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Saturday Notes – February 10, 2018

February 11, 2018 Columns No Comments

While this section has highlighted many a wild Saturday, with this one being no different, the reality is that Saturday has only been different from other days of the week in terms of sheer numbers. It has, quite frankly, been a wild season in the nation, and we were just reminded of that.

Not much in the Big 12 is surprising considering how even and deep the conference is, but they led the way. Baylor rolls over Kansas? Oklahoma State wins at West Virginia? Texas Tech wins convincingly at Kansas State? Who saw that coming?

There’s more. Who had DePaul rolling over Providence on the road? Who thought Ohio State would be atop the Big Ten?

And that’s hardly all. So let’s get to notes from a number of the day’s games.

Virginia Tech 61, Virginia 60 (OT): This was all that you could hope for in a rivalry game, and the end result is significant for both. It ends any hope of Virginia going undefeated – which was always a long shot – and it’s a big quality win for the Hokies.

North Carolina 96, NC State 89: This closes a good week for the Tar Heels, who had put together a series of concerning performances. Beating Duke and NC State, the latter on the road, in a week is pretty good.

Boston College 72, Miami 70: It’s easy to look at this from the Miami standpoint since the Hurricanes are the team fighting for an NCAA Tournament bid, but let’s give credit to Boston College, especially since this game was in Chestnut Hill. The Eagles are improved and Jerome Robinson continues to have a good season that few people have probably noticed, and now the Eagles are pulling games out like this: they scored the game’s last nine points and held Miami scoreless for the final 6:17 of the game.

Notre Dame 84, Florida State 69: How much did the Fighting Irish miss Matt Farrell when he missed five games recently? He had 28 points on 10-15 shooting and always provides an edge.

Ohio State 82, Iowa 64: This puts the Buckeyes all alone in first place in the Big Ten. Yes, you read that right, because…

Michigan State 68, Purdue 65: All along, most thought the Spartans were the team to beat in the Big Ten, and with this win to end a tough week for the Boilermakers, they are tied right behind Ohio State.

Baylor 80, Kansas 64: Early in the season, we had reason to believe Baylor was pretty good. So this isn’t a total shocker, but it has big implications since it knocks Kansas out of a tie for the top spot in the Big 12 for now.

Texas Tech 66, Kansas State 47: With this impressive road win, the Red Raiders take over first place in the Big 12. Who knew?

Oklahoma State 88, West Virginia 85: Just when it looked like the Mountaineers had righted the ship after they went into a funk, the Cowboys come to town and win. Oklahoma State, by the way, very much has a path to the NCAA Tournament, even if it involves having to play a little better over the last few weeks than they have much of the season.

Iowa State 88, Oklahoma 80: The Sooners are not in a good place right now, as this is their third straight loss and sixth in the last eight games.

TCU 87, Texas 71: It will be interesting to see what happens with these two teams as far as the NCAA Tournament goes. Both are better than their Big 12 record – both are 5-7 after this one – indicates, but by how much?

Auburn 78, Georgia 61: It’s a good bounce-back for the Tigers, and for the Bulldogs, it may be one too many missed opportunities. They have now lost six of their last seven and eight of their last ten games.

Texas A&M 85, Kentucky 74: The Aggies are starting to look more like the Aggies of the first month or so of the season. Kentucky has now lost three straight for the first time under John Calipari, and they’re in the midst of a tough stretch in a tough conference.

Florida 65, South Carolina 41: When the Gamecocks beat Kentucky and then won at Florida, they looked like they would be well on their way to the NCAA Tournament. They look like anything but right now, as they have lost five in a row and were handled at home.

Alabama 78, Tennessee 50: It’s not a big surprise that Alabama won, especially since this was in Tuscaloosa. But what happened to Tennessee in the second half? Alabama outscored them 41-23 to turn this into a blowout.

Missouri 89, Mississippi State 85 (OT): As the Tigers get to 7-5 in the SEC, let’s recognize that Cuonzo Martin has done a really good job with this team. They lost a special talent early in the season and are looking more and more like an NCAA Tournament team.

Xavier 72, Creighton 71: The Bluejays gave the Musketeers all they could handle, but not enough to stop one of the hottest teams in college basketball from picking up a nice road win.

Georgetown 83, Seton Hall 80: Quietly, the Pirates have fallen to 6-6 in Big East play.

DePaul 80, Providence 63: This is a shocker since it came in Providence. Only two Friars scored in double figures, but this game was lost on the defensive end as the Blue Demons shot over 60 percent from the field.

St. John’s 86, Marquette 78: All of a sudden, the Red Storm can’t lose. The win over Duke appeared to unleash them, as they have since knocked off Villanova and now Marquette, and it really hurts the Golden Eagles.

Gonzaga 78, Saint Mary’s 65: This game wasn’t even this close, and the road team wins both regular season meetings between these two. Don’t be surprised if they have a rubber match for all the marbles next month.

Arizona 81, USC 67: The Wildcats make it clear that they have an edge on USC in the Pac-12 standings.

Arizona State 88, UCLA 79: The Sun Devils really needed to come out of this home weekend with a couple of wins to gain momentum and turn last Sunday’s win into something, and they did just that. Now they have won three in a row.

Oregon State 97, Washington 94 (2 OT): A wild one in Corvallis, and a costly one for Washington, who got swept in Oregon. Stephen Thompson Jr. beat the buzzer to end it.

Utah 77, Cal 43: This game was practically over by halftime, as Utah scored 40 points in the first half. It’s another embarrassing loss for Cal in a season that has had a couple of them.

Utah State 71, Boise State 65: This is big, as it keeps Nevada on top in the Mountain West after the Wolfpack blew out San Diego State.

Florida Gulf Coast 88, USC Upstate 71: The Eagles are the first team in the country to clinch at least an NIT bid by virtue of clinching a regular season title in their conference.

Harvard 76, Penn 67: Round one between the top two contenders in the Ivy League goes to the home team, and every team now has at least one league loss.

Montana 71, Sacramento State 69 (OT): It was a close shave, but the Grizzlies manage to remain undefeated in Big Sky play by pulling this one out.

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