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Saturday notes – January 17, 2015

January 18, 2015 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

Saturday may have been a busy day of great high school basketball at the Spalding Hoophall Classic, but it was also a busy one for college teams with over 140 games on tap with Division I schools. Included were a few highly-anticipated games, though a couple of them ended up being double-digit affairs. There weren’t a lot of surprises in the results this time around, except perhaps for some games being either closer or not as close as one might expect.

Here are notes on some of the day’s college games.

Kentucky 70, Alabama 48: John Calipari has now won at all but one SEC arena – Bud Walton Arena (Arkansas) – as the head coach at Kentucky after this win in Tuscaloosa.

Arizona 69, Utah 51: Though this one was in Tucson, I thought this would be a closer game. Stanley Johnson continues a fine freshman campaign with 18 points and 10 rebounds as these two are both 4-1 in Pac-12 play.

Virginia 66, Boston College 51: The Eagles certainly Virginia a battle and led at times, but the Cavaliers took over in the second half for another convincing win.

Duke 63, Louisville 52: Not Louisville’s best day by a long shot, shooting below 30 percent from the field overall and 4-25 on three-pointers.

Notre Dame 75, Miami 70: The jury remains out on this Miami team. They started the season well, but the shine has come off of them, especially since the win at Florida looks less impressive by the week.

Maryland 75, Michigan State 59: The Terrapins just keep on winning, and they’re Wisconsin’s top competition right now as they’re 5-1 in Big Ten play.

Iowa 76, Ohio State 67: The jury is still out on Ohio State, although this game was in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes are quietly right behind Maryland in the chase for Wisconsin.

Iowa State 86, Kansas 81: Though it’s still early yet, this makes things a bit more interesting in the Big 12 as both teams are 3-1.

Texas 77, West Virginia 50: Texas really needed to get back on track with a win, and they certainly got it with this blowout.

Oklahoma 82, Oklahoma State 65: A great rivalry, but not much of a game this time around thanks largely to Buddy Hield, who doesn’t get much pub but is certainly an All-America candidate.

Kansas State 63, Baylor 61: At some point, Baylor’s missed opportunities may add up and really hurt them. Saturday was the latest, blowing a 14-point lead and missing out on a potential good road win.

Xavier 62, Marquette 58: This was a battle of two teams trying to separate themselves toward the top of the Big East, and the host Musketeers pulled it out with a big second half to overcome a nine-point halftime deficit.

Wichita State 61, Evansville 41: Give the Shockers credit for blowing out a good team on the road, as Northern Iowa slipped up at Evansville earlier.

Georgetown 61, Butler 59: A photo finish in a game between two evenly-matched teams, as well as two teams trying to separate themselves from the middle of the pack in the Big East.

Providence 74, Creighton 65: Let Creighton’s 0-6 record in Big East play stand as an indication of how meaningless polls are. Remember when the Bluejays were ranked earlier this season?

San Diego State 53, UNLV 47: UNLV’s growing pains continue in a game where they led at the half but didn’t play nearly as well after intermission.

Wyoming 70, Fresno State 65 (3 OT): The three overtimes stand out and make this one of the thrillers of the day, but more importantly, this was big as it keeps Wyoming atop the Mountain West at 5-1 and was in Fresno – the first time the Cowboys have ever won there.

Stanford 72, Connecticut 59: The Huskies really could have used this one for a quality win. Those are going to get much harder to come by in American Athletic Conference play, and the Huskies could use them.

Tulsa 75, South Florida 58: Tulsa continues to quietly lead the way in the American Athletic Conference, as they are now 5-0 after this road win.

SMU 77, East Carolina 54: The Mustangs improve to 5-1 to keep pace with Tulsa. But can they keep winning without Keith Frazier and with all the negative attention around the program?

Dayton 61, Saint Louis 45: The Flyers continue to play well, reaching 4-0 in Atlantic 10 play with their eighth straight win and looking more and more like the team many thought they would be before the season.

Richmond 89, Davidson 63: This is the surprise score of the day in the Atlantic 10. Though it was in Richmond, a blowout is probably not what many figured the result would be. Both teams are 3-2 in Atlantic 10 play.

Saint Mary’s 82, Brigham Young 77: Saint Mary’s needed this one, because BYU at least has a non-conference win to fall back on (although it’s only one). This also sets up a Saint Mary’s-Gonzaga showdown with first place in the West Coast Conference on the line.

UNCW 79, Hofstra 74: Kevin Keatts has UNCW playing well, as they have gone to Northeastern and now Hofstra and won as part of their 4-2 CAA mark. Addison Spruill (23 points) has been playing well in particular.

Colgate 65, Navy 53: The Raiders win another on the road to improve to 5-1 and remain a pleasant surprise atop the Patriot League.

Bucknell 81, Army 75: Meanwhile, Army is the unpleasant surprise at 2-4 in the league. The Black Knights had the best non-league showing of any Patriot League team, but that hasn’t translated thus far.

Northern Kentucky 66, USC Upstate 65: After a nice non-conference run, USC Upstate is 1-2 in early Atlantic Sun play after dropping this one at home.

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