Late Night Snacks: No. 6 Kansas hangs on and Colorado fails to bounce back

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Games of the Day

1. No. 6 Kansas 69, Temple 62
The Owls turned the ball over just three times at Allen Fieldhouse but that wasn’t enough to take down the Jayhawks. The reason why: they shot 30.7% from the field, with Kansas big man Jeff Withey serving as a major deterrent in the paint. Khalif Wyatt led all scorers with 26 points while Kevin Young led three Jayhawks in double figures with 16 (and grabbed ten rebounds).

2. Wichita State 69, Bradley 63
Cleanthony Early scored 24 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the Shockers to the win in Peoria. Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Walt Lemon Jr. scored 15 points apiece to lead the Braves but that wasn’t enough in a matchup of teams that entered Sunday 2-0 in Missouri Valley play. Now 14-1 on the season (3-0 MVC), Wichita State has done a lot more than simply tread water while dealing with their injury issues.

3. Tulsa 48, SMU 47
The only reason why this game is here is because a Pat Swilling Jr. three-pointer with 3.8 seconds remaining determined the outcome. Offensively the matchup of teacher (Larry Brown) and student (Danny Manning) was ugly, with the two teams combining to shoot 8-of-41 from deep. But the Mustangs didn’t find Swilling Jr. in the first half when they played zone (five three-pointers)  and they allowed him to shake free on a baseline out of bounds play for the game-winner. Swilling Jr. led all scorers with 18 points and Jalen Jones paced the Mustangs with 15.

Important Outcomes 

1. Arizona State 65, Colorado 56 
The question regarding Colorado was how they would bounce back from Thursday’s defeat at No. 3 Arizona and they looked good in the beginning as they jumped out to a 13-2 lead. But Herb Sendek’s Sun Devils refused to wild, methodically fighting their way back into the game and ultimately beating the Buffaloes to move to 2-0 in Pac-12 play. Jahii Carson made just one field goal on the night but his teammates picked up the slack, with Carrick Felix scoring a game-high 20 points and Jordan Bachynski tallying 16 points, seven rebounds and nine blocked shots. Now 0-2 in league play, Colorado faces a very important weekend at home with the LA schools (USC and UCLA) visiting Boulder.

2. Virginia 61, North Carolina 52
Well, Reggie Bullock returned for North Carolina and looked good as he scored 22 points. But the other Tar Heels didn’t fare so well, shooting a combined 12-of-42 from the field in the loss in Charlottesville. Joe Harris was the lone Cavalier in double figures with 19 points but the biggest news for UVA (besides the win of course) was the return of point guard Jontel Evans. Evans, who missed the last four games due to the re-aggravation of an injury to his right foot, played 21 minutes off the bench and finished with eight points and six assists.

3. Oregon 79, Oregon State 66
Freshman Damyean Dotson scored 15 of his career-high 21 points in the first half and senior guard Johnathan Loyd gave Oregon a boost off the bench in the second half to push the Ducks past their in-state rival in Corvallis. Ahmad Starks led Oregon State with 21 points but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Dana Altman’s group in the second half, as Oregon scored 51 points in the final 20 minutes.

Starred

1. G Kenny Boynton (Florida) 
Entering Sunday’s game the senior guard shot 7-of-39 from beyond the arc in Florida’s last six games. Against Yale Boynton got out of his slump in a big way, shooting 8-of-10 from deep and scoring a game-high 28 points.

2. G Trey Burke (Michigan) 
It’s time for Burke to get more National Player of the Year pub. The sophomore finished with 19 points (7-of-10 FG), 12 assists and just one turnover in No. 2 Michigan’s 95-67 win over Iowa.

3. C Jordan Bachynski (Arizona State) 
Jeff Withey wasn’t the only 7-footer to tally nine blocks on Sunday, as Bachynski did so while also accounting for 16 points and seven rebounds in Arizona State’s 65-56 win over Colorado. Bachynski has been one of the most improved players in the country for the 13-2 Sun Devils.

Struggled

1. Tulsa and SMU from beyond the arc
Obviously there are marksmanship issues when a game finishes 48-47. But the two teams combined to shoot 8-of-41 from three, with the Golden Hurricane accounting for all eight makes (SMU was 0-of-13). At least SMU shot 17-of-20 from the foul line.

2. G Michael Carter-Williams (Syracuse) 
Carter-Williams did not have one of his best days at the office in Syracuse’s 55-44 win over South Florida, shooting 1-of-13 from the field. Good news for the Orange is that Brandon Triche scored 20 and James Southerland added 17, and to his credit Carter-Williams tallied nine rebounds, five assists and four steals.

3. Grambling State
The Tigers dropped to 0-12 on the season with an 82-43 home loss to Southern. And with Mississippi Valley State picking up its first win of the season (79-68 over Alabama A&M) the Tigers are one of two teams still searching for their first victory. The other is Maryland-Eastern Shore.

Three Facts 

1. While Austin Hollins’ marksmanship from deep (hitting five straight three-pointers in the second half) stole the show in No. 9 Minnesota’s win over Northwestern there was also a milestone. Rodney Williams became the 38th player in school history to score 1,000 points, finishing the game with nine points (1,005 for his career).

2. Siena’s 11-game losing streak is the program’s longest since losing 15 in a row to end the 1995-96 season. Rider, in beating Siena 72-53, swept the season series for the first time (the Broncs joined the MAAC in 1997).

3. With their 95-67 win over Iowa, No. 2 Michigan moved to 15-0 on the season. That’s their best start since the 1985-86 team won its first 16 games on its way to a 28-5 record and a Big Ten regular season title.

Top 25 Scores

No. 2 Michigan 95, Iowa 67
No. 6 Kansas 69, Temple 62
No. 7 Syracuse 55, South Florida 44
No. 9 Minnesota 69, Northwestern 51
No. 13 Florida 79, Yale 58

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

College Basketball Coaches Poll: Michigan State moves atop the Top 25

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Michigan State is your new No. 1 team in the country, according to the USA Today Coaches Poll.

The Spartans received 20 of a possible 32 first-place votes after their comeback from 27 points down to beat Northwestern on the road on Saturday.

Virginia is still sitting at No. 2 while Villanova and Xavier round out the top four. Duke climbed a few spots to No. 5.

Here is the full coaches poll:

1. Michigan State (20 first-place votes)
2. Virginia (8)
3. Villanova (4)
4. Xavier
5. Duke
6. Gonzaga
7. Texas Tech
8. Kansas
9. Purdue
10. North Carolina
11. Cincinnati
12. Wichita State
13. Auburn
14. Arizona
15. Ohio State
16. Michigan
17. Clemson
18. Rhode Island
19. Tennessee
20. Saint Mary’s
21. West Virginia
22. Nevada
23. Houston
24. Middle Tennessee State
25. Arizona State

Was Bob Huggins justified in his anger over foul shots in Kansas win over West Virginia?

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Much has been made of Bob Huggins’ ejection on Saturday evening, as West Virginia blew yet another double-digit lead at Phog Allen Fieldhouse as Kansas picked up a critical, 77-69 win.

The ejection was hilarious, and everything that I want to remember Huggy Bear by: Cussing out all three refs as he earns his second technical and an ejection while needing to hold up his pants with his hands:

Huggs is a national treasure.

The more interesting conversation, however, centered around why Huggins was tossed. Kansas shot 35 free throws on Saturday. West Virginia shot just two, which is an absolutely staggering number.

And I thought this was deserving of further scrutiny.

Let’s start with the obvious: West Virginia fouls a lot, enough that it’s not an exaggeration to say that a foul could probably be called on every possession. Part of the strategy of playing the way that Press Virginia does is that they are betting that officials are not going to call a foul on every possession, because they won’t. West Virginia is also a jump-shooting team this season, as nearly 40 percent of their field goal attempts come from beyond the arc. Their free throw rate both offensively and defensively is dead last in the Big 12.

Put another way, the Mountaineers are always going to be outshot from the free throw line.

Then you have to combine that with the Kansas stats. The Jayhawks are second in the Big 12 on offensive free throw rate and third in defensive free throw rate. Throw in the home court advantage that comes with playing in the Phog, and the safest bet in the world would have been Kansas outshooting West Virginia from the charity stripe.

It also needs to be noted that the 35-2 advantage was 27-2 before West Virginia started fouling intentionally and before Kansas went to the line for those two late Huggins’ technical fouls.

But that didn’t stop Huggins from going off in the press conference after the game:

“We blew the game last year,” Huggins said. “We should have won the game. We had the game. They did a great job, they made shots, we threw it around, we missed free throws, we did everything humanly possible to lose the game. That was us.”

“I’ve been doing this 40 years. I don’t I’ve ever been in a game where we shot two free throws. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where the disparity 35-2. I’ve never been in a game like that.”

But perhaps his most telling line was this, when asked what his message to his team was:

“It wasn’t their fault.”

It’s pretty clear that Huggins believed his team was hosed on the road.

The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.

West Virginia is normally going to shoot fewer free throws than their opponents. Kansas is normally going to shoot more free throws that their opponents. Studies have proven that home environments in college basketball have an impact referee decisions as much as any sport in the world, including English soccer. That’s part of having a home court advantage, and it’s part of the advantage of having a rowdy, raucous and loud crowd. It’s why places like Phog Allen, and Cameron Indoor Stadium, and Koch Arena, and the McKale Center, and anywhere else with a big and loud fan base.

But 35-2 is 35-2, and it will take quite a bit of video evidence to proof to me that Kansas did not get a significant benefit from playing in front of their home crowd on Saturday night.

So did the referees cost West Virginia the game?

Debatable. I’d argue that Jevon Carter missing some shots and Daxter Miles’ insistence on passing up open threes to try and pass the ball to players going for a rebound played a pretty big role, as did the fact that Kansas is a really good team that made some big shots down the stretch.

But the whistles played some kind of a role.

Just like they always do in the Phog.

College Basketball AP Poll: Virginia, Michigan State, Villanova top the Top 25

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Virginia remained in the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll while Michigan State and Villanova still sit at No. 2 and No. 3 with Xavier once again in fourth.

The biggest change in the poll was that Duke rose to No. 5 after three straight wins; they were No. 12 last week.

Kentucky is still not a part of the top 25.

Here is the full AP Poll:

1. Virginia (42 first-place votes)
2. Michigan State (19)
3. Villanova (4)
4. Xavier
5. Duke
t-6. Texas Tech
t-6. Gonzaga
8. Kansas
9. Purdue
10. North Carolina
11. Cincinnati
12. Auburn
13. Wichita State
14. Arizona
15. Clemson
16. Ohio State
17. Michigan
18. Rhode Island
19. Tennessee
20. Nevada
21. West Virginia
22. Saint Mary’s
23. Houston
24. Middle Tennessee
25. Florida State

VIDEO: Wichita State celebrates in locker room after win over Cincinnati

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Wichita State went into Cincinnati — well, Northern Kentucky — on Sunday evening and landed their biggest win of the season.

They were fired up about it, as you might imagine.

And their locker room celebrating after the win was, as the kids say, litty:

Here’s the funny part to me: This game wasn’t played at Cincinnati. It wasn’t played at Wichita State. It was played at Northern Kentucky, where the Bearcats are playing their home games while they wait for the renovations on their arena to be completed.

Which means that some poor NKU employee that had nothing to do with either of these two programs had to spend the time cleaning up this mess.

CBT Podcast: Monday Overreactions: Villanova-Xavier, the Big 12 is drunk, the best in the Big Ten is … ?

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Rob Dauster was joined by Eamonn Brennan of The Athletic on today’s show to overreact to everything that happened this weekend, from Villanova pasting Xavier to the insanity that is the Big 12 to what happened in the Big Ten in the last ten days. We also spend a good 30 minutes talking about bubble teams, tournament resumes and some misconceptions with both. The rundown.

OPEN: Bubble Banter. We talk about weird bubble teams and whether or not we like the new Quadrant system.

36:08: Villanova’s win over Xavier and the Big East title race.

45:15: The Big 12 makes no sense and I love it.

58:30: Michigan State deserves the Big Ten title.