In just under 8 hours, now the game will tip off. There has been a ton of history in this match-up. Jerry Carino does an excellent job of summarizing the nearly 100 year history of this rivalry.
But, let's look ahead to tonight. What might happen? What can the fans expect?
Find out after the jump...--If the game is close late--like a one possession either way, Eli Carter is going to have the ball on offense. If it's for the final shot, expect Fuquan Edwin to guard Carter. History has shown that when the game comes down to the last possession, Eli Carter will be the man to bring the ball up the court and Mike Rice will trust him to create. What defenses have done, has been put a big man on Carter. Edwin is a small forward, SHU's best defender, and a guy who causes turnovers. Carter shouldn't try to run him through screens. The best option is to pass the ball off, hopefully to Myles Mack for the open shot. Any time the game has come down to a final possession, Carter hasn't passed and missed some open men.
--Some sort of pushing an shoving. It seems that every game has a moment where someone throws an elbow, a punch or pushes. Tonight, expect Rutgers (particularly Derrick Randall and Gilvydas Biruta) to hone in on making Herb Pope work. Pope has bruised ribs and missed the last game. Randall and Biruta are going to want to push him around. This is the match-up to look for if you're looking for a fight. Biruta got tossed out of last year's Big East Tournament game against SHU.
--Myles Mack and Jordan Theordore to try and take over at separate points of the game. Both are friends and have played together. Both have shown a willingness (sometimes to a fault) to try and keep their team in a game singlehandedly. If this game goes bad at any point for either team offensively, these will be the players to shoot them out of it or into an even worse slump.
--A fiery crowd ready to get on the refs at any moment. I would be surprised to see Tim Higgins or Jim Burr referee this game, and if that happens, the crowd will be ready to boo at any moment. Maybe even during warm-ups.
--A classy handshake between Mike Rice and Kevin Willard. Unlike the previous regime, these two coaches have a healthy amount of respect for each other. No matter how rough the game is, both will be class acts after it's over. Assuming, of course, neither get thrown out by the refs.