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January 5, 2003 Columns No Comments

The Morning Dish – Sunday, January 5th, 2003

by Phil Kasiecki

A week of upsets ended with a day that saw just one Top 25 team the victim of an upset. By and large, ranked teams won their games in the last day of primarily non-conference matchups, and one that saw teams from major conferences match up in several contests.

The lone Top 25 upset of the day was one of several notable overtime games, as No. 12 Marquette headed to Dayton to take on the Flyers. Dayton got 23 points from junior guard Ramod Marshall, but they still needed overtime to take out the Golden Eagles, 92-85. With the loss, Marquette (8-3) has lost all three of their road games this season. Though all five Golden Eagle starters scored in double figures, star junior Dwyane Wade struggled to 19 points on 8-23 shooting. Dayton is now 8-3.

Two games featured a matchup of Top 25 teams. No. 2 Alabama improved to 10-1 by knocking off No. 19 Xavier by a 65-58 margin. The Crimson Tide held Xavier (9-3) to 38.5% shooting and forced 19 turnovers. In the other game, No. 8 Oklahoma won a very physical battle with No. 14 Michigan State, 60-58. It was a very evenly played game, but Michigan State (8-3) committed four more turnovers and Quannas White forced a key one near the end to prevent the Spartans from getting one last chance. The Sooners are now 8-2.

In matchups with other Top 25 teams taking on major conference opponents, No. 18 Missouri improved to 8-1 with a hard-fought 88-82 victory over surprising Iowa (8-3), shooting 50% from the field and getting 27 points and 7 assists from Ricky Clemons. No. 23 Wake Forest improved to 9-0 with a 68-62 win at Richmond, riding their 51% shooting to victory despite 19 turnovers. No. Indiana (10-2) beat Charlotte, 70-60, as head coach Mike Davis returned from his one-game suspension.

Side Dishes

New Beginning: One night after their football team lost in the mythical national championship game, Miami opened the Convocation Center on campus against North Carolina. More details are in the feature about the game and the new building, but the Hurricanes made the opening a good one as they came away with a 64-61 overtime win over the Tar Heels.

At Least They Won The Right Game: After Friday night’s Fiesta Bowl win, Ohio State fans were probably not too broken up over the Buckeyes’ 72-64 overtime loss to Louisville on Saturday. The Cardinals rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to force overtime, then were in control during the extra session in improving to 8-1. All four of Ohio State’s losses have been to ranked teams, or teams near the rankings.

Conference Call: Two Top 25 teams that held serve did so in Pac Ten Conference games, as No. 4 Arizona (9-1) beat Oregon State (7-4), 80-65 in Corvallis, and No. 7 Oregon (10-2) rebounded from its loss the other night with a 94-73 win over visiting Arizona State (9-4) despite 27 points and 8 rebounds from another excellent freshman, Ike Diogu.

Close Call: No. 6 Notre Dame barely beat Valparaiso, 55-53. The Fighting Irish shot below 44% from the field and had 13 turnovers, improving to 12-1 with an effort they will have to improve upon in their Big East opener against No. 3 Pittsburgh on Monday night.

Costly Win: No. 16 Kansas continued the slow start of nearby Missouri-Kansas City with a 100-46 blowout, but the win might be costly. Sophomore forward Wayne Simien, their leading rebounder and second-leading scorer, dislocated his right shoulder in the first half. He suffered the same injury in high school and missed about six months, so he is not likely to be back soon. More will be known after he is examined by doctors.

Tonight’s Menu:

• Four teams open their ACC slate. No. 1 Duke heads to Clemson in a game that will see one more undefeated team fall, while Virginia heads to Raleigh to take on North Carolina State.

• A prime SEC matchup takes place in Athens as Georgia hosts No. 25 LSU.

• No. 9 Texas closes out its non-conference slate, as they host Mt. St. Mary’s.

• No. 17 Creighton tries to rebound from its first loss of the season and remain perfect in Missouri Valley play as they host a Drake team expected to contend in the conference.

• Several teams begin their conference schedules in the Atlantic Ten.

That’s it for this Sunday. Enjoy!

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