Around the Top 25: The return of the morning-after evaluation here at CHJ
Love doing the quick recaps for you. Hope you enjoy the as well.
No. 7 Kansas 67, Valparaiso 42. Last season, I went on a writing-about-Kansas drought in this column until the team made things interesting for me. I won’t be so harsh on the ‘Hawks this time around, but keeping opponents in the 40s doesn’t leave much room for chatter. Needless to say (though I guess I’m about to say it), Josh Selby isn’t missed yet.
No. 19 Memphis 72, Miami 68. Well, it’s clear Memphis needs to work on its rebounding. And 3-point shooting. And offensive fluidity. And ability to capitalize off other teams’ turnovers. I still think Miami played composed and attacked Memphis in all the right spots, but with both teams shooting more than 30 free throws, it was a rather jilted game. And Miami lost its way in the final three minutes. Freshman Joe Jackson of Memphis, though he clanked a dunk on a breakaway, was critical to keeping the Tigers chugging in the second half. In fact, Jackson hit two free throws late that forced Miami to take a bad 3 to tie in in the final seconds. Great way to get the marathon going. Bill Raftery and Sean McDonough were also in mid-season form on the call. Just so great.
No. 20 Georgetown 69, Tulane 53. Tulane, supposedly, is extremely thin this year. After Georgetown eked out a win against Old Dominion on the road Friday night, an good job by the Green Wave to keep it from getting embarrassing at the Verizon Center. Especially impressive when you consider the Hoyas were 59 percent from the field in effective field goal percentage.
Minnesota 76, Siena 69. The Saints aren’t the team you got used to seeing over the past three seasons. Ryan Rossiter is one of the best players in the MAAC, but Siena’s going to struggle to get to 20 wins. Minnesota getting the job done against teams it should beat. Plenty to wait and see with the Gophers, though.
Pacific 64, Nevada 53. Hey! Nevada, I think, will be right on the bubble come late February. Then again, losing to Pacific may negate that in time. Good win here for the Tigers.
Clemson 78, Wofford 70. Wofford’s a good club, so no shame in playing a close one here for Clemson at Littlejohn. Terriers really could’ve benefited from beating either Minnesota or Clemson.
Oklahoma 71, North Carolina Central 63 (OT). North Carolina Central is a provisional member of the MEAC right now. That is to say, technically, the school is still an independent. Thanks to Cablevision (vomit), I don’t have access to ESPN3.com. But those who do were tweeting about a crowd that looked to be about 150 deep last night. The Sooners are setting up for a second hangover year after Blake Griffin.
Rutgers 68, Fairfield 53. Hmm. Fairfield should’ve been better than this. The RAC wasn’t filled last night, and I think FU’s got better guards than Rutgers. Good things for Mike Rice after that loss to Princeton a few nights ago.
Wake Forest 63, Hampton 56. The Demon Deacs reach .500 by scraping past a MEAC team that could win 20 games. After the loss to Stetson, this is a morale boost.
Kennesaw State 80, Georgia Tech 63. The Atlantic Sun, with Stetson beating Wake Forest, is 2-0 against the ACC. Though both teams are set to be horrendous this season (by ACC standards), this is still U-G-L-Y. Georgia Tech fans need to settle in, accept the road ahead and hope the team can pull off one or two barely memorable upsets.