An unlikely matchup between two unbeatens will take place at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu on Wednesday night, involving 8-0 Oral Roberts and 6-0 Hawaii. They each have played one common opponent – St. Louis. In a striking coincidence, both teams played the Billikens on the road, and both won by a single point.
Unless you live west of the Mountain time zone, the game will end sometime Thursday morning. So this is one of those contests that won’t really exist in most people’s minds. Kind of like the Gonzaga/Georgia Tech game the other night. If it starts after midnight eastern, it doesn’t count whether it’s televised or not.
Naturally, this isn’t close to the best semi-final matchup in Rainbow Classic history. The Classic used to attract the top teams in the game. In 1992, #6 UNC met #5 Michigan with Michgan winning 79-78. UNC would get revenge in the national championship game to conclude that season.
Note to self: Next time Louisiana Tech is on TV, tune in. If for no other reason than to see Paul Millsap, who I know next to nothing about. I know he won the national rebounding title last year as a freshman. I know he’s leading the nation again this season. Last night Millsap had 19 points, 14 boards, and 5 blocks in a 64-55 win at Memphis. Granted it took him 18 shots and 11 free throw attempts to get there, so it wasn’t his most efficient outing. In the same number of attempts, he lit up Auburn for 31 points (plus 18 rebounds!) earlier in the year.
By the way, LTU beat Memphis despite going 4 for 31 from the field in the first half. 4 for 31. Memphis seems to outdo themselves with each successive game.