Game of the Night: Bucknell 90, Penn State 80 (67 possessions)
After losing Mike Muscala, it was thought that Bucknell was going to have to go through a bit of a rebuilding year. But, while Penn State isn't a contender for the Big 10 title, any win from a Patriot League team over a Big 10 team is impressive, especially a double digit win at their house. Junior Steven Kaspar led the Bison in scoring, putting up 25 efficient points (8-12 from two, 1-1 from three) and four assists in the win. He turned it over three times as well, but Kaspar has proven to be quite a ball handler in the early going, with an assist rate of 38.5% and just a 17.5% turnover rate. Elsewhere, Cameron Ayers decided the farther from the basket he was the better, as he missed all four of his twos, but made five of his six threes.
Despite shooting 41% from three and turning it over on just 10% of their possessions, Penn State still managed to lose by double digits, falling victim to Bucknell's superior offensive output. The Nittany Lions allowed the Bison to shoot 58% from two and also "allowed" them to make two thirds of their threes. Not a great night for defense.
Keeping track of the ever omnipressent foul monster, the teams combined for 47 fouls and 54 free throws.
Game of the Night: North Dakota State at St. Mary's
With St. Mary's being (apparently) the unofficial team of Michael Rogner this looked like the perfect game to highlight. The game being in California will be a big help for the Gaels, as I think the Bison are probably a bit stronger of a team this year, especially in the early going. NDSU has 5 Seniors who played right around 20 minutes (or over) in their first game of the year. However, St. Mary's is their first game against a Division 1 opponent this year so it will be an adjustment for the Bison.
Taylor Braun gets all of the attention for NDSU, but Marshall Bjorklund is just as deserving. The Senior has had the 4th best eFG in the country each of the last two seasons and has been a capable offensive rebounder as well.
For St. Mary's, the quest is to see if anyone can replace Matthew Dellavedova. So far Stephen Holt has looked like a pretty good proxy for the Aussie, sporting a 31.4% assist rate next to just an 11.2% turnover rate. It is obviously way too early to draw any conclusions from that, but early returns are promising.
Super official RTF prediction: I'm taking the Bison in the upset.