Thursday’s Morning Shootaround: A triple dose of buzzer beaters
Purdue 63, Penn State 62: JaJuan Johnson (full post here):
One thought on Penn State -- this team is a bucket by Jared Sullinger and a bucket by JaJuan Johnson away from being 5-2 in the Big Ten with wins over Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State, and Illinois.
Indiana State 70, Missouri State 69: Jake Kelly (full post here):
Memphis 76, Southern Miss 75: Charles Carmouche (full post here):
No. 11 Texas 81, No. 10 Texas A&M 60: See here.
No. 1 Ohio State 70, Iowa 48: See here.
Utah 82, New Mexico 72; Colorado State 78, UNLV 63: Remember all that talk about the MWC getting four teams into the NCAA Tournament? It doesn’t look like it is going to happen. The Lobos are now 1-3 in league play and struggled late in their non-conference schedule. The Rebels are 2-3 and lost some games it should have won back in the December. These two result sets up a huge game on Saturday between UNLV and New Mexico. The loser may cost themselves a shot at a tournament bid barring a complete turn around and huge winning streak down the stretch.
Colorado State now becomes an interesting case. They are 13-5 with wins over Southern Miss, Ole Miss, and Appalachian State, but that is not a great non-conference resume. At least not tournament-worthy. But with a forward combination of Andy Ogide and Travis Franklin, keep an eye on this team. If they can spark another upset or two in MWC play, they have a shot at getting a bid.
No. 5 Duke 92, NC State 78: Duke was led by 22 points and six assists from Nolan Smith and 18 points from Kyle Singler, but it really was a team effort from the Blue Devils as they opened up a 14 point halftime lead and held off a couple of late surges by the Wolfpack. Mason Plumlee must be reading BIAH, because after I criticized Duke’s interior play, he’s been unreal. He has 40 rebounds -- 15 offensive -- and 10 blocks in the past three games, including 10 boards and six blocks last night. His brother had his best game of the season as well last night, finishing with 11 points and eight boards.
Duke is the only marquee team in the ACC, which means that every bubble team in the conference -- which is basically everyone other than Duke -- is going to give the Blue Devils their best game.
No. 15 Louisville 88, St. John’s 63: I don’t think you can get a much more ideal performance out of the Cardinals this season. Preston Knowles had 25 points, the uber-underrated Kyle Kuric had 20, and Peyton Siva had 10 points, 10 assists, and seven steals as the Cardinals rolled over the Johnnies. They shot 62% from the floor, made 13 threes, forced 25 turnovers, and had a number of highlight worthy dunks.
No. 16 Notre Dame 66, Cincinnati 58: The Irish nearly threw it into cruise control too soon. They were up big during the second half on the Bearcats before Cincy threw on a press and cut the lead to five. But it was too little, too late as the Bearcats couldn’t overcome Notre Dame’s offensive balance. All five starters scored between 11 and 13 points, but the biggest boost may have been Carleton Scott, who had six points coming off the bench in a surprise return for the Irish. They had gone 2-2 in his absence.
Marshall 75, West Virginia 71: The Mountaineers simply came out flat against arguably their biggest rival, found themselves down 24 early in the second half, and needed some poor decision making by the Thundering Herd -- including fouling two three point shooters in the final minute -- just to make it remotely interesting. And this is a team coming off of wins over Georgetown and Purdue? Damier Pitts had a career high 25 points.
No. 6 San Diego State 68, Air Force 55: The Aztecs improved to 20-0 on the season as they once again needed a late surge to pull away from an inferior opponent. DJ Gay continued his hot shooting, finishing with 20 points on 6-11 shooting from three.
No. 21 St. Mary’s 67, San Diego 56: Rob Jones had 18 points and 13 boards playing against his former team.
BC 70, Virginia 67: The Eagles kept pace with the Blue Devils and Florida State atop the ACC with the win. Reggie Jackson had 16 points, seven boards, and seven assists while hitting a key three late in the game to break a 58-all tie.
Florida State 55, Miami FL 53: The Seminoles overcame a first half in which they shot just 4-25 from the floor to beat the Hurricanes.
Old Dominion 64, James Madison 58: Another huge win for the Monarchs in CAA play. JMU had been in a three way tie for first place with ODU a game back.
Georgia Tech 74, Wake Forest 39: Hmm. Tech is not very good. They were up 74-32 at one point with six minutes left when their bench emptied. And to think, two years ago today, Jeff Teague and James Johnson had led the Demon Deacons to a 16-0 record and a No. 1 ranking in the country.
Richmond 68, GW 58: The Colonials blew a 33-24 halftime lead to Richmond, and thanks to 30 points and 10 boards from Justin Harper, the Spiders knocked GW from the ranks of the A-10’s unbeaten.
Cal St. Fullerton 89, Long Beach State 87: LBSU picked up their first loss in Big West play.
Other Notable Games:
- South Carolina 81, Arkansas 74 OT
- Oklahoma State 96, Iowa State 87 OT
- Vandy 84, Ole Miss 74
- Temple 73, Penn 56
- East Carolina 74, UCF 62
- VCU 71, Georgia State 54
- Xavier 79, St. Bonaventure 65
- Northern Iowa 77, Wichita State 74
- Bucknell 75, Lafayette 56
- UAB 67, SMU 53
- Ball State 60, Eastern Michigan 51
- Duquesne 78, La Salle 61
- Hofstra 66, UNC-Wilmington 57
- George Mason 71, Drexel 57
- Rhode Island 64, St. Joes’s 59