Blog Entry

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:27 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 12:07 am
Taylor can't control himself as he walks off the flor. (AP)
By Matt Norlander

Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday night’s slate of games …

Game of the Night: Vanderbilt had its Senior Night, and because of that we got one of those great moments. Commodores senior Jeffery Taylor was a leaky faucet when his time came for an ovation and a hesitated saunter off the Memorial Coliseum floor. He buried his head in his jersey to hide his outpouring of emotion -- but what a great scene. All the Vandy seniors got a nice moment of recognition before and after the game.

Vanderbilt defeated Florida, 77-67, earning themselves a nice win,and you know, it wouldn't shock me one bit if the 'Dores end up with a better seed than UF. The Gators are an erratic team that's missing a cog now that Will Yeguete is unavailable due to a fractured foot.

Win to brag about: Saint Louis trailed early but came back like a bull determined to gore the life out of a matador. The Billikens are now a lock as far as I'm concerned, winning over Xavier 70-59 and getting to 11 A10 wins.

Loss to hide from: How many times can we fit UConn into this box? On Saturday night, I wrote UConn needed three straight wins to feel good about its at-large chances. After falling 72-70 at Providence, that notion is only embellished. You know what the Huskies look like? A team that shows up and thinks it can talent its way to victories. That doesn't work, not on the road, and for Jiminy's sake, every team should realize that by January, let alone Feb. 28.

Home game against Pittsburgh to close out the season Saturday. Then an opening-round Big East tournament game against a DePaul or Providence on Tuesday. Then a Seton Hall or Cincinnati next Wednesday. Gotta win all three, UConn.

Player who deserves improper benefits: West Virginia faced a must-win against DePaul on Tuesday night if it wanted any chance at an at-large bid. Not surprisingly, the Mountaineers' Big East Player of the Year candidate came through in a major way. Kevin Jones totaled 22 points and 16 rebounds to lead West Virginia to a 92-75 win over the Blue Demons. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention teammate Truck Bryant and his 28 points, though.

Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Tu Holloway. Four points on 1-of-6 shooting in a real disappearing act for Xavier. Holloway also contributed a team-high three turnovers. Xavier's going to the NIT unless it wins the A10 tournament, most likely. But this has always felt like a team with an on/off switch. I wouldn't be shocked if it won the league tourney title relatively easily.

Numbers don't lie

  • UConn is 23-30 in its last 53 Big East games. Shockingly bad for a team with two Final Fours in its last three tournament appearances.

Three other games of note:

  1. In what amounted to the game of the most impact Tuesday night, Montana knocked off Weber State 66-51, meaning Montana won the Big Sky. Weber State will be the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, and there's a good chance the nation's most potent scorer, Damian Lillard, won't make the NCAAs. Montana's a very fun team, though. Either one would rep the Big Sky well, Lillard just has more appeal.
  2. Don't lose the ones you shouldn't lose on the road and your seed doesn't take a hit. Kansas State 76, Texas A&M 70.
  3. You always have to seek out the Wisconsin score this season, just to make sure Bucky doesn't blow one it shouldn't. That didn't happen Tuesday night. Wisconsin 52, Minnesota 45.

Teams whose season ended tonight:

-- Wright State (70-52 loss to Butler).
-- Illnois-Chicago
(68-55 loss to UW-Milwaukee).
-- Green Bay
(77-60 loss to Youngstown State).
-- Loyola (IL)
(80-71 loss to Detroit).


  • Reggie Johnson has been reinstated at Miami. He and his family will have to repay the illegal benefits for travel, but he's good to go for the 'Canes game against N.C. State Wednesday night.
  • Antonio Barton broke his foot in Memphis' win over Central Florida.
  • Since it is a leap year, March does not start tomorrow. I'm just as eager as you for it to get here, but we'll have to soldier through for one more day before the best month of the year arrives.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Nov 15, 2006
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:08 pm

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

Great comments Teres Minor.  IU is an impressive ball club.  I am an MSU fan, and thought this was a coin-flip.  IU handled that game with poise and a great gameplan.  

Listen, having a good IU (and Michigan, Hate to say) program is good for the B1G.  Both are historic progams with awesome tradition.  Their sucess doesn't really threaten the OSU's and MSU's of the world; there are plenty of players to go around to have 5-6 powerhouses.  Remember, if you're from a strong conference, 7 losses is quite ok (and I'd argue, very valuable) so long as it prepares you for the Big Dance.

The 2000 MSU squad lost to Murray State at home.  Great teams lose all the time in happens.  

I LOVE what the Big Ten looks like over the next few years.  Talk about some amazing teams going head to head twice a year?  Can't compete with that BABY!

Go GREEN....and....go B1G 

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:38 am

It's not "IU Court..."

IU over MSU isn't really unique news, and certainly isn't a "man bites dog" story.  Many people, including me, expected Indiana to beat Sparty.  Tom Crean is one of the few coaches who can be counted on to have his team play inspired ball against MSU.  Besides, there is a full story on it here, and it was one of the big headlines.  

IU is a lot like Michigan right now.  Both programs have good tradition, excellent coaches, and programs that are having to recover from the ramifications of having rogue coaches or players reflect badly on them in the past.  Also, they have both beaten Sparty this year. 

If either school wants more coverage, all they have to do is win.  Michigan should be a lock, and I think IU should safely avoid a seed between 7-10, which makes it a lot more difficult to get to the second week of the Tournament.  If either school is in the Sweet Sixteen, it will get all of the coverage its fans crave. 

Since: Nov 24, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 10:30 am

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

The IU game is the lead story on the college basketbell homepage.  What else you want a cookie or a job well done.  To bad your team won't play all their tournament games in Bloomington.

Since: Apr 22, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 2:48 am

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

Not a mention of the IU game, interesting

Since: Nov 8, 2011
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:24 am

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

Didn't IU play Michigan St tonight?

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:20 am

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

On Saturday I wrote that UConn needed FIVE in a row. Since they lost to 'lowly' Providence tonight..that number is still FIVE.  Even if they beat Pitt on Sat and either Prov or DePaul on Tues and either SHU or UC on Wed....they still need to win TWO after that to get a #10 seed! If they ONLY win three..they should be relegated to one of the 'play-in' games.  This team is on life support and even the great Coach Calhoun cannot revive them.  

Since: Sep 27, 2007
Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:54 pm

Night Court: Jeffery Taylor crying wins the night

I'm going to be a giant homer...IU wins its third game of the year against a Top 5 team and you don't make any comment about it? Lame. Sorry, just a very proud fan.

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