan Bone makes someone look slow, take a drink.
If you haven’t heard by now, Bone is really, really fast. He makes fast people look not fast. He should EAT today against the athletes of the Patriot League.
Rule 3: If a made Colgate 3-pointer gives you flashbacks to the Auburn game, take a drink.
Part of me is still there…the net flicking…Auburn fans screaming…
Rule 4: Any time someone stumbles or makes a joke about Ivanauskas’ name, take a drink.
Take two drinks if it is the announcer that gets paid to talk about college basketball players.
Rule 5: If the game is within five points with five minutes or less to go in the game, turn the TV off and go find something different to sink your time, money, and emotion into.
This isn’t a drinking rule. Maybe your new hobby is drinking?