By Colin Dunlap | 5:36 p.m. Wednesday
For a couple reasons, I am not in Charlotte for the game.
But, through the power of CBS College Sports, I will watch it in on my big TV.
As tip off happens, the posts will come regularly, but here's a question to start off with, something to ponder(and answer on this blog) for the next hour or :
Right now, the Dukes are just 6.5 point underdogs in Las Vegas for this one -- does that seem a little low to you?
** UPDATE 5:52 p.m.: The Dukes women lost earlier today.
Reigning Atlantic 10 Player of the Week Kristen McCarthy scored
16 of her game-high 18 points in the second half to lead Temple to
a 52-41 victory over Duquesne
The Dukes fall to 18-8, 8-3 A-10, while the Owls improve to 20-6, 9-2 A-10.
6:30 p.m.: That over/under number is just as intriguing as the line on this game.
6:51 p.m.: There is an informercial on right now on my televison on some Youthology nonsense. But, if this helps at all, the Dukes game is on Channel 188 at my house.
7:01 p.m: By the way, the play-by-play guy for this game, Matt McConnell, is a Mt. Lebanon grad (I am almost certain). I am almost certain he is no relation to the basketball-playing McConnell family, either.
7:05 p.m.: Thought Bobby Lutz's little pep talk was pretty good.
Also, answer me this, something I have always thought....doesn't coach Lutz look like a NASCAR driver:
7:08 p.m.: Two easy buckets from Charlotte -- and they are playing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay faster than I thought. Dukes in a world of trouble on the inside.
7:11 p.m.: OK, it looks like Bill Clark might be back a little bit. Dukes up 9-8. This fractured, up and down pace favors the Dukes, but Charlottes post guys are so darn strong.
First TV timeout, it is Charlotte 10-9.
Remember what I said last week about Everhart needing that (not really skilled) big, tough, nasty bruiser on the inside? They sure could use a fellow like that this evening.
7:16 p.m.: I have a confession to make. In my man cave, I rely on a Slanket -- it is just like a Snuggie:
7:18 p.m.: Lucas Newton, Marhold and Sean Johnson in at the same time. If I told you that two weeks ago, you would think it would be at the point in a game where the score differential was at least 25.
7:21 p.m.: Dukes up 16:14 at the second TV timeout...Big Mike in the game. Wow, Dukes using everyone. Again, I would think Ron's plan is to try to run Charlotte's legs off. But, unlike La Salle, this is a 49ers team that goes 10 deep. We will see what happens, this will be tremendously interesting.
7:25 p.m.: If the Dukes can make the 49ers shoot jumpers, they have a very good chance tonight. So far, that is happening a lot.
7:27 p.m.: The Lucas Newton goal tend? I say bad call.
7:29 p.m.: OK, Bill Clark needs to settle down a little bit. The first couple went in for him, now he's taken a couple bad ones too quickly on the shot clock. 7-0 rin for Charlotte puts them up 23-20.
7:33 p.m.: That 3 was huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge by Duty to make it 27-25 because Charlotte had gone into a zone and dared the Dukes to beat them from deep. That might force Charlotte out of the zone.
FYI -- fouls are 8-2 in favor of the home team.
7:35 p.m.: I didn't know this guy played for Charlotte until they just said his name....first person to comment who gets the joke wins a soda at the next home game:
7:39 p.m.: Big Mike. Two blocks on a couple trips. Not bad. The pace definitely favors the Dukes.
7:46 p.m.: Big Mike giving really good minutes. This is a huge plus. With 2:27 left it is 35-34 49ers. And Monteiro misses a FT -- what's new. I will never understand why he can't knock them down.
7:48 p.m.: Remember when I said the jury was still out on Marhold. There it was again. He didn't have his hands ready on offense, it should have been a layup as Saunders dropped him a dime. But, instead, it goes as a turnover as it went through Marhold's hands.
7:50 p.m.: Great timeout by Everhart with 20 seconds left. Now, unlike some other times this season, they better get a good shot out of this.
7:53 p.m.: Dukes down four (39-35) at the half. My was that final sequence very strange. And those points could be huge. I thought Duty should have gone right to the bucket when he got it in the corner and maybe get fouled again. Oh well, it seemed his teammates didn't know what was going on.
Some halftime stats.
Dukes fouls 11, Charlotte 4.
Dukes 14 for 32 from the field, 5 for 12 from deep. Clark has 8 points, Monteiro 7.
Spears killing them on the inside with 13.
8:02 p.m.: I just keep thinking those final 2 points that Charlotte scored will haunt Duquesne.
8:08 p.m.: Temple and Bona tight at halftime -- just a score update. Now it is 34-31 with 18 min left.
8:11 p.m.: Too easy for Spears. Way too easy. The only thing that can stop him is him -- if he gets in foul trouble. Charlotte goes up 9 on a 3-pointer. Hate to say it, but the Dukes might never recover.
8:16 p.m.: Wow. Those two steals and a charge couldn't have come at a more important time. Dukes down 50-44. Was starting to slip away.
8:19 p.m.: Have you folks seen the news about Fordham's budget? http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4922487
8:22 p.m.: Has Bolding scored?
8:24 p.m.: Wow -- Mossie Murphy reference on a non-local telecast. Awesome.
Also, Big Mike has continued to make a huge difference. Dukes up 54-51.
8:29 p.m.: Did Evans just foul a dude 30 feet from the bucket with 4 seconds on the shot clock? I know the 16-1 run is wonderful and all, but you cannot make mental errors if you want to win on the road.
8:32 p.m.: Where is Williams? Peggau? Lewinson? Why is Clark being asked to guard Spears???????
8:34 p.m.: Duquesne's transition defense has been very, very good. If you don't let Charlotte get set up in the halfcourt, they can't get easy buckets -- it is as simple as that.
8:42 p.m.: This game is far from over. Far from over. But it is Morakinyo Williams' finest collegiate hour to date -- and it isn't even close.
8:46 p.m.: Jason Duty just made up for turning the ball over at the end of the half. Dukes up 67-61. Ian Andersen made a 3 -- but he is Living in Past.
8:49 p.m.: 70-65 with 5:40 left.
If this comes down to FTs, what is going to happen........
8:52 p.m.: Dukes up 70-67 with 4:04 left. Monteiro just absolutely, positively airballed a free throw.
8:55 p.m.: 3:07 left. Dukes up by 4. OK, first off, it is 8:55 -- the over/under on when this game will be over is 9:21pm. Secondly, if it becomes a FT shooting contest, can the Dukes win it? No matter what happens here, people need to remember Williams' performance against a bruiser like Spears. Williams has 8 pts, 9 rebounds right now.
8:58 p.m.: Like clockwork, Evans just missed a FT. But he made the second.
9 p.m.: Get this: The Dukes have 21 assists right now; Char has 9.
9:02 p.m.: Evans' weak side rebound was just very big. I know he drives a lot of Duquesne fans nuts, but the kid plays hard. Dukes up 74-69 with 1:26, The will NEED to make a few FTs.
9:05 p.m.: Bill Clark the leader in the clubhouse for the dumbest foul of the year. Up 7 with 1:10 left. Totally mindless.
9:07 p.m.: OK, this is probably going to be a win for the Dukes -- 41 seconds left, up 7. But, make no mistake, Evans' steal just saved Billy Clark's behind, potentially.
9:11 p.m: Now it is a 2-point game. Again, this goes back to Clark's incredibly stupid foul.
9:13 p.m.: Duty at the line in a huge situation...and he hits both. I remember him telling me the week after the misses at Dayton he wanted the ball again at the line in a crucial situation.
9:15 p.m.: Game. Set. Match...Dukes for 4 of their final 4 at the line. 83-77 win and they almost blew it, but they gritted it out. Very good win.
10:24 p.m.:Early game story:
By Mike Cranston, The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- B.J. Monteiro scored 19 points, Bill Clark added
18 and Duquesne dominated the second half to beat Charlotte 83-77 on
Wednesday night to shake up the top of the Atlantic 10.
Entering the night as one of four teams tied in the loss column atop the conference, Charlotte (18-7, 8-3) squandered a 10-point lead early in the second half in its second straight loss.
The Dukes (14-12, 5-7) used a trapping defense to force numerous turnovers in a game-changing 22-4 run that put Duquesne ahead 62-54 with 9:30 left. Duquesne held on for its third road win in 11 tries.
Shamari Spears had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the 49ers.
Trailing 79-74, Charlotte forced a turnover and Ian Andersen hit a 3-pointer with 25.9 seconds left. But Duquesne's Jason Duty then hit two free throws and DiJuan Harris and Andersen missed shots on the ensuing possession to end Charlotte's hopes.
It was the second straight victory for the Dukes, who needed win as it tries to secure one of the 12 spots for the Atlantic 10 tournament.
Charlotte, meanwhile, suffered a damaging loss in its hopes to win the regular season title a year after going 11-20.
The 49ers built a big lead behind Spears' dominant play early. But as the Dukes resorted to double and even triple teams to contain him, Charlotte couldn't get a consistent outside shooting game going.
Harris added 15 points, but had eight of Charlotte's 15 turnovers -- 10 coming in the second half. Derrio Green scored 13 points, but was 4 of 13 from the field and 2 of 9 from 3-point range.
Charlotte held a 49-34 rebounding advantage and had 22 offensive rebounds, but that was neutralized by its 33 percent shooting.
Duquesne's top scorer and rebounder, Damian Saunders, was held to eight points and three rebounds, but he had six blocks and two steals and helped fuel Duquesne's unorthodox play.
After rallying from a 14-point deficit to crush La Salle 103-82 Sunday with its so-called "10-40" system, Duquesne coach Ron Everhart started out using the fast-paced, trapping style and 10-man rotation.
There were four players sitting at the scorer's table ready to check 3 minutes into the game, and the Dukes' hot 3-point shooting early gave them an early lead before Charlotte started going inside.
Duquesne had trouble rebounding and defending Spears as Charlotte built a 50-40 lead not 3 minutes into the second half.
But Dukes' pressure started to get to Harris, who committed four turnovers in Duquesne's 22-4 run that put Charlotte behind 62-54 with 9:29 left.
Charlotte coach Bobby Lutz kept burning timeouts to try to shift the momentum, but it failed.
Morakinyo Williams helped Duquesne inside, finishing with a career-high eight points and nine rebounds.