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Saturday Notes – December 6, 2014

December 7, 2014 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

Saturday was quite a day of college basketball, and you had a feeling that was going to be the case early on. By about 4 p.m. Eastern, we already had four noteworthy games as Green Bay beat Miami, USC Upstate beat Georgia Tech, NJIT beat Michigan and North Florida won at Purdue. You had a feeling that was just the beginning, what with over 100 games on tap. While the pace of surprises slowed, the evening had plenty of good games.

Besides that, there were several big matchups on the day, from rivalry games to matchups of top teams to intriguing matchups of teams that have had good starts under the radar. It was a day where we learned a little more about a number of teams.

Here is a look at some noteworthy games on the day.

Arizona 66, Gonzaga 63 (OT): The most highly-anticipated matchup of the day was all we could hope for it to be.

Wisconsin 49, Marquette 38: The Badgers bounce back against their arch-rival by holding them below 29 percent from the field and out-rebounding them 41-28.

Virginia 74, VCU 57: Duke is understandably getting a lot of coverage among ACC teams right now, but Virginia is staying step for step with them. The Cavaliers will be right there once again, evidenced in part by this convincing win in Richmond.

Green Bay 68, Miami 55: The Hurricanes’ great start had to end sometime, and it happened in convincing fashion as Green Bay held them below 33 percent from the field and out-rebounded them 46-37.

NJIT 72 Michigan 70: Caris LeVert had a nice afternoon with 32 points, but he didn’t have enough help and NJIT got their biggest win during their Division I tenure.

North Florida 73, Purdue 70: A big second half pushed the Ospreys to this victory, as they trailed by eight at intermission. They won despite a 50-39 deficit on the boards.

Texas A&M 72, Arizona State 71: An intriguing matchup of two teams that have quietly played well looked like it would go to the Sun Devils for a while, as the Aggies had to rally from an 11-point halftime deficit to take this one.

Boise State 82, Saint Mary’s 71: The last game of the day was a pretty good one, with the Broncos getting a nice road win despite 29 points and 11 rebounds from Brad Waldow.

St. John’s 69, Syracuse 57: This Syracuse team isn’t that good, especially offensively, but anytime you can go to the Carrier Dome and win, it is definitely A Good Thing.

South Carolina 75, Oklahoma State 49: This score is reflective of two programs going in opposite directions. Frank Martin has South Carolina very much on the way up, while Oklahoma State is trending downward.

Tennessee 65, Kansas State 64: Tennessee had to hold on at the end as the Wildcats made a furious rally that was too little, too late. They salvage one more for the SEC in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which the Big 12 ends up taking 6-4.

Butler 65, Northwestern 56: Give Butler a lot of credit. They’ve faced a good deal of adversity over the last year or so since entering the Big East, and this team is now 7-1 with some good wins, including this one that is better than many realize.

Northern Iowa 71, George Mason 65 (OT): Northern Iowa remains undefeated, moving to 8-0 as Seth Tuttle leads the way once again.

Penn State 73, Marshall 69: Quietly, Penn State is now 8-1 after winning this one in West Virginia.

USC Upstate 59, Georgia Tech 54: Just as the Yellowjackets had picked up a few good wins, they give some of it back with this one.

Princeton 77, Stony Brook 64: Princeton has had a tough time of it thus far, but beating a good Stony Brook team behind 28 points from Steven Cook can only help.

Seton Hall 81, Rutgers 54: An old Big East rivalry was never a competitive game as the Pirates led big at the half and coasted behind 25 points from talented freshman Isaiah Whitehead.

Tulane 59, Mississippi State 54: It’s been a rough stretch for the American Athletic Conference, but Tulane is 7-1 after this win.

Harvard 64, Vermont 52 (2 OT): The Crimson finally take over in the second overtime to get a good road win.

Sacred Heart 81, Holy Cross 68: A very good win for Sacred Heart, and it was a freshman who led the way as Cane Broome had 25 points and nine rebounds.

Central Connecticut State 56, Hartford 47: The Blue Devils get their first win of the season behind a solid 16-point, 16-rebound outing from Brandon Peel.

Canisius 77, Niagara 64: Jim Baron’s team wins the long-time rivalry game and is an early MAAC leader with a 2-0 mark following this road win.

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