And then there was one.
Ohio State is now the lone unbeaten team after San Diego State lost 71-58 to Jimmer, … err, I mean BYU in front of a raucous, sold out Marriott Center. And, as you could probably tell by your twitter feed, Jimmer Jimmered the Aztecs, going off for 43 points on 14-24 shooting from the field and 5-8 from long range.
You know that already, you don’t need me to tell you.
In fact, my blogger-in-arms Mike Miller already told you about Jimmer’s legendary performance.
But there was so much more to talk about in this game than just Jimmer’s performance. Like, for example, how well BYU’s front line played. San Diego State has one of the biggest, most talented front courts in the nation. Coming in, the biggest concern for the Cougars would handle that front line.
I’ll let the stats answer that question for you — Malcolm Thomas combined to go 7-20 from the floor for 16 points and 11 boards. BYU had no answer for Kawhi Leonard, who finished with 22 points and 15 boards (nine offensive) despite having the flu and needing an IV before the game, but that is more a testament to his ability than anything else.
All told, SDSU’s big three shot just 15-40 from the floor, or 40%. As a team, the Aztecs were even worse, shooting 35.5% from the field and 5-20 from three. BYU’s big men competed on the defensive glass — SDSU got 18 offensive boards, but their offensive rebounding percentage was below their season average. BYU’s big also blocked 10 shots. The Cougars win can be attributed as much to that performance as Jimmer’s.
Don’t let this game fool you, though. San Diego State is for real. The Marriott Center has always been a tough place to get a win, and its near impossible to come out of that building unscathed when Jimmer has it going like he did tonight.
BYU is not 13 points better than the Aztecs. I think even the most delusional BYU fans (well, maybe not the most delusional, but you hope a large percentage of the population) can admit that. When these two teams play in San Diego, the result could end up being very different.
That game will happen on February 26th as part of a Saturday triple-header on CBS.
And if the suits at that network have any idea what they are doing, they will put Gus Johnson on the call for that game.
Clear your calender on that day, folks. As entertaining as this game was, the rematch promises to be just as good.
Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.