If there is ever a perfect time to make your only shot, then it is to drain a three-pointer with 0.7 seconds left to give your team a one-point victory on the road. Well, that was the case for Marko Popovic, whose triple handed Unics Kazan an 80-79 win at Lukoil Academic in an exciting opening night of action in the Eurocup.
Actually, the Eurocup tipped off on Monday with one game but the rest of the first regular season games were played Tuesday night.
Kazan got 23 points from Terrell Lyday in the win in Group B, where Dynamo Moscow also started with a victory, clobbering Barons/LMT Riga 80-61 on the road thanks to 24 points from Bostjaan Nachbar.
Over in Group D, Aris knocked off fellow Greek side Panellinios 71-69 on the road with Keydren Clark knocking down a three-pointer with less than 3 seconds – for the final of his 22 points.
Azovmash Mariupol won a thriller at home in overtime 92-90 against Gran Canaria with Sitapha Savane sending the game to the extra session by blocking the potential game-winning shot from Dijon Thompson before Khalid El-Amin iced the game with foul shots.
Those were just three of the top highlights as Eurocup definitely did itself well on its first night of action.
Heading over to college basketball, Tyler Hansbrough returned to the court for top ranked North Carolina and scored 16 points in Carolina’s 98-69 win over Oregon in the Maui Classic. There is a great showdown waiting for Wednesday with the Tar Heels facing off with No. 8 Notre Dame.
In Davidson, North Carolina, No. 25 Davidson survived preseason All American Stephen Curry scoring zero (!!!) points as Loyola Maryland double teamed him the whole game but still lost 78-48. Curry attempted just three shots the entire game but the Wildcats cruised to another win.
Switching over to women’s basketball for a second, huge news came out of Russia as CSKA Moscow officially withdrew from the Euroleague Women competition. An amazing development in women’s basketball. Let’s just hope it’s not the start of more teams pulling out because of financial difficulties.