Evansville Drops a Purple Ace on No 1 Kentucky
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Their documentary wasnt feature-length and wasn't entitled We Are Evansville, but the Purple Aces have a story arc similar to Marshall's Thundering Herd.
Dudes also have a devastating plane crash in their history. It happened on 13 Dec 1977, and there were no survivors. The lone player who didn't make the trip was killed in a car accident shortly after.
To this day, there's a swell of sympathy for the program's resilience.
Bigger picture aside, dude were all of that against Kentucky's vaunted Wildcats.
A 26-point underdog who picked up a $90,000 check for showing up, Evansville made the most of their night by taking the 'Cats to the mat, 67-64.
Each column of the stat sheet looked as close as the score. That's a hint that the Aces knew who they were; their challenge was keeping Kentucky's thoroughbreds from being who they were.
Yes, this is where the well-traveled Sam Cunliffe -- Arizona State and Kansas -- has landed.
Dude came off the bench in this one to pop 17 and pull 6 boards. Those helped offset his 6 turnovers, but hey. Gotta break a few eggs in a scenario like this.
This pairing was surely a nod to Aces coach Walter McCarty, a program alum who carved out a decent career in the NBA.
Dude accepts reality -- his crew's been predicted to finish eighth in the Missouri Valley Conference -- so in his second season there, he's made the logical decision to focus on hustle.
In what basketball euphemistically calls a floor game, the Aces mopped the court with Kentucky. They beat the bluebloods to everything on offer.
It'll surely serve them well when they take on the IU-Kokomo Cougars this Thu 14 Nov.