I guess all you need to know today is that college basketball is somewhat constant. All the ranked teams were triumphant, and that’s really something, considering the last few days of upsets.
Speaking of, No. 11 Xavier bounced back from their one-point loss to Stanford in the NIT Preseason Tournament by toppling Florida A&M 93-64. Xavier starters all were in double figures, with David West leading with 19. The Rattlers stay in town to play No. 23 Cincinnati tomorrow.
The young guns at Florida also did well, leading the No. 6 Gators past Coastal Carolina 88-45 in a tune-up for Florida’s Preseason NIT semifinal matchup with Stanford on Wednesday. This time it was the more heralded Anthony Roberson leading the way with 26 points, and popular Matt Walsh adding 19. Torrey Butler let the Chants with 17 points.
No. 9 Oregon cruised in their season opener against Grambling, 97-52 in the John Thompson Foundation Challenge. The Ducks were led by the tandem of James Davis, who had 21 points on seven three-pointers, and Luke Ridnour’s 21 with 9 assists. The Tigers of Grambling were down by as much as 50, and were equally stomped by Georgetown earlier in the week, 99-46. The Ducks face Cal-State Northridge in the final game, as they defeated Jacksonville 67-55.
No. 15 Maryland raised their 2001-2002 NCAA Championship banner prior to hosting Miami of Ohio in the new Comcast Center. The Terps then defeated the RedHawks 64-49 in an emotion-filled game, and added to their streak of 85 consecutive non-conference home victories, which is the longest streak in the nation. Miami’s Danny Horace had a 17/12 split for the RedHawks, while the Terps featured Drew Nicholas and Ryan Randle with 16 and 15 points, respectively.
No. 24 Tulsa defeated D-1 Independent Texas-Pan American 80-50, however, the game was a bit closer. The Broncs only trailed the Golden Hurricane by three at the half, before Tulsa regrouped with a 24-8 run early in the second half, followed by 13 straight towards the end. Kevin Johnson led Tulsa with 21 points and 8 boards, and two others tallied double digits in scoring.
As the NCAA turns: In the continuing saga of our suspended superstar – Mississippi State’s Mario Austin – the NCAA said that it needed additional information from Austin before they were ready to announce their decision on whether to restore his eligibility for this season. 14th-ranked Mississippi State already lost their first game without last week to Austin Peay. School officials are hoping to have an announcement by the end of November.
Storm clouds in Fresno: In what has to be a surprise to everyone on the planet, two former Fresno State players have come forward claiming they received illegal benefits while playing for Coach Tarkanian. The Fresno Bee reported that Tito Maddox received over $30,000 from relatives of a Las Vegas sports agent two seasons ago. Also, former Bulldog Terrance Roberson admitted that he accepted several hundred dollars three seasons ago. No comment from the NCAA yet, as they’re too busy counting all the money that the Michigan players accepted, which is a tad bit more than these Bulldogs.
• No. 9 Oregon faces CS Northridge in the finals of the John Thompson Foundation Challenge.
• No. 14 Mississippi squares off against McNeese State, again without center Mario Austin.
• No. 7 Duke hosts Davidson, Middle Tennessee drives south to face No. 8 Alabama, and GW drives up I-95 to Storrs to visit the 12th-ranked Huskies of UConn.
• No. 17 Kentucky is visited by Arizona State, UMass visits No. 20 Indiana, and No. 22 Gonzaga hosts Utah.
That’s it for this Monday. Enjoy!