Saturday, March 07, 2009
Kentucky May Be Left Out
The Gators struck early, gaining a quick ten-point lead, and never let the Wildcats back in the game. After consecutive losses to LSU, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, Kentucky ends the regular season at 8-8 in the conference and 19-12 overall. They would conceivably have to reach the finals of the SEC tournament this coming week in order to have a reasonable chance of receiving an NCAA invitation and even then, it's an iffy call.
Elsewhere, Jonny Flynn scored 24 points and Andy Rautins hit 4 of 9 3-pointers in a 20-point effort, as #25 Syracuse upended #13 Marquette, 86-79, in overtime, helping their NCAA case as they get ready for the upcoming Big East tournament. Marquette has lost four straight - all to ranked opponents - and look ripe for an early exit from both the Big East and NCAA tourneys. Syracuse, on the other hand, has won 4 in a row. Both teams are nearly sure bets to receive NCAA bids.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Dropping Like Flies in SEC
Georgia 90, Kentucky 85 - Very damaging loss at home for the Wildcats drops them to 19-11 and 8-7 in the SEC. Third straight conference loss. Kentucky plays at Florida Saturday to finish the season.
Mlssissippi St. 80, Florida 71 - losses for leaders all around in SEC. Florida now 21-9, 8-7.
#6 Louisville 95, Seton Hall 78 - The Cardinals improved to 15-2 in the Big East, with only a game at West Virginia on Saturday between them and a possible conference title. If Pitt beats UConn on Sunday, Louisville would finish at 16-2, Uconn and Pitt, 15-3.
If the Huskies avenge an earlier loss to Pitt, they will be the outright champ.
#5 Memphis 65, Houston 60 - The Tigers host Tulane Saturday. A Memphis win completes a 16-0 regular season in Conference-USA.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
BC Drops Seminoles; LSU Takes Out Gators for 9th Straight
The schizophrenic BC Eagles were at their multi-faceted best Tuesday night, scoring 24 points in the first half before exploding for 48 in the second, downing Florida State in the process and keeping alive hope for a ticket to the NCAA tournament.
The Eagles were led by Vermont transfer, Joe Trapani, who tallied 19 points and had 6 rebounds. Florida State's Toney Douglass equaled that output, hitting five 3-pointers and going 4-4 from the foul line.
BC improved to 8-6 in the ACC and 20-9 overall, while the Seminoles fell to 8-5 and 21-7
#18 LSU 81, Florida 75
LSU's Marcus Thornton scored 32 points to lead the Tigers to their 9th straight win, clinching the SEC West title with a signature win over Florida, one of the leaders in the SEC East. It was the sixth time this season that Thornton had scored 30 or more points in a game.
LSU is virtually assured of a solid seeding in the NCAA tourney, though the rest of the conference isn't performing at a very high level.
The 8-5 Gators dropped a half game behind South Carolina and Kentucky - both at 8-4 - in their division. LSU is 12-1 and 24-4.
Monday, April 02, 2007
Deja Vu: Florida vs. Ohio State National Championship
Against UCLA, the Gators displayed the kind of aggressive play that have put them at the pinnacle of their sport, plus, having the Bruins' Arron Afflalo sidelined with two early fouls didn't hurt. Afflalo, UCLA's leading scorer and best defender, picked up his second foul less than three minutes into the game. As the Gators threatened to blow the game open, coach Howland put his star back in only to see him pick up foul #3.
Meanwhile, Corey Brewer was lighting up the scoreboard with three 3-pointers that put the Gators ahead by 6 points at the half. From there, Lee Humphrey and Chris Richard provided most of the offense as the Florida lead grew to double digits and the outcome became predictable. Humphrey hit 3 3-pointers in the second half and Richard scored repeatedly on dunks and tip-ins, finishing with 16 points. Brewer led all scorers with 19, while Al Horford swept the boards, accounting for a tournament-high 17 rebounds.
The final score of 76-66 was not indicative of how lopsided Florida's win really was. Afflalo did get back into the game in the second half and finished with 17 points, but he only hit 5-14 shots and much of his scoring was late in the game.
Earlier in the day, the Ohio State Buckeyes extended their winning streak to 22 games with a 67-60 win over Georgetown. The anticipated showdown between Greg Oden and Roy Hibbert failed to materialize as both players got into early foul trouble. The game lacked any real flow or consistency as the Buckeyes maintained a single-digit advantage through much of the contest and Georgetown could never sustain their offense for long.
Georgetown actually outshot the Buckeyes, 49-44%, but both teams were icy from outside, going a combined 11-35 from beyond the arc. With less than 3 minutes remaining, the Buckeyes opened up a 9-point lead that the Hoyas could never overcome and the game devolved into a foul-shooting contest late.
The national championship game tonight between the Gators and Buckeyes is a rematch of the programs which competed in the Fiesta Bowl in January for football's national title. In that game, the Buckeyes were heavy favorites, but the Gators shocked them with a one-sided win.
It's doubtful that the basketball Buckeyes will be able to turn the same trick. Florida is a 4 1/2 point favorite, and that's probably not even close to what the final score will be. While the Ohio State faithful are hoping for the first national title in over 40 years, the Gators are on the verge of being the first team to repeat as champions since Duke did it in 1992.
The matchups really favor the Gators here, despite not having a single player the stature of Oden. The problem for the Ohio State center is that the Gators have four players they can send at him - Noah, Horford, Chris Richard and, if need be, Marreese Speights, another 6'10" reserve. Oden doesn't have the stamina to stay in the game the full 40 minutes anyway, and there's a good chance he'll be in early foul trouble again.
On the perimeter, the Gators and Buckeyes match up pretty well, though nobody in the country has an answer for Corey Brewer, who has been the real x-factor in Florida's two-season run. Nobody is able to match up effectively with his long, lean 6'9" frame. Brewer is the team's best defender and can slash to the hoop or shoot from outside. Ohio State will have trouble - as has every other team - containing him.
These two met earlier in the season and the result was an ugly, 86-60 rout by the Gators. Sure, the Gators were at home and Greg Oden was playing in just his fifth game after an injury. But Oden is still a freshman, after all, and the Gators are still defending national champions.
An upset by Ohio State seems unlikely. Tomorrow morning, we're likely to be singing the praises of the Gator nation.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Slippery Slope in the SEC
The SEC has turned into the basketball version of Little League. There's one big kid (Florida) who always hits home runs, but the rest of the league is full of kids and teams who look like champs one day and the next, they're distracted by the cheerleaders. Nothing happens like it's supposed to, the unexpected becomes the new normal. So it was last night...
#3 Florida 63 South Carolina 49 - The Gators got back on the winning side of the scoreboard (and how dumb do the voters look for dropping them to #3?) at home last night as Al Horford scored 20 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. To nobody's surprise, the win clinched the SEC East for the Gators who are now 25-3 and 12-1 in the conference with just 3 games remaining.
Mississippi St. 83 #17 Vanderbilt 70 - Jamont Gordon pulled off the rare triple-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to help keep the Bulldogs in a first-place tie with rival Mississippi in the SEC West. Charles Rhodes pumped in 23 for the host Bulldogs.
Both are 7-6 and lead Alabama by 1 game in the standings. After starting off conference play at 3-6, the Bulldogs have won 4 straight with games at Arkansas and Georgia before returning home to face Alabama to close out the regular season.
Tennessee 69 #25 Alabama 66 - It took 81 shots and an overtime session, but Tennessee defended their turf and sent Alabama home losers of their 7th SEC game. Chris Lofton scored 20 for the Vols, who shot only 35% but took 26 more shots than Alabama due to the Crimson Tides' 26 turnovers.
Tennessee recorded an astonishing 18 steals as they improved their post-season chances by getting over the .500 mark. At 7-6, the Vols have just 3 games remaining - at Arkansas, home vs. Florida and at Georgia - in the regular season.
It's still an uphill battle for the Vols, and they'll likely have to do well in the SEC tourney to continue playing in March.
As for the Tide, the loss was their 3rd in their last four games and dropped them to 6-7, behind both Miss. and Miss. St. in the SEC West. They'll have a chance to save their season as they host Auburn and Miss. before heading to Miss. St. to end their regular season.
Top 25 Home Winners
#2 Ohio State 68 Penn St. 60 - Greg Oden, OSU: 17 points, 14 rebounds.
#5 North Carolina 83 NC State 64 - Brandan Wright scored 24 and Tyler Hansbrough added 20 as the Tar Heels claimed sole possession of first place in the ACC at 10-3.
#20 Louisville 72 St. John's 48 - The streaking Cardinals blew past the Red Storm, recording their 4th straight win and continued to hold 3rd place in the Big East at 10-4. With just games at Connecticut and at home vs. Seton Hall remaining, Louisville looks like a lock for an invitation to the NCAA Tournament. They are 20-8 overall.
#21 BYU 76 Colorado St. 67 - The Cougars won their 8th straight and 30th straight at home, securing their hold on first place in the Mountain West at 11-2. They hold a 1 1/2 game advantage over Air Force and UNLV, both at 10-4. Keena Young led all scoring with 24 points as BYU improved to 21-6.
Top 25 Road Winners
#8 Texas A&M 66 Oklahoma St. 46 - Acie Law scored 19 points and the Aggies' defense held the Cowboys' Mario Boggan and JamesOn Curry to a combined 13 points in the blowout. Oklahoma State's top scoring duo were 6-24 from the floor.
The win kept Texas A&M in a tie for first place in the Big 12 with Kansas at 11-2, while the Cowboys slumped to 5-7 and likely ended any hopes of making the March Madness field of 65 with their 5th loss in their last 6 games.
#12 Georgetown 75 Cincinnati 65 - The Hoyas won their 10th straight to remain tied for first in the Big East with Pitt at 11-2. Jeff Green scored 21 points as Georgetown shot 54%.
#13 Southern Illinois 58 Indiana St. 50 - The Salukis overcame a poor shooting night with stellar defense en route to their 10th win in a row and the Missouri Valley title. With a two-game lead over Creighton and one game left, the 11-3 Salukis clinched the championship and will receive a solid seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
Top 25 Losers
Miami (FL) 68 #24 Virginia 60 - The Cavaliers gave up first place in the ACC, but still look like a solid choice for post-season play. A road loss to 4-9 Miami isn't going to look good on their resume, but their 9-4 conference record, with wins over Duke, Clemson and Maryland (twice), should be enough to get them into the March Madness field.
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Vanderbilt Upsets #1 Florida
The loss was only the 3rd of the season for Florida, which had previously dropped a 2-point decision to Kansas and lost 70-66 at Florida State. For the Commodores, it was their 6th win over a ranked opponent against only 2 losses and improved their SEC record to 8-4, good for 2nd place in the SEC East behind the 11-1 Gators.
Shan Foster and Derrick Byars each scored 24 points for Vanderbilt, which sizzled at 57% shooting from the field. Despite hitting 18 free throws to Vandy's 9 and shooting a respectable 44% from the floor, the Gators could not overcome 20 turnovers and Vanderbilt's speed and sharp passing which resulted in 21 assists.
Joakim Noah led the Gators with 15 points and Al Horford scored 13 and pulled down 11 rebounds, but only Corey Brewer joined them in double figures, with 13.
With the win and their outstanding record against ranked teams, the Commodores seem assured of a spot in the field of 65 in March.
Top 25 Home Winners
#3 Wisconsin 75 Penn St. 49 - Wis: Alando Tucker, 22 pts.; Kammron Taylor, 18.
#7 Pittsburgh 65 Washington 61 - Aaron Gray grabbed 10 rebounds but scored only 5 points as the Panthers pulled out a tough win against the testy Huskies. Washington's Spencer Hawes recorded his 2nd double-double of the year with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
#9 Kansas 92 Nebraska 39 - The Jayhawks scored 56 points in the second half while holding Nebraska to 17, and ran away to their most lopsided win of the season. All 13 players for Kansas scored in the blowout. The 53-point trouncing was the 2nd-largest margin of victory in Big 12 history, eclipsed only by a 102-46 win by Kansas over Nebraska in 1958.
#11 Nevada 79 Northern Iowa 64 - The Wolf Pack hit 9-18 3-pointers and pulled away in the second half to improve to 24-2.
#17 Air Force 67 Colorado St. 58 - The Falcons still trail BYU by 1/2-game in the Mountain West conference at 10-3. BYU is 10-2.
#23 West Virginia 81 Seton Hall 71 - Seton Hall shot just 15% on 3-pointers (3-20) and the Mountaineers pulled away late. The win put West Virginia in a 3-way tie for 4th place in the Big East with Marquette and Syracuse at 8-5.
#25 Alabama 72 #20 Kentucky 61 - Up-and-down Alabama aided their cause with an important home victory over the Wildcats. The win evened Alabama's SEC record at 6-6, tied for 1st in the SEC West with Mississippi and Mississippi St.
Top 25 Road Winners
#4 North Carolina 77 #22 Boston College. 72 - The Tar Heels regained a tie for 1st place in the ACC with 9-3 Virginia, handing BC their second straight home loss and dropping them to 4th in the conference standings at 9-4. Both teams shot 52% for the game, but the Tar Heels hit 16-20 free throws to BC's 11-21, which provided the margin of victory.
#5 UCLA 81 #19 Arizona 66 - Josh Shipp threw down 24 points as the Bruins crushed Arizona, possibly sealing the fate of the Wildcats' postseason hopes. The loss dropped Arizona to 8-7 in the Pac-10 and 17-9 overall.
#6 Texas A&M 56 Oklahoma 49 - Joseph Jones and Acie Law each scored 21 points as the Aggies continued their roll through the Big 12 and remain in a tie with Kansas at 12-2 for first place. The Aggies' next stop is at #18 Oklahoma St. on Wednesday.
#8 Memphis 78 Gonzaga 77 - The Tigers scraped by upset-minded Gonzaga and extended their winning streak to 15 games. By virtue of Florida's loss to Vanderbilt, Memphis now claims the longest current win streak in the nation. Joey Dorsey scored 15 and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Memphis.
#14 Georgetown 58 Villanova 55 - The Hoyas avenged a 56-52 loss at Villanova earlier in the year to keep pace with 10-2 Pittsburgh for 1st place in the Big East. Jeff Green led the way with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 8 blocked shots. The Hoyas recorded 14 blocks overall, playing without Roy Hibbert, who sat much of the game with foul trouble and scored only 4 points. The streaking Hoyas have won 9 in a row while Villanova fell to 6-6 in the conference.
#16 Southern Illinois 68 Butler 64 - The Salukis proved too tough for host Butler, hitting 7-15 treys and crashing the boards for a 33-24 edge. The non-conference game provided a good look at two of the better mid-major teams that likely will be competing in March. It was only the second game against a ranked opponent all season for Southern Illinois, but their record is perfect, having bested then-#16 Wichita State on January 1. The Salukis have won 9 straight.
Top 25 Losers (besides those already mentioned)
Louisville 61 #12 Marquette 59 - Louisville won on the road and continued its rise through the Big East standings with a third straight win, reaching 3rd place in the conference at 9-4 while knocking Marquette back to 4th. The Golden Eagles have lost three straight.
Stanford 88 #15 Oregon 69 - Oregon continued its spectacular collapse, losing for the 6th time in their last 8 games. The Ducks fell into a tie with Arizona at 8-7 in the Pac-10. Just a month ago they were in first place. Brook Lopez scored 24 for the Cardinal as they improved to 9-5 and 4th place in the conference.
Missouri 75 #18 Oklahoma St. 64 - Once again, Mario Boggan and JamesOn Curry got little support from their teammates and the Cowboys got whipped at home. Oklahoma State's star duo had 16 apiece, shooting a combined 12-26. The rest of the team shot 8-23, including only 1-7 3-pointers. It was the 4th loss in the Cowboys' last 5 games and sunk them to 7th place in the Big 12 at 5-6.
Michigan 58 #24 Indiana 55 - In another in a long series of ugly Big 10 games, Indiana shot just 38% from the field and hit only 6-21 threes and 11-18 from the foul line. Despite the loss, Indiana remained in 3rd place at 7-5, as Iowa dropped to 7-6. Behind them Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Illinois are all 6-6. Behind 12-1 Wisconsin and 11-1 Ohio State, mediocrity reigns supreme in the conference.
Of all the major conferences, the Big 10 should send the fewest number of teams to the Big Dance in March. Five could get bids, but no more than 3 are deserving.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Road Warriors: Florida Prevails, Bruins Can't Climb over Mountaineers
Florida 64 Kentucky 61 - Tubby's troops seem to be rounding into form at just about the right time. Ranked #20 in the nation, the Kentucky Wildcats pushed Florida to the limit on Saturday at Rupp Arena. Randall Morris scored 18 with 9 boards and Ramel Bradley led the Wildcats with 20. Bradley has scored 20 or more in each of his last four games. The Wildcats could not overcome the #1 Gators, however, even though they held Joakim Noah to his second-lowest score of the season - 6 points. Noah was plagued with foul trouble and played only 21 minutes.
It's likely that the Wildcats aren't as good as this score might indicate. Being at home and not having to deal with Noah for almost half the game made this one tighter than it should have been. Kentucky may also have hurt themselves more than the Gators. Both teams went to the foul line 21 times. Kentucky made only 12, Florida 13. When it comes to crunch time in March, neither of those foul-shooting performances are going to get it done.
West Virginia 70 UCLA 65 - Playing without point guard Darren Collison, The #2 UCLA Bruins managed to cut into a 19-point lead and make a close game of it late. Unranked West Virginia scrambled on defense, forcing 15 Bruin turnovers and held on valiantly down the stretch. Alex Ruoff led the Mountaineers with 17 points; the Bruins' Arron Afflalo scored 27 for UCLA.
The Pac-10 - Big East matchup pointed up the relative strengths of the conferences to a degree. While the Bruins were without Collison and on the road, the Mountaineers still won and are unranked and tied for 4th in the Big East standings. The Bruins lead their conference at 10-2.
Top 25 road winners:
#6 Texas A&M 66 Nebraska 55 - Josh Carter equaled his season-high with 26 points, Aggies are now 4-1 on the road in Big 12 action.
#9 Kansas 92, Missouri 74 - Julian Wright blasted off with a season-high 33 points and completed his 4th double-double of the season with 12 rebounds, including 8 offensive boards.
#15 Air Force 60 New Mexico 51 - The Falcons rallied from a 4-point halftime deficit and cruised to a relatively easy win, though they still trail BYU (unranked, why?) by a game in the Mountain West.
#24 Arizona 77 #13 Oregon 74 - the fast-sinking Ducks fell at home to the already fallen Wildcats in the always-exciting-but-never-inspiring Pac-10. Chase Budinger scored 30 for Arizona.
Top 25 home winners:
#3 Ohio St. 63 Purdue 56 - Banged up Greg Oden played only 21 minutes but still managed 14 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. If Oden makes it through the season, he'll be in the top 3 in the NBA draft.
#4 Wisconsin 74 Iowa 62 - Alando Tucker, 21 points, 7 rebounds. Ho-hum, just another day at the office. Iowa (14-11, 6-5 Big 10) looking very bubbly.
#5 North Carolina 104 Wake Forest 67 - 14 different players scored for the Tar Heels as they topped the century mark for the 7th time this season. Randall Terry led with 23.
#7 Pittsburgh 74 Providence 68 - Aaron Gray, 22 points, 7 rebounds. 15-8 Friars still looking like March dancers.
#8 Memphis 95 Tulane 51 - It doesn't get much easier than this.
#14 Washington St. 59 California 46 - Daven Harmeling scored 26 points, including 5-7 3-pointers. The Cougars may be the stealth team of the tournament unless they overtake UCLA for the Pac-10 title. 21-4 overall, with 3 of those losses by 3 points apiece to UCLA, Stanford and Oregon.
#17 Oklahoma St. 93 Texas Tech 91 2 OT - Mario Boggan 35 points, 14 rebounds. Texas Tech drops to 15-10 and is squarely on the bubble. OK St. has struggled against lesser opponents and should make an early exit from the tourney.
#21 Southern Illinois 72 Creighton 68 - Big win for the Salukis over one of the better teams in their conference. The win actually was for first place in the Missouri Valley. Southern Ill. now 12-3, Creighton 11-4. Watch out for 10-5 Missouri State. Matt Shaw, 25 points for the winners.
#22 Georgetown 76, #11 Marquette 58 - The Hoyas are playing as well as any team in the nation. Jeff Green had 25 points and 5 rebounds; Roy Hibbert 23 and 11. For Hibbert, his 5th double-double and 3rd in his last 4 games. Georgetown has won 7 straight and with the win took over sole possession of 2nd place in the Big East at 8-2. Marquette misfired badly from beyond the arc: 4-21 (19%).
Top 25 Losers (not already mentioned):
Wright St. 77 #10 Butler 65 - The boys from Wright State may have taken some umbrage at Butler rising to #10 in the polls and took it out on the visiting Bulldogs. Not only that, but the Raiders took a 1/2-game lead in the Horizon league, avenging a 73-42 thrashing at Butler earlier in the year. The league winner gets an automatic invite to the tournament and this win makes the case for Wright St. if they finish tied or second. Wright State has won 7 straight and has only 3 games left to play.
Mississippi 75 #18 Alabama 69 - The Rebels were unkind hosts, sending the Crimson Tide to their 5th SEC loss and tying them for the SEC West lead at 5-5. The contentious SEC may send as many as 7 teams to the tournament, especially now that Tennessee has Chris Lofton healthy again.
Tennessee 84 #23 Vanderbilt 57 - Freshman forward Wayne Chism recorded his third double-double of the season, with 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Vols ran roughshod over the visiting Commodores. Chris Lofton scored 16 in 26 minutes. It was Lofton's 2nd game back after missing four straight. The Vols are playing well at the right time. They've beaten LSU and Vandy since Lofton returned to the lineup after losing 3 of 4 without him. Look for the Vols to possibly replace Alabama in the Top 25 this week.
Sunday, February 04, 2007
There were 22 games involving Top 25 teams on Saturday. Everybody except Duke and Pitt were on the court and 8 of those ended up on the wrong side of the score. Even in the one game between two ranked teams, the lower one, #10 Texas A&M, scored an upset over the higher, #6 Kansas. The game was played on Kansas' home court, so maybe the two will change positions in Monday's new poll, though nobody's holding their breath.
On to the action (losers first):
NC State 83 North Carolina 79 - This wasn't just big, it was huge. #3 North Carolina looked like a shoo-in to take over the #2 ranking in the next poll after Wisconsin and UCLA both suffered losses during the week. It was not to be. The Wolfpack sizzled at 60% shooting from the field, including 8-15 3-pointers, and in the process, further muddied the ACC waters. North Carolina's loss, coupled with Boston College's win over Virginia Tech, hoisted two unranked teams, BC and Virginia, to the top of the conference standings.
Texas A&M 69 Kansas 66 - Acie Law played 39 minutes and scored 23 points to lead the #10 Aggies to their most important win of the season. By virtue of Texas' loss to Kansas State, A&M wriggled out of a 3-team logjam atop the Big 12 and came out on top, a game better than #6 Kansas and #22 Texas.
USC 71 Oregon 68 - The Trojans proved that their win at Oregon was no fluke, holding off a spirited late rally by the #9 Ducks for the win. Oregon has had a tough week, losing to both SoCal teams. UCLA beat them on Thursday, securing first place in the Pac-10. On Saturday, USC relegated Oregon to middle of the pack status and moved into a tie with Washington St. for 2nd place at 8-3. USC plays UCLA at Pauley Pavilion this coming Wednesday.
USC shot 60% for the game while holding the Ducks to just 33% (22-66). The disparity in shooting percentage was mandatory for the Trojans as they were outrebounded 41-20, an area they must address in the near term.
Colorado 89 Oklahoma St. 77 - This was not expected to happen. Colorado was just 1-7 in the conference going in and 3-7 at home overall. But senior guard Dominique Coleman scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Teammates Kalvin Bay and Richard Roby contributed 21 and 20 respectively to pull off one of the more stunning upsets of the day. #12 Oklahoma State fell to 5th place in the Big 12 at 4-3.
Boston College 80 Virginia Tech 59 The #16 Hokies fell for the second straight time to an unranked opponent. On Wednesday, they lost at home to NC State, 70-59, and on Saturday took their show on the road. The loss boosted Boston College into a first-place tie with Virginia at 7-2 and dropped the Hokies to 4th place at 6-3. Senior forward Jared Dudley matched his season high with 30 points for the Eagles while snatching 13 rebounds (7 offensive) for his 8th double-double of the season.
South Florida 69 Notre Dame 63 - Another poor performance on the road sent the #21 Fighting Irish to their 5th loss of the season and 4th out of 6 on the road in . Colin Falls had 26 points for Notre Dame, but McHugh Mattis had 23 as the Bulls took an early lead and never relinquished it. The Bulls outrebounded Notre Dame 48-38 and outscored them from the foul line, 20-6. The loss dropped the Irish to 6-4 in the heady Big East.
Kansas St. 73 Texas 72 - #22 Texas' Kevin Durant had 32 points and 9 rebounds but Cartier Martin (27 points) hit a 3-pointer and two key free throws to send the visiting Wildcats to their 6th straight Big 12 win and into a second place tie with rival Kansas at 6-2. Unranked K-State plays next at Kansas on Wednesday while Texas has a date at #10 Texas A&M on Monday night.
Georgia Tech 80 Clemson 62 - Georgia Tech ended a four-game losing streak and demolished the #25 Tigers in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets outshot Clemson 46-41% and won the battle of the boards, 44-28. Clemson, undefeated at 17-0 just 3 weeks ago, has dropped 5 of their last 6, all ACC games. At 4-5, they are alone in 7th place in the conference.
Saturday's Top 25 Winners:
#1 Florida 91 Tennessee 78 - The Gators run their streak to 14 straight wins, currently the longest in the nation. They lead the SEC East at 8-0.
#2 Wisconsin 69 Northwestern 52 - The Badgers recovered from their first conference loss with a convincing home win. Alando Tucker had 20 points and 9 rebounds. Running mate Kammron Taylor scored 15.
#3 Ohio St. 63 Michigan St. 54 - Greg Oden led the way with 16 points and 11 rebounds (7 offensive), keeping the Buckeyes tied for first place with Wisconsin in the Big 10.
#5 UCLA 82 Oregon St. 35 - In one of the most lopsided games of the season, the Bruins shot 58% overall and hit 7-15 3-pointers. 11 different players scored for UCLA as bench sitters got extended playing time as the Bruins built a 30-point halftime lead.
#10 Texas A&M 69 #6 Kansas 66 - See recap above.
#11 Memphis 88 SMU 52 - Memphis improved to 9-0 in Conference USA and won their 11th straight overall. They lead by 3 1/2 games and may end up being the only representative from that watered-down conference in the NCAA tournament.
#13 Butler 66 Wisconsin-Milwaukee 47 - The 22-2 Bulldogs won their 14th straight home game without a loss.
#15 Nevada 69 Hawaii 68 - Nick Fazekas had 21 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season as the Wolf Pack survived a scare from the visiting Rainbow Warriors.
#17 Air Force 88 Wyoming 43
#18 Washington St. 48 Arizona St. 47 - The Cougars squeezed out a road win to improve to 19-4 and remain tied for 2nd in the Pac-10 at 8-3.
#19 Alabama 64 South Carolina 61 - The Crimson Tide won their second straight, improving to 4-4 in the SEC West, good enough for a 1/2-game lead over Mississippi and Auburn.
#20 Arizona 84 Washington 54 - The Wildcats won for just the 3rd time in their last 9 games.
#23 Stanford 90 California 71 - The Cardinal won the boards 43-29, shot 54% and hit 22-24 free throws for a much-needed road win.
#24 Vanderbilt 66 Georgia 61 - The Commodores avenged an earlier loss at Georgia with 20 points from Derrick Byars and 19 from Dan Cage.
With the Super Bowl taking most of the sports interest today, only one Top 25 team will see action on Sunday as #8 Duke hosts Florida State.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Gators Roll On as Badgers Fall; Durant hits 37 again
Indiana 71 Wisconsin 66 - The Hoosiers established themselves as a legitimate contender in the Big 10, ending the #2 Badgers' winning streak at 17 and improving to 6-2 in the conference. A.J. Ratliff had 20 and D.J. White, 16 points for Indiana, while Alando Tucker continued his scoring blitz with 23 for Wisconsin. The Hoosiers fell out of the Top 25 on Monday, but will likely be reincluded following next Monday's votes though Indiana faces a tough test at Iowa on Saturday as Wisconsin hosts Northwestern (1-7 Big 10).
North Carolina 105 Miami (FL) 64 - Tyler Hansbrough led 5 players in double figures with 22 points and 13 rebounds as the #3 Tar Heels cracked the century mark for the 6th time this season. North Carolina took over the ACC lead at 6-1 as Virginia Tech lost to NC State. North Carolina ranks 2nd in the nation in scoring at 88.5 points per game.
Ohio St. 78 Purdue 60 - The #4 Buckeyes improved to 19-3 overall and moved into a tie with Wisconsin for 1st place in the Big 10, bombing the Boilermakers with an impressive road victory. Greg Oden played only 21 minutes as Ohio State pulled away in the 2nd half for the relatively easy win.
Texas A&M 73 Iowa State 49 - Joseph Jones scored 21 points for the Aggies as they remained tied with Kansas and Texas for the Big 12 lead at 6-1. The logjam atop the conference should see some resolution in the next week. The #10 Aggies play at Kansas on Saturday and host the Longhorns Monday, Feb. 5.
Memphis 87 Central Florida 65 - #11 Memphis continued to cruise through their Conference-USA schedule with another dominating road win. Joey Dorsey scored 22 points and hauled in 9 rebounds in the one-sided affair. The win was the 10th straight for the Tigers, who improved to 18-3.
Butler 71 Youngstown St. 58 - Mike Green had 23 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the #13 Bulldogs to their 21st win against just 2 losses, tying them with Wisconsin for the nation's best record. North Carolina, Nevada and Florida are 20-2.
Nevada 79 Louisiana St. 71 - Nick Fazekas and Marcellus Kemp each scored 20 points as the #15 Wolf Pack reached the 20-win mark and remained tied with New Mexico State atop the WAC at 8-1.
North Carolina State 70 Virginia Tech 59 - The Wolfpack won only their second road game of the year, but it was a big one, knocking off #16 Virginia Tech. The win was also NC State's 2nd conference win in 7 tries. They are 0-5 in the ACC at home and 12-8 overall. The Hokies dropped into a tie for 2nd place in the conference with Boston College at 6-2, a half-game ahead of Duke (5-2)
Alabama 73 LSU 70 - The #19 Crimson Tide finally got a road win in the turbulent SEC. LSU's woes continued. Jermareo Davidson scored 31 for Alabama, which had lost all of their conference away games - at Arkansas, Vanderbilt and Auburn - had lost 4 of their last 6 overall and had fallen from #12 to #19 in the current AP poll.
The loss for the LSU Tigers was their 4th in a row, dropping their record in the SEC to 2-5 and 13-8 overall. After a great run in last year's tournament, the Tigers are in jeopardy of not getting an invitation this season.
Texas 76 Texas Tech 64 - Kevin Durant may have had his best game of the season last night in Lubbock, leading the #22 Longhorns to another important road win with 37 points and 23 rebounds. It may have been the best performance by any player in the NCAA this season. Durant was 15-29 overall, including 5-9 from 3-point range. The Longhorns were down 4 at the half, but Durant's heroics helped produce a 38-22 2nd-half drubbing. Earlier this season, Durant had scored 37 against Oklahoma State and again vs. Colorado. The phenomenal frosh scored 34 against both Baylor and Missouri.
Gonzaga 90 Stanford 86 2OT - Unranked Gonzaga reminded West Coast watchers that they are still a team to be reckoned with, pulling off the upset over #23 Stanford on the road. despite their 16-7 mark, the Bulldogs still dominate the West Coast conference, leading it at 6-1. The main knock on Gonzaga is their record against ranked teams, though last night's win was their 3rd road win over a ranked team this season. Previously, the Bulldogs beat North Carolina and Texas, but lost to Butler, Nevada and Duke.
With one of the toughest schedules in the nation, Gonzaga also lost to Washington St., Virginia and Georgia, while beating Washington earlier in the season. With 7 of their remaining 8 games in conference, the focus will be on a February 17 tilt with #11 Memphis which will be played on Gonzaga's home hardwood.
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Conference Play Underway
Florida 67 Georgia 51 - The #3 ranked Gators scored 42 second half points and turned around a one-point Bulldog halftime lead. Florida was not particularly sharp, but their defense was the story as they held the Bulldogs to 39% shooting and only committed 12 personal fouls. Georgia was unable to convert from the charity stripe, missing all five of their attempts. Corey Brewer led the Gators with 19 points.
Georgetown 66 Notre Dame 48 - The Hoyas unceremoniously ended Notre Dame's 12-game winning streak, as they capitalized on poor shooting by the Irish to take an early lead and were never headed. Nearing midway in the first half, Notre Dame had only hit 1 of 11 from the field and were trailing by as many as 16. Roy Hibbert hit 8 of 9 shots from the floor and finished with 19. The 48 points scored by the Irish was easily their lowest point total of the season, their previous low being 69 in a loss to Butler. Notre Dame shot just 31% (16-51), including 4-23 from three-point range. Georgetown extended their win streak to seven.
The Hoyas were unranked going into the game, though after the impressive win over #17 Notre Dame, should reappear in the top 25 next week.
Virginia Tech 69 Duke 67 OT - The #5-ranked Blue Devils opened ACC play in a most uncharacteristic manner, dropping their home opener to the upstart Hokies. Duke had entered the game 13-1, including wins over Gonzaga and Georgetown. The Hokies had lost 4 of their 5 road games this season, but none by more than 5 points. Losses at George Washington and Marshall were by 1 point apiece. The win upped Virginia Tech's record to 11-4. Zabian Dowdell led the Hokies with 20 points.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Gators and Bruins Look Super on Saturday
Florida 86 Ohio State 60 - The two schools who will play for the NCAA Division 1 football national championship in two weeks matched up their basketball teams for a little 5-on-5 Saturday in Gainseville.
The defending national champion Gators got an early look at Ohio State's talented freshman center, Greg Oden, and considering the outcome, they weren't very impressed.
The Gators opened up a sizable lead in the opening half as Ohio State shooters were ice cold early on and were up 38-29 at the break, only to see the lead completely erased as Ohio State scored the first 9 points of the 2nd half. But with the score tied at 40, Oden fouled Joakim Noah and went to the bench with his third foul. Within four minutes, the Gators were back up by 12.
Even when Oden returned, Florida was too quick, too aggressive and too good in all aspects of the game. The Gators outshot the Buckeyes, 58 to 36%, outrebounded them 42-25 and played better defensively. Florida also hit 9 of 18 three-pointers to the Buckeyes' 7-23 effort.
The Gators expanded their lead to 23, 70-47, at the 8:32 mark when Corey Brewer converted a three-point play and Taurean Green nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing. Soon after that, with just under 8 minutes remaining, Oden picked up his 4th foul and the game disintegrated into another rout for the Gators.
While Noah and Al Horford neutralized Oden (7 points), the real story was the play of guard Taurean Green and swimgman Brewer, who tallied 24 and 18, respectively. The Ohio State outside defenders simply could not stay with the quicker, headier Florida players on the perimeter.