PLAYERS OF THE DAY
Trae Young is the name everyone knew as No. 12 Oklahoma head to Austin to take on Texas, but it was another freshman point guard — Matt Coleman — who left as the star of the show.
Coleman finished with 22 points and a pair of assists, doing quite a bit of the work defensively on Young, who finished with 19 points and 14 assists but shot 7-for-22 from the floor and 2-for-14 from three.
It’s great to see Coleman playing well. Texas is trying to cope with the fact that one of the players on the roster (sophomore Andrew Jones) is in a battle with leukemia, and that means that more of the load has been hoisted upon Coleman. He’s answered the call.
So has Kerwin Roach, who finished with 19 points, four boards and four assists. He’s become arguably the best perimeter player for the Longhorns in recent weeks, scoring at least 16 points in five of the six games since returning from injury.
THE REST OF SATURDAY’S STARS
- SHAMORIE PONDS, St. John’s: Ponds finished with 33 points — including a pair of massive shots in the final 75 seconds — as the Johnnies knocked off No. 4 Duke at home.
- COLLIN SEXTON, Alabama: Sexton finished with 17 points, eight boards, six assists, two steals and a block as the Crimson Tide went into Gainesville and knocked off No. 23 Florida by 18 points.
- JEROD HARPER, Auburn: 14 points and 14 assists isn’t a bad night. That’s what Harper did as Auburn whipped up on Vanderbilt.
- JOCK LANDALE, Saint Mary’s: Landale was terrific, finishing with 34 points, 18 boards and four assists as No. 13 Saint Mary’s won at San Diego.
- TREVON BLUIETT, Xavier: Bluiett finished with 31 points on 9-for-16 shooting on Saturday as the Musketeers held off Georgetown. He made this shot to force the overtime.
TEAM OF THE DAY
Oklahoma State desperately needed to win at No. 7 Kansas on Saturday if they wanted any chance of getting back to the NCAA tournament this season, and they did just that.
The Pokes were up by as many as 18 points in the first half, as the Jayhawks spent 40 minutes playing like they thought all they had to do to win at home was to show up. Kendall Smith led the way with 24 points, five boards and five assists for OSU while Cameron McGriff chipped in with 20 points.
This is the third game that Kansas has lost in Phog Allen this year. Bill Self entered the season having lost just 11 times in that building in his tenure with Kansas.
Kansas, on the other hand, is now tied with Texas Tech for first place in the Big 12.
GAME OF THE DAY
(UPDATE: Actually, it was this game.)
I don’t know how Indiana did it, but somehow they shot 28.8 percent from the floor and 4-for-19 from three and still managed to have a potential game-tying heave at the buzzer bounce off the back of the rim.
The Spartans got up double-figures early and seemed to throw this thing into cruise control. The Hoosiers slowly but surely chipped away, creating another mind-bending stat: Michigan State, with the biggest front line in college basketball, finished with 29 total rebounds and just three offensive boards on Saturday while Indiana had 25 offensive rebounds despite starting a front line that stands 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-8.
The final score ended up being 63-60 despite Michigan State’s best efforts to give this one away.
WTF???? OF THE DAY
St. John’s entered Saturday having lost 11 straight games.
It is February, and the Red Storm do not own a single win in the Big East. It’s been something of a disaster for Chris Mullin, one that has him fully on the hot seat.
So obviously, with No. 4 Duke coming to town, the Johnnies … played their best game of the year?
Shamorie Ponds popped off for 33 points while Bashir Ahem added 19 points and Tariq Owens chipped in with 17 as St. John’s erased a seven-point halftime deficit to beat the Blue Devils. Duke was absolutely torched by Mike Krzyzewski after the game — and deservedly so — which has me asking: How is a team as talented as Duke is so reliant on Marvin Bagley III?
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
Remember when we thought that No. 21 Kentucky making that thrilling comeback and winning at West Virginia would be the turning point in their season? LOL. After needing overtime to beat Vanderbilt at home during the week, the Wildcats lost at Missouri in a game were the Tigers were more or less in control throughout. Kentucky was a trainwreck in the first half, digging themselves too big of a hole to dig out of. Kassius Robertson had 16 points and four assists to lead the way for Mizzou.
Whatever funk No. 10 Texas Tech was in earlier this year, they are out of it now. The Red Raiders won their fourth straight game on Saturday, knocking off TCU at TCU. The final score was 83-71, but it really wasn’t that close.
Whatever funk No. 15 West Virginia was in the last three weeks, they look to be out of it now. The Mountaineers beat Kansas State by 38 points.
The two best teams in the SEC continue to be No. 18 Tennessee and No. 11 Auburn. The Volunteers absolutely smashed Ole Miss on Saturday, eventually winning by 33 points, while the Tigers held off Vanderbilt at home. It’s a shame these two teams already played this season. It didn’t get near the fan fare it deserved.
Deandre Hunter had 15 points and six assists off the bench for No. 2 Virginia as they knocked off Syracuse, 59-44.
Corey Sanders went for 31 points, seven boards and three assists, but it wasn’t enough as No. 3 Purdue beat Rutgers in Piscataway, 78-76.
No. 19 North Carolina got back to their winning ways, snapping a three-game losing streak against Pitt. The most noteworthy part? Theo Pinson was healthy, finished with 13 points and eight assists and played as the back-up point guard.
Jacob Evans had 19 points as No. 8 Cincinnati knocked off UConn in Hartford.
Isaiah Washington did everything he could — 26 points in total — to get Minnesota a win in Ann Arbor, but it was not meant to be. No. 24 Michigan won 76-73 in overtime.