Sports, Thrill of Victory

Three-Point Play: Nashville Thundersnow Edition

It happened. The Nashville SnowDome was officially crushed on Friday when somewhere around 128 feet of snow fell around the mid-state. Maybe a little less than that. No confirmation yet.

But as you all know by now, not even thundersnow can stop the Three-Point Play from it’s moral duty of providing you with everything you need to know about Nashville-area college basketball this week.

You’ve already built your snowman. Now read up and gain a ridiculous amount of hoops knowledge.

Jeff Roberson has played extremely well during Vandy's three-game winning streak. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

Jeff Roberson has played extremely well during Vandy’s three-game winning streak. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

1. Vandy looking for road sweep of rivals

The Vanderbilt Commodores had found some momentum. It took a while, but after back-to-back home wins over Alabama and Auburn, Kevin Stallings’ team felt confident again.

Little did we know just how confident they felt.

Vandy held nothing back in proving that they were indeed finding a rhythm, as the Commodores went into Knoxville and obliterated rival Tennessee.

Sure, the score line wound up being 88-74. But if you watched the game, you know that it was much more one-sided than that.

This Vandy team simply couldn’t miss early on, and that eventually turned into a 28-point lead in the second half. It was the type of dominant road win that the Commodores had to have.

And it obviously came at the right time. Vandy travels to snowy Lexington on Saturday to face off against a Kentucky team that isn’t exactly playing its best basketball.

The Wildcats were able to find some confidence of their own in a win at Arkansas, but let’s be honest here. This isn’t the Kentucky team of last year. The Wildcats are certainly beatable.

Vandy has been a totally different team since Luke Kornet returned from injury. If Damian Jones can ever manage to stay in the game without getting in foul trouble, there’s few teams that can contend with such a talented frontline.

Kentucky is one of the teams that can. But that doesn’t mean they will.

Playing in Lexington is never easy. The Commodores haven’t had the best of luck there over the years.

But there’s just something about both teams at this stage that makes you think Vandy has a great chance at stealing one on the road.

Vandy is playing as well as they have all season. On the other hand, Kentucky is still trying to solve some head-scratching issues that weren’t completely fixed with a win over the Razorbacks.

What would a Vandy win on Saturday mean? Well, there would no longer be any doubt that this team is officially back.

Dana Ford has TSU undefeated in the OVC and trying to capture first place with a win over Belmont. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

Dana Ford has TSU undefeated in the OVC and trying to capture first place with a win over Belmont. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

2. Belmont vs. TSU should live up to hype

Not even the snow storm of doom could stop a game this good. However, it will delay it.

Belmont and Tennessee State were originally scheduled to square off in a key Ohio Valley Conference battle on Saturday.

But the weather has not caused the game to be moved to 4 PM CT on Sunday.

The bad news is that fans of these two teams will have to wait another day. The good news is that the game will still deliver.

These two teams have been on an absolute tear. Both remain undefeated in OVC play, with the Bruins just a step ahead with six wins to TSU’s five.

We knew Belmont would be here. But TSU? This start came out of nowhere.

That’s exactly why this game is so important for head coach Dana Ford and the Tigers. This is their chance to make a statement.

Not that TSU hasn’t already. The Tigers are 14-4. They’ve beaten a perennial OVC favorite in Murray State, and they’ve also had a close loss at Tennessee.

As for Belmont, they are once again doing what they always do in conference play: win a whole lot of games.

Behind the play of Evan Bradds (17.3 points per game) and Craig Bradshaw (16.3 points per game), the Bruins are unbeaten in the conference. They’ve won tough road games, they’ve won tough home games.

The opponent hasn’t mattered.

It could on Sunday. Belmont isn’t facing the TSU team that was picked last in the OVC in the preseason.

Instead, the Bruins are facing a TSU team that wants to find its way to first. And with a win over Belmont, that’s exactly what will happen.

Lipscomb basketball by Matthew Maxey

Lipscomb hasn’t had much to cheer about, but finally picked up a win over Stetson to end their losing streak. PHOTO BY MATTHEW MAXEY

3. Lipscomb snaps losing streak

It was a long road for the Lipscomb Bison.

The team hadn’t won a game in its last eight tries heading into Thursday’s clash with Stetson. In fact, Lipscomb had only won a single game since November 22.

But thanks to a big first half and a solid shooting performance, the Bison were able to come away with a much-needed 92-87 victory.

The win won’t change the entire season. Lipscomb now its at 5-16 on the season, with the Stetson triumph only sending the Bison to 1-3 in the Atlantic Sun.

However, it was something. After such a difficult stretch of the season that included the season-ending ACL injury to star guard Josh Williams, there’s no doubt that anything was better than nothing.

Wins are wins. It won’t alter the dynamic of Casey Alexander’s squad going forward, but it does take the pressure of such a long losing streak off their backs.

Things don’t get any easier, though. Lipscomb hosts one of the top teams in the A-Sun on Sunday (game moved from Saturday) when Florida Gulf Coast comes to town.

And-1:

After losing their first game of the Conference USA schedule, the MTSU Blue Raiders had to be disappointed.

There’s a good chance that they’re no longer disappointed. Kermit Davis has seen his team win five straight Conference USA games, with the Blue Raiders looking to make it six in a row in their Coaches vs. Cancer game against Rice on Saturday.

The game is scheduled for a 5 PM CT tip. Unless, of course, the thundersnow has other ideas.

Anything else I need to know about in mid-state hoops this week? Let me know on Twitter.