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The Morning Dish – Friday, January 13, 2017

January 13, 2017 The Morning Dish No Comments

UCLA contributed maybe its most mesmerizing offensive performance yet, in a season that’s already been full of them.

Saint Mary’s
posted one of the most dominant defensive shutdowns of the year (along with its trademark efficiency).

Gonzaga
merely kept NCAA Division I’s lone perfect record alive with a 38-point win, in a game where it “didn’t play that well in the first half,” as noted by the team’s center.

Hoops on the west coast is alive, well and healthy, as three of its top teams showed last night. UCLA hit the road and won at Colorado 104-89, Saint Mary’s also went on the road and dismantled Portland 74-33, while Gonzaga blew past Loyola Marymount 93-55.

UCLA kept it rolling with perhaps its most mesmerizing offensive performance yet. The Bruins shot 56.5% from the field, hit 19 of 31 from three-point range (61.3%) and 15 of 16 from the line. This was all on the road, and against a team that will likely spend the next two months fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Bryce Alford erupted for 37, and Colorado simply couldn’t keep up.

Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s prepped for their titanic upcoming meeting Saturday by seemingly trying to outdo the other’s blowout. The Bulldogs were pushed for a half, as noted by center Przemek Karnowski in his post-game comments, but outscored LMU by 27 in the second half. The Zags were good on offense (53.0% from the field, 10 of 18 from 3) and defense (the Lions shot just 34.5%), and a four-point game late in the first half still turned into a rout.

The Gaels followed by holding Portland to nine first-half points, and the Pilots didn’t even crack 20 until less than nine minutes remained in the game. At one point, SMC’s Calvin Hermanson had nearly doubled Portland’s output himself (27 to 14) and the Gaels out-boarded the host Pilots 50-16.

Side Dishes:

  • Hoopville czar Phil Kasiecki had another of his excellent podcasts with veteran college hoops broadcaster Ted Sarandis, which you can listen to here.
  • One of the best conference races no one knows about in the Rasputin of college basketball conferences had its first installment last night, with New Mexico State handling Grand Canyon 81-69 to get a leg up in the WAC. The Aggies have now won 14 straight and are 16-2, as Paul Weir is engineering one heck of a season in Las Cruces. Also, as Tony Patelis noted on Twitter, that this game wasn’t on TV, but a game like Rutgers at Northwestern was, is exactly part of what’s wrong with college basketball’s media coverage.
  • While UCLA won, the Pac-12’s other L.A. school’s trip to the Rockies didn’t start so well, as Utah bounced USC easily, 86-64. The Trojans are starting to show a few cracks.
  • It’s starting to look like there maybe just are no dominant teams in the Big Ten this year?  We do know for sure there are a whole lot of teams capable of stinging anyone at any time. Iowa and Purdue displayed this again Thursday, with the Hawkeyes coming back from a nine-point halftime deficit to stun the Boilermakers 83-78, even after nearly yakking this one up with some lousy free throw shooting.
  • Notre Dame once again came up clutch down the stretch, scoring 10 of the game’s final 11 points to win at Miami (Fla.) 67-62. An outstanding statistic from the Associated Press:  “The Fighting Irish outscored opponents 25-6 in the final 6:42 of their first three league games.” The Hurricanes saw their 21-game home winning streak snapped; also, the school announced earlier in the day that Michael Gilmore has been dismissed from the program. Gilmore was a VCU transfer sitting out this season.
  • The eye-opener of the night came in the Atlantic 10, where La Salle jumped all over Rhode Island and cruised to an 87-75 win. The Explorers led by 21 at the half and have won five of six, while the Rams’ starters shot a collective 13 of 40.
  • Georgia Tech is a pest in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets won again, topping Clemson 75-63, and are another ACC team outperforming expectations.
  • Northeastern, UNC Wilmington and College of Charleston are still streaking in the CAA. The Huskies won their eighth straight and clinched a season sweep of Drexel with a 92-75 win. T.J. Williams tied his career high with 30 points. UNCW rolled past William & Mary 101-77 to move to 16-2, while Charleston did it with defense again, edging James Madison 53-51. This could be a two-bid conference in March.
  • Middle Tennessee State is the sole undefeated left in Conference USA after a 69-57 win at home over Marshall. The Blue Raiders finished with a staggering 58-25 advantage on the glass and shut down the high-scoring Thundering Herd in impressive fashion.
  • Evan Bradds was terrific with 32 points and 10 rebounds and Nick Smith also hit six three-pointers and scored 24 points for Belmont, who stayed unbeaten in the OVC with an 84-74 win at Morehead State.
  • A good game in the ageless Southern Conference saw UNC Greensboro hit 13 three-pointers and get the road win at East Tennessee State, 83-79. This league is far more than Tennessee-Chattanooga and ETSU, and the Spartans are going to be a player in a good race.
  • The last undefeated in the Southland went down and Sam Houston State got back into the league race with a 70-68 win at New Orleans.
  • Texas forward Tevin Mack has been suspended for a violation of team rules. Mack is the team’s leading scorer at 14.8 points per contest, and this is his second suspension this season (he also missed the Longhorns’ season opener). The tough year for Texas continues.

Tonight’s Menu: It’s a very light schedule with just six games on a Friday night, three of them on TV.

  • High scoring meets even higher scoring in the MAC West as Toledo is at Central Michigan (6:30 p.m. Eastern, CBSSN).
  • Budding rivals on the opposite end of the Horizon League standings meet with Detroit at first-place Oakland (7 p.m., ESPNU). The following game on ESPNU also follows the same script, with MAAC-leading
  • Rider playing last-place Manhattan, though this time the leaders are on the road (9 p.m.).
  • First place in the America East is on the line with ultra-surprising Maryland-Baltimore County at Vermont.
  • Two games in the Ivy League include Yale at Pennsylvania and Princeton hosting Brown.

Have a great Friday and a nice weekend.

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College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

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March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

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