Arkansas v Missouri

Arkansas made their statement to the committee: we stink

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Arkansas isn’t just bad on the road this season.

They’re awful.

They entered Tuesday night’s game at Missouri 1-7 in the SEC in road games. Those seven losses came by an average of more than 13 points. They lost by 21 at South Carolina. They lost by 18 at Vanderbilt. They scored a combined 103 points in those two games. The one road win the Razorbacks do have? At Auburn.

Missouri, on the other hand, is quite similar to Arkansas. While they struggle on the road, the Tigers are awesome at home, which is why is should come as no surprise to you that Missouri smacked the Razorbacks around during their visit to Columbia. What is mildly surprising, however, is that Arkansas didn’t even put up a fight. They were lost 93-63. They were down 48-22 at halftime. It was an embarrassment — or a statement, depending on which side your loyalties lie — especially when you consider the fact that Mike Anderson’s tenure at Missouri came to an abrupt end two years ago.

Anderson was booed lustily during the game. I have a feeling that Phil Pressey and Laurence Bowers took just that much more enjoyment out of Tuesday’s mollywhopping.

Here’s the thing that just doesn’t make sense: Arkansas was playing for their tournament lives. Thanks to the win over Florida last month and the win over Kentucky last weekend, the ugly status of fellow bubble teams meant that Arkansas still had a chance to play their way into the dance. Winning on the road against the second-best team in the SEC would have been a great way to make a statement to the tournament selection committee.

They want teams to separate themselves, and given the fact that Tennessee losing to Georgia and Ole Miss losing to South Carolina and Mississippi State in the span of a week hasn’t come close to eliminating them from the bubble conversation, it shouldn’t really be that difficult to create that separation. Boise State did it when they beat Colorado State. Creighton did it by beating Wichita State. Cal did it by beating everyone over the last six weeks.

And Arkansas?

They did it by losing by 30 points at Missouri.

That’s the easiest way to get yourself onto the wrong side of the bubble.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Brooks’ big game leads No. 15 Oregon over Fresno State 78-73

Dillon Brooks, Torren Jones
AP Photo/Chris Pietsch
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Dillon Brooks had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 15 Oregon staved off a late rally by Fresno State for a 78-73 victory Monday night.

Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook added 14 points each for the Ducks (6-0), who led 70-52 with 6:35 to play before Marvelle Harris scored 13 points in a 16-2 run by the Bulldogs (5-1) that cut the deficit to four.

A driving layup by Brooks put Oregon up 74-68 with 1:20 left, and the Ducks held on by making four of six free throws in the final 45 seconds.

Harris, who didn’t score until the 12:04 mark of the second half, led Fresno State with 18 points, while Paul Watson added 11 and Torren Jones had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle 41-32 behind Jones and Karachi Edo, who had nine rebounds and 10 points.

Freshman Tyler Dorsey, Oregon’s leading scorer at 15.2 points per game, finished with 12.

The Ducks scored the game’s first 11 points, went up by as many as 14 and took a 37-25 halftime lead. The Ducks did most of the damage from inside the 3-point arc (9 of 10) and at the free throw line, outscoring the Bulldogs 13-5.

Fresno State, meanwhile, missed its first six shots from the field, shot 29.0 percent (9 of 31) and saw its top two scorers, Harris and Cezar Guerrero, held scoreless for the first 20 minutes.

The senior guards came in averaging 20.2 and 13.2 points per game, respectively.


Fresno State: Harris, the preseason choice for Mountain West Conference player of the year, needed one point to crack the Bulldog’s all-time top 10 in scoring. After going scoreless in the first half, he finished with 18 to rank 10th with 1,425, one behind Tod Bernard in ninth place, in 107 career games. . The Bulldogs fell to 2-10 all-time against Oregon. They last time they beat the Ducks, who have won the last five meetings, was in 1995. . Fresno State hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team on the road since 2000.

Oregon: The double-double was the second of the season Brooks and fourth of his career. . The Ducks are 40-2 against nonconference opponents since moving into Matthew Knight Arena five years ago. . The 6-0 start is Oregon’s second in the last nine years. The Ducks started 13-0 two seasons ago.

No. 1 Kentucky survives without Tyler Ulis in lineup

Tyler Ulis
AP Photo/Chuck Burton
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Less than a week after giving No. 2 Maryland all they could handle, Illinois State went into Lexington and gave No. 1 Kentucky fits.

The Redbirds never really threatened UK in the second half, but they went into the break tied and were within single digits down the stretch, eventually losing 75-63.

Kentucky was flustered. They turned the ball over 15 times compared to just eight assists, they shot 2-for-12 from three and just 29-for-46 (63 percent) from the charity stripe. They simply did not handle Illinois State’s pressure all that well.

And there was a reason for that.

Tyler Ulis didn’t play.

Sometimes it’s difficult to appreciate just what a player brings to a team until that player is not in the lineup, and that was precisely the case with Ulis on Monday night. It was crystal clear what he provides Kentucky. Beyond leadership and the ability to break a press without throwing the ball to the other team, he’s a calming presence. He doesn’t get rattled when a defender is harassing him and he doesn’t get overwhelmed by a situation like a mid-major threatening the No. 1 team in the country in their own gym.

He’s everything you look for in a pure point guard, and for as good as Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe have looked at times this season, it should be crystal clear who the most important player on this Kentucky team is.