Thursday, February 28, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--More Ranked Teams Ambushed Edition

If officiating a D-1 College Basketball game was so easy, there would more folks doing it. The pay is not great, the travel is excruciating and you never get to rest on the bench. There have been missed calls since the peach basket era…that will continue through the end of time. To all those all worked up in a lather…I say, volunteer to ref a middle school game and see where on hard/easy scale you put the task.
You must remember this. Conference tournaments often produce improbable results. Those off-the-radar surprise automatic bids steal opportunities from teams that were on the bubble. That unpredictability is another reason why the college game is so much better than the NBA.
The bracketologists worry about the RPI in predicting and seeding the Tournament.
That type of exercise would give me a headache…I am not much for speculating who gets in. I’m into analyzing who is going to advance once the bracket is in place.
Study after study has shown that the RPI is a lousy indicator for predicting tourney outcomes. Something to consider in March…or not consider as the case may be.
Tuesday night three ranked teams {#1, #8 and #19} went on the road against unranked teams…all lost. It was the seventh time the #1 team lost this season.
In a reversal of form Wednesday, three ranked teams won on the road vs. unranked teams…Oklahoma State, Louisville and Georgetown. Arizona and Michigan upheld tradition and lost at unranked USC and Penn State respectively.
Michigan has now lost four straight road games. The Wolverines are 42nd in defensive efficiency. That’s not good if you want to contend for a National Championship. Ouch!
USC shot 61% from the field and 60% from 3-point range in their takedown of Arizona. My oh my!
Georgetown had never won inside Gampel Pavilion until their two-OT victory over UConn. The Huskies made them earn it. The Hoyas are tough as nails right now.
Georgetown has won 10 in a row with ranked wins during that streak over No. 5 Louisville, at No. 8 Syracuse, versus No. 18 Marquette, at No. 24 Notre Dame and now, UConn {who beat Syracuse at home a couple of weeks ago}.
Indiana has now lost three times as a #1…each time to an unranked team.
Prior to their upset of Indiana, Minnesota had lost eight of their last eleven games…the last two by a combined 47 points.
Memphis had every opportunity to win, but went 6-of-18 from the free throw line. Abysmal!
Florida has played four close games this season, all of which came on the road, and lost all four of them.
Florida lost another player during the loss at Tennessee. Swingman, Casey Prather took a mean blow to the head. The Gators played pretty much a six-man rotation prior to Prather going down.
Will Yeguete is Florida’s best interior defender…who knows when he will return?
Florida’s lead in the SEC is down to one game in the loss column. Should Kentucky win out {including the season finale hosting Florida}, UK will be the conference champ.
Belmont is 7-4 against the top 100…Wichita State is 8-3.
FSU hammered Wake Forest on the boards Tuesday night, 41-24. Yikes!
Oregon point guard Dominic Artis will play limited minutes against the OSU Beavers tonight.
Illinois has gone 5-1 since coach John Groce banned Twitter. Blimey!
Duke and Miami are the #1 and #2 RPI teams…Saturday, 6 PM, ESPN. Be there or be square.
The overtime victory by Kansas at Iowa State had just about everything needed for an exciting game…including, yes, a couple of questionable calls that went for Kansas.
Bill Self won number 500…State’s 22 game home winning streak was snapped…Elijah Johnson became all-world for five and a half minutes…Kevin Young made one the headiest plays ever when he tricked the refs and claimed what would have been Withey’s fifth foul…30 threes combined {six a piece for Tyrus McGee and Johnson}. Helluva night…and Jeff Withey had zero blocks, but did pick up the game’s only double-double.
Wisconsin is tied for second in the Big 10 and has Penn State, at Michigan State and at Purdue to wrap the regular season.
Saturday’s Miami at Duke game should live up to the hype. It’s such a hot ticket at Duke; they are allowing students to pitch tents in Krzyzewskiville starting Tuesday night at 5 p.m. in anticipation of game. As a rule that tradition is reserved for the Carolina game only.
Tonight’s Duke’s trip to Virginia should be a grinder. Look for a low scoring UVA win.
Marquette’s victory over Syracuse was true grit. Off the bench, Davante Gardner was a perfect seven-of-seven from the field and 12 –of-13 from the line for 26 points to go with eight rebounds…outshining the better-known names from upstate NY. That’s 24 in a row at home for Marquette.
Memphis commits turnovers on 21.3% of their possessions. Don’t forget that in March.
Overall, Stanford is connecting on 34.3% of their attempted threes…however, in conference that percentage jumps to 41.1%.
VCU sill leads the nation in steals…12.1 per game.
Indiana has six players shooting 35% or better from three…remember that in March.
Middle Tennessee has a 14-game winning streak.
Cincinnati has lost five of their past six.
NC State has 312 assists and 333 turnovers. Another thing to remember in March.
With the victory over Cincinnati, Notre Dame has won at least ten Big East games four years in a row.
Bad loss: Villanova, up by four with 37-seconds to go…final score Seton Hall (14-15) 66-Nova (18-11) 65. Ooops!
La Salle has four good wins and only one bad loss.
Good win: New Mexico over San Diego State---the Lobos now have eight top-50 wins and 15 top-100 wins, along with a 10-3 road/neutral record. Bravo!
Very bad loss for Wichita State at home to Evansville.
Akron: 19 in a row with hard-earned victory at Ohio…Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah!
Undefeated in conference play: Gonzaga, Memphis, Akron, Norfolk State and Louisiana Tech.
Still winless in conference play: Grambling.
Not so fast: St. Louis has eight players 21 or older…and they play like the grown men they are. They’ve won ten in a row.
One more thing: Larry Drew II has a chance to end the season by setting the UCLA single-season record for assists.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--Overtime Edition

I love ESPN3. It allowed me to see Kansas and Florida exact revenge on TCU and Arkansas…proving those games were anomalies.
Kansas was simply brutal in punishing TCU. The Gators just toyed with Arkansas…the game was never in doubt.
While not in the All-Galaxy-Awful-Basketball-Announcers Club (where Clark Kellogg is the only member), ESPN’s Dan Dakich is All-Planet-Awful. How does an ex-coach with a decidedly mediocre 159-144 lifetime record get to play an expert on TV? Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!
There is entirely too much ritualistic slapping of hands in college basketball. There is nothing quite so silly as seeing players all converge upon a free-throw shooter to low-five him after he bricks an uncontested shot…unless it is the droopy-drawers shorts.
When players are removed from the game, they often high-five the entire bench. That can include not just bench-warmers, but training staff, managers, perhaps even a stray priest if it’s a Catholic school.
With the victory over Syracuse, Georgetown has won ten in a row. The Hoyas have not lost since January 19th.Otto Porter scored 33 of Georgetown’s 57 points. Ai Carumba!
The last time High Point was in the Tournament was…well, never. Now: the Panthers lead the North Division of the Big South with a 10-3 record. The conference tournament will tell the tale.
The last time the NCAA Tournament did not include either Kentucky or UNC was 1974.
Memphis had five guys in double figures in their victory over Southern Mississippi. How efficient was Memphis? 25 assists on 29 baskets; quite efficient.
VCU forced 22 TOs in their 17-point second-half comeback to grab an important road win at Xavier. Frankly, I was extremely surprised it was close.
Belmont was most impressive in their blowout victory over a good Ohio team. Belmont is 7-3 against the top 100 with an RPI in the 20s.
Belmont executes their offense as well as any team I have watched…they always get back on defense in a big hurry. Those Bruins can really pass the ball. They are well coached, always prepared and will be a pain in the neck in the Tournament.
UNC Coach Roy Williams has shortened the bench and shrunk the starting lineup -- and it's working. Carolina point guard, Marcus Paige has just four turnovers in his last three games. Gee Wilikers!
Gonzaga’s {27-2} two primary ball-handlers, Kevin Pangos and Gary Bell, have a combined seven turnovers in their past five games. My word!
Gonzaga continues to roll. The Bulldogs beat San Diego by 31.
Florida hasn’t been 100% in a long time. That concerns me as March Madness approaches. A healthy Gators team can contend with any program in the country.
Will Yeguete’s absence will make a difference when playing good teams…and Michael Frazier left the Arkansas game with a concussion.
Florida at less than 100% could easily lose to a lower seed. Danger Will Robinson!
For the first time in program history, Loyola (Maryland) has won 20 games in back-to-back seasons.
Neither the Duke men nor women teams have lost at Cameron this season. That could change on Saturday when the grownups from the University of Miami take the court. We shall see how Duke handles a real varsity team.
The Duke women, 16-0 so far in the ACC, have clinched their fourth consecutive ACC regular season title.
The #5 Duke women overwhelmed #8 Maryland on the road. It was an amazing performance for Duke in their second game without All-American point-guard Chelsea Gray.
This is the 110th consecutive week for the Duke men in the AP Top Ten.
The Blue Devils pasted a very young, but talented BC team in Cameron. Duke had five guys in double figures…Mason Plumlee picked up his 16th double-double.
A road game at Virginia and Miami at home two days later is what Duke is up against this week.
Good win: Davidson’s hard-fought overtime victory {93-87} vs. Montana. Both teams could be really pesky in March. Don’t sleep on either one.
Bad loss: Alabama’s triple-overtime loss to LSU.
Big time win: Villanova knocked off co-Big East leader Marquette, 60-56, giving the Wildcats four top-30 wins on the season. Wow! Nova has won five of their last six games.
Important win: Saint Mary’s handled Creighton on short rest, and looked ready for March. Matthew Dellavadova is indefatigable, relentless and a strong point guard. By Jove! Creighton has many too many empty possessions.
Crippling loss: Arizona State losing at home to Washington. Hello NIT!
Cal won their fifth in a row at Oregon State. In February, they've beaten Oregon twice, won at Arizona and also knocked off UCLA. Their final three games of the season are all at home.
Oregon State’s Olaf Schaftenaar was whistled for a technical foul for dunking in warm-ups, allowing Cal’s Allen Crabbe to get to the free throw line before the clock started. He made one…Cal’s margin of victory. Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!
Virginia’s coach Tony Bennett has had more than his fair share of injuries to deal with…his adaptations to adversity have been nothing short of brilliant. He is truly an extraordinary coach. I do not expect Duke to leave UVA with a win Thursday night.
With the victory over Stanford, Oregon is now 6-4 without Dominic Artis.
Wichita State, winners of five in a row, is 3-0 against teams in the top 50 and 8-3 against the top 100.
Miami was ambushed at Wake Forest. Wake is young and has improved every game this season. They are comfortable at home…with victories over FSU (by 25), Virginia, NC State, BC and Xavier. Duke escaped with just a five-point margin. So, Wake was on high alert and was primed for Miami. Give Wake credit for their preparation and execution.
Miami has been playing with fire in recent games…narrowly defeating NC State, FSU, Virginia and Clemson. The Canes are tough minded, that’s why they’re winning the close games. That said, you’d think they could avoid being in them.
Miami is new to dealing with pressure of being highly rated in the ACC, whereas Duke and UNC are accustomed to it. All of a sudden people are flattering them, looking for tickets, slipping them phone numbers. And then there’s the media. It’s a complete circus and it’s very hard to maintain focus.
The Canes needs to get back to playing with a chip on their shoulder. That's what made Miami successful.
A loss now is far better than a loss in the round of 32. How Miami responds to it will tell the tale
There is no better cure for a loss than to play Virginia Tech at home. That’s what will happen Wednesday night at Bank United Center…7 PM on ESPN3.
Louisiana Tech landed in the rankings for the first time since a 13-week run in 1984-85, their only other appearance in the poll.
Kansas coach Bill Self has gone to the NCAA tournament in each of his last 14 seasons.
Mike Patrick and Len Elmore are one of ESPN’s better play-by-play/color man pairs. I like their laid back style…they sound like a couple of fans chatting intelligently about the game and the state of the game.
Iona's past six losses have come by an average of 1.8 points and include five overtime sessions.
Colorado State had three guys score 20 or more…usually that would give you a W. However, New Mexico's Kendall Williams knocked down ten 3-pointers en route to scoring 46 of UNM’s 91 points…that’s over half. Jumpin’ Jehosophat!
The Lobo’s come-from-behind victory snapped Colorado State’s 27-game home winning streak.
Vandy held Mississippi State to 31 points. Sufferin’ Succotash!
For a couple of hours on Saturday, I was a member of the Big Blue Nation---cheering for the Kentucky Wildcats.
UK is now 2-1 without Nerlens Noel after the overtime victory vs. Missouri…19-8 overall.
Perhaps lost in the thrill of overtime, Kentucky was down by 13 in the first half.
UK’s16 assists on 30 made baskets impressed me.
Michigan improved to 16-0 at home this season with its fifth-straight win over Illinois.
TV Timeout:
Syracuse at Marquette, Tonight, 7 PM, ESPN
Kansas at Iowa State, Tonight, 9 PM, ESPN {Coach Self going for win #500}.
Wisconsin at Michigan State, Thursday 9 PM, ESPN
Butler at VCU, Saturday noon, espn2
Wichita State at Creighton, Saturday 2 PM, espn2
Miami at Duke, Saturday 6 PM, ESPN
Arizona at UCLA, Saturday 9 PM, ESPN
Undefeated in conference play: Gonzaga, Memphis, Akron, Norfolk State and Louisiana Tech.
Still winless in conference play: Grambling and Penn State.
Not so fast: With the road win over Butler, St. Louis has a 4-1 record against ranked opponents.
One more thing: Akron and Memphis---18 in a row.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville---BracketBusters Edition

Is Seth Greenberg the winner of the Uncle Fester Look-A-Like-Contest, or what?
Wisconsin is playing the best defense in the Big Ten and the third-best in the country on a per-possession basis.
Tuesday’s Indiana/Michigan State matchup was their 115th…it was the first time both teams are ranked in the top 10.
The game lived up to the hype. As a matter of fact, I think all the Big Ten marquee matchups this season have met or exceeded expectations.
The action was so nonstop at the start; ESPN did not get a camera shot of either coach or bench until the under-12 media timeout.
Both teams have deep benches, and will be real pests in the Tournament.
MSU is still just as much a threat to get to Atlanta in April as it was prior to tipoff.
Indiana is 6-0 against Top-25 AP teams…by far the best in the nation.
Virginia Tech’s Erick Green leads the nation in ppg with 25.3…and by a wide margin. You have to go back to Purdue’s Glenn Robinson in 1994 to find a player from a power conference to lead everyone in points.
Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan scored 12 points in the second overtime in the win over Morehead State 106-100. Just as impressive is the fact that he didn’t commit a foul in 49 minutes of action.
Gonzaga produced more NBA players in the past 10 years than such major-conference powers as Pitt, Oklahoma, Cal and Indiana.
If I had a vote in the polls, I would place a higher value on Michigan State’s loss to Indiana than the Duke easy win over Virginia Tech, a no-contest 32-point romp.
It was fun to see the nation’s leading scorer, Erick Green, do his thing. He scored every possible way---he could probably sink one standing on his head.
Duke was up by 20 at the half, but Tech never quit. They played hard, clean and held their heads up. Tech deserves a lot of credit for their effort---they never dogged it. Speaks well for the players and their coach.
Mason Plumlee had another double-double. With his next rebound he will become the eighth Blue Devil to enter the 1,000 point/1,000 rebound club.
The Duke women take on #19 Florida State tonight…then play at Maryland Sunday afternoon. I know TV is important (both games on the tube), but that is stupid scheduling.
Bad loss: Maryland’s loss at BC.
Good win: UConn over Cincinnati in OT. Shabazz Napier scored 11 points in OT. Wow!
Bad Loss: Ole Miss losing to South Carolina.
Florida went 6-of-12 from the foul line and missed the front end of three one-and-ones in the second half in the loss to Missouri…most disturbing.
More disturbing was the poor shoot selection from the Gators---especially from Kenny Boynton.
Davidson has won ten in a row.
Providence guard Vincent Council just broke the Big East record for assists with 431.
Eleven Gonzaga players scored in the victory of Santa Clara.
The final edition of Bracket Busters starts tonight.
I am looking to Creighton at Saint Mary’s most of all.
It’s a quick turn around for Saint Mary’s, as they won last night over BYU…but Creighton has to overcome the time zone change.
Saint Mary’s is 17-1 at home.
SMC’s Matthew Dellavedova and Creighton’s Doug McDermott will be great to see…they don’t get the TV exposure they should.
Dellavedova: 15.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 6.3 apg. McDermott: 22.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 3.4 apg. Both shoot 86% from the line, avoid foul trouble and have an identical offensive ranking (122).
Lace ‘em up!
Belmont has six RPI-Top-100 victories. The Bruins have not lost back-to-back games since 2011.
VCU has 16 double-digit wins…ten by at least 20. All four losses are by single digits.
Top three road teams over the past three seasons: Kansas (22-5) Murray State (29-8) and Wichita State (25-7).
Long Beach State is 13-2 since all their players got healthy.
Just 17 teams are left with four or fewer losses.
At least for now, Colorado State is the nation’s best rebounding team. They rebound 42% of their missed shots. Remarkable! The Rams are ranked for the first time in 59 years.
CSU is in the Top-15 BPI; shares the MWC lead and are among the most efficient offensive teams in the nation.
Colorado State and New Mexico play for first place in the MWC Saturday.
Towson is 15-13 (second place in CAA)---after just a single victory last year.
UConn has won four overtime games this season.
Middle Tennessee State has a 12 game winning streak…15-1 in conference.
All five Villanova starters scored in double figures in the victory over Rutgers.
Notre Dame missed 18 of their first 19 shots Monday night…yet still managed to defeat Pitt.
Memphis could enter the Tournament without having beaten another team in the field during the regular season.
Louisiana Tech is 23-3. Most wins ever for Tech was 29 by the Karl Malone-led 1984-’85 team.
Miami is finding a way to win games. Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum is a most hazardous environment for the visitors…at home, the Clemson defense always seems to rise to the occasion.
Trying to get offense going against the Virginia pack-line defense is an arduous task whether at home, away or on the moon. You can watch all the film you want…but you can’t really practice for it without the proper personnel. The first time a team goes up against UVA, it’s a shocker.
Virginia plays its best basketball against their toughest opponents.
The Canes won both games…both last-second squeakers, due to their versatility, maturity, experience and coaching…14 in a row is a Miami record.
They were ugly wins to be sure. Winning no matter what pace the opponent wants better prepares Miami for March Madness. Bravo!
An odd stat: Virginia has now lost 15 straight in the state of Florida.
St. Louis has won eight in a row…they play at Butler this weekend.
Speaking of finding a way to win. Kansas made just one field goal in two OTs…and pulled off a dramatic victory over Oklahoma State.
How even was this game? Both teams had 26, 31 and six points in the first two halves and the first OT.
Kansas made just five assists on 25 made baskets and only one three in fifty minutes of basketball. Still, a W is a W. Remarkable!
TV Timeout
Tonight: North Dakota State at Akron (espn2)
7 PM
Saturday: Georgetown at Syracuse (CBS)
4 PM
NC State at North Carolina (ESPN)
4 PM
New Mexico at Colorado State 4 PM
Creighton at Saint Mary's (ESPN)
6 PM
Missouri at Kentucky (ESPN)
9 PM
Ohio at Belmont (espn2)
10 PM
Sunday: Boston College at Duke (ESPN3)
2 PM
Duke Women at Maryland {espn2} 3 PM
3:30 PM
Michigan State at Ohio State (CBS) 4 PM
Undefeated in conference play: Gonzaga, Memphis, Akron, Miami, Norfolk State and Louisiana Tech.
Winless in conference play: Grambling and Penn State.
Not so fast: Just four players have hit the 40-point mark so far…Longwood’s Tristan Carey being the latest during 102-101 win over Liberty. That’s the first time since 11/11/11 that two teams cracked the century mark in regulation.
One more thing: Four Indiana players have 1,000 or more points so far in their college time. Indiana has a lot of weapons.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Welcome to Bracketville--Presidents day Edition

Duke, Kentucky and Notre Dame were the only Top-25 teams to lose to unranked teams over the weekend.
Circle March 2nd on your calendar.
Louisville at Syracuse, Noon.
Butler at VCU, Noon.
Michigan State at Michigan, 5:15 PM.
Miami at Duke, 6 PM.
Arizona at UCLA, 9 PM.
Gonzaga has five top-50-RPI wins, four away from home. All three of their top-25 wins were away from home.
Miami’s 45-43 victory at Clemson last night was the lowest-scoring ACC game in the shot clock era.
How about total ten points combined at the ten-minute mark in the first half.
It was uglier than the score suggests as the Hurricanes missed 16 of 19 3-pointers and had 13 turnovers compared to six for Clemson.
Miami had a 7-0 spurt in the final 61 seconds to grab the road win.
The Canes have won 21 games24 {in 2002} is the The U’s recordthey’ll top that.
It’s quite possible that both Miami and Florida could earn #1 seedsand not impossible to imagine both in the Final Four.

Florida travels to Missouri on Tuesdaybig game for both squads. The Gators’ freshman Michael Frazier chipped in win six-threes in the win over Auburn.
Florida had 15 threes. Great Caesar’s Ghost!
UNC leads the ACC in offensive rebounds.
Ohio State is 1-7 against ranked teams.
Minnesota is 3-7 in their last ten gamesnext up: at Ohio State and Indiana.
Down by seven with 36 seconds left, Wichita State pulled off an 8-0 run to defeat Illinois State.
Kelly Olynyk looking more and more like an All-American, had 26 points and nine rebounds in the win at San Francisco. Elias Harris chipped in with 17 and 13you could say the Zags’ front count wore out the Dons.
Was there any doubt that Kansas would rally from their three game losing streak? The Jayhawks swept Kansas State yet another time.
Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State are tied for fist in the Big 12. Kansas visits Oklahoma State on Wednesday. Something’s gotta give.
In K-State’s 20-point win over Baylor, four Wildcats recorded double figure scoring.
K-State is one of the few teams that has yet to suffer an upset. The Wildcats' five losses are to Kansas (twice), Michigan, Gonzaga and Iowa State (on the road).
In a 12-point win over Marshall, Memphis scored 43 first half points---then, just three in the first ten minutes of the second half. Memphis has zero true-road losses.
Michigan State and Indiana are tied atop the Big 10they meet on Tuesday at MSU. Sparty has lost just once in 2013at Indiana.
Being a big fan of Nerlens Noel, I knew he was important to Kentuckybut a 30-point loss to Tennessee of all teams, with zero assists from the Wildcats’ point guards? Holy Moley! 
Marquette has won 23 straight at home. Vander Blue has scored in double figures in every game in 2013 except Georgetown.
UConn’s Kevin Ollie gets deserved praise for keeping the Huskies focused with no postseason hopes. Same credit should be given to UCF’s coach, Donnie Jones.
Detroit was down by 15 with ten to go at Valpothen a 17-2 run in five minutes. Finally they won by ten.
It was a tough weekend to be a conference leader in a one-bid league. Eight of those teams lost Saturdayfor five of them, it meant no longer being the conference leader.
Otto Porter Jr. scored 16 points while playing in foul trouble#15 Georgetown {19-4} wasted a 12-point lead in the second half before rallying for its seventh straight conference win {longest in Big East} on Friday nightdefeating Cincinnati by seven. Very tense gamefun to watchwish ESPN would schedule a game every Friday night.
Georgetown is as tough an out on the road as it is at home.
Great understated quote from Hoya coach John Thompson III, “Oh yeah, Otto Porter is very, very good.”
Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart might not lead the nation in any one category. He averages 14.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game -- but then go back and look at that list collectivelyand he’s just a freshman. He hit a pair of foul shots with 18 seconds left in the win over Oklahoma.
Wichita State’s Cleanthony Early hit a three-pointer with 4.8 seconds remaining, giving State (22-5, 11-4 Missouri Valley) sole possession of first place in the MVC.
How can you possibly lose when your opponent commits 26 turnovers? Ask Duke. Maryland had 16 of their TOs in the second half, and Duke never gained a lead.
The Terps shot 60% from the field and 74% from the line71.9 from two.
In a pathetic display in the paint, Duke was outrebounded 40 to 20. That’s embarrassing.
Mason Plumlee was at the movies. He played as if he had four fouls at tipoffgreat matador defense. His counterpart, Alex Len had 19 points, nine boards and three blocks---and forced Plumlee to foul out.
Still, the game was not decided until Maryland’s Seth Allen sank a pair of foul shots with three seconds on the clock. The world will little note, nor long remember that Allen had eight turnovers for the Terps.
Seth Curry and Rasheed Suliamon had great days for the Blue Devils.
At #6 in both polls released today, I think Duke is way over rated. I feel there are at least a dozen teams that could handle Duke on a neutral court.
To me, they are a four or a five seed that is quite vulnerable to an upset by a 12 or 13 seed that has a strong post presence or a solid perimeter defense.
The Duke women hung on to beat Wake Forest, but suffered a devastating loss when All-American point guard, Chelsea Gray, went down with a dislocated knee. She left in a huge leg brace, and on crutchesshe is done for the season.
Gray is a dominating presenceleads the ACC in assists and steals and is Duke’s second leading scorer.
That means more playing time for Richa Jackson. In 224 minutes this season, Jackson has exactly four assists totaland shoots just 33% from the field.
The Lady Irish have won 19 in a row.
Temple’s 83-82 victory over UMass was the Owls’ fifth straight game {3-2} decided by one point. How often does that happen?
What do Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and Doug McDermott have in common? They all recorded their 2,000th Missouri Valley Conference point in their junior year. My-oh-my.
Jeff Withey of Kansas is now the all-time leader in blocks in the Big 12 with 256.
In their loss to the Jayhawks, Texas put up some grim numbers: 21.8% from the floor, 9.5% from three and 65.5% from the line. You needn’t be a quantum math major to know getting 47 points with those numbers was a stretch.
Harvard has not won at Princeton in 23 years. Harvard leads the Tigers by a game and a half, and travels to Princeton on March 1st---probably to settle the Ivy League title.
NC Central suffered its initial MEAC lossto Savannah State 44-36. Ooops!
Cincinnati’s Cashmere Wright is 8 for 49 on threes since injuring his knee.
New Mexico’s {22-4} field goal percentage is 41.1. The may haunt them in the postseason.
Good win for Arizona State at Coloradoa one-point OT win with a second remainingafter ASU blew a six-point lead late in regulation.
UNLV needed a good win and they got it [71-70] when San Diego State’s Jamaal Franklin traveled with less than three seconds to go.
Villanova’s nine-point win at UConn was a very good one.
Nifty win by 22 points for #20 Wisconsin over #13 Ohio State. The Badgers are hitting their stride at just the right time.
Arkansas got a good winwith a two-point victory over the over rated Missouri.
Air Force’s Michael Lyons went for 45 in a loss to Colorado State. All five of State’s starters scored in double figures.
Credit Carolina with nice recovery and good win over UVA. Virginia hit six of their first seven attempts from three, and led by as many as ten. UNC’s 40 points in the first half and 93 points for the game were the most Virginia has given up all season.
#23 Oregon won in OT, 79-77 over Washington State with a pair of E.J. Singler free throws with 3.8 seconds leftholding on to first place in the Pac-12.
Air Force’s Michael Lyons scored 45-points on 17 field goals {third highest individual point total this season} in a 89-86 shootout loss to Mountain West leader Colorado State. He scored 72 points on the week.
In the Providence upset of Notre Dame, Vincent Council recorded a double-doublebut not in the traditional fashion. His was with seven points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds and two steals.
When Colorado State made the polls last week, it was their first time there since 1954.
Wait until next year. Boston College gets more and more competitive with each game. Their roster: one senior, one junior, seven sophs and four freshmen. They are going to be good.
BOLO [Be On LookOut]: Notre Dame at Pitt, tonight, 7 PM, ESPN.
Indiana at Michigan State, Tuesday, 7 PM, ESPN.
VCU at St. Louis (winner of seven in a row), Tuesday, 9 PM.
UVA at Miami, Tuesday, 9 PM, ESPNU.
Kansas at Oklahoma State, Wednesday, 9 PM, espn2.
Colorado State at UNLV, Wednesday, 10:15 PM.
La Salle at Temple, Thursday, 7 PM. LaSalle just might be the best team in Philly.
St. Louis at Butler, Friday, 7 PM, ESPNU.
Akron {21-4} still has the nation’s longest win streak17! That’s the second longest this season. 12-0 in Mid-American Conference play, where no team has finished with a perfect record since 1958. That’s 55 years if you’re scoring at home.
They have held 17 of their 25 rivals to 65 points or less.
Akron’s center, Zeke Marshall, in the all-time MAC blocks leaderat the moment he is fifth in the nation with 3.48 bpg.
We’ll finally get to see the Zips---Friday night, under the lights, at home vs. North Dakota State, 7 PM, espn2.
Gramling is still winless.
Not so fast: Oklahoma State has won seven Big 12 games in a row.
One more thing: The Zags are 5-0 against the Big 12 so they might be the first team ever to win two leagues.