by Ken Pomeroy on Monday, December 3, 2012
The 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
1) San Diego State 78, UCLA 69 . (Saturday) Not much to see here as the Aztecs took control in the second half. At what point can we declare Jordan Adams as UCLA’s best freshman? He makes 2’s, makes 3’s, and gets to the free throw line, and he kept the Bruins in this one longer that they should have been.
2) Creighton 80, Saint Joseph’s 51 . (Saturday) Even less to see here. The Blue Jays jumped out to leads of 24-5 and 45-13, rendering the entire second half garbage time. Creighton’s misses were 12 2’s and 11 3’s. That was it.
3) Virginia Tech 81, Oklahoma State 71 . (Saturday) The James Johnson era is still unblemished. Erick Green won the point guard showdown with Marcus Smart, although (a) Green had the oddity of not recording an assist and (b) Smart played a really good game himself. Green finished with 28 points and three turnovers in 26 minutes. Smart scored 18, assisted six and did not turn it over in 37 minutes.
The 3 biggest upsets:
1) #276 Norfolk State (14%) 55, #143 Savannah State 45 . (Saturday) Another slow upset period as the hangover since UCLA’s loss to Cal Poly last Sunday continues. Our top shocker over the weekend occurred in the MEAC where heavy conference favorite dug itself a hole in the standings by falling to the upset specialists themselves. Word on the street is that Kevin O’Neill is jealous of the incredible combination of offensive ineptitude and defensive excellence that Horace Broadnax is putting on the floor this season.
2) #198 Rider (15%) 75, #80 Drexel 66 . (Saturday) Yes, yes, Chris Fouch is no longer available for the Dragons, so I would cut them some slack here. EXCEPT – Drexel held a 46-37 lead with just over 13 minutes left. So no slack here. Rider scored 37 points in the first 27 minutes and 38 points in the last 13.
3) #134 Mercer (15%) 61, #51 Florida State 56 . (Sunday) Leonard Hamilton decided to go old school on Sunday. The 2011-vintage defense came to play (well, sort of – Mercer’s offense actually is rather poor) and the offense was also straight out of 2011. I don’t think Coach Hamilton reads the blog, but I’d like to give him some unsolicited advice: Go ahead and start Terrance Shannon or at least give him starter’s minutes. Maybe he’ll revert from basketball superhero who does everything well and many things extremely well to the less-prolific ways of his sophomore season. And yes, he’ll need to lower than foul rate to make this grand experiment work. But I think it’s worth trying.
The 3 craziest comebacks:
1) UC Santa Barbara (3.2%) over Santa Clara. (Saturday) Normally, I do a separate section for the Alan Williams Watch, but let’s take care of that right here. The foul-prone but uber-productive Mr. Williams went off, primarily because he was able to stay on the floor for 39 minutes before picking up his fifth whistle. He scored 29, rebounded 17, stole two, and blocked two en route to a 128 ORtg on 30% usage. His offensive rebound was necessary to allow his team to hit two threes in the final ten seconds to force overtime, where the Gauchos prevailed 83-80. (BTW, this makes the second consecutive appearance for Santa Clara in this section.)
2) Rider (4.8%) over Drexel. (Saturday) See biggest upsets.
3) Georgia State (5.0%) over Liberty. (Sunday) The Panthers trailed 63-58 with 49 seconds left. Their next possession resulted in three points (“the old-fashioned way”) despite missing a trio of prior three-pointers. The following possession resulted in the same, and their last possession resulted in a real three by Rashaad Richardson to cap off an improbable 67-66 win.
Unbeatens remaining: 20. (8 fewer since Friday.)
Winless teams remaining: 9. (1 fewer since Friday.)
This week’s 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
1) #29 N.C. State vs. #53 UConn. (Tuesday, 9:15 ET, ESPN) The nightcap of the Jimmy V Classic features a team that has been disappointing against a team that doesn’t feel like it exists. But it should be worth watching, if only to see if Lorenzo Brown can find himself in the match-up with Shabazz Napier.
2) #27 Texas vs. #39 Georgetown. (Tuesday, 7 ET, ESPN) Last time we saw Georgetown they did this. It was as bizarre of a college basketball game as you’ll see, complete with no scoring over the final four minutes. This one should be tight, but given the relative imbalance between the offense and defense on both teams, they’ll both struggle to hit 60.
3) #36 Ohio at #37 Memphis. (Wednesday, 7 ET, CBS Sports Network) Some luster was taken off this one with Ohio’s loss at better-than-you-think Robert Morris over the weekend. But the Bobcats are still plenty dangerous, what with forcing turnovers on 31.4% of possessions this season, and having the fourth-most experienced lineup in the country. And Memphis kind of has a turnover problem.