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Saturday Notes – January 23, 2016

January 24, 2016 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

As previously noted, a good number of games on Saturday were affected by a storm that hit much of the east coast. It’s not only college basketball that was affected; it hit Charlotte, site of the NFC Championship game on Sunday night, although it looked as though the game would go on as planned.

Still, Saturday was a busy day as usual, and it had a lot of noteworthy games. It started with one, as Oklahoma went into Waco and scored a convincing win over Baylor, and ended with a few dandies that came down to the wire out west.

With that, here are some notes from a few of the day’s games.

Oklahoma 82, Baylor 72: The game wasn’t quite this close for a while, as Oklahoma blew it open in the second half after Baylor had an early lead. It’s a convincing bounce-back from the tough loss in Ames earlier in the week.

Kansas 76, Texas 67: It’s games like this that make you think the Jayhawks are just going to find a way at Allen Fieldhouse. Texas started well and led at the half, but the Jayhawks outscored them 46-32 in the second half to take this one.

West Virginia 80, Texas Tech 76: The Red Raiders are still trying to break through to beat one of the Big 12’s best teams. This was another close call, but not close enough.

Michigan State 74, Maryland 65: You knew the Spartans weren’t going to keep losing at home like they had been, and beating the Terrapins was a good way to end that. Denzel Valentine looked more like he did in the first month of the season with 19 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, which is a great sign.

Xavier 84, Seton Hall 76: The Musketeers are probably the most underrated team in the country, and this is one more good win, especially coming off a loss to Georgetown. They remain part of the pack chasing Villanova in the Big East.

California 74, Arizona 73: The Golden Bears continue to protect their home court behind 28 points from Jordan Mathews. Both teams are 4-3 in the Pac-12.

Oregon 86, UCLA 72: The Ducks are among those near the top of the Pac-12 at 5-2, while the Bruins head back to LA with a split in Oregon.

Louisville 75, Georgia Tech 71: More of the same for the Yellow Jackets, as they do well in non-conference but have a tough time pulling out ACC games. They fall to 1-5 with this home loss.

Duke 88, NC State 78: Another missed opportunity for the Wolfpack at home and against a Duke team that was reeling with three straight losses.

Indiana 89, Northwestern 57: This was never a ballgame, as the Hoosiers jumped out early and beat the Wildcats at their own game. Indiana is your first place Big Ten team at 7-0.

Creighton 72, Butler 64: Quietly, the Bluejays are 5-2 in the Big East, and just as quietly, the Bulldogs are 2-5.

LSU 72, Alabama 70: Another good win for the Tigers as it comes on the road, and while not a win that moves the needle with the NCAA Tournament, it’s a sign of progress.

Pittsburgh 74, Florida State 72: The Seminoles are 2-5 in ACC play now, but this is a better win for the Panthers than it looks as it came in Tallahassee, and also because they rallied from a ten-point halftime deficit.

San Diego State 70, Utah State 55: The Aztecs are back to winning at home and remain atop the Mountain West at 7-0.

Boise State 81, Wyoming 71: The Broncos keep pace with the Aztecs with a hard-earned win on the road.

Stanford 75, Arizona State 73: The Sun Devils showed a lot of promise in non-conference play, but after this tough loss they are 1-6 in the Pac-12.

Pepperdine 71, BYU 65: The surprise isn’t so much the result (it was in Malibu Beach) as it is the fact that the Waves are a half game ahead of the Cougars after this.

James Madison 82, Elon 64: For the moment, the Dukes are all alone in first place in the CAA, but the more important note is that they are 7-0 on the road this season.

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