|An official holds back Ole Miss' Reginald Buckner from punching Mizzou's Laurence Bowers. (US Presswire)|
On busier Saturdays and Sundays this season, we don't make you wait until the end of the slate of games to catch up with all that's happened. Afternoon Delight recaps the first five-or-so hours' worth of action, the perfect appetizer right before dinnertime.
More extensive thoughts/video from Madison can be found here.
But since I've got your attention, I'll say this:
1.) I still think Michigan's going to the Final Four.
B.) I will never fully understand Wisconsin, and I don't think I want to. But it's a game like this that validates KenPom's admittedly unfixable flaw in his rankings that always puts Wisconsin higher than your average team. (The Badgers, despite having seven losses, entered Saturday No. 14 on his ledger.)
4.) Jared Berggren is probably the most underrated player, or in the top three, in college basketball.
Q.) This game was quirky. There were only 12 free-throw attempts, many not coming till near the end of the game. With a minute to go in regulation, it was only 95 minutes removed from tip-off. One of the fastest games we've seen played this season.
But they did almost throw bones at each other. You see the photo above. The Tigers were dominating, eventually won 98-79, but before it got to that point we had a skirmish. The Tigers are now 6-4 in the SEC and 17-6 overall. Someone had them going to the bubble after falling at Texas A&M this week. Nah, wasn't ever that bad. No major-conference team with six losses on Feb. 9 is a bubble team in nine out of 10 cases.
Yet Ole Miss at 18-5 doesn't have good wins to its name. It's not in real trouble yet, but the best victories are over Rutgers, Missouri and Arkansas. The Rebels better beef up their diet or else Marshall Henderson's team will be a chic pick to win its 6/11 matchup, Ole Miss being the latter.
The Tar Heels, as it has been all season long, aren't NCAA tournament-worthy. I get that Miami's having its best season ever, but who among the readership watched most of this game? Wasn't it sad how listless UNC was? I suppose when your opponent nails 15 3s, it takes a lot of the wind from your sails. UNC lost 87-61, never had a lead and shot half as many free throws as Miami.
And when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade show up to watch the other team play, that's a little intimidating, too, maybe. I loved this quote from after the game:
"I know they lost to Florida Gulf Coast. I'd hate to play Florida Gulf Coast" -RoyWilliams— Rush the Court (@rushthecourt) February 9, 2013
The Tar Heels are in the midst of a forgettable season, plain and simple. Yeah, an ACC tournament run or some crazy, dramatic win would be a nice turn of events, but it has been a long time since UNC was this blah, sorry to say. At least the 2010 team has a bizarre train-wreck aspect to it.
As for the Canes, this sums it up in terms of how easy it was:
- You see up top there, one of Shane Larkin's nine assists. He went for 18 points and four rebounds, too. No fouls, either.
- Ben Brust, perhaps the only player this year who will only score 14 and make it into this spot.
- Southeastern Louisiana's Brandon Fortenberry has a Saturday-best so far with 30 points in his team's 73-62 win over Nicholls State. I say the nightcap brings us someone who puts up more.
- Alex Oriakhi was ready to fight, but he did have 18 rebounds, too. Irritating Ole Miss all day.
Other daytime action worth your attention
|Buzz Williams pays homage to Al McGuire. (US Presswire)|
- Ha. Arkansas, the ultimate two-faced club due to its prowess at home and ineptitude on the road, followed up that amazing victory over Florida by losing 67-49 at Vanderbilt. Vandy's 9-13, people. I never thought the Hogs had a shot at the NCAAs, but this solidifies it. And given all the talent Mike Anderson has, you can make the case no team does less with more than this one.
- Marquette beat DePaul 89-78, not really noteworthy other than the fact it was Al McGuire Day, and so Buzz Williams rocked one hell of a sportscoat.
- We had a weird one play out in the day's first game, Temple over Dayton. Khalif Wyatt hit a 3 with 7.1 to go to give Temple a 72-71 lead. Then some non-existent fouls were called, the hoop gods did not allow this to affect the game, as six free throws were missed in the closing seconds, and the game ended 72-71. Read more about it here.
- Butler had the game in its control but then it got really close on the road against George Washington. The Bulldogs won 59-56, and reporters on the scene said GW coach Mike Lonergan was chasing a ref into the tunnel as the game ended.
- Indiana State is a bubble team out of the Valley, but it wouldn't have been if sneaky Southern Illinois beat the Sycs. It ended 66-65.
Delightful (and not-so-delightful) thoughts
-- Via Elias, Miami winning by more than 25 points against Duke and UNC in same year is unprecedented in ACC play. I'm presuming it's unprecedented outside of the conference, too.
-- This is interesting.
Weather affecting officials' travel. Only 2 refs for UofL-ND. Official John Gaffney will do Marquette game and drive to ND. Let's ref two!— Jay Bilas (@JayBilas) February 9, 2013
-- Speaking of scoring, one of the nation's leading scorers has been suspended for the rest of the season.
-- A tweet from Friday night that I almost set aside for a blog post all to itself. Jimmy Patsos has DVR space dedicated to ...
Jimmy Patsos: "I've got no 'Homeland,' no 'Dexter,' no NFL. So I've got our next game, Marist, and 'Girls' on HBO. I love that show."— Patrick Stevens (@D1scourse) February 9, 2013
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.