|Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga is doing that, but also his team got a great home W Wednesday. (US Presswire)|
Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Wednesday night ...
Game of the Night: Duke shakes off sluggish first half and beats OSU at home.
All that matters is the outcome and the opponent it came against, and Duke again knocked off a highly ranked team. Forget the struggles with rebounding in the first half, forget the shot differential between Ohio State and Duke through 30 minutes. The Blue Devils rallied and won 73-68, furthering their argument for being the best team in the country right now.
I don't really care about all that, but what I do care about is how enjoyable this team is to watch. That means they're hateable too! At least for many. I'm not seeing reason for anger, but I'm sure you can find it for me. By the way, Duke has now beaten three of the four 2012 Final Four teams. Only Kansas remains, but they're not on the schedule.
You want something on Ohio State? We can go there. The Buckeyes are definitely a top-10 team but need more offensive options, particularly reliability on Aaron Craft, which I think will be irregular this season. Deshaun Thomas most definitely cannot and will not do it all. Now somebody go get Thad Matta four beach towels. That was an intense one.
What else we'll be talking about in the morning: UCLA, most definitely.
Bruins got an easy 82-56 win at home over Cal State Northridge. So, no Tyler Lamb and no Josh Smith anymore. At least this one wasn't even close. Small steps.
That's a good win: Virginia went into Wisconsin and did it.
This one's pretty shocking to me, and I say that fully aware of the fact that the Badgers wiped away most of their aura around winning at home last season. Virginia: You gonna tease us like this? The Cavs won 60-54 in a homecoming game for Tony Bennett, whose dad and the man himself used to sit on the sidelines in Madison. What's more, Virginia wasn't even at full strength. Senior guard Jontel Evans played limited minutes and sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon got medically redshirted Wednesday. UVa is now 5-2.
That's a really good win: For the second time this year, Chad White hits a game-winner for South Dakota State (they're more than just Nate Wolters!) which has had four of its games finish within three points or fewer.
But that's a bad loss: Michigan State never threatened in South Beach.
Miami's no pushover at all -- the Canes look good! -- but the sluggish play from Tom Izzo's team was disconcerting to some extent. Miami 67, MSU 59, and afterward Izzo said he's probaby going to have to permanently alter the way he plays his bigs. If there's one team not to fret over losing November games, it's Sparty, and this was only loss No. 2 on the season.
I want to see a bit more from Miami from really buying in. The students rushed the floor after this one, by the by. I know, crazy, right? Who'd have guessed enough coeds would've even showed up for this thing to warrant a storm.
Players with impact
We get to Boise State below, but let's not wait any further to bolster Derrick Marks, the Broncos' sophomore shooting guard who blew up Creighton for 35 tonight.
Mason Plumlee set the record for Duke dunkers Wednesday, but it was his 21 points and 17 rebounds that emphatically turned him into a water-cooler topic for college hoops in the upcoming days. After all, there's a reason he's sitting atop our Player of the Year rankings right now.
When I man the controls of Night Court, there's a rule. You go double digits in blocks or steals, you get pub. Stanford's Josh Huestis sent back 10 tonight.
Numbers to figure:
- 97: If you watched the game, you heard/saw the state. Duke's non-con home winning streak remains the longest in the country, now at 97 games.
- 93: A different streak in the 90s ended Wednesday. A 70-point-or-more game at home meant a Creighton win 93 times prior to the Bluejays' loss to Boise State.
- 15: The Badgers had not lost at home in November in 15 years, since '97. Nuts.
Other outcomes of note:
- So Creighton goes down to Boise State, 83-70. And that's notable not for Creighton losing, but Boise State winning. The Broncos are 5-1 and will be part of Monday's return/debut of the Non-BCS Power Pyramid. Only I'm pretty sure I'll be changing the name. Accepting suggestions.
- Illinois had little issue with Georgia Tech, winning 85-72 at home. Two takeaways: John Groce is off to an 8-0 start in his first year with the Illini. Big-time positives there. Didn't think Illinois would be a tourney-worthy team this year, but that's gotta change. Secondly, Yellow Jackets senior point guard Mfon Udofia went out with 3:24 on a rolled left ankle. Don't yet know if it's serious.
- Washington has its problems, but good on U-Dub for winning 66-61 at home against Saint Louis, a stubborn team I worry will have more downs than it should this season. C.J. Wilcox will be one of the best Good Players on Average Teams this year. He had 27.
- Purdue over Clemson at Clemson means I don't understand Purdue. Clemson was without its best player, Milton Jennings, so maybe I still do understand Purdue.
-- The Big Ten won the past three Challenges, but this one ends 6-6, and so the lame trophy stays in the B1G Chicago offices, I guess.
-- I'm loaded with the Duke facts tonight. It's been 11 years since a team won two straight games against teams ranked in the top five. You will never guess who the team is. I'm not even giing you the answer here. It's tucked at the bottom of the post. Your hint: Not a team in a major conference and not a team that made the NCAAs in the past five years. List 10 teams off that and I still don't think you'll get it.
-- Absolutely shocking: Boston College is 6-1 all-time in ACC/Big Ten Challenge in wake of its win on the road at Penn State. B.C. didn't even win a road game last season.
-- Stanford lost a junior for the season today.
-- Uh, so guys, Larry Brown has gotten SMU off to a 7-1 start after it beat Utah 62-55 at home. I kinda wanna write a blog post about this but still think we've gotta wait like three more games and see where this goes.
-- Houston, the Cougars who are headed to the Big East, lost tonight to Prairie View 81-80.