Blog Entry

Night Court: Virginia gets by Seattle, barely

Posted on: December 22, 2011 12:21 am
Edited on: December 22, 2011 12:28 am
By Gary Parrish

Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s slate of college basketball games …

Game of the day: Virginia entered 9-1 and ranked 24th, which is why it was surprising to see the Cavaliers get pushed by a Seattle team that was on a five-game losing streak. But boy did Virginia get pushed. Tony Bennett's team trailed at the half, was in a one-possession game in the final minute and only won 83-77. Where would they have been if Mike Scott hadn't gone for 34 points and 14 rebounds? (Answer: Out of the Top 25 on Monday.)

Win to brag about: There's nothing independently great about beating Texas-Pan American. But St. John's closed on a 7-0 run in the final minute to come from behind and beat the Broncs 66-61, and 7-0 runs in the final minute to win a game by five points are worth bragging about.

Loss to hide from: UCF beat No. 8 Connecticut earlier this season. Remember? Good. Now try to make sense of the Knights losing 61-60 to a Louisiana-Lafayette team that entered with a 5-8 record featuring losses to North Dakota State, Lamar, San Francisco, Cal State-Fullerton, Duquesne, Kent State, Ole Miss and Robert Morris. Confusing, isn't it?

Player who deserves improper benefits: Harrison Barnes looked like a National Player of the Year candidate in No. 5 North Carolina's 82-63 win over Texas. The sophomore wing took 15 shots, made nine and finished with 26 points and 10 rebounds. The 26-point effort snapped a two-game stretch in which Barnes had twice gone 4-of-12 from the field for nine points.

Another player who deserves improper benefits: Wendell McKines got 23 points and 17 rebounds in New Mexico State's 82-62 win over McNeese State. The 6-foot-6 forward got 20 points and 16 rebounds in NMSU's previous game, a Monday win over Southern. That means he's averaging 21.5 points and 16.5 rebounds in his past two outings. (Note: I didn't even need a calculator to figure that out.)

Player(s) who do not deserve improper benefits: Oklahoma State's starting guards -- Keiton Page, Markel Brown and Reger Dowell -- combined to shoot 3-of-14 from the field and turn the ball over seven times (while getting just one assist) in a 69-52 loss to Alabama. That is not a good look for OSU's starting guards. It's terrible, actually.

Numbers don’t lie
  • 3: That's the number of consecutive games Arizona State has lost. The latest was a 68-65 loss to Fresno State. The Sun Devils' record dropped to 4-8.
  • 7: That's the number of 3-pointers John Jenkins made in Vanderbilt's 89-58 win over Lafayette. The junior guard was 9-of-12 from the field overall. He finished with 27 points.
  • 10: That's the number of losses Hartford had before its 89-86 loss to Marist. So the Hawks now have 11 losses and zero wins.
Three other notable results
  1. Indiana State moved to 9-2 with a 50-35 win over Lousiana-Monroe. That record represents the best start for ISU in 30 year.
  2. Murray State moved to 13-0 with a 78-54 win over UT-Martin. It marked the first of what will be many OVC victories for the 22nd-ranked Racers.
  3. Cincinnati moved to 8-3 with a 101-53 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Bearcats are now 3-0 since losing Yancy Gates for his role in the brawl against Xavier.
  • Saint Joseph's 81-72 win over Coppin State moved Phil Martelli into a tie with Bill Ferguson on the school's all-time wins list. It's a nice achievement overshadowed by Martelli's refusal to release Todd O'Brien to play at UAB.
  • Jelan Kendrick scored the first points of his college career in Ole Miss' 68-56 loss to Middle Tennessee State. The Memphis transfer finished with eight points, three assists and three rebounds. He mostly played point guard.
  • Jarnell Stokes will announce his college decision on Thursday at 6:30 CT. The 6-foot-8 forward from Southwind High in Memphis will pick between Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Memphis and Tennessee. Multiple sources have told that Stokes is likely to pick Tennessee, and that the plan is for him to enroll there this semester and play for the Vols this season. But it should be noted that Stokes was spotted wearing a Memphis hat around town less than 24 hours before his scheduled announcement. So who knows?
On tap: Thursday provides the last nice night of games before Christmas. No. 9 Missouri vs. No. 25 Illinois is the best game of the night. But Memphis at No. 16 Georgetown, Florida State at No. 11 Florida and Northwestern at No. 23 Creighton are also good non-league matchups.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Mar 10, 2007
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:34 am

Night Court: Virginia gets by Seattle, barely

Hey Gary,  you mention Thursday as the last day of games before Christmas but in point of fact #17 UNLV is hosting Cal on Friday at 2 pm(PST).  This is an important game for UNLV as it is its last major test on the Non-Conference schedule, against arguably one of the better teams in the PAC-12 this year (not saying much), and will help to cement UNLV's place in the top 25 for the season to come.

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