Night Court: Cheerleader sinks front-flip half-court shot (VIDEO)

By Matt Norlander | Staff Writer

Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Thursday night. The video above has nothing to do with it, but it's too good not to include. That's Ashlee Arnau, a cheerleader at William Carey University in Hattiesburg, Miss. One more neat detail:

Game of the Night: Justin Cobbs lifts Cal past the Ducks on the road.

Cal wins 48-46 when Cobbs shot falls with .7 to go. It's a big shot, a tough shot, a shot that could shoot Cal into the tourney. The Minnesota tranfer put the Golden Bears tied atop the Pac-12 with Oregon in light of the victory. Cal has won six of seven, and the conversation can move on from Mike Montgomery's shove.

Oregon desperately needs to get Dominic Artis back. The guard has been out for eight games due to a foot injury. Without him, you could argue the Ducks aren't NCAA-worthy. He should -- should -- be back soon.

This game wasn't joyous, by the way. Close, in doubt, but not thrilling. All in all, Thursday night didn't offer up a ton. Let's review.

What else we'll be talking about in the morning: Kevin Ollie's coaching job.

UConn beat Cincy in overtime 73-66, another good win in Ollie's first year as UConn coach, one without greater consequence but still a special campaign nonetheless. Connecticut has decent players but no shot at the postseason due to a one-year ban via APR guidelines. And yet UConn has been watchable and promising this season.

Shabazz Napier had 11 in overtime (27 total) for the Huskies, who did some damage to Cincinnati's greater bracket hopes, unless Cincy makes a big run in the Big East tourney. Bearcats are 7-7 in the league and drifting toward average because Cashmere Wright is clearly not right. He's not all the way healthy. Sean Kilpatrick might need to average 23 a night going forward for Cincy to have a chance against the really good teams.

Players with impact

  1. Temple's Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson had 23 points, 18 boards and five assists. A good stat line, but how about this surprise: He's the only player the past two seasons to reach such high numbers in each category in one game.
  2. Shane Gibson of Sacred Heart led all scorers across this fair land on Thursday, putting up 36 in an 81-74 loss to Quinnipiac.
  3. His team lost and all, but Arsalan Kazemi and his 18 rebounds basically kept Oregon in it against Cal in that slow-it-down slugfest.

Numbers to figure:

999: That's what Mason Plumlee is stuck at for career rebounds after 12 grabs against Virginia Tech. His next board will make him the eighth Duke player with 1,000 points and 1,000 snares.

11: Cal has beaten Oregon 11 straight times, and that makes it the longest one-sided intra-Pac-12 streak.

950: Yeah, somewhat quietly, Coach K got win No. 950 on Thursday night. He has distant shot of reaching 1,000 in the 2014 NCAA tournament.

Other outcomes of note:

  • Saint Mary's will have a bye into the WCC semis after sweeping BYU this year, winning Thursday 64-57 and holding Tyler Haws to 12 points. This one went way late but was way fun and a pretty close. SMC is 17-1 at home this season, its only loss to Gonzaga. BYU is 0-4 vs. the Gaels since joining the WCC. Brandon Davies had 25 in the loss; Matthew Dellavedova had 20.
  • No loss at Va. Tech this year for the Blue Devils, who pasted the Hokies 88-56.
  • The streak is over! For the first time in six games, a Temple tilt didn't end with a one-point difference. The Owls beat La Salle 82-74, further cluttering an A-10 race and bubble picture that won't have clarity until Selection Sunday. These two, by the way, finish the Big 5 round-robin with 3-1 marks.
  • In what would've not bumped Illinois to the bubble, only really damaged its seed, the Illini dodged a home loss to Penn State 64-59.


-- It does indeed look like Drexel got jobbed on a no-goaltend call here as time expired in overtime of its 73-71 loss to Delaware.

-- Ryan Kelly is no longer on crutches for Duke. Can he be back by the ACC tourney? Amazing what this injury has become, though that speaks to Duke's dark ways when it comes to transparency with injury.

-- UConn won in OT, as stated above, and it has done that four times this season, tying Wagner and Richmond for the most OT wins. (H/T, @RuntheFloor)

-- With Florida International's win on Thursday night, the program assured itself of a .500 record for the first time in 13 years.

-- Middle Tennessee State won by 35 over South Alabama, and it'll officially be the No. 1 seed in the Sun Belt tourney. Only MTSU and Southern have locked up stand-alone regular-season titles as of yet.

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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