Saturday, March 03, 2007
Early returns: Kansas, Georgetown, Wisconsin close with wins
Durant started off hot, scoring 12 of the Longhorns' first 18 points and finished the first half with 25 points, hitting 5 of 5 3-pointers as Texas raced to a 54-42 lead. Kansas went on a 17-4 run to start the second half, and regained the lead at 59-58. Kansas grabbed a 69-65 lead on Mario Chalmers' 3-pointer, then, Durant, driving the lane, twisted his left ankle and writhed briefly on the floor in pain, but left under his own power, noticeably limping.
Without their star, Texas was not able to stay with the swarming Jayhawks who rolled to an 81-72 lead. Durant returned with just over 7 minutes remaining, but the Longhorns were struggling, hitting only 1 of 10 3-pointers in the 2nd half until Durant hit a long 3 with under 30 seconds remaining, cutting the lead to 5. Following a Kansas turnover, Abrams hit a 3 to cut it to 2 at 88-86 with 23 seconds left. After a Jayhawks free throw, Augustin's attempt for a tying 3-pointer was blocked by Julian Wright. The Jayhawks' Russell Robinson hit another free throw for the winning margin.
A.J. Abrams and D.J. Augustin scored 18 and 19 respectively for the Longhorns. Mario Chalmers led the Jayhawks with 21.
#9 Georgetown 59 Connecticut 46 - Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green may be the most dangerous frontcourt tandem in college hoops. The dynamic duo scored 18 and 14 respectively, boosting the Hoyas to at least a share of the Big East crown, pending the late-night Pitt-Marquette game result. Hibbert notched his 6th double-double with 12 rebounds. The Hoyas will get a first-round bye in the upcoming Big East tournament.
#4 Wisconsin 52 Michigan St. 50 - Alando Tucker was the only Badger in double figures, but his 26 points led Wisconsin to a tough road win in their final regular season game. The badgers finished up at 27-4 and 13-3 in the conference, good enough only for 2nd place behind Ohio State. The Badgers will be no worse than a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Georgetown Garners Respect in Current Poll
Southern Ill. won at Creighton back on January 20, but has since won four more straight and are a very respectable 19-5 overall with wins over Wichita State (twice), Virginia Tech and Minnesota to name just a few.
The Salukis have another date with Creighton on Saturday and a road game at Horizon conference leader, #10 Butler the following Saturday. Those games should provide some indication of this team's potential to make madness in March.
Right behind Southern Illinois is Georgetown, at #22 in the poll. The Hoyas have an impressive front line - one of the tallest in the nation - revolving around 7-footer Roy Hibbert. At 16-5 and 6-2 in the Big East, the Hoyas have seemingly hit their best stride. Following consecutive losses to Villanova and Pitt, Georgetown has strung up five straight wins, by an average margin of 16.6.
Losses to Duke and Oregon are still major blemishes, though those losses came at the end of November and beginning of December, and the Hoyas are looking more organized and turning the ball over much less. If Hibbert and forward Jeff Green (24 points vs. St. John's last Thursday) continue to contribute, the Hoyas could go deep in March.
Last night there was but one Top 25 game, and Texas A&M was triumphant again. The Aggies tore through Texas, 100-82, just two days after knocking off Kansas on the road. What was a three-way tie just 3 days ago is now a 1 1/2 game lead for 8-1 A&M in the Big 12. Coach Billy Gillispie has built himself a powerhouse offense around Acie Law and the Aggies are currently #6 in the AP poll. They're 20-3, with the losses at UCLA and LSU and a lone conference loss at Texas Tech.
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.