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Saturday Notes – January 13, 2018

January 14, 2018 Columns No Comments

The last couple of Saturdays were full of interesting results and drama. While this Saturday had some of each, it’s safe to say it didn’t quite match the previous ones.

And that’s okay. It’s not going to be the same, or as good, all the time, no matter how good that would be.

Even so, Saturday had some noteworthy results. The Big 12 continues to be a great chase, the Big Ten appears to have more questions than answers, and the SEC remains a fun conference to pay attention to. Oh, and the Pac-12 has plenty of surprises as well.

So on to notes from some of the day’s games.

Texas Tech 72, West Virginia 71: The Red Raiders bounce back nicely and help make the Big 12 race a lot more interesting, especially since…

Kansas 73, Kansas State 72: The Jayhawks find a way to win again in a game against their arch-rivals.

Oklahoma 102, TCU 97 (OT): Trae Young did it again (43 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists), but the more salient note from here is about the Horned Frogs. They are undeniably better than they have been, and yet they are still 1-4 in Big 12 play. That speaks more to the overall strength of the Big 12 than anything else.

Iowa State 75, Baylor 65: At first, you could chalk up Baylor’s Big 12 start to the conference strength and figure they were going to come around. But now Iowa State gets their first conference win over the Bears, who like the Cyclones are 1-4 in Big 12 play.

Oklahoma State 65, Texas 64: There hasn’t been much talk about the Cowboys in the strong Big 12, but after this home win, they’re even with the Longhorns at 2-3.

Villanova 78, St. John’s 71: Shamorie Ponds (37 points) and the Red Storm battled valiantly, but in the end they fall to 0-6 in Big East play.

Michigan 82, Michigan State 72: An impressive road win for the Wolverines, especially considering they were trying to bounce back from a home loss a few nights ago.

Purdue 81, Minnesota 47: A classic matchup of two teams going in opposite directions. The Boilermakers look like the best team in the Big Ten, while the Golden Gophers are in the midst of a season that started with a lot of promise and is now spiraling out of control.

Clemson 72, Miami 63: A solid bounce-back for the Tigers after suffering their first ACC loss the other night (a game they first had no business being in, then let get away).

North Carolina 69, Notre Dame 68: A tough one for the Fighting Irish, especially with a couple of good chances at the buzzer. The upshot is that thus far, they have played well without Bonzie Colson.

Tennessee 75, Texas A&M 62: The struggle continues for the Aggies, who are now 0-5 in SEC play.

Arkansas 65, Missouri 63: The Razorbacks needed this one to get back on track after losing three straight, including a home shellacking against LSU. A trip to Florida is next.

Ole Miss 78, Florida 72: During Andy Kennedy’s tenure, Ole Miss has been easily forgotten at times, and they haven’t been talked about much in terms of the SEC landscape and how competitive it is from top to bottom this year. But they belong in that conversation, and that was the case even before this win.

Alabama 74, LSU 66: And the SEC’s unpredictability continues as an up-and-down Alabama team wins in Baton Rouge.

Arizona State 77, Oregon State 75: The Sun Devils really needed this one to get back on track, or close to it.

Stanford 73, Washington 64: Who is tied with Arizona atop the Pac-12 at 4-1? Stanford. Give the Cardinal a lot of credit for bouncing back from a less-than-stellar non-conference slate to play well,

Colorado 68, UCLA 59: First the Buffs take care of both Arizona schools at home, now they go to LA and beat UCLA. This is a team to keep an eye on.

Rhode Island 87, St. Bonaventure 73: The Rams are in a really good place right now, which is a perfect Atlantic 10 mark and the best challengers all being a little back in the standings.

Boise State 83, San Diego State 80: A big game for Chandler Hutchison (44 points, a program record) helps the Broncos stay right behind Nevada in the Mountain West.

Jackson State 85, Texas Southern 80 (OT): This matchup of undefeated SWAC teams was as good as advertised, with Jackson State pulling out the battle of the Tigers after trailing by 12 at halftime.

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