By Matt Norlander
On busier Saturdays and Sundays this season, we’re not going to make you wait until the end of the slate of games to catch up with all that’s happened. Afternoon Delight (3-pointers in flight!) recaps the first five-or-so hours’ worth of action, the perfecta appetizer right before dinnertime.
A very nice win for Iowa, and so the Tebow craze continues. I think benchwarmers are starting to revolt against all that time they spend not playing. Now they’re trying to get the attention on themselves. It’s working.
The best we’ve seen so far: Kentucky 65, Tennessee 62. Now, bear in mind, this post is going up as Kansas is fending off Iowa State and San Diego State is tied with UNLV with a few minutes remaining. I’d wait ‘til those games finish, but I’ve got dinner plans. I know—I’m sorry! We’ll have coverage from that game and all the dinnertime-and-after results as the night goes on.
So anyway, UK went into Knoxville and didn’t get done like Florida got did last Saturday in an early tip. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis continue to amaze; the two combined for 35 crucial points and 20 even more crucial rebounds. Jarnell Stokes played his first game for Tennessee. He made the Vols look real, real good.
Deserving of a free dinner at the restaurant of their choice: Northwestern, hello! We can’t downplay the significant of this win, right now, for the Wildcats. They hosted Michigan State, who’d won 15 straight games, and got out with a decisive 81-74 win. There’s so much to go (I only hope NU is bubble-worthy when I see them at Indiana next month), but beating tournament teams at home gets you closer. More times than not in the past decade, I guess ever, Northwestern doesn’t beat the good teams at home.
No soup for you: North Carolina — need I say more? Actually, I already did.
- Shabazz Napier had to play 40 minutes because Ryan Boatright is sitting again while the NCAA and UConn review his eligibility. No matter — Napier played 40 minutes, scored 16 points, only had one turnover and put up five assists. Bigtime game for the soph.
- I’ll have something up on Arnett Moultrie tomorrow. I talked with him a few days ago, and damn do his quotes to me sound prophetic. Moultrie and Mississippi State got a nice home W against ’Bama today, 56-62. Moultrie went for 25 points and 13 boards. He’s getting close to being a top-10 Player of the Year candidate. Monster showing.
- Maalik Wayns. Had THIRTY-NINE, 13 rebounds and six dimes in Villanova’s 82-78 loss at Cincy, which was a very entertaining game, might I add.
- Phil Pressey finished with 18 points, 10 assists, two steals and not a one giveaway in Missouri’s cruise-control home win against Texas.
Other daytime action worth your attention
- It was a great team effort from Iowa. The Hawkeyes nipped Michigan in Iowa City, 75-59. No chairs were damaged, and Fran McCaffery got his team to respond. Props to him and the ’Eyes.
- Baylor’s 106-65 killshot to Oklahoma State has to be mentioned, because it’s a look into how scary-good Baylor can be. This won’t be among the top-10 talked about results from today, but after that W over K-State on the road, and now this at home? Baylor a top-three team now, yes?
- Best game no one really noticed: Saint Louis finished off Charlotte 68-67, a win the Billikens absolutely had to have on the road. Top-five game of SLU’s season right there.
- What can I say, I have my doubts about Kansas State. Yes, this can tie into our road-woes theme, but I think the Wildcats aren’t that good. KSU never even had a lead in its 82-73 loss at Oklahoma.
- Oregon 59, Arizona 57 pretty much kills off the slimmest of at-large hopes Wildcats fans had. We’re talking ’Zona needing to reel off 10 straight wins to enter the bubble picture now.
- New Mexico and Wyoming is what we’ll close up with. The Other Big MWC Matchup finshed with New Mexico winning 72-62 on the road. Wyoming will have to steal its SDSU and UNLV home games if it wants to make a run at the tournament.
- Xavier rolling again after beating the Bonnies.
- Kevin Jones took just one 3-pointer. West Virginia beat Rutgers by 24. I told ya!
- It was 62 years ago when second-ranked Kentucky went into Knoxville and fell.
- This is not delightful. Virginia Tech lost at Boston College. Seth Greenberg is now on the NIT bubble.