Afternoon recap: UNLV played the most complete game of anyone
—UPSET—Oklahoma 80, No. 9 Texas 71. How is Rick Barnes screwing this up? Texas has lost a wheel and is careening off the side of the road. Oklahoma’s Tommy Mason-Griffin is the new hot name of the day. He’s averaging 24 points in his lastfive games and is sinking nearly four 3′s in that stretch as well.
—UPSET—UNLV 88, Brigham Young 74. Boy, it was one of those games for the Rebels. They played as good as they could have. They were shooting better than 60 percent after the first half. If I knew this team would play like this in March, I’d write them into the Sweet 16 without hesitation. Tre’Von Willis had a career-high 33 points to help Vegas equalize itself with BYU in the MWC standings. Jimmer Fredette is showing no signs of mono. He had 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Game speaks so much more to UNLV’s shooting than BYU’s lack of gumption.
—UPSET—Richmond 71, Temple 54. It seems pretty easy: You put up better than 70 against Temple and you’re going to win the game 98 percent of the time. The Spiders had a better shooting day than UNLV. They shot 58 percent. Richmond jumps into serious bubble talk by getting this win. It was a real ultimatum game for the Spiders.
—UPSET—Texas A&M 78, No. 20 Baylor 71. Wins over Missouri and Baylor. A&M has its chest proudly puffed.
No. 7 Georgetown 103, No. 2 Villanova 90. ‘Nova got its doors blown off. Do we feel a loss at West Virginia coming Monday and unnecessary how-good-is-Villanova? stories thereafter? Please spare me. As for Georgetown, Austin Freeman and Jason Clark went off. Clark had six 3′s and 24 points; Freeman had 25 points. Georgetown is 4-0 on Saturdays this season and 3-4 on all other days. Weekend warriors, I tell you.
No. 4 Kentucky 81, Louisiana State 55. LSU had a 6-1 lead to start the game. That was cute.
No. 6 West Virginia 79, St. John’s 60. WVU was flirting with trouble for the first 20 minutes. Then St. John’s simply got overpowered. That came from Da’Sean Butler, who won’t go quietly into that Big East Player of the Year night, as he put up 33 points and seven 3-pointers. Huggins was not dressed for the occasion. Feature photo coming? If I can hunt a good one down, yes.
No. 10 Kansas State 79, Iowa State 75. Probably just thrilled to get out alive. Clemente and Pullen played to their reliability from deep.
No. 10 Duke 66, Boston College 63. How many problems does Duke have? The Plumlees are still learning; they didn’t do anything in the first half. Boston College got a little lucky because Duke was uncharacteristically bad from the foul line. And we got more of the two sides of Kyle Singler. He only had 12 today. No long-term success for Duke if he’s going to continue to act play like this.
No. 16 Wisconsin 62, Michigan 44. Thanks for showing up on your home floor, Wolverines.
No. 17 Gonzaga 66, Memphis 58. Eh. Thought it was going to be a better game. A lot of fouls, a lot of missed foul shots. Josh Pastner almost went Jersey Shore on an official. Assistant coaches “held him back” as he went after them after one too many foul calls for Pastner’s liking. Gonzaga locked up an at-large (given it doesn’t lose more than three more games in the WCC) with this win. Memphis? Trouble.
No. 21 Georgia Tech 73, North Carolina State 71. I do not understand why Georgia Tech plays the way they do. So much talent and it’s not translating. This was a home game. I’m sending out the memo soon: Don’t trust the Yellow Jackets.
Virginia Tech 70, Clemson 59. Hokies are now 18-4 and could be considered the best team in the ACC. That’s a topic that needs be addressed on a larger scale, because it’s never happened before. Clemson has dropped four of five. The record is skipping again.
Wake Forest 64, Virginia 61 (OT). I love it when teams oblige me and live up the CHJ hype. Ish Smith looked damn nasty in this game. He had a sick layup to help send this game to overtime. UVA’s playing with house money, so you can’t harp on them too much.
Marquette 82, Providence 79. The Golden Eagles winning close games and the tide is turning? They’re 15-8 and could claim to be the fifth-best team in the Big East right now.
California 72, UCLA 58. UCLA has gotten better, so it’s a decent road win for Cal, who has to avoid the oil on the floor for the remainder of the season.
Dayton 90, Xavier 65. Dayton needed the game a lot more and played that way. Jordan Crawford had 24 for Xavier. He’s becoming rather reliable for X. Dudes were flying all over the floor in this one. An A10 post is coming Monday morning.
Florida 69, Mississippi State 62. The Bulldogs are 4-4 in the SEC and have lost four of five. Yikes.
Minnesota 66, Penn State 64. Told you it was gonna be close. Bad sign for Minnesota.
Texas Tech 81, Oklahoma State 74. Bad loss, even though Texas Tech isn’t terrible. Ray Penn’s ankle injury seems to be a bigger deal than I thought. Red Raiders aren’t out of the picture just yet.