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.
Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.
Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.
McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.
The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.
News of McKay’s suspension was first reported by the Ames Tribune.
LAS VEGAS (AP) UNLV junior guard Daquan Cook has been dismissed from the team.
Interim coach Todd Simon made the announcement on Friday, though no reason was given.
Cook was suspended for 13 games by previous coach Dave Rice in November after being arrested and charged with DUI.
Cook appeared in two games this season after being reinstated, scoring three points in four minutes. He missed the 2014-15 season after tearing his right ACL and played 28 games as a sophomore.