12/13 – College Hoops Week in Review: Missouri is team excitement

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Game of the Week: Missouri 85, Vanderbilt 82 OT

The Tigers play one of the most exciting brands of basketball in the country. It’s only fitting that seemingly every time they are on TV, they play a barnburner. Just one week removed from a heartbreaking overtime loss to Georgetown, the Tigers welcomed Vanderbilt into Mizzou Arena on Wednesday.

And Wednesday ended up being all about Marcus Denmon. As we wrote about on Thursday, Denmon’s cousin was shot last Friday and passed away on Tuesday afteroon. Playing with a heavy heart, Denmon struggled through tears and finished the first half with two points on 1-6 shooting. In the second half, however, Denmon caught fire. He sparked an 11-4 Tiger run that gave Mizzou a 59-58 lead after Vandy opened their biggest lead of the game.

The teams would trade baskets the rest of the way, with Ricardo Ratliffe hitting one of two free throws with seven seconds left to force overtime. In the extra period, Vandy jumped out to an early lead before Denmon drilled a contested, 25 footer that put the Tigers back ahead. Vandy retook the lead before Michael Dixon scored with 34 seconds left to tie the game at 82. Then this happened:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUPqMpUtzZ0]

Denmon stole a Brad Tinsely pass and went the other way for an and-one layup with 5.8 seconds left. Tinsely would miss a three at the buzzer that would have tied it.

Stats of the Weird: There weren’t a lot great games this past week. In fact, I found myself saying “well, that was pretty anticlimatic” a lot more than “Holy Jeez, what a freakin’ finish!!!” In honor of college basketball’s weird week, we give to you some of the weirdest numbers pulled from a box score.

  • Marshall Moses: For the second time this season, a player had a perfect game when taking more than 11 field goals. This time is was Oklahoma State forward Marshall Moses, who went 12-12 from the field, hitting his only three pointer, in a 71-54 win over Tulsa. He was 6-7 from the free throw line, missing his last free throw attempt with 8:39 left. Apparently, Moses doesn’t care much about perfect basketball games. The three he hit? It came with 1:55 left in the game. Moses, a senior, hadn’t attempted a three since his sophomore season (he went 0-2). He hadn’t made one since he was a freshman (2-6).
  • Syracuse obliterates Colgate: This one was ugly. The Orange jumped out to leads of 12-0 and 34-4 before taking a 46-8 lead into the half. The Orange went up 60 (81-21) and took their biggest lead at 94-31. 17 players saw action for the Orange. With the win, Syracuse moved from 18th to 10th in Kenpom’s rankings. Their offensive efficiency went from 26th to 22nd. Their defensive efficiency? 26th to 12th.
  • Hartford Hawks: On Wednesday night, Hartford was on the wrong end of the best comeback of the season. Sacred Heart, down 51-31 with just 8:17 left on the clock, went on a 25-4 run to end the game. The clincher? Hartford turned the ball over with three seconds left, then intentionally fouled Stan Dulaire with 0.2 seconds left as he was streaking in for a layup. Dulaire hit one of two. Game over.Saturday’s loss may have been even worse. Hartford held Monmouth scoreless for the first 12:25 of the game. Hartford was up 15-0 at that point Monmouth didn’t hit a field goal until the 5:38 mark of the first half, which cut the lead to 20-5. At the half, Monmouth was just 5-28 from the field, but they only trailed 30-17. In the second half, Monmouth caught fire, eventually tying the game at 44 with 8:35 left. The game would go two overtimes, and in the second OT, Monmouth took control, winning 78-74. So Hartford lost two games this week. One, they lead 51-31 with 8:17 left. The other, they held a team scoreless for the first 12:25 of the game. Yuck.
  • Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels opened up a 22-13 lead on Minnesota with 6:51 left in the first half on Saturday afternoon on a three from Justin Stommes. That would be the last bit of scoring EKU did for a long time. The Gophers would score 12 straight points to take a 25-22 lead, and after Stommes hit a three with six seconds left to tie the game at 25, Maverick Ahanmisi hit a half court buzzer beater to put the Gophers ahead 28-25 at the break. It the second half, Minnesota’s defense clamped down even tighter. EKU didn’t score until a dunk from Stommes with 10:06 left in the half.Minnesota, by then, had opened up a 43-25 with a 30-3 run over the span of 17 minutes. That also included a stretch of over five minutes where Minnesota didn’t score. A Devoe Joseph three put the Gophers ahead 39-25 with 15:47 left in the game, and it wasn’t until Colton Iverson scored off of an offensive rebound with 10:37 left that the scoreboard changed.

Player of the Week: Ramone Moore, Temple

Moore may very well be the most important player on the Temple roster. Juan Fernandez is a capable point guard and facilitator, but he’s not a big time creator. Neither is Lavoy Allen, a big man with the tools to dominate but the aggressiveness of a housecat. That leaves Moore, an athletic 6’4″ off-guard that has becomes Temple’s go-to guy early in the season. Coming off of a 16 point performance in a de facto road game against Maryland, Moore exploded for 30 points against Georgetown in Philly. He was slashing to the rim, he was getting out in transition, and he was turning Temple’s defense into points. The Owls need a go-to scorer if the are going to live up to their expectations of being the A-10’s best team. Moore should be that guy.

The All-they-were-good-too team:

  • G: Charles Jenkins, Hofstra: The Pride only went 1-1 this week, but it was hardly Jenkin’s fault. He averaged 36.0 ppg in two games, scoring 40 (31 in the second half) in an overtime win over Binghamton.
  • G: Scott Christopherson, Iowa State: Christopherson has led the way for the Cyclones surprising 8-2 start. He’s averaging 16.5 ppg on the season and put up 19.7 ppg in a 3-0 week. It was headlined by a 30 points performance against Iowa.
  • F: Marshon Brooks, Providence: Providence lost to BC by two this week, but the Friars won their other two games, improving to 10-2 on the season. In those three games, Brooks averaged 31.3 ppg and 8.7 rpg.
  • F: Scotty Hopson, Tennessee: Hopson had 27 points in a dominating win for Tennessee over Pitt.
  • C: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State: Sully had 40 points and 13 boards, shooting 12-17 from the field and 16-23 from the line against Oakland on Wednedsay. Ohio State scored 75 points as a team in their 11 point win.
  • Bench: Bruce Ellington, South Carolina; Kenny Lawson, Creighton; Marshall Moses, Oklahoma State; Demetri McCamey, Illinois; Marcus Denmon, Missouri; Rick Jackson, Syracuse

Co-Teams of the Week: The Syracuse Orange and the Tennessee Volunteers

Michigan State is reeling right now. This is not the team that we expected to see this season, and this is likely not the same team that we will see come March. That said, Syracuse still manhandled the Spartans. They dominated the Spartans in the paint, led by 17 points and 16 boards from Rick Jackson, and completely took Michigan State out of what they wanted to do offensively. Syracuse is far from a finished product and still has a number of worrisome red flags — like, for example, how much they struggle shooting from the perimeter and whether or not Scoop Jardine or Kris Joseph will become a star. But one thing that is certain is that the Orange are just as good on the defensive end as they were last season. Just ask Colgate.

The question of whether or not Syracuse is the best team in the Big East is one that must be asked now. Why? Because on Saturday, Tennessee finished their sweep of the Big East’s preseason favorites by absolutely dominating Pitt in what was essentially a road game. Tennessee was up 61-40 at one point. Melvin Goins shut down Ashton Gibbs, Scotty Hopson played like a lottery pick, and the Vols competed with the Panthers formidable front line by outrebounding Pitt. Just how good can Tennessee be this year? Well, its safe to say at this point that they are likely the best team in the SEC, and with impressive wins over Pitt and Villanova, this group should move into the top five this week.

Teams deserving a shout out:

  • South Carolina: Believe it or not, the Gamecocks appear to be the best team in the state of South Carolina. That wasn’t exactly expected with Devan Downey graduating and Wofford and Clemson fielding tournament caliber teams. But Bruce Ellington, a freshman point guard for Darrin Horn’s club, has been terrific early in the season, averaging 13.9 ppg and 4.1 apg while shooting 44.4% from the floor is Downey’s stead. South Carolina is now 7-1 on the season.
  • Texas A&M: The Aggies are putting together a nice tournament resume here in the non-conference season. They had already beaten Temple before knocking off Washington at home on Saturday afternoon. The Aggies, who are known for their defensive effort, have a balanced attack on the offensive end. Khris Middleton is their leading scorer at 14.0 ppg, but after him, five of the other seven Aggies in Mark Turgeon’s rotation average between 7.0 ppg and 10.9 ppg.
  • Boston College: The Eagles have continued to play great basketball. After knocking off Providence on Tuesday, the Eagles kicked off conference play by stealing a road game against Maryland. They knocked down 13 3’s, including one from Corey Raji with 34 seconds left to break a 75-all tie.
  • The Atlantic 10: We’ve questioned the A-10 this season quite a bit in this space, but when credit is due, it must be given. The league has shown signs of life in the last week. There was Temple’s win over Georgetown, Richmond beating both Arizona State (last Sunday, but still) and VCU, Xavier knocked off Butler, and even Dayton (74-71 to Old Dominion) and Duquesne (64-61 to West Virginia) had competitive losses. This league isn’t as good as it was last season — mainly because they don’t have a team like Xavier that is a national power — but it appears as if it will get multiple bids again this year.

Steve Lavin clearly has something going at St. John’s. You cannot recruit the was he has recruited and not has a promising future. But that future certainly isn’t now, not after the Johnnies lost to St. Bonaventure at home then went to Fordham and blew a 21 point second half lead. I had high hopes for this squad. They are an experienced bunch that plays as hard as anyone in the country, but experience is only worth something if you’ve experienced winning. If you haven’t, it could end up being a negative.

The Johnnies are the only hyped preseason team to stumble out of the gates. Gonzaga, a preseason top 15 team that was picked by Adrian Branch to be the national champ this season, is not 4-4 on the year after an embarrassing loss to Washington State was followed up by a loss to Notre Dame. There are a multitude of issues with this team, but they all stem from one thing — losing Matt Bouldin. There is no leader on the Zags right now. They have no offensive facilitator. When they are struggling, they have no one that is going to demand the ball and will a quality shot out of their next possession. They don’t have someone that can go one-on-one at the end of the clock and create a shot for someone, be it himself or a teammate. Steven Gray is a slasher and a scorer, but he’s not a leader. Demetri Goodson simply isn’t that good. And Elias Harris is still working his way back from an achilles injury.

Speaking of Washington State, is it possible that they are the best team in the Pac-10 right now? Well, probably not. I’m not going to read into Washington’s loss at Texas A&M too much — on the road, by one point, good team — and once Lorenzo Romar realizes that he team is at their best when he reins in (or sits) Isaiah Thomas, Washington will win games.

But that shouldn’t take away from the start that Wazzu has had. If anything, they look like the Pac-10’s best chance at getting a second team into the tournament. Klay Thompson and Faisal Aden are as dangerous of a perimeter duo as you will find out west, Reggie Moore is finally back from injury, and DeAngelo Casto anchors an underrated front line. That said, their rise up the Pac-10 ladder has as much to do with the rest of the league’s struggles as their own successes. Arizona got drilled by BYU on Saturday. Cal lost at home to Southern Miss. USC’s win over Texas doesn’t over shadow losses to TCU, Bradley, or Rider.

Matchups of the Week: Its finals week at many schools across the country, so the pickins are slim until the weekend.

  • 12/18 – 2:00 pm: South Carolina @ Ohio State
  • 12/18 – 2:00 pm: Arkansas vs. Texas A&M
  • 12/18 – 2:00 pm: Cleveland State @ West Virginia
  • 12/18 – 3:30 pm: Kansas State vs. Florida
  • 12/18 – 4:00 pm: Texas vs. UNC
  • 12/18 – 4:30 pm: Gonzaga vs. Baylor
  • 12/18 – 5:00 pm: Richmond vs. Georgia Tech
  • 12/18 – 8:00 pm: Virginia Tech vs. Mississippi State
  • 12/18 – 11:00 pm: Florida State @ Loyola Marymount
  • 12/19 – 4:45 pm: Arizona @ NC State

“I trust the SEC office will do the right thing,” Tennessee coach Rick Barnes says after bump from official

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Tennessee 63-58 loss to Texas A&M wasn’t without some controversy.

In the final seconds of the game, official Mike Nance appeared to bump into Vols coach Rick Barnes, who was standing stationary on the sideline, and the two exchanged words.

“I really have a lot of confidence in the SEC office that they are going to look at that,” Barnes said after the game about the incident, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “I believe they will look at this game and take it apart. I just think they will do that. That shouldn’t happen in any way shape or form. I would like to say what I want to say, but I won’t because I trust the SEC office will do the right thing.”

Nance was headed to the monitor to review a call when the bump occurred, and Nance appeared to ask Barnes if the coach initiated the contact.

“Coach (Bob) Knight told me a long time ago that in a game officials are going to miss seven to nine or 10, 11, 12 calls,” Barnes said. “He kept going up every year. He said, ‘You just hope things aren’t egregious at any point in time.'”

Coach K screams at Duke fans, defending Jeff Capel

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In one of the stranger things that we’ve seen in college basketball this season, Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski went off on the Cameron Crazies for what he believed was a shot they were taking at former Duke player Jeff Capel.

The crazies were chanting, “Jeff Capel sit with us.” Coach K thought he heard something else.

Check out the video:

After the game, Coach K acknowledged that he misheard what the fans said, adding that he will apologize for the mishap.

“I made a mistake,” he said. “But I’d rather make a mistake for the protection of my guy.

“I love Jeff. I erred on that side. I just hope the ACC doesn’t fine me like they did [Mike] Brey.”

He ended the back and forth with this: “Jeff can sit with me anytime.”

 

Tuesday’s Things to Know: Villanova gears up for big stretch, Auburn wins ugly in 2OT and Rutgers keeps rolling

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The headliner of Tuesday night was Virginia regaining an NCAA tournament pulse with a win over No. 5 Florida State, but there were plenty of other developments on the bubble across the country.  Here’s what else you need to know:

1. Villanova runs streak to seven ahead of grueling stretch

Jay Wright’s team had little trouble winning its seventh-straight Tuesday with a 79-59 victory at Madison Square Garden over St. John’s. Saddiq Bey was brilliant, scoring 23 points on 8 of 14 shooting, including 5 of 9 from deep. Collin Gillespie was equally great, going for 17 points, 13 boards and six assists while Jeremiah Robinson-Early had 13 points and 14 rebounds. Cole Swider and Justin Moore both had 11 to put all five Wildcat starters in double-figures to help offset the absence of the injured Jermaine Samuels.

The victory, while unremarkable given St. John’s mediocrity, keeps momentum for Villanova heading into a huge stretch that very well could decide the Big East. They’ve got Creighton at home Saturday before a trip to No. 16 Butler and then back-to-back home games against No. 10 Seton Hall and Marquette, which handed the ‘Cats their lone conference loss this season.

How Villanova emerges from this four-game stretch – and subsequently what the Big East landscape looks like – will likely be determined by a couple of things. If the ‘Cats are going to make it through in the conference driver’s seat, it’ll probably because Villanova’s defense proves for real. The Cats’ defense this season on the whole has been fine, ranking 60th nationally on KenPom, but it’s been the best in the Big East during conference play. They’ve been stingier both inside and outside the arc while improving on the glass. They’ve kept opponents from launching a lot of 3s and have mostly kept them off the line.

Wright’s team is going to be fine offensively, even if they haven’t been elite in Big East play yet. If the defense holds up, the ‘Cats are going to be sitting pretty come March.

2. No. 17 Auburn comes from behind to win in 2OT

Things were looking pretty dire for Auburn. The Tigers narrowly avoided a third loss in four games over the weekend when they blew a big lead to a sub-.500 Iowa State team, and then they fell behind by 19 in the second half Tuesday at Ole Miss.

It turned out to be nothing to be worried about, unless you were on your couch hoping to watch good overtime basketball.

The Tigers narrowly escaped, 83-82, against the Rebels, overcoming a huge deficit and mistakes of their own making that could have negated their comeback but instead will be footnotes.

Auburn shot 56 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3-point range in the second half to mount its comeback while Ole Miss shot just 33 percent. They nearly gave the game away, though, after taking a two-point lead in the final seconds of overtime. The Tigers missed a jumper that would have put them up four with 25 seconds left, but the shot missed and they inexplicably fouled on the rebound to allow Ole Miss to tie the game with 22 seconds left on free throws. After a missed 3 in a tie game by Danjel Purifoy, Ole Miss gave Auburn a gift it just wouldn’t accept. Devontae Shuler’s inbounds pass under the basket with 2 seconds left went astray and was headed out of bounds, which would have resulted in no time coming off the clock and Auburn getting the ball on the baseline, but Isaac Okoro, for some reason, grabbed the ball, waited a second and called timeout. Samir Doughty’s forthcoming 3 out of the huddle as time expired miss to send things to 2OT.

Ole Miss led by as many as four in overtime, but Auburn took the lead with 1:41 left. The two teams traded missed opportunities for the remainder of the game, leaving the Tigers with a win.

College basketball: Not always pretty, but rarely boring.

3. Rutgers continues to build its case

It’s been 29 years since Rutgers last made the NCAA tournament. It’s been 13 since the Scarlet Knights even finished above .500 in a season. Both those streaks seem incredibly likely to fall in just a handful of weeks.

Rutgers ran its overall record to 16-5 and its Big Ten mark to 7-3 with a 70-63 victory Tuesday at home against Purdue.

Steve Pikiell’s team is building a bulletproof resume after losses to St. Bonaventure and Pittsburgh in the first month of the season made it seem as the status quo would be very much in place in Piscataway this winter. Since then, the only three losses Rutgers have taken have all been on the road to high-quality opponents, with Michigan State, Illinois and Iowa the only teams able to get the best of them.

Rutgers is doing it o the strength of a top-10 defense that overcomes an offense that can be clunky at times, especially at the 3-point line. Defense as stout as the Scarlet Knights are playing, though, makes up for a lot of deficiencies on the other end.

Bubble Banter: Virginia, Mississippi State the biggest winners of the night

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It was a wild night on the bubble on Tuesday night, as 12 teams with their NCAA tournament hopes still up in the air were in action.

A full bubble watch breakdown can be found here. Here are tonight’s winners and losers:

WINNERS

VIRGINIA (NET: 58, NBC: Off the bubble): It is impossible to overstate just how big a win over Florida State (15) for a Virginia team that entered the night without a top 50 win to their name. They had one Quad 1 win on their resume — at Syracuse (64) — to go along with wins over Virginia Tech (50) at home and Arizona State (56) on a neutral floor. That’s it. When combined with a pair of Quad 3 losses — South Carolina (89) at home and at Boston College (153) — there’s a reason that the Wahoos were completely out of the NCAA tournament picture entering the day.

And to be honest, I’m not sure that a win over a top 20 team at home is really going to change all that much. But with just three more games against the top of the ACC left on their schedule, this was an opportunity that could not slip through their fingers.

MISSISSIPPI STATE (NET: 48, NBC: Off the bubble): The Bulldogs added a critical road win on Tuesday night, going into Gainesville and knocking off Florida (37). It’s the second Quad 1 win in six days for Mississippi State, who needs to add some pop to the top of a resume that includes a pair of Quad 3 losses. This will help.

MICHIGAN (NET: 35, NBC: 10): Michigan entered Tuesday night having lost four games in a row and five of their last six and were playing without Isaiah Livers and Zavier Simpson at Nebraska (158). They could not lost this game. They did not.

RHODE ISLAND (NET: 47, NBC: First four out): Rhode Island is in a spot where they probably cannot afford to take a loss to anyone other than Dayton (5), who they play twice, the rest of the season. On Tuesday night, the Rams beat George Mason. Next up: VCU (39) on Friday night.

UTAH STATE (NET: 62, NBC: Off the bubble): Utah State absolutely could not lose at Wyoming (299) on Tuesday, and they didn’t. The Aggies have neutral site wins over LSU (25) and Florida (37), which is enough to keep them in this discussion despite road losses at Boise State (102), UNLV (130) and Air Force (184). They make the trip to Viejas Arena to take on San Diego State (2) on Saturday, and that feels like a must-win for Utah State at this point.

LOSERS

TENNESSEE (NET: 55, NBC: Next four out): The Vols took a loss that they just could not afford to take on Tuesday, falling to a bad Texas A&M (149) at home. It’s their first Quad 3 loss, meaning that now half of their eight losses are outside the Quad 1 level. With just two Quad 1 wins, neither of which came against a top 35 opponent, Tennessee is backing themselves into a corner. The good news? They still play eight Quad 1 games, and that doesn’t include Florida at home. The Vols can survive this if they get hot.

SYRACUSE (NET: 64, NBC: Off the bubble): The Orange saw their five game winning streak come to an end on Tuesday as they fell at Clemson (81). This is not a terrible loss, but for a team that is already trying to make up ground on the field, these are the kind of losses that really hurt.

RICHMOND (NET: 54, NBC: First four out): Tuesday’s visit to the Siegel Center was Richmond’s last shot at getting a Quad 1 win dueing the regular season. They lost to VCU (39) by 17 points. For my money, the Spiders’ at-large hopes are more or less dead.

ST. JOHN’S (NET: 67, NBC: 10): The Johnnies lost for the seventh time in their last nine games when Villanova (14) waltzed into MSG and beat the Red Storm by 20. That’s not ideal. St. John’s is still in the mix because of wins over West Virginia (7) and Arizona (10), the latter of which came on a neutral court. But with road games left against Villanova, Seton Hall (12) and Butler (9), Mike Anderson’s club has backed themselves into a corner.

PURDUE (NET: 36, NBC: Next four out): The Boilermakers dropped to 11-10 on the season with a 70-63 loss at Rutgers (23) on Tuesday night. That means Purdue has dropped five of their last seven games. They’re 2-7 against Quad 1 opponents with a 29 point win over Michigan State (8), but there are a lot of losses on their resume already and the Big Ten is a bear.

VIRGINIA TECH (NET: 50, NBC: First four out): The Hokies did themselves no favors by losing at Miami (106) on Tuesday night. In the last three days, they’ve suffered their two worst losses of the season. The Hokies also have a non-conference SOS that ranks 341st, which eliminates much of their margin for error. The good news? They still have pair of Quad 1 wins — including Michigan State (10) on a neutral — and four of their five Quad 1 and 2 wins came away from home. It’s not all bad.

GEORGETOWN (NET: 52, NBC: Next four out): The Hoyas lost their third straight game on Tuesday night and have now dropped six of their last eight. Making things worse is that they were up by 13 points on Butler (9) late in the first half. This was their best chance to land an elite win this season. They still get Villanova (14) and Seton Hall (12) at home, but the biggest issue with Georgetown’s tournament chances is that they are trending in the wrong direction with just seven scholarship players.

Virginia upends No. 5 Florida State, 61-56

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Remember back to the season’s opening night? Nearly three months ago? That was when Virginia embarrassed Syracuse in a 48-34 win. That game foretold a lot of the season up to this point for the Cavaliers. Their title-defending team would have the defense that’s defined Tony Bennett’s program while the offense, well, that would be a bit of a struggle. What it did not predict was more Quad 1 wins, as the Cavaliers, despite a dominating defense, failed to rack up another such victory after that season-opener.

Until Tuesday.

Virginia injected some life into its NCAA tournament hopes with a 61-56 win over fifth-ranked Florida State in Charlottesville to pick up a critical victory in an ACC that offers far fewer marquee opportunities than in years past.

The victory was exactly what Bennett’s team needed to help buoy that resume before the start of February. January was extremely rough on them with a 3-4 mark before the win over the Seminoles put them at .500 for the month. With only four chances left against the ACC’s best of FSU, Duke and Louisville, beating the Seminoles at home may not have been an absolute-must for the Cavs, but it sure makes it a lot easier to chart a path to the tournament now, even if it’s still a rocky road, than if they had dropped the game.

Point guard Kihei Clark scored 11 of his 15 points after halftime, changing the game offensively for the Cavaliers with his dribble penetration into the middle of the Florida State defense. He wasn’t wildly efficient, but his ability to get into the teeth of the defense – creating some buckets and free throws for himself and chances for his teammates – provided just enough lift for the offensively-challenged team. His beautiful reverse layup with a minute left gave Virginia a lead it would not relinquish as it closed the game on an 8-0 run.

Mamadi Diakite had 19 points and nine boards for Virginia while Braxton Key had 13 points and nine rebounds.

The loss stops a 10-game winning streak for the ‘Noles, who led for most of the game but could not ever find any meaningful separation. Devin Vassell had 17 points to lead Florida State, which had two shots to tie the game in the final seconds but missed both 3-point attempts horribly. If Virginia can surge a little in the season’s final month, this win won’t be much more than a missed opportunity for the Seminoles, but if it proves to just be a blip on the radar for Virginia, Florida State may have done some damage to its seed line Tuesday.