Game of the Day
No. 4 Kansas 64, Texas 59: Texas is struggling this season, but the Longhorns are still one of the nation’s most efficient defensive teams. That was enough for them to scare the dickens out of Kansas for roughly 36 minutes. As Daniel Martin wrote earlier today, the tide turned on a sequence that epitomized this year’s Jayhawk modus operandi: Senior Jeff Withey blocked a shot on the defensive end of the floor, did it in such a way that his own team gained possession, and freshman Ben McLemore flushed it in transition. After that, it was all Kansas.
No. 7 Arizona 71, Arizona State 54: This game was rightly chosen as upset fodder earlier today. The Sun Devils have a developing Big Three who can play with anyone in the nation. Arizona, on the other hand, has been one of those teams that seemed a bit uneasy in the top ten, especially after dropping a game to Oregon. Mark Lyons rose to the challenge, scoring 24 points to complement double-figure scoring from Nick Johnson and Solomon Hill to lead the Wildcat offensive attack. Team defense was the real bellweather, though; Arizona forced 17 turnovers against their in-state rival.
No. 10 Florida 83, No. 17 Missouri 52: In our pre-season
arguments discussions about where teams should be ranked, some of us at CBT expressed doubt about Missouri’s early rankings, which we felt were disproportionately based upon a healthy Laurence Bowers rejoining the team. Clearly, the team’s ranking was a bit optimistic, but just as clearly, Bowers is a huge offensive key for the Tigers. His replacement in the starting lineup, Tony Criswell, contributed just eight points to the losing cause. The much-maligned Florida backcourt took careful shots and harrassed Phil Pressey into a ten-turnover night. The Gators are staking their claim to SEC elite-dom with Kentucky floundering.
North Carolina 62, Maryland 52: In this battle for superiority in the ACC’s murky upper-middle class, North Carolina showed they’re still not a team to be trifled with. The Heels keyed on future lottery pick Alex Len, and Reggie Bullock went wild for a career-high 24. Dexter Strickland led the UNC defensive attack with four steals, contributing to Maryland’s 21 total turnovers.
Akron 71, Kent State 67: The rivalry between the Zips and Golden Flashes isn’t on the national radar very often, but the two Ohio-based schools have a hot one going. They’ve met for the MAC’s auto-bid twice within recent memory, and the 2005 MAC tournament was the last time one of the two failed to appear in the league’s title game. They’re MAC royalty, and Akron went to 4-0 by holding the Flashes to just 35% shooting from the floor.
Games of the Night
6:00 Ohio State/Michigan State (ESPN)
7:00 Marquette/Cincinnati (ESPNU)
7:00 UNLV/Colorado State (NBCSports)
7:30 San Diego State/Wyoming
9:00 Gonzaga/Butler (ESPN)
9:00 San Diego/BYU