Tag:Night Court
Posted on: March 1, 2012 11:51 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 12:30 am
 

Night Court: Ian Miller new FSU hero

Virginia absolutely let one get away tonight it might come to regret. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Jeff Goodman

(NOTE: We will file a Night Court almost every night this season. Follow @GaryParrishCBS, @GoodmanCBS, @MattNorlander, @JeffBorzello and @EyeOnCBB on Twitter to make sure it gets sent to you as soon as it's posted.)

Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Michael Snaer has company. Snaer has buried a couple of game-winning 3-pointer this season and now sophomore backcourt mate Ian Miller has one to his credit after a trifecta with less than a second left to beat Virginia, 63-60. Virginia led 58-49 with 3:27 remaining, but the 'Noles went on a 16-2 run to end the game. Tony Bennett's is still on the right side of the bubble, but can't flop in the ACC tourney. 

Win to brag about: Arkansas Pine-Bluff was 9-21 overall and 8-9 in the SWAC. Mississippi Valley State was 17-0 in league play. However, the Golden Lions pulled off the 78-67 upset handing Sean Woods' team its first setback in league play. 

Loss to hide from: Mississippi Valley State. See above. 

Player who deserves improper benefits: Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Terrence Jones and even Doron Lamb and Marquis Teague get most of the attention. However, Darius Miller is one of the most underrated players in the nation. He finished with 17 points and drained five 3-pointers on Senior Night, his final home game at Rupp. 

Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: I've always been a fan of D.J. Richardson, but the Illinois guard struggled in the loss against Michigan. He played 40 minutes, was 2-of-11 from the field and had just two rebounds and a single assist. 

Numbers don’t lie:

1995: That was the last time Michigan came out on top in Champaign. However the Wolverines snapped a 13-game losing streak on the road against Illinois. 

7: That's what a VMI team that will play in the Big South title game is seeded in the league tourney. The Keydets knocked off Winthrop, 75-55, in the semis and will play top seed UNC Asheville. 

25: Long Island has won that many on its home floor after a 80-68 win over Sacred Heart, second only to Kentucky's 52. 

Other notable results:

Wagner beat Central Connecticut State, 87-77, in the NEC quarterfinals and advance to the semis. It was the Hurley brothers (Dan is the head coach and Bobby is his assistant) 25th victory of the season. 

Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery was as hot as just about any coach in the country a few years back. The Salukis ended the season 8-23 after a loss to Indiana State in the first round of the Missouri Valley tourney. 

Savannah State clinched the outright MEAC title with its win over Maryland-Eastern Shore tonight.

Notes:

Florida State big man Bernard James was ejected after an apparent kick towards Virginia's Joe Harris. 

Michigan State's retired senior Delvon Roe will be on the bench and will participate in the post-game ceremony on Saturday for the Spartans final home game -- against Ohio State. 

Kentucky coach John Calpari has yet to lose a game in his three-year tenure in Lexington. 

On tap: 

Plenty of conference tourney action: 

1) The Horizon second round -- and that means Butler is in action. The Bulldogs face UW Milwaukee at 8:30. 

2) Ohio Valley semis -- Murray State plays Tennessee Tech. 

3) The WCC quarterfinals. That means BYU and Loyola Marymount join the fray. 

4) The CAA tourney starts. The bottom eight teams get going. 

5) The Missouri Valley's top two teams -- Wichita State and Creighton -- will play. Wichita plays Indiana State and Creighton faces Drake. 

6) The A-10 semis. Belmont vs. East Tennessee State and Mercer vs. Florida Gulf Coast. 

Posted on: March 1, 2012 12:19 am
Edited on: March 1, 2012 12:25 am
 

Night Court: Sully did work at Northwestern

Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday's slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Northwestern didn't need to beat Ohio State to position itself for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, but it sure would've helped. And the Wildcats almost did it. But Jared Sullinger ruined their plans by scoring with 3.1 seconds remaining and lifting the 10th-ranked Buckeyes to a 75-73 victory that prevented OSU from losing consecutive games for the first time this season. Sullinger had 22 points and 18 rebounds, by the way. So let's not give that Big Ten Player of the Year award to Michigan State's Draymond Green just yet.

Win to brag about: The Selection Committee just isn't gonna be able to keep USF out of the NCAA Tournament -- mostly because the Bulls won't stop winning. The latest addition to a constantly improving resume is a 58-51 victory at No. 19 Louisville that should finally put Stan Heath's team in everybody's projected Field of 68. They're now 19-11 overall, 12-5 in the Big East. Their RPI is in the Top 30. They're 3-2 against the Top 50 and 7-3 against the Top 100, and they haven't lost to a currently unranked opponent since Dec. 28. Honestly, I think USF is now in no matter what. Or at least I think the Bulls should now be in no matter what. But I'm not on the committee. So closing the regular season with a victory over West Virginia would be wise.

Loss to hide from: Coastal Carolina entered the Big South Tournament as the No. 2 seed and on an eight-game winning streak against seventh-seeded VMI, which is why the Chanticleers' 85-68 loss to VMI in the quarterfinals was disappointing ... for everybody except VMI and top-seeded UNC-Asheville.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Arnett Moultrie scored five points in the final minute of regulation to force overtime, then helped Mississippi State snap its five-game losing streak in the extra period at South Carolina. The final score was 69-67. Moultrie, an All-American candidate, finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Now the Bulldogs need a victory over Arkansas on Saturday to finish .500 in the SEC.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Terrell Stoglin took 18 shots and missed 14 of them in Maryland's 88-64 loss at No. 6 North Carolina. He shot 22 percent from the field, 25 percent from 3-point range and turned the ball over two times. But I'm OK with all that because the performance ensured North Carolina and Duke will enter the regular-season finale with identical ACC records, meaning Saturday's winner will be the outright league champion, meaning Cameron Indoor Stadium is the place to be this weekend.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 15: That's how many points Colorado State trailed UNLV by at halftime. Still, the Rams managed a 65-59 victory over the 17th-ranked Rebels that probably punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
  • 18: That's the number of points Jarnell Stokes had in Tennessee's 74-69 overtime victory at LSU. The 6-foot-8 forward was 9-of-10 from the field. He added seven rebounds and two steals. Not bad for a kid who's supposed to be a high school senior.
  • 19: That's the number of transition points Cincinnati scored in its 72-61 victory over No. 8 Marquette. According to Marquette coach Buzz Williams, that's the most transition points the Golden Eagles have allowed in four years.
Three other notable results
  1. Temple's 90-88 overtime win over UMass ensured that the 23rd-ranked Owls will be the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament. The No. 2 seed, if you care, will be Saint Louis.
  2. Belmont's 76-62 victory over Jacksonville kept the Bruins' NCAA Tournament hopes alive. They'll now play either East Tennessee State or North Florida in Friday's semifinals of the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
  3. Missouri's 78-72 victory over Iowa State represented the seventh-ranked Tigers' 13th win in the Big 12 this season. That's a school-record, and it will forever be a school-record considering Missouri will start playing in the SEC next season.
Notes
  • My colleague Jeff Goodman and I reported Wednesday that Class of 2012 star Shabazz Muhammad's connection to two financial advisers could compromise his amateur status. UCLA, Kansas, UNLV, Duke, USC and Kentucky are among the schools still pursuing Muhammad.
  • Memphis guard Antonio Barton had an MRI on his injured foot early Wednesday that revealed no fracture. The official diagnosis is a bone bruise. According to coach Josh Pastner, Barton will likely miss this weekend's game at Tulsa but be available for next week's Conference USA Tournament. Adonis Thomas is expected to return for the C-USA Tournament, too.
  • Robbie Hummel had the type of Senior Night his career deserved. The Purdue forward -- who twice tore an ACL while in college -- got 26 points, eight rebounds and six assists in an 80-56 win over Penn State. Even the Michigan State athletic director was impressed, proud.
On tap: It's March. So March Madness is officially here -- and the first day of the month gives us top-ranked Kentucky vs. Georgia. Meantime, the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament gets started in St. Louis. That's always a fun event.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:27 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 12:07 am
 

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

Taylor can't control himself as he walks off the flor. (AP)
By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday night’s slate of games …

Game of the Night: Vanderbilt had its Senior Night, and because of that we got one of those great moments. Commodores senior Jeffery Taylor was a leaky faucet when his time came for an ovation and a hesitated saunter off the Memorial Coliseum floor. He buried his head in his jersey to hide his outpouring of emotion -- but what a great scene. All the Vandy seniors got a nice moment of recognition before and after the game.

Vanderbilt defeated Florida, 77-67, earning themselves a nice win,and you know, it wouldn't shock me one bit if the 'Dores end up with a better seed than UF. The Gators are an erratic team that's missing a cog now that Will Yeguete is unavailable due to a fractured foot.

Win to brag about: Saint Louis trailed early but came back like a bull determined to gore the life out of a matador. The Billikens are now a lock as far as I'm concerned, winning over Xavier 70-59 and getting to 11 A10 wins.

Loss to hide from: How many times can we fit UConn into this box? On Saturday night, I wrote UConn needed three straight wins to feel good about its at-large chances. After falling 72-70 at Providence, that notion is only embellished. You know what the Huskies look like? A team that shows up and thinks it can talent its way to victories. That doesn't work, not on the road, and for Jiminy's sake, every team should realize that by January, let alone Feb. 28.

Home game against Pittsburgh to close out the season Saturday. Then an opening-round Big East tournament game against a DePaul or Providence on Tuesday. Then a Seton Hall or Cincinnati next Wednesday. Gotta win all three, UConn.

Player who deserves improper benefits: West Virginia faced a must-win against DePaul on Tuesday night if it wanted any chance at an at-large bid. Not surprisingly, the Mountaineers' Big East Player of the Year candidate came through in a major way. Kevin Jones totaled 22 points and 16 rebounds to lead West Virginia to a 92-75 win over the Blue Demons. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention teammate Truck Bryant and his 28 points, though.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Tu Holloway. Four points on 1-of-6 shooting in a real disappearing act for Xavier. Holloway also contributed a team-high three turnovers. Xavier's going to the NIT unless it wins the A10 tournament, most likely. But this has always felt like a team with an on/off switch. I wouldn't be shocked if it won the league tourney title relatively easily.

Numbers don't lie

  • UConn is 23-30 in its last 53 Big East games. Shockingly bad for a team with two Final Fours in its last three tournament appearances.

Three other games of note:

  1. In what amounted to the game of the most impact Tuesday night, Montana knocked off Weber State 66-51, meaning Montana won the Big Sky. Weber State will be the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, and there's a good chance the nation's most potent scorer, Damian Lillard, won't make the NCAAs. Montana's a very fun team, though. Either one would rep the Big Sky well, Lillard just has more appeal.
  2. Don't lose the ones you shouldn't lose on the road and your seed doesn't take a hit. Kansas State 76, Texas A&M 70.
  3. You always have to seek out the Wisconsin score this season, just to make sure Bucky doesn't blow one it shouldn't. That didn't happen Tuesday night. Wisconsin 52, Minnesota 45.

Teams whose season ended tonight:

-- Wright State (70-52 loss to Butler).
-- Illnois-Chicago
(68-55 loss to UW-Milwaukee).
-- Green Bay
(77-60 loss to Youngstown State).
-- Loyola (IL)
(80-71 loss to Detroit).

Notes

  • Reggie Johnson has been reinstated at Miami. He and his family will have to repay the illegal benefits for travel, but he's good to go for the 'Canes game against N.C. State Wednesday night.
  • Antonio Barton broke his foot in Memphis' win over Central Florida.
  • Since it is a leap year, March does not start tomorrow. I'm just as eager as you for it to get here, but we'll have to soldier through for one more day before the best month of the year arrives.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:11 am
 

Night Court: Kansas clinches eighth straight

In a "rebuilding" year, Bill Self led Kansas to its eighth straight Big 12 title. (US Presswire)

By Jeff Borzello

Here’s everything you need to know about Monday’s slate of college basketball games … in a different format than usual to accommodate the less-than-stellar slate.

Eight in a row: Heading into the season, not many people had Kansas winning the Big 12. In what may have been Bill Self’s best coaching job, though, the Jayhawks got better as the season went on and clinched the Big 12 regular-season title with a win at Oklahoma State on Monday night. It’s not a vintage Kansas team, it doesn’t have a lot of depth or a ton of offensive options – but Self has the Jayhawks in contention for a No. 1 seed. Unbelievable stuff.

Georgetown under the radar?: It’s tough for a top-12 team to fly under the radar this late in the season, but if anyone fits that description right now, it could be Georgetown. The Hoyas just throttled Notre Dame on Monday night, locking the Irish down defensively and making plays at both ends of the floor. Because Georgetown has had some hiccups this season – double-digit losses to Seton Hall and Pittsburgh – the Hoyas might not get the attention they deserve.

Notre Dame needs to find its shot: The Fighting Irish are not the 3-point heavy team they’ve been in the past, but still, they’re not playing well right now. They shot just 4-of-31 from deep against St. John’s over the weekend and they didn’t do much better on Monday, knocking down just 3-of-17 from behind the arc. Throw in the fact that Jack Cooley only had two points, and Notre Dame simply did not look dangerous.

Everything Baylor: I know it was only Texas Tech, but when Baylor plays like it did on Monday night, the Bears are still a pretty tough team to beat. Perry Jones and 15 points and 10 rebounds in only 27 minutes, while Anthony Jones, Quincy Acy and A.J. Walton also scored in double-figures in the 77-48 win. Turnovers were still a problem, but it was a reminder that Baylor – despite its weaknesses – still has a ton of talent.

17-0: Mississippi Valley State improved to 17-0 in the SWAC with its win over Jackson State on Monday night, led by Kevin Burwell’s 30 points. The Delta Devils can finish the regular-season unbeaten if they beat Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Thursday.

MEAC race heats up: Savannah State stayed atop the standings with its win over North Carolina A&T, but Norfolk State remained only one game up after beating Florida A&M on the road. Delaware State dropped a one-point game at home to Morgan State, putting the Hornets out of the hunt.

March Madness comes early: The month of March technically doesn’t start until Thursday, but conference tournaments kicked off tonight in the Big South. VMI and High Point both advanced, meaning Radford and Gardner-Webb are both headed home.

More College Basketball coverage
Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:08 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 12:30 am
 

Night Court: Please watch Bo Ryan celebrate



By Matt Norlander


If anyone can explain what the hell Bo Ryan is doing, please drop a note. (Update here.) Until then, here's everything you need to know about Sunday in college basketball ...

Game of the Night: Wisconsin is determined to confuse and confound us for the rest of the year. Winning at Ohio State likely ensured the Buckeyes won't get a one seed. As for UW, it's just as likely to fall 49-46 to Illinois is its schedule finale on March 4. Jared Berggren, a 6-10 Badgers junior whose last name comes so close to being a palindrome it hurts, scored Wisky's final five points and essentially handed the Big Ten regular-season title to ... Michigan State. If Sparty beats Indiana or Ohio State it takes its third banner in four years.

Win to brag about: Miami found out it couldn't play with big man Reggie Johnson due to NCAA violations, then had to suit up a few hours later against Florida State. The Hurricanes responded by putting up their second-best performance of the year, knocking off FSU 78-62 and very much keeping themselves amid the bubble conversation. Durand Scott, one of our fringe guys in the top 100 players in college hoops before the season began, came off the bench and supplied 17 points, a team-high for UM.

Loss to hide from: When you lose 46-45 the way Cincinnati lost 46-45 to a South Florida team that won 46-45, it's a reputation-tarnishing transgression. No, USF isn't in the tournament field with that win, but is Cincinnati in worse position, and behind the Bulls, with this loss? That horrid non-con kills Cincinnati, which has a decent scalp collection within the Big East. But the Selection Committee was most definitely watching that game today -- so long as they didn't barf themselves into fainting -- and it couldn't have been impressed. Cincy needs a really nice, definitive win over a tournament team to feel safe.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Meyers Leonard will make millions in the NBA one day. He had 22 points and 13 rebounds and stopped Illinois' six-game losing streak. Seeing Leonard play is like watching a sculptor slowly take a tiny hammer and make out the muse for a statue. Leonard's getting closer each week to the player he knows he can be.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Billy Crystal. Because seriously, who's making these decisions and when can their great grandchildren come to distract them?

Numbers don’t lie

  • 33-0. That was Iona's run against defensive-minded, slog-it-through-molasses-basketball
    St. Peter's.
  • 32. In 1980, 32 years ago, Wisconsin had its last road win against a top-10 AP Big Ten team. Then today happened.
  • Jared Sullinger had three assists; it was the first time since Nov. 25 he's had more than two. 

Three other games of note:

  1. Remember that one week like 17 days ago when people thought Pitt was destined to play its way into the field? Cute times. Louisville 57, Pittsburgh 54. Russ Smith went for a Cards-high 18 points because it's only Pittsburgh.
  2. I give Indiana credit for winning by 19 at Minnesota. The Golden Gophers -- who were a tournament team last year; can you believe it? -- had made their way out of bubble talk, but this was still a slippery spot for IU. It was only the second third league road win for Tom Crean's team this season.
  3. The Pac-12 is determined to remain an existential impressionist comedy to the end, and I think we all owe it a bit of gratitude for that unflinching determination.

Notes

  • That hilarious, tongue-in-cheek talk about Iowa having a chance at the NCAAs ended Sunday afternoon. Probably for the best. Hawkeyes-in-the-dance talk was almost as bad as Crystal.
  • Stony Brook is your No. 1 seed in the America East thanks to its 55-48 win over Maine.
  • Fairfield was so close to beating Iona Friday. It lost. Then it lost Sunday ... to Rider. Now the Stags are a four seed in the MAAC tournament. Been a disappointing season for FU.
Posted on: February 26, 2012 12:07 am
 

Night Court: KU-Mizzou was classic, right?

By Gary Parrish

Here’s everything you need to know about Saturday's slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: I went to the first Kansas-Missouri game and didn't think it could get better. But I was wrong. Because I spent Saturday watching Kansas overcome a 19-point halftime deficit and record an 87-86 overtime victory at Allen Fieldhouse that gave the Jayhawks a two-game lead in the Big 12 standings with just two games left to play. That means Kansas has clinched at least a share of its eighth consecutive league title. It also means the Jayhawks are in position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament thanks to 28 points and 12 rebounds from Thomas Robinson.

Win to brag about: Syracuse has dealt with questions off the court and on the court. it's been a wild season. And yet the Orange spent Saturday securing a Big East title with a 71-69 victory at Connecticut. They are 16-1 in the league. They only have one regular-season game left. So they are the Big East champions.

Loss to hide from: Florida was never gonna win the SEC title because Kentucky also plays in the SEC, and there's no way to top the Wildcats this season. But John Calipari's team could now win the SEC by at least four games thanks to the Gators' loss at Georgia. To be clear, nobody likes Georgia's Mark Fox more than me. But you cannot be ranked 12th nationally and lose at Georgia by 14 points. Not this season. That's silly.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Anthony Davis looked like the national Player of the Year in top-ranked Kentucky's 83-74 victory over Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-10 freshman finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. He was 10-of-11 from the field. Unreal.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Mike Scott has the numbers of a legitimate ACC Player of the Year candidate, but you have to be big in big spots to win that award. Against North Carolina, he was not. The 6-foot-8 senior was 3-of-13 from the field in Virginia's 54-51 loss to the Tar Heels. He finished with just six points -- more than 11 lower than his average.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 12: That's the number of 3-pointers Oklahoma shot against Baylor. The Sooners missed all 12 of them and lost 70-60.
  • 17: That's the number of 3-pointers Kansas Stat shot against Iowa State. The Wildcats missed 14 of them and lost 65-61.
  • 31: That's the number of 3-pointers Notre Dame shot against St. John's. The Irish missed 27 of them and lost 61-58.
Three other notable results
  1. Purdue pulled into a tie for fourth in the win column of the Big Ten standings with a 75-61 victory at Michigan. Terone Johnson had a career-high 22 points in the win.
  2. New Mexico lost its second straight game since breaking into the national rankings. The Lobos fell 83-64 at TCU. They only shot 23.5 percent from 3-point range.
  3. Wichita State close the regular season with an 81-58 victory over Drake. The win avenged a loss from January and allowed the Shockers to close the regular season with a 16-2 league mark.
Notes
  • Maalik Wayns returned for Villanova's game at Georgetown, but I'm not sure he should've. The junior guard took 10 shots, missed nine and finished with just three points in the Wildcats' 67-46 loss to the Hoyas.
  • The Memphis-Marshall game featured a near-brawl but nothing serious. DeAndre Kane fouled Joe Jackson unnecessarily hard. That led to heated emotions. But no punches were thrown. And the Tigers won 87-67. So they'll enter the final week of the regular season with a one-game lead in Conference USA.
On tap: No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 8 Ohio State highlights Sunday's slate of games. Florida State-Miami and Cincinnati-South Florida are also interesting. Whichever team wins the UC-USF game will have 11 Big East victories.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:12 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 1:17 am
 

NC: Conference crowns start getting collected

Iowa's sweep of Wisconsin is something that makes it season, regardless of how it ends. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday night’s games …

Game of the Night: Duke and Florida State has become the not-a-true-rivalry-but-as-good-as-o
ne
series of note in college basketball the past five years … if you feel me there. The two clashed again Thursday night, and again it was a game worth watching for two hours. Duke gets the 74-66 win, avenges its last-second loss in Cameron at the beat of the Snaer drum and now people are talking like Duke’s a Final Four team? I’m pretty sure that was the case even before this, but let the Blue Devils hype build on up. The sport and the tournament are better when K’s team is carrying more on its shoulders.

What stands out for me: Andre Dawkins coming off the bench for 22 points. Duke’s always got those players, the ones who have 22-point games in them — you just don’t know when they’re coming. It’s all part of the weaponry. The chase for the one seed that’s developed among four teams looks more interesting by the day.

Florida State was on the verge of leading the ACC five days ago. Now it’s a game behind UNC and Duke and will not take the league title. Seminoles still don't feel like a second-weekend tournament team to me, but they'll certainly not get blown out whenever they go down.

Win to brag about: For the first time in program history, Saint Mary's takes a share of its conference title in consecutive seasons. The Gaels made it boring quickly in Portlandia, finishing with a 70-43 victory. SMC on track for a five seed if it wins the WCC tourney?

Loss to hide from: Colorado was so Pac-12 tonight, falling 74-50, at home, to Stanford. Colorado didn't stand a chance at an at-large anyway, but I think Tad Boyle thought his team was better than a performance like this. Next season, I guarantee the Buffs won't lose a home game by 24 to anyone.

Player who deserves improper benefits: Iowa's Matt Gatens has put up back-to-back performances that should get him some nice things from men with cash. We only say that in jest on the blog, but seriously, these kinds of performances earned you hundred-dollar handshakes back in the old days. Gatens put up a career-best 30 against Indiana Sunday. Thursday night, it was 33 points in Iowa's 67-66 win over Wisconsin. Between his last game and this one, he hit 11 straight 3s at one point. You want more Gatens stats? I give you more Gatens stats.

-- He's the first Big Ten player to score more than 30 against two teams in the AP Top 25 since 1996-97.
-- He became the fourth Big Ten player in the last 10 seasons to score more than 30 points in back-to-back games versus conference opponents.
-- His 33 points are the most scored by a Wisconsin opponent since Stephen Curry won over a nation in the 2008 NCAA tournament.

After the game, fans put the players on their shoulders, as you can see above.

Another player who deserves improper benefits: Senior Ken Horton led all scorers in D-I Thursday night. He put up 39 for the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State. Horton's year has gone under the radar and it stands to reason one of the truly most valuable seniors in college basketball won't get his moment in the NCAAs.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Kyle Kuric went 0-fer, missing 11 shots for Louisville. No turnovers, though! Rick Pitino isn't really happy with anything after tonight, however.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 13. Belmont killed Kenne! Kennesaw State went down 90-50, and in the process 13 Bruins scored.
  • 17. That’s how many years it’s been since Iowa swept Wisconsin in the regular season.
  • 115. There is no more dominant numbers-don't-lie number than putting up 115 against a D-I school. But that's what New Mexico State did against Hawaii. The Aggies won 115-73, had seven players score in double figures, and Daniel Mullings got himself a trip-dub. Twenty-eight points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists. Five steals, to boot.

Three other games of note:

  1. BYU wasn't ready for Gonzaga in Spokane. Good on the Zags to keep their chances at sharing the WCC title with SMC alive, but this tells me more about BYU. The Cougars are, in my mind, one of the two or three most perplexing bubble teams out there. I feel like it should be in if the tournament started tomorrow, but at the same time, I need at minimum at WCC title-game appearance to justify that.
  2. Murray State didn't take too kindly to its sole loss of the season, so it went into Tennessee State and won by nearly 20.
  3. Alabama chips off a nice road win at Arkansas to keep its bubble hopes stable and look decent heading into the weekend.

Notes

  • The UNC Greensboro story has turned out to be a terrific one. By nature of Elon's 66-45 loss to Davidson, Greensboro clinched the North division of the SoCon. It was a 2-14 team that fired its coach, and Wes Miller, the interim, has led the team to this. He'll get the head coaching job -- he should have it already -- once the season's over.
  • There were other clinchings in conferences tonight. Belmont (A-Sun) and Davidson (SoCon) took their overall league regular-season titles. LIU-Brooklyn (NEC) and Bucknell (Patriot) also earned, at minimum, shares of their leagues.
  • In there, oh-there-it-is department, Arizona's Josiah Turner turned it on to the tune of 15 points, six assists and not-a-one turnover in the Wildcats' 70-54 win over USC.
  • In that Arizona game, U of A didn't have a first-half free throw. The game was in Tucson, so that is a noteworthy aberration. Good night, good evening and good weekend.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:35 am
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:46 am
 

Night Court: Temple remained in first in the A-10

By Gary Parrish

Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the night: Temple needed a win at La Salle to remain in first place in the Atlantic 10 standings, and the 22nd-ranked Owls got that win, but just barely, and despite the fact that they blew a 10-point lead with fewer than three minutes remaining. Temple 80, La Salle 79. That was the final score. In overtime. So that's 11 consecutive victories for Fran Dunphy's team. If they can get that streak to 14, they'll be the outright league champions regardless of what happens elsewhere.

Win to brag about: Kansas' 66-58 win at Texas A&M means the No. 4 Jayhawks avoided an upset on the road and ensured they'll take a one-game lead in the Big 12 standings into Saturday's showdown with No. 3 Missouri. It should be noted that Thomas Robinson missed seven of the 10 shots he took and finished with just 10 points against the Aggies. But the bottom line is the bottom line, and the bottom line is that KU is one step closer to an eighth straight league championship.

Loss to hide from: Everybody who has visited South Bend -- except UConn, oddly -- has lost this season, so there's nothing wrong with losing at Notre Dame. But West Virginia's 71-44 loss at Notre Dame was bad because it was more lopsided than an Adele-vs-Anybody matchup at the Grammys, and that it came at a time when the Mountaineers are on the bubble made it even worse. West Virginia has now dropped six of its past eight. Next up is a game against Marquette, which means Bob Huggins needs to figure out how to slow Jae Crowder. Speaking of ...

Player who deserves improper benefits: Jae Crowder took 14 shots, made 11 and finished with 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocks in Marquette's 82-65 win over Rutgers. The senior forward is now averaging 17.1 and 7.1 rebounds for a team ranked 12th nationally and tied for second in the Big East. That's probably enough to get him in the CBSSports.com Player of the Year Watch on Thursday.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Christian Watford took eight shots and missed eight shots. It didn't matter because Indiana's opponent was North Carolina Central, and the 23rd-ranked Hoosiers didn't need much from anybody to get a 75-56 win over North Carolina Central. But that's still no way for a man to be shooting the ball in late February.

Numbers don’t lie

  • 1: That's how many field goals Draymond Green had in the second half of No. 7 Michigan State's 66-61 victory at Minnesota. The senior forward still finished with 17 points, though. He's scored at least 17 in three straight games.
  • 13: That's how many points No. 2 Syracuse was down to USF at one point in the first half. But, just like top-ranked Kentucky did 24 hours earlier, the Orange rallied and escaped with a win. The final score was 56-48. It gave Syracuse a 2.5-game lead in the Big East standings.
  • 44: That's the number points Nick Barbour made in High Point's 98-60 win over Campbell. By doing so, the senior guard set a school-record for points in a game and points in a career.
Three other notable results
  1. Wichita State's 68-55 win at Illinois State clinched the Missouri Valley Conference outright regular-season title for the 19th-ranked Shockers. So they'll be the No. 1 seed in Arch Madness next week in St. Louis. I'll be one of the writers there watching them.
  2. UTEP's 76-68 double-overtime win over Southern Miss dropped the Golden Eagles to 9-4 in Conference USA. Consequently, Memphis is now alone atop the league standings thanks to its 70-47 victory over East Carolina in which Will Barton got 25 points and eight rebounds.
  3. Iowa State's 72-54 win over Texas Tech gave the Cyclones their 20th victory of the season. This is the first time ISU has won 20 games in a season in eight years.
Notes
  • Connecticut announced Wednesday that Jim Calhoun will have surgery on his back and miss at least the next two games, including Saturday's showdown with Syracuse. My colleague Gregg Doyel has another suggestion.
  • My colleague Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday that Temple is close to joining the Big East as an all-sports member in time for the 2012-13 season. The additions of Memphis and Temple don't make up for the losses of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia. But there's no denying that they help on the basketball side of things.

On tap: A share of first place in the ACC will be up for grabs Thursday when No. 5 Duke visits No. 15 Florida State. Both schools are 10-2 in the ACC, just one game back of UNC and its 11-2 league record. Elsewhere, No. 14 Murray State is at Tennessee State. That means the Racers have a chance to avenge their only loss of the season.

Category: NCAAB
 
 
 
 
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