The Cougars have now won five straight games, but it was the two games they won this week that set the tone for what the rest of their season can be.
On Thursday night, Cincinnati came to down and Houston dropped them, 67-62, despite digging a double-digit hole in the first half. They followed that up by going into North Philadelphia and poleaxing Temple. They were up 34-11 midway through the first half. They won by 21 points. It was never a question.
And as a result, Houston’s bid to the NCAA tournament is no longer a question so long as they avoid losing to Memphis, East Carolina and UConn. And if they truly are an NCAA tournament team, they’ll get that done.
But perhaps the best piece of news is that the Cougars did all this while Rob Gray did not play well. He’s one of the best players in that conference, and the fact that they were able to right Devin Davis and Corey Davis to wins in two of their most important and toughest games of the league slate is significant.
What happens when Rob Gray gets right?
THEY WERE GOOD, TOO
- WICHITA STATE: Not only did Wichita State land a come-from-behind win over Temple on Thursday night, one where they trailed by 14 points at halftime, but they followed that up by going to Cincinnati and knocking off the then-No. 5 Bearcats.
- MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten due in large part to the fact that they were able to erase a 27-point first half deficit at Northwestern.
- BAYLOR: The Bears look like they are now heading for the NCAA tournament after landing wins at Texas and at home over Texas Tech on Saturday. Now that Scott Drew’s team is healthy, they look like they belong in the top 25.
- ST. BONAVENTURE: The Bonnies might have solidified their bid for the NCAA tournament. As long as they don’t do anything dumb the rest of the season, beating Rhode Island at home on Friday night should be enough for them to get in.
- DUKE: The Blue Devils have now won three straight games after losing Marvin Bagley III to a minor knee sprain, mainly because their defense is now playing at a level that we haven’t seen yet this season. Are the Blue Devils better without Marvin Bagley??? (Hint: No.)
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Police say someone stole thousands of dollars in electronics from the University of North Carolina men’s basketball team locker room and office while they were away for the ACC tournament.
UNC-Chapel Hill campus police said on Twitter that the break-in happened at the Dean Smith Center on March 9, and they released images of a man they believe may have been involved.
A police report says the thief managed to get into the team locker room and basketball office without forced entry, according to The Herald-Sun.
The report says the thief stole a PlayStation 4, Xbox One and clothing worth $2,900 that belonged to the athletic department. Police say the thief also stole a laptop worth $1,200 and a financial document worth about $3,000 belonging to one of the players.
The No. 1 overall seed on the men’s side of the NCAA tournament made history on Friday night.
They because the first No. 1 seed to lose to a No. 16 seed in the first round of the tournament, as Virginia lost to UMBC, if you were still unaware.
Over on the women’s side, the bracket is nowhere near as broken, because UConn’s women made history, too. They set NCAA tournament records for … well, almost everything it seems like.
The Huskies were up 55-19 at the end of the first quarter of their first round game against St. Francis (PA). Those 55 points are an NCAA tournament record. They held a 94-31 lead at the half, another NCAA tournament record, and held on to win 140-52.
The 140 points that Geno Auriemma’s team scored was an NCAA tournament record. The 88 points that they won by was one point short of an NCAA tournament record 89 points that was set by Baylor in a win over Texas Southern last season.
Oh, and the Huskies set the record for more assists in an NCAA tournament game — 38 — for good measure.
All in all, I think it’s safe to say that the fans in Storrs had a better weekend than the fans in Charlottesville. Hopefully, that will allow them to forget the fact that the men’s basketball program has become a laughing stock.
Never before in the history of the NCAA tournament as a No. 16 seed upset a No. 1 seed.
That was until Friday night, when UMBC sent the No. 1 overall seed Virginia packing.
And if you thought no one had picked that upset, you were wrong.
Let’s start with the Maryland Governor, who was clearly a homer in picking UMBC to not only beat Virginia, but to win a national title:
Never say never, but … that’s never going to happen bud.
But how about this: My son, who is two years old and based his picks on his hard and fast rule of “all the doggies”, called this upset!
He also called Penn over Kansas, Fullerton over Purdue and Butler winning a national title, but whatever.
That bracket is actually pretty good!
You have to give Virginia some credit.
After losing to No. 16 seed UMBC in the first round of the NCAA tournament, the players on that roster faced the music. They went up to the dais and answered question from reporters on national television.
There is no way they enjoyed that.
And you can tell because Ty Jerome had absolutely no interest in answering dumb questions from reporters:
He was not amused.
Here is the full TV schedule, with spreads, over-unders and betting lines, for every game for the first four days of the NCAA tournament.
(Lines are updated for Saturday morning.)
Pittsburgh: Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner and Dana Jacobson
- 12:10 p.m.: No. 1 Villanova (-11.5) vs. No. 9 Alabama, CBS (149.5)
- 2:40 p.m.: No. 2 Duke (-9.5) vs. No. 7 Rhode Island, CBS (149)
Boise: Brian Anderson, Chris Webber and Lisa Byington
- 5:15 p.m.: No. 5 Kentucky (-5.5) vs. No. 13 Buffalo, CBS (155)
- 7:45 p.m.: No. 4 Gonzaga (-4) vs. No. 5 Ohio State, CBS (141.5)
Dallas: Spero Dedes, Steve Smith, Len Elmore and Ros Gold-Onwude
- 6:10 p.m.: No. 3 Tennessee (-5) vs. No. 11 Loyola (Chicago), TNT (131.5)
- 8:40: No. 3 Texas Tech (-1.5) vs. No. 6 Florida, TNT (133.5)
Wichita: Brad Nessler, Steve Lavin and Evan Washburn
- 7:10 p.m.: No. 1 Kansas (-4.5) vs. No. 8 Seton Hall, TBS (154.5)
- 9:40 p.m.: No. 3 Michigan (-3) vs. No. 6 Houston, TBS (135)