Kenny Boynton, Ernest Ross

No. 10 Florida beats No. 17 Missouri, proves they are true contender

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Did we all forget about No. 10 Florida?

That’s apparently what happens when you give away a game at Arizona — the No. 7 team in the country — and lose a nailbiter in a de-facto road game against Kansas State — the No. 16 team in the country — in Kansas City.

And it’s also the only way to explain the shock that was expressed on twitter throughout the Gators’ 83-52 beatdown of No. 17 Missouri on Saturday afternoon.

Florida spent the first month of the season absolutely steam-rolling anyone that dared get in their way. They beat Wisconsin by 18 points. They beat Marquette by 33. They went into Tallahassee and beat Florida State by 25 points in a game they led 50-19 at one point.

And now they can add a 31 point win over the Tigers to that resume.

There really isn’t much else to say. Florida has to be in the conversation with teams like Indiana, Michigan, Louisville and Duke as the best team in the country. They defend, they rebound the ball and, on the nights that Scottie Wilbekin, Kenny Boynton and Mike Rosario are shooting well and sharing the ball, they can be downright scary offensively with their balance.

Look at today. Six Gators scored between nine and 15 points, and that was without Casey Prather in the lineup as he battles an ankle injury.

The one question mark here is Missouri: the Tigers are coming off of a 15 point loss at Ole Miss. Without Bowers in the lineup, they are clearly not the same team. But just how much of a difference does their leading scorer make? Because he certainly doesn’t make them 31 points better.

Are the Tigers simply a bad road team?

It’s something to keep an eye on when Bowers eventually does get back on the court. Hopefully, when these two teams get back together on February 19th in Columbia, both teams will be at full strength.

The win was Billy Donovan’s 400th as head coach, and he got a good-old-fashioned Gatorade shower in the locker room after the game.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.