Arizona State had fallen off the bubble when they lost at Utah on Saturday, their third loss in the last four games. Their RPI was in the 70’s. It was their second loss of the season to a team with an RPI above 150.
The Sun Devils needed to win at Colorado on Saturday, and they did just that, thanks t Evan Gordon and a friendly roll.
In a thrilling sequence at the end of an exciting game, Spencer Dinwiddie hit a layup with 8.3 seconds left to give the Buffaloes a 62-61 lead in overtime. At the other end, Jahii Carson nearly lost control of the ball, getting it to Gordon who drove through Colorado’s defense and finished a finger-roll in traffic that hung on the rim for a couple of seconds before falling through the rim as the buzzer sounded:
The Sun Devils are anything but a lock right now, but this was their first big road win of the season. They’ll host the Washington schools next weekend and still have road trips to UCLA, USC and Arizona left on their schedule.
Throw in the Pac-12 tournament, and Herb Sendek’s club will have chances to make their profile tournament-worthy.
Because even with last night’s win, the Sun Devils still have plenty of work to do.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.
For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the NBCSports.com Preseason National Player of the Year.
On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.
Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.
Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.
In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.
As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.
(More to come from Chapel Hill…)
North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.
(H/T: The Cauldron)