Jerian Grant,Wayne Blackshear

Five OTs and 205 points later, No. 25 Notre Dame defeats No. 11 Louisville


Thelonious Monk wrote a tune called “Ugly Beauty”.

You’d have to watch a Louisville-Notre Dame game go to five overtimes to understand the concept.

The fact that Notre Dame won this one, 104-101, is absolutely stunning, and therein lies the tale. The very long tale that I’m not going to retell. You had to be there.

In a game like this, you have to ask yourself, what’s the takeaway? What did we learn about these two teams?

We learned that Russ Smith is more than just a player, he’s an avatar of a very specific, undefinable state of being, like fahrvergnugen or satori. Russdiculous will, forever hereafter, refer to something that is both sublimely wonderful and sublimely terrible. Everyone watching this game felt simultaneously excited and nauseous every time Smith touched the ball in the final seconds of any of the six decisive moments this game had to offer. In the annals of Big East lore, “Russdiculous” will have to go next to “Devendorfing”.

We learned that Notre Dame can win without Jack Cooley, who fouled out with nearly seven minutes left in that charming era of yesteryear we like to call “the second half.” The Irish also lost forwards Tom Knight and Zach Auguste to foul trouble, and Jerian Grant, who single-handedly sent the game to that quaint, adorable little first overtime, missed nearly a full second game’s worth of action after his fifth foul as well.

We learned that Chane Behanan should probably get more touches with the game on the line, and that Luke Hancock actually can be a difference-maker for the Cards. We learned how to spell Biedscheid. Or at least I did.

Overall, the main thing we learned – and it was something we all knew already – is that the imminent end of the Big East is going to haunt us for the rest of our lives. This is the thing that will push us all, one at a time, into the “back in my day…” reveries that our grandparents tortured us with.

And who do we have to thank for that forceful reminder of how much realignment sucks? Two teams that helped drive a stake into the league by agreeing to join the ACC.

Oh, the irony. It’s enough to make a guy want to go to bed, already.

Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.