No. 15 Notre Dame 69, No. 9 Georgetown 55: See here.
No. 1 Duke 108, UNC-Greensboro 62: I get it, ok? Coach K coaches at Duke. Dean Smith coached at UNC. Duke and UNC are rivals. Duke fans say Coach K is better than Dean Smith. UNC fans say Dean Smith was better than Coach K. All of that means that Coach K passing Dean Smith for second place on the all-time wins list is a big deal for folks on Tobacco Road.
Me? I could care less. Lifetime achievements don’t carry much weight with me. Maybe when Coach K eventually sets the all-time record by passing Bobby Knight I’ll care a bit more, but probably not. A record like that is fun to talk about, but its not the best way to determine whether Knight, Smith, or Krzyzewski was the better coach. Now that that is over with, can we go back to talking about whether or not Duke can repeat with Andre Dawkins starting instead of Kyrie Irving?
Vanderbilt 77, Marquette 76: Once again, the Golden Eagles lose a close, hard-fought game. This was a the definition of a back and forth affair. Vandy jumped out to a 16-5 lead before Marquette fought back to go into the break up 37-34. Buzz Williams’ boys pushed that lead to seven before a 21-6 Vanderbilt run put the Commodores back in control. But Marquette wasn’t going to go away, turning three consecutive Vanderbilt turnovers into three consecutive layups to spark a late run.
Down 75-74 with under 30 seconds left, Marquette moved the ball around before Darius Johnson-Odom found Dwight Buycks, who stepped into what appeared to be a three pointer. But Buycks’ step put his right toe on the line, meaning that Marquette would only take a 76-75 lead. It would prove costly, as the ‘Dores executed beatifully at the other end, avoiding panic as they moved the ball, eventually finding Andre Walker for a layup with 4.1 seconds left. Johnson-Odom slipped and lost the ball as he tried to drive at the other end, and Vandy left with the win.
Marquette now has four losses this season — by five to Duke, by three to Gonzaga, by five to Wisconsin, and by one to Vandy. Last season, the same thing happened to the Golden Eagles, but midway through conference play they started figuring out how to win close games. They’ll need that to happen again this year.
UCLA 80, Washington State 71: The Bruins jumped on the newly-minted sleeper pick in the Pac-10 in the second half, erasing a double digit deficit as Reeves Nelson (21 points, 11 boards) and Zeke Jones (10 points, 11 assists) both posted double-doubles. This was a huge win for UCLA. If they seriously wanted to contend for a conference title, they needed, at the least, a split this weekend. They are guaranteed of that split now, and have a chance to sweep the Washington schools with a win over U-Dub on Friday.
Washington 73, USC 67 OT: Nikola Vucevic had 28 points and 14 rebounds, hitting two free throws with 1:15 left to tie the game at 55 and force OT, but the Huskies were too much. They overcame a 16-4 deficit early on, getting 18 apiece from Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Terrence Ross, while Justin Holiday had five of his 12 points to spark an early overtime run. This win is important because the Huskie’s have not had a significant victory on the road in the league since a January ’09 win at Arizona State. Who knows if this win will be meaningful come March, but this is the start U-Dub needed in league play.
St. John’s 81, West Virginia 71: The Johnnies picked up a nice win at West Virginia, shooting 61% from the floor and beating up the Mounties in the paint. DJ Kennedy had one of the stranger lines I’ve seen this year, going for 17 points, 11 boards, and 6 assists on just 3-3 shooting. Second good win for St. John’s in as many weeks, after they knocked off Northwestern at MSG. For WVU, the question right now seems to be confidence — they aren’t playing with any. The mean streak and the desperation they had every possession last season is gone. And tonight, they took 36 three pointers. That is way, way too many.
No. 25 Illinois 87, Iowa 77: So the Illini shot 13-18 from three and 66.7% from the floor overall, and only beat the Hawkeyes by 10?
Rhode Island 67, Boston College 65: Orion Outerbridge had 12 points in his first game back from suspension as Rhody picked up a solid win against the Eagles.
New Mexico 61, Texas Tech 60: The Lobos overcame an early deficit and held on late as Tech missed some free throws to get out of Lubbock with a win.
Missouri State 58, Northern Iowa 57: This highlight package has a bit of everything — a 60 foot halfcourt buzzer beater from UNI, and a game-winning three ball from MSU.
Other Notable Games:
- No. 3 Kansas 82, UT-Arlington 57
- No. 21 UCF 71, Furman 53
- Clemson 71, East Carolina 59
- Richmond 90, Wake Forest 74
- Dayton 73, George Mason 67
- South Carolina 56, Jacksonville State 49
- Southern Miss 91, MVSU 46
- Colorado 92, UMES 65
- Gonzaga 83, Lafayette 55
- Utah State 74, Hawaii 66
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.