A legend was nearly booted from a game Friday, a top-25 team had one of the best comebacks we've witnessed thus far and a Division I newcomer held an opponent to single digits in each half of its victory.
Three things from Friday
Duke displays resilience in ugly win over Georgetown at MSG
The most incredible scene at Madison Square Garden unfolded late in the second half of No. 1 Duke's 81-73 win over Georgetown in the 2K Empire Classic title game.
Frustrated with the multitude of calls against his team (Georgetown was whistled for 30 fouls to Duke's 21; Duke finished 21-for-29 from the free throw line while Georgetown finished 11-for-18), Hoyas coach Patrick Ewing, the former New York Knicks superstar, lost his cool and drew a technical foul in the building that birthed his legendary NBA career.
The postgame Twitter conversation centered on foul calls (standout Omer Yurtseven logged just 24 minutes due to early foul trouble) against the Hoyas and their overall impact on the game.
But the focus should be Duke's ability to secure a neutral-site victory after a poor start. The Blue Devils held off a Georgetown team that amassed a double-digit lead in the first half and made another run late in the second half. Yet they didn't buckle.
They outscored Georgetown 40-32 in the paint. They committed 21 turnovers but also forced 24. Tre Jones finished 3-for-13 with seven assists, while Georgetown finished with a 51% clip overall from the field.
Mike Krzyzewski leaned on his youngsters. Duke freshmen Cassius Stanley, Vernon Carey Jr. and Wendell Moore Jr. finished 21-for-35 (60%) overall. The Blue Devils made a multitude of mistakes in a sloppy game, yet emerged with a win in New York. They can't all be pretty.
Down 19 in the second half, Utah State tops LSU
No. 15 Utah State was losing to LSU by 19 points with 16 minutes, 32 seconds play in its matchup at the Jamaica Classic. Craig Smith's squad was still down by 10 near the eight-minute mark.
But the Mountain West Conference representatives overcame that deficit to win after Sam Merrill (24 points) connected on a go-ahead 3-pointer with 57 seconds to play.
An LSU team that finished 9-for-18 from the 3-point line in the first half made just 2 of 7 attempts after the break. In all, it's a great comeback for Smith's squad and a sign of the fight ahead for future Aggies opponents.
Merrimack holds Division III Lesley to 16 points
Merrimack, a team that just started its transition to Division I basketball this season, beat Northwestern by double digits two weeks ago. But the North Andover, Massachusetts, program has also suffered double-digit losses to Maine and Providence.
It's not easy moving up the ladder. But don't feel badly for the Warriors.
Save your sympathy for Division III Lesley University, which suffered a 110-16 road loss to Merrimack on Friday night.
Yes. One team (Merrimack) scored 110 points. The other team (Lesley) scored just 16 points. Overall, Lesley, which has not won this season, recorded five field goals in the game. Lesley had nine points at halftime.
Three things we're looking forward to in the coming days
Villanova vs. Baylor
In the Myrtle Beach Invitational on Sunday in Conway, South Carolina, No. 17 Villanova will face No. 24 Baylor in a promising matchup. Both teams suffered tough losses in their opening chapters.
Baylor suffered a three-point defeat to Washington on Nov. 8 at a neutral site in Alaska, while Villanova lost to Ohio State by 25 points on Nov. 13 in Columbus. The losses affected their respective standings in the AP Top 25, but they've both excelled since those early blemishes.
Villanova freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl finished with 22 points in Friday's 83-76 victory over Mississippi State in the semifinals, and UNC Asheville transfer MaCio Teague collected 21 points in Baylor's 77-65 win over Coastal Carolina in their semifinal matchup.
They've both bounced back from tough losses. Sunday's matchup is an opportunity for a key win on the victor's résumé.
Florida's shot at redemption?
Florida was a popular Final Four pick entering the season. But Michael White's squad topped the list of November disappointments following losses to Florida State on Nov. 10 and Connecticut on Sunday. Since the latter loss, the Gators have shot 37-for-70 inside the arc.
Kerry Blackshear Jr. (20 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists in a 78-58 win over Miami on Friday) is coming off the most dominant effort of his Florida tenure thus far. But he also played just five minutes in his team's win over Saint Joseph's this week after he was ejected for throwing an elbow in the opener of the Charleston Classic.
A victory in Sunday's title game would help the Gators' ongoing reboot after a rocky start.
Lottery pick kicks off Feast Week
There's a lot of great basketball ahead for Feast Week.
It's an enjoyable stretch for basketball junkies who can watch games all day as they prepare for Thanksgiving.
Monday's matchup between Georgia and Dayton in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational's opening round at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 is an opportunity to see Anthony Edwards, the projected No. 2 pick in ESPN's 2020 NBA mock draft, just after lunch.
He's a force, a 6-foot-5 wing with an NBA body. He's averaged 19.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists while connecting on 37% of his 3-point attempts for Tom Crean's Bulldogs squad.
Ewing argues with refs, gets technical foul
Georgetown coach Patrick Ewing rushes onto the court in disagreement over a foul call and receives a technical in the second half.
Utah State's ball movement leads to dunk
Utah State utilizes ball movement that leads to Alphonso Anderson rising up for the two-handed flush.