About 3 hours after I posted a sarcastic blog about Liangelo Ball transferring to Ball State University the Cardinals pulled one of the biggest upsets of the early college basketball season. With about 14 seconds left Notre Dame was able to complete a comeback run after trailing much of the game and appeared to have Ball State where they wanted them. After dribbling around the top of the key for about 10 seconds, Talyer Persons took a contested three pointer about 3 feet behind the arc and with about 2 seconds left on the game clock the shot went through to give the cards an 80-77 lead. After a half court heave that went wide right the Cardinals stormed the court in South Bend Indiana after knocking off the 9th ranked team in the nation.
The cardinals were led by their best player Tayler Persons who finished with 24 points on 10-19 shooting. The Cards also had 11 points and 7 rebounds from Senior guard Sean Sellers and 13 points and 8 rebounds from Tahjai Teague. As I mentioned above the Cardinals led most of the way including an 8 point lead with about 7 minutes remaining in the first half and a 9 point lead with about 6 minutes left in the game.
Notre Dame did go on a bit of a run to start the second half and took a 44-40 lead 4 minutes into the half. The Irish were unable to put away the 18 point underdogs and as many of these upsets go the Cardinals were able to get many of the 50/50 balls and shoot very well from the free throw line finishing 14-16 compared to Notre Dame shooting 19-26 at the line including some big misses down the stretch.
The Cardinals while coming in at just 4-4 haven't been as bad as the record shows. Ball State opened up the year with a one point loss at Dayton then followed that by losses to Oklahoma and Oregon each of who were in the final 4 within the past two years. The other loss came to Bucknell who was another team that made the tournament last year. The cardinals have another tough game against Valparaiso this weekend followed by a few more non conference games which they should all win. Watch out for the Cardinals this year. Picked by many to finish in the top 3 of the MAC Ball state could be a team to watch come March.