What to make of a wild Saturday in college basketball:
Welcome to Tobacco Road....Kevin Keatts!
NC State stuns Duke, 96-85, in Raleigh. Stuns. This is the same NC State team that got rocked earlier in the week at Notre Dame without Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell getting hurt. Keatts was in his first game against Duke as head coach at NC State. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils have now lost at Boston College and NC State, two of the lowest projected teams in the ACC. This is a clear sign of youth, regardless of elite talent.
The perfect fit for West Virginia.... is point guard Jevon Carter. He gets up for every challenge Bob Huggins puts in front of him. He scored 17 and had 10 assists in the home win over Oklahoma and Trae Young (29 points, five assists and 8 turnovers). The Mountaineers are a national player as in a contender to go DEEP.
Kansas stopped the blue blood bleeding
The Jayhawks opted not to join the blue bloodbath Saturday after Duke, UNC, Kentucky, Arizona and why not, let's toss Xavier in there since the Musketeers wear a shade of blue and have been elite lately, all lost. Kansas won at TCU, giving the Jayhawks another significant Big 12 road win after winning at Texas last week. The shocker is that Kanas lost at home to Texas Tech. TCU is an NCAA-type team but losing at home to Oklahoma and Kansas takes them out of the Big 12 title chase. That's too much to overcome since those are two of the four teams vying for the top (for now we're going with KU, OU, West Virginia and Texas Tech).
Tennessee was better than its record
And the Vols proved that with the home win over Kentucky Saturday. Tennessee is now 1-2 in the SEC, Kentucky 2-1 and the difference is marginal. The Vols will be a factor in this race.
Welcome to the ACC title race…..Virginia.
The Cavaliers are undefeated in the ACC at 3-0, 14-1 overall, after beating North Carolina 61-49 in Charlottesville. The Cavs’ pack line defense is locked in, making the Tar Heels struggle for shots. “We’ve been scrambling well and have good rim protection so far,’’ Virginia coach Tony Bennett told NCAA.com. “I didn’t know what to expect with this group because it was less experienced group than we’ve had here in the last few years. It’s still early but they have done a good job of playing to their strengths and respecting the game.’’
Colorado has the steal of the freshman class.
McKinley Wright, who signed with Dayton and didn’t follow Archie Miller to Indiana since there was no scholarship, is arguably one of the best point guards in the country. And he fell into the Buffaloes. He led them in a weekend sweep of Arizona State Thursday and then against Arizona on Saturday in a 80-77 win.
The Musketeers lost to a desperate, urgent Providence team 81-72 at the Dunk. The advantage that Xavier had over Villanova was erased after this loss. But don’t despair. All this shows is that the Big East is going to be a race, not a runaway for either team.
Don’t sleep on…..Seton Hall.
The Pirates came back and won 90-87 at Butler. Seton Hall, behind Angel Delgado’s 28 points and 15 boards, are now 3-0 in the Big East with a monster road win that others may not land (see: Villanova).
There may not be a better 3-point shooting team than….Creighton
The Bluejays made 16 3s in a 90-66 win at Georgetown, keeping them right in the thick of the race at 3-1 in the Big East.
Say goodbye to….Texas A&M in the SEC title race
The Aggies lost to LSU in the final possession in College Station. And now at 0-3, the Aggies are highly unlikely to catch Kentucky and others for first. The Aggies can still redirect this team toward the NCAA tournament, but this is a tough blow.
Say hello to……Florida again in the SEC title race
The Gators have made the comeback after a mid-season skid and are now 3-0 in the SEC after a Chris Chiozza steal and layup for the win at Missouri in the final possession.
What has happened to….Alabama?
The Tide lost to Georgia, scoring just 46 points. The Tide have been crushed by injuries and are 1-2 in the SEC while Georgia has moved to 2-1.
Time to believe in…..Clemson, Michigan, Texas Tech and Drake.
If for some reason you were waiting on these four teams — don’t.
- Clemson moved to 3-0 in the ACC, 14-1 after beating Louisville at home.
- Texas Tech is 3-0 in the Big 12, 14-1 after beating Kansas State at home.
- Michigan is 3-1 in the Big Ten, 14-3 after beating Illinois in Ann Arbor.
- Drake is 4-0 in the Missouri Valley, 10-7 after winning at Indiana State.
8 in a row!— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) January 6, 2018
No. 18 Texas Tech extends winning streak with 74-58 victory over Kansas State behind 27 from Keenan Evans. pic.twitter.com/ySL5dgtb7c
The Irish are more than…Bonzie Colson
Notre Dame completed the week sweep of games after losing the preseason ACC player of the year by winning at Syracuse 51-49. Earlier in the week, the Irish beat NC State.
Auburn may be a serious player in the SEC….after beating Arkansas.
The Tigers are now 2-0 in the league, 14-1 overall after earlier in the week winning at Tennessee.
Penn got the first Ivy significant win of the year…..by beating Princeton in one of the best rivalries in the sport.
And there was no more morally significant win than….Indiana winning at Minnesota. The Hoosiers, minus injured De’ron Davis, beat the Gophers in Minneapolis, who were playing their first game without the suspended Reggie Lynch. Robert Johnson led the Hoosiers with 28.
Markus Howard is a treat to watch....but......
Marquette can't win with just him putting up monster numbers. He scored 52 win an overtime win at Providence. He scored 37 at Villanova Saturday, but it wasn't enough to take down the best team in the Big East.
The Bonnies burst on the road
St. Bonaventure ended a brutal swing in the A-10 on the road by losing at Saint Joseph's after falling at Dayton to fall to 1-2 and off the mark in the chase to catch Rhode Island.
Remember the name Hayden Dalton of Wyoming
He scored 29 points and grabbed 12 boards in an overtime win over Boise State at home to keep pace atop the Mountain West standings