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Saturday Notes – January 18, 2014

January 19, 2014 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

Saturday was one of the busiest days of college basketball this season, with 151 games on tap. Only one other day this season will match that. There were plenty of key matchups among those games, including an early Big 12 showdown and one of the bigger matchups being one of old Big East teams now in the ACC. A few teams scored a big win of one sort or another.

Here is a look at notes from some games on the day.

Syracuse 59, Pittsburgh 54: Syracuse goes to 18-0 with this win in old Big East game now played as an ACC contest. Once again, Tyler Ennis was a steady hand when the Orange needed it.

Wichita State 68, Indiana State 48: The Shockers win the battle of Missouri Valley unbeatens very convincingly. Granted, it’s one game and it was in Wichita, but this is a statement win, and they seem poised to run away with the Valley now.

Kansas 80, Oklahoma State 78: Kansas jumped out early and led by 17 at the half before Oklahoma State waged a furious second-half rally that fell short. When these two teams meet in Stillwater on March 1, it should be a little more interesting.

Michigan 77, Wisconsin 70: Wisconsin was undefeated before the week began. Now they have a two-game losing streak, with his one being a surprise only because it was in Madison. That’s life in the Big Ten this year.

Texas 86, Iowa State 76: All of a sudden, Iowa State has lost three in a row. This one came in Austin, but the Cyclones are going through a tough stretch now.

Providence 81, Creighton 68: This was probably the shocker of the day to many, but Providence is good at home and simply out-played Creighton. The Friars are better than some think, although they aren’t deep, and Bryce Cotton was the best player on the floor, although Doug McDermott was not feeling his best.

Duke 95, NC State 60: You can’t blame Mark Gottfried for a light and home-heavy non-conference slate given that the Wolfpack aren’t exactly loaded with experience. But they’ve really come back to earth in ACC play, now 1-4 after getting blasted across town.

Oklahoma 66, Baylor 64: Oklahoma continues the trend of win one, lose one in Big 12 play, but perhaps this spurs them on to put a few wins together with TCU and Texas Tech ahead before the rivalry game with Oklahoma State.

Virginia 78, Florida State 66: It’s time to start talking about Virginia. The Cavaliers are 4-1 in the ACC with only a tough loss at Duke. Saturday, they solved the Florida State defense, which has been shutting teams down, shooting over 49 percent from the field including 7-11 from long range.

Cincinnati 61, South Florida 54: Quietly, the Bearcats are 6-0 in American Athletic Conference play after another road win.

Louisville 76, Connecticut 64: The Cardinals are right behind the Bearcats at 5-1 after a road win of their own. Shabazz Napier scored 30 points, but it wasn’t enough in a game where head coach Kevin Ollie was ejected.

California 76, Washington State 55: Quietly, the Golden Bears are right there with Arizona in the Pac-12 at 5-0 after this win. Next up is on the road at USC and UCLA; a possible showdown with Arizona is still two weeks away.

Utah 74, UCLA 69: Few probably saw this one coming. Kyle Anderson did all he could with 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, but Utah held on to take out the Bruins in Salt Lake City.

Butler 69, Marquette 57: It almost seems like a given that Big East games in Hinkle Fieldhouse will take more than regulation to settle, as that has been the case in all four thus far. This time, it was all Butler for their first Big East win, while Marquette continues to disappoint.

Northwestern 54, Indiana 47: Indiana is down, but this is still a big win for Northwestern as it came in Bloomington. Drew Crawford matched Indiana’s talented freshman Noah Vonleh with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Mississippi State 81, Texas A&M 72: The Bulldogs even their SEC record and hand the Aggies their first SEC loss on the season in overtime.

Georgia 66, Arkansas 61: The overtime win over Kentucky on the highlight-reel dunk was a distant memory. Arkansas is now 1-3 in the SEC after dropping one in overtime to a Georgia team that is quietly 3-1.

North Carolina 82, Boston College 71: North Carolina gets their first ACC win.

Seton Hall 67, Georgetown 57: Seton Hall finally gets rewarded for battling all season, and this drops Georgetown to 3-3 in the Big East.

SMU 58, UCF 46: An old Conference USA battle goes to the visiting Mustangs, who are now 3-2 in American Athletic Conference play.

Toledo 75, Akron 61: This puts both teams at 3-1 in the MAC, but it’s another solid win for the Rockets coming in Akron behind J.D. Weatherspoon’s 20 points and 14 rebounds. It’s also their first win against the Zips since 2007 and their first win in Akron since 2001.

Old Dominion 65, Florida Atlantic 60: Quietly, Old Dominion is 4-0 in their new conference after this comeback win on the road.

Delaware 74, Northeastern 70: Delaware improved to 4-0 in CAA play despite not having Jarvis Threatt, another example of how this team continues to win through personnel adversity.

Rhode Island 71, George Mason 69: The Patriots’ woes continue with this overtime loss, dropping them to 0-4 in the Atlantic 10. They have lost five straight and nine of 11.

Fairfield 71, Manhattan 67: This was the shocker of the afternoon, as Fairfield gets their first MAAC win. This is big for their young players and a sign that they are starting to grow up.

Campbell 97, VMI 93: This overtime win for the Fighting Camels was led by one of the best stat lines of the day, as Reco McCarter had 21 points on 7-12 shooting, 13 rebounds, six assists, two steals and three blocked shots.

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