No, you have not missed the first half of Wednesday night’s James Madison – Long Island, First Four Round match-up and the headline above does read correctly.
If you haven’t heard the bizarre news surrounding the Dukes and their leading scorer Rayshawn Goins, here’s a quick overview. Goins was arrested on Sunday evening, stemming from an incident at a team party on Saturday night, according to USA Today Sports. Goins, who is averaging 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, has since been suspended for his arrest, but only for the first half of Wednesday night’s NCAA Tournament game against the Blackbirds.
James Madison, who qualified for the Big Dance by way of a CAA Tournament championship, is a 16-seed and their match-up with Long Island on Wednesday night is for the right to play Indiana on Friday. However, it’s still the NCAA Tournament, so Goins, who is a senior, is fortunate enough to have only been suspended for the first half of this game.
Now, diving into the match-up a little bit, Long Island is a team that is currently dancing for a third consecutive season. The Blackbirds have become a mini-dynasty within the Northeast Conference, so they were a difficult draw for James Madison right from the start. Now subtract Goins from that equation for the first 20 minutes and you might automatically expect Long Island to be leading by the time this game flips into the second half.
If this is the case, Goins is going to need to star after the break for James Madison to advance forth to Friday. As a senior, it could very well be for his collegiate career, so anything less than leaving everything on the floor in those final 20 minutes is something that Goins probably hopes that he does not regret.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS