Saturday is always a busy day during the college basketball season, and this one was no exception. There were plenty of interesting games with ranked teams, more early season tournament action, and a few mid-major matchups of note.
In the photo finish of the day, Minnesota defeated No. 13 Georgia 72-69 on a buzzer-beating three-pointer by junior forward Michael Bauer. Bauer was one of five Golden Gophers to reach double digits in a balanced attack. Minnesota is now 2-0, while Georgia continues its tough start in falling to 1-3.
No. 7 Duke and No. 15 UCLA faced off in the Wooden Tradition, with the Blue Devils coming out on top by an 84-73 margin. Freshman J.J. Redick led five players in double figures with a game-high 20 points. The Blue Devils (3-0) shot 54.2% from the field and held UCLA (0-2) to just 43.1% shooting.
In a late game, College of Charleston took home the Great Alaska Shootout title by holding on to edge Villanova, 71-69. The Cougars are adjusting to new head coach Tom Herrion and new personnel just fine, as they improve to 5-0. The Cougars shot poorly and allowed Villanova (3-2) to shoot well, and were annihilated on the glass, but forced 20 turnovers and committed just eight.
In the third place game of the Great Alaska Shootout, Oklahoma State came from behind to hand No. 10 Michigan State its second loss in as many nights with a 64-61 win. The Cowboys (3-1) won despite shooting just 36.7% from the field, as they forced 19 turnovers. The Spartans are now 2-2.
No. 3 Oklahoma improved to 3-1 with a 75-63 win over Prairie View, but Kelvin Sampson was not happy. The Sooners (3-1) trailed at one point in the second half against a Prairie View team that had just eight scholarship players, but All-America candidate Hollis Price took over near the end in scoring 13 of his team’s final 18 points.
Dayton snapped an 11-game losing streak against cross-state rival Cincinnati by scoring a 75-69 upset of the No. 23 Bearcats in Dayton. Keith Waleskowski led the way with 18 points and 8 rebounds for the Flyers (3-0). Cincinnati falls to 2-1.
Close Call: No. 24 Tulsa improved to 3-0 with a 61-60 road win over Arkansas, but they were scoreless in the final two and a half minutes and scored just nine points in the final 11 minutes.
Team Effort: Providence blew out Ohio University, 91-68, in a game that head coach Tim Welsh accurately described as a great example of balance. The Friars shot 56.7% from the field and had 29 assists on 34 made field goals. Only one starter did not score in double figures, but freshman point guard Donnie McGrath was too busy handing out 13 assists while committing just one turnover.
Mild Upsets: LSU, expected to contend for an NCAA Tournament bid, lost to Texas A&M by a 79-77 score in the Space City Classic behind 26 points from Bernard King and 22 from freshman Antoine Wright. Purdue beat Louisville, 86-84, in the John Wooden Traditional, in a game where 11 players scored in double figures.
Of Mid-Major Interest: In two mid-major matchups of note, UNC-Wilmington blew out East Tennessee State, 78-57, and Butler blew out Ball State 71-45.
• In a battle of undefeated teams, No. 12 Connecticut (2-0) heads to Tennessee to take on Vanderbilt (3-0).
• No. 20 Indiana (3-0) looks to continue its hot start as they welcome North Texas (1-1). The Hoosiers are showing no signs of buckling under the increased expectations from last season’s run to the national championship game, led by their deep backcourt.
• Illinois (2-0) takes on cross-state rival Western Illinois (1-1).
• The Tulane Tournament features Central Florida taking on Indiana State in the championship game.
• The Hofstra Holiday Tournament features Hofstra taking on Quinnipiac in the championship game.
That’s it for this Sunday. Enjoy!