The Super Bowl must be near because college basketball’s in full swing. There were 150 games between D-I teams Saturday, featuring everything from a conference scoring record to a football school turning the Tide.
Keep track of the biggest stories with our 10 Takeaways.
Alabama’s now a football school: Just kidding. But the Tide has already managed to exceed its SEC win total from last season by winning at Tennessee in OT. Now more nagging on the SEC West as the Tide have wins against the East’s top teams. ‘Bama is now 15-7 overall and boasts a glittering 7-1 record in the SEC, its best start since ’02 when it also won the league. As an added bonus, Florida cemented its place atop the East division by beating Kentucky. Who says you can’t be a football and basketball school?
Does Kansas need Josh Selby? The highly touted freshman sat out the Jayhawks’ impressive 86-66 win at Nebraska, in which they hit a season-high 13 3-pointers and improved to 22-1 overall and 7-1 in the Big 12. (League leader Texas also won.) Selby entered the game as the team’s most accurate shooter beyond the arc, but senior Brady Morningstar caught fire for a season-high 19 points. Will Selby’s role get reduced in light of one game?
The Jimmer can’t be stopped: BYU scoring sensation Jimmer Fredette put up 29 points in a 78-64 win vs. UNLV, which broke the MWC scoring record set by SDSU’s Brandon Heath in 2007. Fredette – now at 2,194 points – was a perfect 16 of 16 from the free-throw line. For good measure, he also had seven assists.
Big East, big drama: No. 13 Georgetown survived 43 points by Marshon Brooks to beat Providence 83-81. No. 15 Louisville nearly blew it against DePaul. And No. 6 UConn endured another rough-shooting night from Kemba Walker (19 points on 7-of-19- shooting) to rally past Seton Hall, 61-59. But it wasn’t all bad in the league. League leader Pitt rolled, ‘Nova crushed West Virginia and Syracuse established a two game win streak with a resounding win over South Florida. Take that, Internet rumors!
Washington’s bumpy road: The No. 20 Huskies (15-7, 7-4) could accept a loss at in-state rival Washington State. But getting swept by the Oregon schools? That’ll cast serious doubt on what should be the Pac-10’s best team. All four of the Huskies’ conference losses have come on the road. Adding to their woes was Arizona’s triple-OT win vs. Cal, putting the Wildcats two games ahead in the standings.
Perfect dreams dashed: Oakland (Mich.) was rolling through its Summit League slate until it forgot how to play defense against IUPUI, which hit 56.5 percent of its shots in a 100-88 win. That leaves Texas, Ohio State, Coastal Carolina, Princeton and Utah State as the only remaining teams with unbeaten conference record. The Grizzlies (17-9, 12-1) still hold a three-game conference lead, but probably lost any shot of an at-large NCAA tournament bid.
The Patriots are coming! George Mason is rolling. The Patriots (19-5, 11-2) crushed CAA rival Old Dominion, 62-45, their ninth straight win. At this rate, both Mason and VCU (its CAA co-leader) could give the conference its first multi-bid year since 2006. You remember what happened in 2006, right?
The Zags are not: Gonzaga hasn’t missed the NCAA tournament since 1998. Yet after a 62-58 home loss to Memphis on Saturday, the Bulldogs are now 15-9 overall and won’t sniff the Big Dance unless they win the WCC tournament. Who would’ve guessed this was the year Mark Few’s program experienced a hug hiccup?
The Butler did it (again): Cleveland State may very well win the Horizon League, but reigning champ Butler has the Vikings’ number. The Bulldogs (15-9, 7-5) ended Cleveland State’s six-game winning streak, but probably didn’t do much to boost their chances of an at-large NCAA tournament bid. It’s conference tournament or bust.
Atlantic 10 gets tighter: Just when it seemed Duquesne couldn’t lose, it did. The Dukes suffered their first loss in the last 12 games by falling to St. Bonaventure, dropping them into a tie with Xavier. Not that it was easy for the Musketeers (16-6, 8-1, who needed a late rally against St. Louis. Right behind them are Temple (17-5, 7-2) and Richmond (18-6, 7-2).
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