OKLAHOMA CITY -- Referees are allowed to end a game even when it appears time remains.
That's what I learned this weekend.
Let's do the Monday Look Back ...
|Xavier's Terrell Holloway is restrained after the announcement the game is over. (AP)|
Worst game of the weekend: "We got throttled in every aspect of basketball," said Gonzaga coach Mark Few, and you know things did not go well whenever somebody uses that phrase in a postgame press conference. Final score: Duke 76, Gonzaga 41. Throttled seems like as appropriate a word as any.
Win to brag about: Road wins in the ACC are typically hard to record, and that's why it was huge for Florida State to go to Georgia Tech on Sunday and leave with a 66-59 overtime victory. Now the Seminoles are 10-2 overall, 1-0 in the ACC and ranked in the Top 25 (and one). They have three relatively simple games before they get back to ACC play on Jan. 10, meaning they should remain ranked and atop the ACC standings for a while.
Loss to hide from: The SEC is supposed to be better than the Pac-10, and it is. But I still find it interesting that the team picked last in the Pac-10 (Stanford) took the team picked first in the SEC (Kentucky) to overtime last month, and that the team picked next-to-last in the Pac-10 (Southern California) beat the team picked second in the SEC (Tennessee) by a 77-55 margin on Saturday. Seriously, USC entered with home losses to Loyola-Marymount and Nebraska -- plus a 26-point loss to Georgia Tech and a 19-point loss to Texas -- and yet the Trojans ran UT completely off the court. I know Charlotte transfer Michael Gerrity (12 points and 10 assists in his USC debut) is good. But is he that good?
Player who deserves improper benefits: Texas' Dexter Pittman has gone from a project to one of the nation's elite centers, and never was that more obvious than in Saturday's 103-90 win over North Carolina. The 6-10 senior got 23 points and 15 rebounds, including 12 offensive rebounds, against the Tar Heels, leading one high-major Division I coach to tell me that "Pittman is better than Cole Aldrich." A year ago, that would've been crazy talk. Now, it doesn't sound that crazy at all.
Player who does not deserve improper benefits: There are lots of reasons Tennessee lost at USC -- missing 20 of 22 3-point attempts is one of them -- but it's difficult not to notice that Tyler Smith's subpar season continued. Smith had three points and four rebounds before fouling out. He's now averaging 11.3 points and 4.5 rebounds, which are the worst numbers of his career.
Bleacher Report: Weekend Rewind
SB Nation: No answers in Tennessee
Parrish: Poll Watch
Why I'm smarter than you think: Two Fridays ago, I told you unranked Xavier would beat No. 19 Cincinnati, and it happened. Last Friday, I told you unranked Wichita State would beat No. 16 Texas Tech, and it happened. We've officially reached the point where I'm not predicting the future as much as controlling it.
Why I'm dumber than I think: I sort of got excited about Ater Majok's debut at Connecticut, based on everything I had heard. And then the freshman forward went out and missed both field goal attempts to finish with one point and three rebounds in 16 minutes of UConn's 60-51 victory against Central Florida. In other words, I thought Majok might have a Gerrity-like debut. But I was wrong.
Three things you should know before you go
1. Da'Sean Butler scored on a wide-open layup at the buzzer Saturday to push West Virginia to an 80-78 victory at Cleveland State. In the race to finish second to John Wall for all National Player of the Year awards, Butler is very much in play. He's averaging 16.9 points and 6.0 rebounds for the undefeated Mountaineers.
2. Florida fell to 8-2 on Saturday with a 56-53 loss to Richmond on a neutral court in Florida, this after losing to Syracuse on a neutral court in Florida. Obviously, the Gators need to get back to the O'Connell Center or leave the state completely. This neutral-court stuff in Florida isn't working.
3. South Carolina continued to show it's nowhere close to the same team without Dominique Archie. The Gamecocks lost 68-61 to Wofford on Saturday. They are now 4-0 with Archie, 3-3 without him.
On tap: On Monday, Willie Warren leads Oklahoma against UTEP. On Tuesday, Texas tries to top its win over North Carolina with a victory over Michigan State. On Wednesday, Andy Kennedy's Ole Miss Rebels battle Bob Huggins' West Virginia Mountaineers. On Thursday, nobody is playing because it's Christmas Eve.
Final thought: Wesley Johnson has long been declared the nation's most impactful transfer.
He deserves that title.
But have you seen Baylor's Ekpe Udoh?
I saw him Sunday, and I left the Ferrell Center impressed.
As did UT-Arlington coach Scott Cross.
"He was phenomenal," Cross said. "He definitely looked like somebody who can play at the next level."
Udoh finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds and nine blocks in Baylor's 94-63 win. The transfer from Michigan is now averaging 14.6 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.9 blocks per game, and he's a major reason why the Bears are off to a surprising 9-1 start.
Is Udoh as good as Johnson?
But he does seem good enough to push the Bears back to the NCAA tournament.