The opening days of conference tournaments bring about hope to teams that have underperformed all season, and gives teams a chance to play in the spotlight they otherwise would not get.
Many teams that shine on the opening night of conference tournaments only bask in the glory for a few hours because come the next day, there is a new team shining in the spotlight. However, a select few find the magic that inspires a miraculous run that will be remembered forever. At this point, all these teams can do is hold on to hope and hope luck is on their side for the rest of the conference tournament.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights kept hope alive Wednesday night, as the team defeated the South Florida Bulls in the American Athletic Conference tournament opening round. Wally Judge led the charge for the Scarlet Knights, recording 15 points and 10 rebounds in a double-double effort that moves Rutgers into the second round of the conference tournament. Kadeem Jack and Myles Mack aided the Scarlet Knights’ offensive attack by combining for 34 points on the night that the Knights took center stage.
By winning the conference tournament opener, the Scarlet Knights have earned a date with the nationally ranked Louisville Cardinals in the second round of the AAC tournament. The Scarlet Knights have not fared well against the Cardinals this season, losing by a combined 55 points in two meetings.
Rutgers’ season appears to be over, as the team went 5-13 in conference play this season and has not found an answer for the Cardinals attack, but can the Scarlet Knights somehow manage to overthrow the top of the heap Thursday?
Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.