Notre Dame v Cincinnati

NOTRE DAME WINS…..at Cincinnati

Leave a comment

I know. I couldn’t resist.

In the only match-up between Top 25 teams on the night, the no.17 Fighting Irish got the good vibes started for their football counterparts in Miami with a 66-60 victory over the no.21 Bearcats.

Notre Dame took the lead at the 2:50 mark of the first half and never gave it up.

Cincinnati got within a single score multiple times in the second half, getting it to 49-49 with 9:53 left, but a 10-0 run keyed by an Eric Atkins jumper made it all Notre Dame.

Up 64-60, Pat Connaughton’s free throws with 12 seconds left sealed it.

Jerian Grant’s 19 points led all scorers for Notre Dame and Sean Kilpatrick led the Bearcats with 15, the only Cincinnati player in double-figures.

Both teams shot relatively well, but if there’s one glaring deficiency, it was the Bearcats 45.5-percent from the free throw line. They were 5-for-11, lost by six.

Notre Dame has won 12 in a row and after getting to no. 8 in the nation, Cincinnati has lost three of it’s last four.

It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bearcats can bounce back. Normally, I’d be wondering IF they’ll bounce back, bt when the one win sandwiched between three losses is a road win at Pittsburgh when they’re ranked, it’s clear the team is still a contender. Plus, a six-point loss to a great Notre Dame team is far for bad.

David Harten is a sportswriter and college basketball blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
Leave a comment

Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Leave a comment

Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: