Sunday, February 28, 2010
Kansas, Kentucky Beaten, Syracuse Rises
Three of the top four-ranked teams in the country were on the courts Saturday as college basketball nears its frenzied finish. The top two - Kansas and Kentucky - found out what finishing means, while #4 Syracuse dominated Villanova at home and may end up ranked #1 when the new poll comes out on Monday.
After Tennessee beat #2 Kentucky, 74-65, denying the Wildcats from clinching at least a tie in the SEC East, the Oklahoma State Cowboys showed the rest of the Big 12 that #1 Kansas was not invincible.
James Anderson diligently poured in 27 points to lead the Cowboys to their 85-77 upset of the Jayhawks, keeping a tourney bid in sight. Anderson did it all, from everywhere on the court, hitting 9 of 19 shots, including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, adding 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Anderson, the fifth-leading scorer in the nation at 22.6 ppg, has scored in double figures every game this season, and has helped the Cowboys to a 20-8 record, and an 8-6 mark in the conference. Combined with Texas' loss to Texas A&M, the Cowboys are now tied for 6th place in the Big 12, likely a spot good enough to earn an NCAA tournament bid. Their final two games before the conference tourney are against A&M and Nebraska.
Later in the evening, 34,616 fans who found their way through nearly two feet of snow to set an NCAA on-campus crowd record, were rewarded by their hometown Syracuse Orangemen, who dispatched Villanova, 95-77, to take control of the Big East conference at 14-2. The Orange now have a two-game lead over the Wildcats with two games to play, ensuring at least a tie for the regular season title. With just St. John's and Louisville left on their schedule, the Orange look assured of winning the conference outright.
The #3 Purdue Boilermakers will see if they can stay close to the top when they face Michigan State this afternoon. With a shot at the Big Ten title, Purdue will have to do it without their star forward, Robbie Hummel, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. Tip time is just after 4:00 pm.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Wild Saturday Produces Six Top 25 Upsets
Purdue being knocked from the rank of unbeaten - in a 73-66 loss at Wisconsin - was the most prominent of the upsets in a wide-open Saturday of college hoops action.
#20 Georgia Tech ended seasons of frustration, beating #5 Duke for the first time in its last five tries, stopping the Blue Devils, 71-67.
The other upsets included Notre Dame over #8 west Virginia, Missouri downing #12 Kansas State, UNLV topping #15 New Mexico, dealing the Lobos their second straight conference loss and 3rd in their last 5, and Oklahoma St. clobbering #22 Texas Tech, 81-52.
In that Big 12 match-up, the Cowboys' big-time scorer, James Anderson, notched 28 points on 9-for-17 shooting, including hitting 5 of 8 3-pointers. Anderson, an unguardable 6'6" junior guard is among the top scorers in the nation, at 21.9 points per game. The Cowboys, largely overlooked in the polls, are a very respectable 13-2, their only losses coming at Rhode Island and Tulsa. They are tied with four other teams at 1-0 in the Big 12.
NOTABLE: Speaking of big-time scorers, Georgetown guard Austin Freeman poured in 33 points as his #12 Hoyas outlasted #13 UConn, 72-69. Freeman was 12-for-20 from the field, with 5 of 9 3-pointers finding the mark. He also had 7 rebounds to go with two assists and three steals. Georgetown improved to 12-2. The Huskies are 11-4.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Madness: Kansas, Oklahoma Out of Big 12 Tourney
James Anderson calmly sank two free throws with 2.3 seconds left in the game as the Cowboys shocked the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 tournament. Anderson finished with 11 points, joining four other Cowboys in double figures in one of the team's best outings of the season. Byron Eaton scored 16 and Keiton Page had 15. The Sooners' Blake Griffith led all scorers with 17 points.
With the Sooners out of the way, the Cowboys have a path to the Big 12 tournament title and the automatic NCAA bid, especially since Baylor stunned Kansas later in the day.
Baylor 71, Kansas 64
Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn hit 6 of 11 three-pointers and was 9-16 overall for a game-high 24 points as the Bears made their shots and free throws down the stretch to upset the Big 12 regular season champions. Kansas led only one in the first half, at 1-0, as the Bears opened a lead of a many as 17 points. In the second half, Kansas actually took back the lead midway through, at 58-52, but could not hold off determined Baylor.
Baylor led 65-64 with just under 2 minutes to play, but held the Jayhawks scoreless the rest of the way while scoring the final six points of the game.
In the other quarterfinals, Texas held off Kansas State, 71-68; Missouri plays Texas Tech in the final game of the night.