Just a couple weeks into the conference season, we’re already seeing the wear of league play start to show in some of the results we come across.
Saturday featured a fair share of results involving good teams falling by decisive and sometimes even lopsided scores. Duke won at Louisville 63-52 in a game not as close as that final score much of the way. Texas drilled West Virginia 77-50. Maryland rolled Michigan State 75-59. Oklahoma handled Oklahoma State with relative ease, 82-65. Clemson defeated Syracuse 66-53. It even happened in the Atlantic 10 (Richmond blowing out Davidson 89-63) and Big South (Gardner-Webb winning with surprising ease over previously 14-3 Coastal Carolina 82-67)
All of the losers came in as good teams but left looking like anything but. Have they suddenly become bad teams? Not at all.
This is part of the price of conference play, especially on the road (five of the seven above results tilted towards home teams; only Duke and Gardner-Webb did their work on the road). Even really, really good teams can look really, really bad at times.
Maybe this is revisionist history, but don’t seem to remember a lot of this in the sport years ago, but regardless, it’s something in recent years that fans will have to put up with on occasion. As long as those teams are as good as they’ve been through the first half of the season, they’ll respond just fine. If anything, it may be of some comfort to get such a stinker out of the way now, and not in March.
- Hoopville’s Phil Kasiecki has his Saturday college hoops recap here. Phil also is at the Spalding Hoophall Classic in Springfield all weekend and has reports from there today and throughout the weekend. Play also continues there on Sunday.
- A couple other notable performances from yesterday:
Stephen F. Austin’s Thomas Walkup was brilliant, scoring 30 points on 14 of 17 shooting in the Lumberjacks’ 82-64 win over Central Arkansas, their 13th straight W.
Minnesota’s Andre Hollins scored 31 points, carrying the Golden Gophers in stretches in their 89-80 win over Rutgers.
Alex Hamilton of Louisiana Tech rang the bell for 30 points in the Bulldogs’ 75-68 win over Middle Tennessee State. Hamilton was just 5 of 9 from the field but made a school record 20 free throws in 23 attempts as Tech stayed unbeaten in Conference USA.
Buffalo’s Justin Moss had 31 points and 15 boards in the Bulls’ 77-68 win over Miami (Ohio). Moss is making a serious push to be the Mid-American’s best player.
Moss’s performance was challenged for best of the day in the MAC, though, as Reggie McAdams came off the bench to score 31 in Akron‘s 82-76 win over Central Michigan. McAdams made 10 of 13 from the field, including 6 of 9 from three-point range, and also added six rebounds for good measure.
- North Carolina State played without guard Cat Barber on Saturday, as Barber missed the game due to a death in the family. Barber is averaging 11.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game this season. The Wolfpack responded well in his absence yesterday, taking care of Florida State 72-63.
- Virginia Commonwealth ended up playing without Treveon Graham on Saturday, as the senior’s ankle injury kept him out of the Rams’ game at Duquesne. VCU ran out to a 14-point lead by halftime but then had to hold on at the end for a 70-64 win.
- VMI was missing high-scoring guard Q.J. Peterson on Saturday in its 85-79 Southern Conference win over East Tennessee State. According to VMI’s postgame press release on its website, Peterson, a sophomore who is averaging 19.6 points per game and has already topped 1,000 points for his career, was “placed on medical furlough prior to the game and is not currently attending VMI. Peterson may return to VMI when he is able to fully participate in all cadet activities.” Interesting story to follow going forward.
- Eastern Washington played without its frontcourt leader Venky Jois on Saturday, as he missed the Eagles’ game with Sacramento State due to a sprained ankle. Jois is EWU’s second-leading scorer at 18.0 points and leads the team in rebounding at 7.5 rpg, and he was missed as Sacramento State defeated the Eagles 90-77 on Saturday, dropping Eastern to 13-5 overall.
- CBS college basketball analyst Greg Anthony will not be working for the network again this season, according to a statement by the network, after Anthony was arrested on Friday on charges of soliciting a prostitute. Almost assuredly this means CBS & TBA will be looking for someone else to call the Final Four along with Jim Nantz. No jokes, wise cracks or apathy about this here. Anthony is married and has children, and there’s nothing funny at all when thinking about this and the impact it may well have on his family.
St. John’s at DePaul (2:30 p.m. EST, FS1) The Johnnies’ push to get back into the top half of the Big East could really use this one.
Indiana at Illinois (1 p.m. EST, BTN) The Hoosiers especially bear watching now with Hanner Mosquera-Perea out.
Boise State at New Mexico (6 p.m. EST, CBSSN) Don’t count these teams out for postseason consideration quite yet.
Oregon at Washington (8:30 p.m. EST, ESPNU) The Huskies stopped the four-game losing streak with a win over Oregon State on Thursday, but a loss here would negate much of that positive.
St. Francis (N.Y.) at St. Francis (Pa.) Because we love the matchup, and because both are fighting to get to the top of the NEC.
Have a great Sunday.