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Saturday Notes – February 7, 2015

February 8, 2015 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

Saturday was another busy day of basketball, and it featured many big matchups that had the top of a conference on the line. There’s still a month to play, but it’s always better to be on top than playing from behind, and some of these matchups are only the first meeting between two teams.

Saturday also included the first time in ACC history that there were two matchups of teams ranked in the AP top 10 on the same day. Fans got a split out of the deal, as the first one was a dud and the second was a dandy.

Aside from the games, one game that wasn’t of note by itself included a great story. BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth posted his fifth triple-double of the season, an NCAA record. Remember, this is a guy who tore his ACL in the West Coast Conference Tournament last year.

With that, we take a look at notes from some of the day’s most noteworthy games.

Kentucky 68, Florida 61: This was bigger for Florida, and they can grow a lot from it. Simply put, they stayed right with the Wildcats all night and didn’t flinch when they got the lead, never allowing Kentucky to break it open.

Virginia 52, Louisville 47: A great defensive battle that was every bit as good as expected. Virginia has bounced back nicely from the loss to Duke by beating North Carolina and now Louisville to stay on top of the ACC.

Duke 90, Notre Dame 60: The Blue Devils reminded us how good they can be in this one, which was never a ballgame. This makes the race for the top of the ACC just a bit more interesting.

Oklahoma State 67, Kansas 62: Kansas gave the ball away too often, and ultimately, they gave the game away. The Jayhawks are very good and might still win another Big 12 title, but this game shows you they are not a dominant team.

Baylor 87, West Virginia 69: This game wasn’t so close early on, as West Virginia simply couldn’t score. Baylor is looking better all the time.

Texas 61, Kansas State 57: A road win like this without two key players will tease us into thinking Texas is in a better place. But the Longhorns need to build on this win before anyone can start believing in them again.

Illinois 59, Michigan State 54: Illinois continues to hang tough without Rayvonte Rice, and they’re now 6-5 in Big Ten play after a nice road win here for their third straight win.

Georgia 56, Tennessee 53: Georgia needed this one to try to move out of the middle of the pack in the SEC, and they pulled it out.

St. Bonaventure 73, VCU 71: Give St. Bonaventure credit for another buzzer-beating win, but this game should concern VCU fans. Treveon Graham didn’t play again, and as talented as VCU is, they’re certainly not the same team without their senior leaders.

Villanova 69, Georgetown 53: It took some time, but Villanova is re-asserting themselves as the team to beat in the Big East now, especially after this convincing win.

Xavier 78, Providence 69: Xavier still has some life. More importantly, Providence head coach Ed Cooley is staying overnight in a Cincinnati hospital, but reports indicate he’s doing well. Let’s hope he gets well soon.

Arizona State 81, Arizona 78: Like the old saying goes, throw out the records in a rivalry game. I’m sure the Wildcats aren’t happy with giving up 81 points.

SMU 68, Tulsa 57: Let’s give SMU credit for the way they have battled back first from whiffing on their best chances for non-conference wins, then the off-court matters they have had to deal with. They’re now just a half game back of Tulsa in the American Athletic Conference after winning at their place.

Temple 61, Memphis 60: This one hurts for Memphis, as they had a ten-point lead at the half and lost a key battle.

William & Mary 56, UNCW 53: Sole possession of first place in the CAA was on the line, and it was the Tribe who came up big on the road in a great game.

Delaware 73, Northeastern 68: Delaware has now knocked off two of the top three teams in the CAA standings, having already knocked off William & Mary, and they nearly won at UNCW, the other top team.

Harvard 52, Yale 50: While Harvard has looked beatable this year, and I’ve been among those saying it, until someone knocks them off they are the team to beat in the Ivy League. This road win in Round 1 between these teams makes that clear.

Murray State 82, Austin Peay 72: Murray State keeps their run going in the Ohio Valley, and they’re well on their way to the regular season title at 11-0.

UC Irvine 56, Long Beach State 55: With this win on the road, the Anteaters pull into a tie with the 49ers at 7-2 in Big West play.

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