What a weekend.
Five overtimes, half-court buzzer-beaters, more overtime, Miami Heat-approved off-the-backboard dunks, bizarre finishes, and even more overtime.
The only thing the weekend lacked was consistency. We’re just inside five weeks away from Selection Sunday, and I can think of roughly 15 teams that could win the National Championship and about 45 teams that could lose it.
Let’s hit the links.
Monday’s Top games:
7:00 p.m. - No. 24 Marquette @ No. 20 Georgetown
7:00 p.m. - Old Dominion @ Delaware (NBC Sports Network)
8:00 p.m. - TCU @ Oklahoma
9:00 p.m. - No. 13 Kansas State @ No. 5 Kansas
Read of the Day:
Greg Bishop of the New York Times wrote a tremendous profile piece on the trials and tribulations of ESPN analyst and former-Naismith Player of the Year Jay Williams. After being drafted by Chicago with the No.2 draft pick in 2002, Williams suffered a career-ending leg injury in a motorcycle accident. Even you Duke-haters will have difficulty rooting against Williams after reading this brilliant story. READ THIS. Seriously, this is the best thing you will read all week. (New York Times)
Read of the Day:
Eamonn Brennan was at the Louisville-Notre Dame five overtime thriller. His take is as good as they come. Read it. (ESPN)
Victor Oladipo’s importance shows as No. 1 Indiana rolls over No. 10 Ohio State: The junior guard struggled on Thursday during the Hoosiers buzzer-beating loss at Illinois. But on Sunday and entirely different Oladipo showed up at Ohio State. He scored 26 points on 8-of-10 shooting and was the engine behind Indiana’s offensive attack, as the Hoosiers cruised to an impressive 81-68 win.
Garrick Sherman emerges for 1st time in Big East play to lead Notre Dame in 5 OTs: The Michigan State-transfer did not play a single minute in regulation, but came on and scored 17 points and 6 rebounds and was the driving force behind the Irish’s dramatic 5OT win over Louisville.
Return of Syracuse’s James Southerland changes national picture: With the return of their best shooter from an academic suspension, Syracuse is once again a legitimate contender for the National Championship.
Could Miami take over No. 1 spot in the AP poll after win over UNC? With four top-10 teams losing this week, a long with another dominant performance from the Hurricanes, could Miami take over the No. 1 spot when the new rankings are released later today?
VIDEO: Ben Brust thrusts Wisconsin into B1G title contention: Ben Brust hit two huge shots, one being a half-court buzzer-beater to send the game in to overtime, as Wisconsin got back in to the Big-Ten title discussion with a win over Michigan.
Don’t dismiss Virginia’s NCAA tournament hopes just yet: A week after suffering an ugly loss to Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers earned a quality road victory against Maryland, and are still in the hunt for an at-large bid.
No. 21 Missouri makes a much-needed statement vs. Ole Miss: The Missouri Tigers got a much-needed victory this weekend as they rolled over Ole Miss at home. The Tigers still haven’t won a true road game, but a win against a credible opponent is what they needed, and they got it, despite an ugly altercation towards the end of the game.
Bizarre officiating allows Khalif Wyatt, Temple to escape with road win over Dayton: Saturday finished with a five overtime thriller but began with a bizarre final seven seconds of the game. Temple escaped thanks to a big shot from Khalif Wyatt, but also some luck and some odd officiating.
- Texas’ Myck Kabongo will return to the court for the first time this season on Wednesday when the Longhorns face Iowa State.Kabongo had been serving a NCAA suspension for receiving impermissible benefits. (Sporting News)
- Charlotte guard JT Thompson just can’t catch a break. The Virginia Tech-transfer missed two seasons in Blacksburg because of torn ACLs. On Wednesday against Temple, he tore his right ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Nobody deserves knees like that. (Pickin’ Splinters)
- Florida forward Erik Murphy left the Gator’s 82-58 win over Mississippi State with an ankle sprain on Saturday. The Gators can ill afford to lose another member of their front court. Late last week it was announced that forward Will Yuguete will miss the rest of the season due to knee surgery. (Alligator Army)
- Jacksonville State head coach James Green has been suspended by the OVC for one game after receiving two technical fouls and an ejection during his team’s loss to Tennessee Tech on Saturday. (ESPN)
- San Jose State’s top scorer James Kinney has been suspended for the remainder of the season. He has sat out the last eight games for the Spartans, all of them losses. (Oakland Tribune)
- On Saturday Mississippi State suspended their most experienced guard Jalen Steele for violating team rules. Things have gone from bad to worse in Starkville. (Clarion-Ledger)
- Memphis junior Antonio Barton injured his foot in the first minute of the Tigers’ road victory over Southern Mississippi on Saturday. He will get X-rays today but early reports indicate that his foot is likely broken. This would be a substantial loss for a Memphis team that has been gelling of late and dominating Conference-USA play. (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
Observations & Insight:
- The Cal State Fullerton women’s basketball team continues to cope with the loss of assistant coach Monica Quan, who was murdered by former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who remains at-large. (Sporting News)
- St. Bonaventure’s may have earned the best road win of the season this past weekend, and it’s not because of what happened on the court. (The Dagger)
- NC-State’s Scott Wood, one of the nation’s premiere 3-pointer shooters, hit a game-winning 3-pointer against Clemson to avoid another embarrassing upset for the Wolfpack. (Eye on College Basketball)
- Montana beat North Dakota 78-58 on Saturday for their 28th consecutive conference win, a new Big Sky record. This is a team you need to watch for come March. (Big Sky BBall)
- Fox Sports is interested in the TV rights for the Catholic-7, and has been for a long time. (VU Hoops)
- Mike DeCourcy looks ahead at the top games and match-ups of the upcoming week. (Sporting News)
- Seth Davis recaps a wild week in his latest installment of “Fast Break”. (Sports Illustrated)
- Dana O’Neil on the magnificent job Jim Larranaga is doing with the Miami Hurricanes. Coach of the Year for certain. (ESPN)
- More discussion on why Miami should be the No. 1 team in the country this week. (Wilmington Star News)
- Old Dominion nearly pulled the upset of the weekend against CAA-leading Northeastern. it would have been their second straight victory following the firing of head coach Blaine Taylor. The search for a new head coach is about to get underway and is a high-profile gig for a sharp up-and-commer. (Virginian-Pilot)
- Aaron Craft is one of the best on-ball defenders in the country, but his offensive skills are still somewhat undeveloped. Can a guy like him find a spot in the NBA? (Land-Grant Holy Land)
- John Gasaway dissects some of the nation’s most underutilized players. (ESPN Insider)
Odds & Ends:
- Dwayne Wade and LeBron James, decked out in goofy attire as usual, were in attendance as the MiamI Hurricanes dunked all over North Carolina en route to a 87-61 victory. (The Dagger)
- A solid “Where are they now?” on former Bradley star Patrick O’Bryant. (Peoria Journal-Star)
- The Cameron Crazies lost a bunch of street cred last week, but C’mon, a terrorist organization? This is just silly. (The Blue Zone)
Picture of the Day:
Butler was in the nation’s capital this weekend and escapes with a 59-56 win over George Washington. But before the game, the Butler mascots, Blue II and Blue III aka Trip, met with their bulldog brethren, Georgetown’s Jack the Bulldog and, Jack Jr. aka J.J. If this isn’t reason enough for Butler to join the Catholic-7, I don’t know what is.
Video of the Day:
A Notre Dame student made a halfcourt shot on ESPN Gameday and won $18,000. Rece Davis got excited. (The Big Lead)
Video of the Day:
The Wisconsin Badgers celebrated their victory over Michigan by dancing to Ke$ha. Of course they did.
Video of the Day:
Tom Izzo is confused. (H/T @WorldofIsaac)
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