|Expect the Florida-can-win-a-title talk to really uptick in the coming days after the Gators rolled FSU. (US Presswire)|
Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's robust Wednesday night ...
Game of the Night: The Palouse was rocking for Zags and Cougs.
DaVonte Lacy had a sick crossover to tie the game with 7.8 ticks to go, but then the defense didn't get set and Kevin Pangos went Tyus Edney-like on the Washington State defense and hit a contest, running layup with 2.2 seconds remaining. Gonzaga wins, 71-69. Frenzied finish. But prior to Washington State threatening, a guy who looks like this did the Cougars dirty. (More on him below.) This should have been settled after a tough offensive foul call with 27.5 against Washington State gave Gonzaga foul shots and a four-point lead. But missed free throws are the loser's life raft.
Washington State hit five 3s in a row down the stretch of the second half to get them tied with Gonzaga at 60, and basically from five minutes in the game was as good of a watch as we'll probably have all week. Gonzaga's still without a loss and Washington State is now 5-4.
What else we'll be talking about in the morning: Utah wins one for Rick.
Boise State looks to be a good team, but Utah's players -- who had no real connection to Rick -- must have had some sort of motivation after the moment of silence for the greatest coach in program history. Who knows. Maybe not. But one could have beget the other, so we'll go with it. The Utes earned their most impressive W of the season with a 76-55 victory. Larry Krystowiak's team is much improved from the past two seasons. Salute.
That's a good win: Dayton goes into Bama and comes out looking nice.
Archie Miller's Flyers improved to 6-2 by going on the road for the first time this season and notching an 81-76 win that's going to have a decent half-life, I'd guess. I think Alabama can finish top-four in the SEC, and now that I've seen a good jump from Dayton, I'm starting to rethink how it can be at least a nuisance in the A10 come January.
But that's a bad loss: Everyone else pretty much done with Florida State?
One of the most schizophrenic teams of the past five years had another night with a no-show. This one, though, came on its home floor against its biggest non-league rival, the Florida Gators. Then consider this: It's brutal for FSU, particularly because No. 1 2013 recruit Andrew Wiggins was in the stands tonight. Hey, we just fell 72-47 to the Gators and their coach with two national titles. But totally call us, obvs! And then you see the coeds tweeting at him about "convincing" him to come to FSU and it's all one big funny memory for Mr. Wiggins, I'm guessing.
The Gators kept along with their average margin of victory tonight with a 25-point margin, by the way. I'm almost -- alllllllmost -- ready to totally buy in. I should, considering Wisconsin, Marquette and Florida State have all been boatraced by Billy Donovan's team.
Players with impact
Kelly Olynyk displayed facets to his game I didn't realize he had. The Gonzaga 7-footer who was sat for three games to start the season took charge and kept his team from crumpling in a bumping gym at Washington State. That included his first 3 of the season with 33.5 to go (giving Gonzaga a four-point lead) and a career-best 22 points: all of them coming in the second half!
Matthew Dellavedova threw in 31 for Saint Mary's, contribute seven assists and five rebounds in the Gaels' 88-73 W against Drake.
Buffalo Bull Javon McCrea went for 31 and 11 in a 72-52 win over UW-Milwaukee. McCrea's going to have a "lost" year of sorts in that he's probably going to get at least another five nights with something close to this line, yet his team isn't that great. I think he's the MAC's best all-around player.
More love for the small teams. This one comes by way of Navy's sports information department. Get this, Tilman Dunbar, a freshman point guard, put up 20 and had seven dimes and four rebounds to give Navy its largest road win in five years (85-66 over Monmouth). Not only that, but the team has five wins in 2012-13; last season, it ended with just three. (Also, Towson got its fourth win of the season -- that's quadruple the amount of victories from last season for the Tigers.)
Numbers to figure:
- Loyola Marymount coach Max Good won his 300th game Wednesday, beating Northern Arizona.
- 11: That's how many Division I men's basketball teams played games Wednesday night and did not accomplish crossing the threshold of scoring 50 points. It continues to be a plague on our sport, this daily rock fight happening with dozens of teams.
- 157: Related to No. 2. Total points for four teams in Tennessee's past two games. Less appealing than moldy potato bread. The Vols fell 46-38 to Virginia Wednesday night.
Then again, this isn't unprecedented.
You think Tennessee is hard to watch these days? In 1973, the Vols scored only 11 points in a DI basketball game. Beat Temple, 11-6. Really.— Joe Lunardi (@ESPNLunardi) December 6, 2012
Other outcomes of note:
- Saint Louis also had a moment of silence for Majerus and also won. The Billikens beat North Texas 67-63. Tony Mitchell had 18; he's yet to crack his shell this season, it seems.
- Charlotte goes on the road and wins at Davidson, so perhaps now Goodman will start giving Alan Major's team just an ounce of credit. Final: 73-69.
- Wakeup call for Ohio, which lost to Memphis 84-58. Parrish wrote off that game.
- Colorado had a 25-point lead at home against Colorado State, almost blew it all, but came away with a 70-61 victory. #RollTad
- South Florida couldn't get within punching distance at Oklahoma State. Cowboys finish with a 61-49 win. Pokes shouldn't be losing such games and didn't let this one get in doubt.
- La Salle dumptrucked Penn State tonight. Final of 82-57. Penn State's crippled without Tim Frazier for the rest of the year, but the Explorers (history/meaning of the nickname aside, it's top-five worst in college hoops) are now 5-1 and could be a bubble team in time.
-- Love to the undefeated teams who got through their games and kept the bagel in the right-side column. Tonight that means New Mexico, Gonzaga, Florida, Charlotte and Temple.
-- West Virginia got a 69-59 win over in-state rival Marshall. Those two teams don't like each other. There was a skirmish, and then there was a crotch-kick as evidence of the bad blood.
-- Though this was interesting of LeBron to reveal. Mike Krzyzewski was there as last year's Sportsman (he shared it with Pat Summitt) of the Year to introduce James.
At #SISportsman gala tonight, LeBron James named some colleges that would have been on his list: Ohio State, UNC, Duke and Florida.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) December 6, 2012
-- So, Valpo's best player has mono. We'll monitor.
-- Utah State postponed its Wednesday night game at BYU because of Danny Berger's collapse in practice on Tuesday. He is recovering, thank god.
-- Villanova's due for another bad year. I sensed this was coming. Intra-city rival Temple just poured milk all over Jay Wright's team, winning 76-61 at the Pavilion.