Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s slate of games …
Game of the day: Murray State was down 11 at home and at least one so-called college basketball expert was wondering if the Racers could come back and remain the nation's lone undefeated team. Then Isaiah Canaan shut everybody up. The junior point guard from Mississippi got hot and finished with 32 points in the 10th-ranked Racers' 81-73 victory over Southeast Missouri State. So Murray State is 22-0 and still perfect. And I apologize for ever thinking the Racers might not enter the weekend as both of those things.
Win to brag about: As Michigan State, Kansas State and Vanderbilt have shown this week, winning on the road in the league against a decent opponent can be difficult. So credit Middle Tennessee State for its 68-66 win at North Texas. It won't register nationally (outside of here). But it's a nice victory, and now Kermit Davis' team is 21-3 overall, 10-0 in the Sun Belt.
Loss to hide from: There is nothing wrong with losing at BYU. Lots of good teams have done it over the years. But the 24th-ranked Zags were never close at the Marriott Center. They lost 83-73. And now Saint Mary's is running away with the WCC.
Player who deserves improper benefits: Momo Jones got loose in Iona's 105-86 win over Canisius. The Arizona transfer took 23 shots, made 16 and finished with a career-high 43 points. That's not bad. And who wants to draw Iona in its opening game of the NCAA tournament?
Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Jason Washburn entered Utah's game with Oregon with stats that said he took 7.5 shots per game and made 4.3. In a 70-68 loss to the Ducks, he took 10 and made just two. That's 20 percent and awful for anybody, especially a center. Utah lost 79-68.
Numbers don't lie
- 2: That's the number of changes Mike Krzyzewski made to his starting lineup for Duke's game at Virginia Tech. He removed Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly in favor of Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton. The No. 7 Blue Devils won the game 75-60.
- 6: That's the number of games in a row Florida has won. The Gators beat South Carolina 74-66 at the O'Connell Center. Kenny Boynton got 24 points in the victory.
- 10: That's how many of Washington's final 12 points Terrence Ross scored in the Huskies' 71-69 win over UCLA. Washington is 15-7 overall, 8-2 in the Pac-12. That has Lorenzo Romar's team alone in first place in the league standings (thanks to Arizona's 78-74 win at California).
- Steve Masiello's Manhattan Jaspers improved to 10-2 in the MAAC with a 73-51 victory over Marist. Kidani Brutus came off the bench and got 16 points for the winners.
- There was a time when Denver looked like the class of the Sun Belt. But the Pioneers are now just 6-3 in the league after a 72-71 overtime loss at Louisiana Lafayette.
- Portland dealt Santa Clara a 78-74 loss at home. It dropped the Broncos to 0-8 in the WCC.
- My colleague Jeff Borzello updated his Freshman of the Year rankings Thursday. Click this link to check them.
- Don't be stupid and buy a counterfeit ticket to an Ohio State game. Click this link for details.
- Thank God we moved Isaiah Canaan to sixth in our Player of the Year Watch. Click this link and evaluate.
On tap: Friday doesn't offer much but Saturday should be really good. My colleague Jeff Goodman will be courtside for Vanderbilt at Florida. I'll be at Kansas-Missouri in Columbia.