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Saturday Notes – February 13, 2016

February 14, 2016 Columns, Your Phil of Hoops No Comments

Another Saturday in the books, and one that had a number of big games and great endings. It also followed the script of the season, as we saw teams that appeared to be on the good side lose while teams on the bad side won, making things more interesting.

The day featured a highly anticipated rematch between Kansas and Oklahoma, but there was much more on tap. The most drama came in a big ACC battle, while the SEC continues to be interesting and a couple of Big Ten teams scored big wins. The CAA and Ivy League races got a bit clearer on Saturday, though there’s a lot left to play out with both.

With that, here are notes from a number of Saturday’s games.

Kansas 76, Oklahoma 72: It wasn’t quite the epic battle of the first meeting – and the chances of it being that were very slim to begin with because games like that come along so rarely. It’s a big win for the Jayhawks that puts them back in a familiar spot – the driver’s seat in the Big 12.

Wisconsin 70, Maryland 57: A very impressive road win for the Badgers that shows how far they have come. They were in control basically from the outset and always had a response when Maryland seemed to get a little momentum, and they’ve gone from afterthought to NCAA team if the tourney were held today.

Duke 63, Virginia 62: Just when it looked like the Cavaliers might finally win in Cameron Indoor Stadium… Grayson Allen does his magic. A tough one for Virginia.

Notre Dame 71, Louisville 66: The Fighting Irish are quietly right there in the ACC race at 9-4 thanks to Demetrius Jackson and a big second half where they held the Cardinals to 23 points.

Clemson 66, Georgia Tech 52: The Tigers continue to be money at home. Can they get a good win or two on the road?

Texas Tech 84, Baylor 66: What a week for the Red Raiders. First, they beat Iowa State, then they win quite convincingly at Baylor. They’re 5-7 in the Big 12, so they need more wins, but if they can get to even 8-10 in conference play with their computer numbers and now their big wins, they might make the Big Dance.

Iowa State 85, Texas 75: A solid win for the Cyclones to bounce back from the loss at Texas Tech earlier in the week.

Providence 75, Georgetown 72: A big double-double by Rodney Bullock (23 points, 10 rebounds) helps the Friars get what seems like a rarity these days – a home win.

Michigan 61, Purdue 56: The Wolverines are a prototypical bubble team this year in that they’ve been good, but haven’t done much to grab attention save for their win over Maryland last month. This could change the discussion as it goes with that and their win over Texas.

Kentucky 89, South Carolina 62: It would have been one thing for the Wildcats to play arguably their best game of the season at home, or to just win in Columbia. But this thumping? I don’t think anyone say it coming, but Tyler Ulis (27 points, 12 assists) and Jamal Murray showed just how good they can be.

LSU 76, Texas A&M 71: A nice win for LSU to rebound from the loss to South Carolina the other night, and it keeps the Aggies in a slump as they have lost four in a row after at one time being clear SEC leaders.

Alabama 61, Florida 55: The Crimson Tide have entered the at-large discussion with their play of late, with this win in Gainesville helping as much as any of their recent wins.

SMU 69, Gonzaga 60: Gonzaga needed this as their last chance for a signature win. At this point, only the very, very soft bubble helps them stay alive if they aren’t West Coast Conference champions, because their resume looks pretty thin right now.

Connecticut 75, Tulsa 73: This is a damaging loss for the Golden Hurricane as a missed opportunity, as they probably needed this more than the Huskies. UConn still plays SMU twice and goes to Cincinnati, while Tulsa has the Mustangs on Thursday (road) and plays UConn again and Cincinnati.

Stanford 76, Oregon 72: The Ducks get swept out of northern California and could end the weekend in a first-place tie if Arizona wins at USC on Sunday.

California 83, Oregon State 71: The Golden Bears still haven’t lost at home all season, and this completes a big weekend sweep. Now the question is if they can win on the road, and they’ll get a chance Thursday in a key game at Washington.

Colorado 81, Washington 80: The Huskies are now in a slump, as the one-time Pac-12 leaders are 7-6 having lost three straight and four of five.

Oklahoma State 58, Kansas State 55 (OT): For a time, the Wildcats might have had some NCAA at-large hopes if they picked up another good win or two. At 3-9 in the Big 12 after this one, they need a lot more now.

Northern Iowa 53, Wichita State 50: A damaging home loss for the Shockers, who are already a tough team to evaluate given the losses they had in non-conference without Fred VanVleet.

George Mason 60, Davidson 59: Speaking of damaging losses, at this point the Wildcats are almost certainly a “strictly automatic” NCAA Tournament team as they are now 6-6 in Atlantic 10 play.

St. Bonaventure 64, George Washington 57: The Bonnies boost their resume nicely behind Jaylen Adams.

Louisiana Tech 85, UAB 76: The Blazers still lead the way in Conference USA, but this is a big win for the Bulldogs to get a little closer to the other teams chasing UAB.

UNCW 78, James Madison 68: UNCW is the clear leader of the pack in the CAA, having won 11 straight to go two games up on everyone else.

Hofstra 77, Delaware 66: In this game whose score gives no indication of how much of a chance Delaware had to win, Rokas Gustys delivered your stat line of the day with 18 points and 21 rebounds.

Tulane 94, Memphis 87 (OT): The latest sign of how far Memphis has fallen is a loss at Tulane that drops them to 5-7 in American Athletic Conference play.

Morehead State 78, Belmont 77: In the first half, Belmont out-classed Morehead State and led by 14. The second half was another story entirely.

Princeton 88, Columbia 83 (OT): A big road win for the Tigers puts them in the driver’s seat to challenge Yale, who remained undefeated with a win at Harvard on Saturday.

Stephen F. Austin 70, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 58: The Lumberjacks just keep winning, now 11-0 in the Southland and three games up on everyone else.

Siena 81, Iona 78: This caps a big bounce-back week for the Saints after losing to Marist last week, as they blew out Canisius and then went to New Rochelle for a win to get within a half game of second place in the MAAC.

UALR 68, UL-Lafayette 64: This was the big showdown in the Sun Belt, and with this win the visiting Trojans go two games up on the Ragin’ Cajuns.

NJIT 68, FGCU 59: There’s quite a race brewing in the Atlantic Sun, where the Highlanders pull into a three-way tie with slumping North Florida (who lost at Lipscomb on Saturday, their fourth straight) and Jacksonville at the top.

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