Thursday night was another light, finals week-inspired schedule of games. Among the headlines of the night: reserves making their mark.
There may not be another game this entire college basketball season that was more predictable than last night’s interconference matchup between Cincinnati and San Diego State.
As expected, the game between the Bearcats and Aztecs was an evenly matched defensive grinder. Even with both teams trying to disrupt by picking up the pace at times with full-court pressure, the score was firmly in the 50s at the end of regulation. And, sure enough, the game did go to overtime, where Cincinnati pulled away for a 71-62 win, a quality win for Cincy and the American Athletic Conference.
… Continue Reading
It bears repeating over and over: college basketball teams are not static entities. They change and hopefully continue to grow and improve over the course of a season. What a team is in November is not what it will be in March.
It’s still early in the season, but already George Washington is a team that has shown noticeable growth since its opener. The Colonials struggled with offensive consistency in their first five games but now have won three straight, the most recent an impressive 81-68 win over DePaul Thursday night.
… Continue Reading
Here’s hoping all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Football games get all the attention, and understandably so given tradition, but on this day the college basketball action was far better than the football games. With that, we jump right into the day’s action:
Early season tournaments continue to lead the way, and will for much of the next week. Friday featured plenty of such action leading into the weekend, setting the stage for what’s to come. In one of them, a champion was crowned.
At Madison Square Garden, Texas won the 2K Classic 71-55 over California, frustrating the Golden Bears with their defense all night long, especially the 10 shots they blocked. In the consolation game, Syracuse held off Iowa 66-63 behind a career-high 20 points and nine rebounds from freshman Chris McCullough, who also got the game-sealing steal in the final seconds. More coverage on this is coming soon, so stay tuned.
College basketball seasons always bring us teams that perform superbly in the non-conference season but fall into mediocrity in conference. Many times those teams are the product of cushy non-conference schedules, as well as being exposed by tougher conference competition.
There are exceptions to this every season, though, and the Big Ten had its share of them this year. Those teams’ later downward spirals were about the only difference between the league again being the best in the country, and the consensus that it settled in a notch lower.
… Continue Reading
NEW YORK – Riding a wave of momentum, UConn advanced to the Final Four by virtue of a thrilling victory at Madison Square Garden. The 60-54 decision over Michigan State in the East regional final was a thrilling contest that electrified the storied edifice. The possession numbers saw a 61-possession (slower) game, with UConn owning a 98-90 edge in offensive efficiency.
Three points of emphasis:
BROOKLYN, N.Y. – When you have the best team, you tend to find a way to win games. That fits Michigan State in Brooklyn on Saturday, and it wasn’t one factor but rather multiple ones that were behind the Spartans taking home the championship of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic by knocking off pesky Oklahoma.
“We were a little bit slight of people, and even though it was disappointing and we played a little sporadic, it shows a little character that you can figure out a way to win a game,” said head coach Tom Izzo.
It’s a great time of the year. Prep school visits are winding down and college teams have started practice, signs that the season isn’t far away. Also, college schedules are finally coming out, with a few more game times to be determined due to television.
Before getting back to some of the final prep school visits, here are some quick hitters from around college basketball.
A busy Saturday is in the books, and we saw the matchups get better, the results continue to be noteworthy and tell us more, and a couple of the games needed a lot of extra time to decide.
Stony Brook was able to hang with Providence until the roof caved in several minutes into the second half. It’s part of a growing process this team in transition needs, and it continues despite dropping a few games along the way.
Maine has a long road ahead as they rebuild under new head coach Bob Walsh. Amidst the early struggles, the Black Bears have shown some reason for hope going forward.
We look at some notes and evaluations from Sunday’s action at the Scholar Roundball Classic, where the blowouts included some noteworthy performances.
We look back at Sunday’s action in the Hoop Mountain Prep Classic, which included an overtime thriller and a couple of lopsided contests, and some prospects who helped themselves out with their play.
The busy weekend that just passed also included a few games at the National Prep Showcase. Here are a few notes from some of the action early on Friday and Saturday.
With a series of prep school open gym visits in the book and the season not far away, here’s a look back at open gyms and a look forward to the season in the New England prep school ranks.
Marianapolis Prep is far from loaded with talent, but they have enough perimeter talent to be dangerous. As is usually the case, they will battle and be a tough out in Class AA.