Night Court: You know, more buzzer-beaters, no big deal

Night Court: You know, more buzzer-beaters, no big deal

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

Here's everything that you need to know from college basketball's Thursday night. That's Northern Arizona senior guard Mike Dunn hitting the game-winner at the one-second mark, and the video comes via Big Sky Basketball.

That's a good win: UCLA makes Arizona look average, earns first road win in Tucson in five years.

UCLA has won 10 in a row and kind of casually dispatched Arizona despite losing Travis Wear to a possible concussion and Jordan Adams to a possible prolonged illness. No matter. The Bruins had 18 assists, nine of them for Larry Drew, the third-leading man in assist average entering Thursday night (8.1). UCLA's not known for its D these days, but that's OK, because sometimes teams just don't have good nights from deep and one thing can lead to another. Arizona -- which got no assists from Mark Lyons; that's a prob -- was 5-of-23 from beyond the arc. This is a 38-percent 3-point team, one that's leading the Pac-12. It wasn't their night.

UCLA is 6-1 in the Pac-12 and only trails undefeated Oregon (6-0) in league standings.

What else we'll be talking about in the morning: Mississippi's increasing profile thanks to its undefeated SEC record and polarizing star player.

The Rebels won at home against Tennessee 62-56 improving their overall mark to 16-2. They're also a 5-0 SEC team for the first time since 1936-37. Remarkable, and I need maybe three more wins in the next three or four games before locking in Ole Miss as an immovable tournament team. Marshall Henderson continues to wow and dazzle and attract attention. The SEC's leading scorer lifted his team over 17.4-percent first-half shooting and had 24 of his game-high 28 points in final 20 minutes, including six 3s, half of which were awesome and ridiculous.

He's set to become a star. I hope he's ready for it.

But that's a bad loss: Shaka Smart should be another convert for fouling late when up three, I'd hope.

Richmond's Darien Brothers hit a 3 to tie the game at 69 against VCU just before the end of regulation. It cinched a seven-point comeback in the final 30 seconds and bled into overtime, which saw the Spiders run away with an 86-74 win. Chris Mooney's team won't be challenging for an A-10 title this season, but it's always good to see the few true intra-city rivalry games play out like this. Still, shouldn't have come to it. Foul when up three, Shaka. It makes life easier in the long run. This ends a 13-game winning streak for the Rams, who failed to force 15 turnovers; when they have this season, they're undefeated.

Players with impact

I don't know. Maybe I'm alone in this, but I watch Kelly Olynyk play and can't help but believe he's one of the 10 most impactful players in the country at this point. He finished with with 26 points and nine rebounds -- and was perfect from the field (9-for-9) and the foul line (8-for-8).

Michael Snaer has the flare for sinking game-winning shots. He did it against Clemson Thursday night, and the winner came almost a year to the day of his big one to beat Duke. It's also extremely similar to the shot that he made to be Virginia Tech.

Travis Bader of Oakland is known as a good gunner of sorts. But who expected Thursday to bring the highest-scoring individual output of the season? Bader became the fifth player in the past 15 years with 47 points in a college game. Oakland beat IUPUI 89-71, and Bader's 11 3s were a school record.

Erick Green goes off for 35, ensuring he'll hold onto the lead in the nation's scoring race (24.6 before Thursday) in Virginia Tech's ... loss. More on that right below.

Andre Roberson is possibly back as champ in being the nation's most underrated player. He snagged 20 boards in Colorado's 75-54 shellacking of Stanford.

Numbers to figure:

  1. Virginia put up a 74-58 win over Va. Tech, and we can't discount the Cavaliers (13-5, 3-2) just yet. But how about this: It's a three-game winning streak for UVa over Va. Tech, the first time that's happened since a five-game stretch of domination from 1939-47.
  2. 20: Via ESPN, UCLA is 8-0 when Shabazz Muhammad scores 20 or more.
  3. 11: Well, this is one crazy week. Eleven ranked teams have been felled since the new polls were released Monday.

Other outcomes of note:

  • I expected Vegas to win at home against Wyoming, and it did 62-50. The Pokes will need to show some poise and win a few they shouldn't at some point soon, though.
  • Brigham Young is not making the NCAAs this year, and I never thought it was. But this pretty much clinched it. Gonzaga won in Spokane 83-63. And the Tyler Haws-Brandon Davies combo that averages 39.6 points totaled 15, 14 of them from Davies.
  • Give credit to Belmont, which played new OVC rival Morehead State and won despite only holding two leads: 2-0 and 64-63, the final score. Bruins are 7-0 in their first year in the Ohio Valley.


-- The best thing that you can do if you're a team like Michigan playing at home against a team like Purdue is get a quick reference to your 68-53 home win in this spot here. Easily win the ones you're supposed to, and keep going.

-- Montana can thank its Montana State rivals for breaking the tie atop the Big Sky's standings. While the Grizzlies took care of business at home against Idaho State (70-51), Montana State sent Weber State back to Utah an 8-1 Big Sky team after beating Randy Rahe's club 79-74.

-- Utah State lost at home to 9-8 Texas-Arlington. Not having your two best players can do that to you.

-- Arizona State won in OT at home against USC 98-93 despite not fouling Jio Fontan and allowing a 3 to fall to get the game to free basketball. Sun Devils far from an NCAA tourney team at this point.

For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, like us on Facebook and subscribe to the thrice-a-week podcast on iTunes. You can follow Matt Norlander on Twitter here: @MattNorlander.

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February 27, 2017


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