There are 151 games of D-I action today, the most of any day this season. I will chronicle some of them in an old-school live blog.
12:31 AM – UMKC is putting away Utah Valley and UCLA is going to win comfortably over Colorado. The Buffs could use a healthy Josh Scott. Utah Valley could stand to list some player weights on its roster. Until they do that, I will root against Utah Valley in every single game it plays. On that note, it’s time to wrap up #SuperHoopsSaturday. This wasn’t that useful from a writing perspective, but I feel like I have built up the endurance necessary to survive Championship Week and all that follows. Good night to all.
10:38 PM – Game #151, Colorado at UCLA, is being called by Bill Walton. For whatever reason, that feels perfect.
10:17 PM – Oklahoma snags a quietly impressive 64-56 win at Oklahoma State and Murray State ekes out a win over Tennessee-Martin to run its winning streak to 17. Next up is Memphis at Gonzaga. If we’re going to have an AAC team play Gonzaga, it would be far more interesting for that team to be SMU at this point. Instead, we get this mismatch and both Gonzaga and SMU will be virtually untested heading into the NCAA tournament.
10:00 PM – There are ten teams with unbeaten conference records and both Murray State and Alabama State are in jeopardy of falling right now. The Racers are tied with UT Martin with two minutes to go and Alabama State is down 11 at Texas Southern with 17:14 left.
9:31 PM – The Mountain West is down this year, but it’s more than the lack of quality teams, the style of play is boring. In separate games right now, it looks like neither San Jose State and Utah State will crack 50, and possibly not 40.
9:03 PM – The most compelling game left on the schedule is Bedlam where Oklahoma State leads the Sooners 32-25 at the half in Stillwater. Buddy Hield has been held to three points so far.
9:00 PM – Duke knocks off Virginia, 69-63. Credit to K for sticking with the zone when UVa was knocking down those low-percentage elbow jumpers. Now the Cavs must turn around and play at UNC Monday night, which is a more difficult game than taking on Duke in Charlottesville, especially given the short rest.
8:07 PM – Pepperdine wins at Saint Mary’s, 67-62, and that eliminates whatever slim chance Gonzaga had of not winning the WCC. The Gaels are now two games behind the Zags and the WCC may end up as a one-bid league. But next season could be a far different story since Pepperdine should have everyone back from a team that is sneaky good this season, having road wins over BYU and St. Mary’s, and having taken Gonzaga to the wire in Malibu.
7:48 PM – Baylor is giving Texas the business, up by 18 with six minutes to go,which means the Longhorns will fall to 3-6 in the Big 12 and if this margin holds, five of those six losses will be by double-digits.
7:07 PM – Jerry Heater and Roger Ayers on the crew for Duke/Virginia. One tends to call a lot of fouls and one tends to call few (Ayers).
6:54 PM – In other news among teams to never make the tournament, William & Mary pummeled James Madison on the road by 18, making 62% of its 2’s and 58% of its 3’s. The Tribe is 14-7, 6-2 in the CAA, and is up to #82. This may be the best team in the program’s history.
6:43 PM – A tale of two halves in Louisville’s win: UNC outscores Louisville 43-25 over the first 22:30, and Louisville outscores 55-25 over the final 22:30. And for some reason, I really like Vitale doing the second or third best game of the day. It just seems like less of a show that way. More focus on the game, less discussion of weird stuff.
6:30 PM – UMES is going to hang on against Coppin State and pick up its 13th win of the season, the Hawks most in 20 years.
6:23 PM – And we’re about halfway through the day’s action, at least in terms of actual time. Sadly, there’s no late-night game from the islands tonight.
6:22 PM – Louisville and UNC becomes the fifth overtime game of the day. GameDay is going to be seriously abbreviated.
6:10 PM – Northern Iowa wins 70-54, posting 1.17 points per possession, the most scored on Wichita State this season. The Panthers took 7 3-pointers which appears to be their fewest attempts since February 2, 2008. Elsewhere, LMU wins! Louisville and UNC are tied with 3:34 left, so finally some real drama in a real game.
5:50 PM – The most compelling game at the moment is Loyola Marymount at Pacific. Tied with 37.5 to go! It’s a game that has no ramifications for anything between two teams outside the top 200. We get a travel on LMU followed by an airball by Pacific and this game is going to overtime.
5:29 PM – There are about 40 games in progress right now and somehow, none of them are interesting. Lots of lopsided scores out there. South Carolina is up big on Georgia, which is kind of funny because the Gamecocks are 1-6 in SEC play and Georgia is 5-2 and yet South Carolina was the favorite in this game.
5:11 PM – Indiana beats Rutgers 72-64 and a catastrophe is averted. Meanwhile, Northern Iowa extends its lead to 17 over Wichita State, and they are doing it with only six 3-point attempts. This version of UNI isn’t nearly as three-heavy as previous versions of Ben Jacobson’s team.
4:57 PM – By the way, Northern Iowa’s two losses are a double-OT defeat at VCU and a three-point loss at Evansville where the Panthers blew a late lead. They’ve had some close wins, too, so it’s not like they haven’t benefitted from some good fortune, too, but people have really slept on how good they’ve been.
4:52 PM – Not a lot of intrigue in the marquee games that tipped at 4 PM. Northern Iowa is up 13 on Wichita State at the half and UNC is up by ten late in the first against Louisville. Hey, Rutgers and Indiana are tied at the under-eight timeout.
4:37 PM – Florida A&M is down 13 to Bethune Cookman in the second half, or at least they were the last time a score was flown out, so the Rattlers figure to stay winless along with Central Arkansas, who is one of the few teams that is off today.
4:33 PM – Hey, with 13:35 left, Rutgers is still beating Indiana, 45-43.
4:05 PM – Richmond finishes off a win at VCU for the upset of the day so far. Richmond had not won a true road game this season and VCU had won 12 straight overall. The Rams lost steal king Briante Weber to a knee injury in the second half, which in a long-term view is a potentially much bigger story. Weber is leading the nation in steal rate as a senior, just as he did as a junior, sophomore, and freshman. That’s a crazy statistical accomplishment.
3:38 PM – Bethune Cookman at Florida A&M is underway. It’s not a game anyone cares about except that Florida A&M is 0-20 and this is a decent chance for them to get a victory. It’s also a game where score updates will come by pigeon carrier, so it may be a while before we know what happened.
3:36 PM – Rutgers is up 15-9 at Indiana. Rutgers is not going to win this game, but I do worry about Indiana. They are ranked 49th which suggests there are going to be a few more questionable losses for the Hoosiers. Do not read the internet for the next few weeks, Coach Crean.
3:25 PM – Another team with some bad luck is TCU. They have a decent team this season, but they play in very tough conference and their home building is being renovated and therefore unavailable. It’s hard to feel too sorry for TCU since they scheduled themselves out of any at-large hopes, but they’re a much better team than anyone will give them credit for this season. The Horned Frogs are trailing Iowa State 52-47 with 11 minutes to go in Ames and are destined to drop to 1-7 in league play. But they aren’t that bad.
3:16 PM – Alandise Harris misses a free throw, but the rebound is hilariously long and the Hogs’ Anton Beard tracks it down and gets the go-ahead layup with 10 seconds left. Nothing surprises me with #TeamBadLuck. But, but, #TeamBadLuck has one more possession and benefits from a dubious foul call and #ShootersClub member Michael Frazier makes both free throws with 1.9 seconds left for a 57-56 Gators’ win. Maybe luck is random after all.
3:02 PM – USF/Tulsa goes to OT for our second OT game of the day. America gets five more minutes of Knight, if only America knew this game existed.
2:54 PM – Bob Knight is commentating on the South Florida/Tulsa game on ESPNEWS. I wonder how much time he spent preparing for the game.
2:46 PM – With 7:46 left, somehow Chris Walker has not attempted a field goal for #TeamBadLuck.
2:28 PM – We have our first one-point game of the day as N.C. State’s Trevor Lacey hits a 3 to beat Georgia Tech in overtime 81-80. The 3 followed a pair of missed free throws by Tech’s Quinton Stephens, who was 23-for-28 from the line in his career coming into the game.
2:22 PM – Soft set of early afternoon games going on. FanMatch says Arkansas at #TeamBadLuck is the most compelling. #TeamBadLuck is up 35-32 at the under-16 timeout.
2:19 PM – Tennessee beats Auburn 71-63. There was a lot written about the hires of Pearl and Tyndall prior to the season. It should be noted that each coach’s team has underperformed its preseason rating, which already included a significant penalty for first-year coaches. Both may ultimately succeed, but neither is setting the world on fire this season. Though I suppose Tennessee still has a remote shot at an at-large bid.
1:48 PM – One down and 150 to go after Wisconsin puts away Iowa 74-63. ESPN now has to fill about 15 minutes before the start of Kansas and Kansas State.
1:42 PM – Pitt’s up 67-63 at the under-four media timeout. That’s 67 points in 55 possessions and Pitt is headed to the free throw line. Jerian Grant is making a run at his worst game of the year with just five points on two-of-six shooting so far.
1:36 PM – Saint Joe’s with a 25-6 run to start the second half and that Davidson lead is now a deficit. Where’s Jack Gibbs when you need him?
1:24 PM – I’m partial to teams that experience bad luck and also to teams that have never been to the NCAA tournament. New Hampshire is currently beating the crap out of Stony Brook and is on its way to its fifth consecutive win. That would make them 6-3 in America East. UNH hasn’t had a winning conference season since 1995 when it went 11-5 in the North Atlantic Conference. Go Wildcats!
1:12 PM – Davidson is still without Jack Gibbs but they are handling Saint Joseph’s by 13 at the half. I suppose if you’re not going to support Bobby Collins for coach of the year, then Bob McKillop is a good choice. Coach of the year is still a dumb award, though. Why not give it to the coach of the best team?
1:09 PM – #TeamBadLuck about to tip against Arkansas. I wouldn’t mind a long winning streak for #TeamBadLuck just to see how the narrative gets crafted. It won’t be easy against the Hogs, though, especially if there’s some bad luck for the Gators.
12:48 PM – Notre Dame is up 38-37 at Pitt. The Panthers scored 1.19 points per possession in the first half. If you haven’t been paying attention – and I haven’t either – Pitt’s offense is pretty good this season. It’s the Panthers’ defense that has let them down. So maybe it’s not surprising this is a shootout, especially on Pitt’s home floor with Notre Dame in a possible let-down situation.
12:41 PM – Wisconsin/Iowa is the first game to get to halftime with the Badgers up 42-36 in 26 possessions. Iowa makes 64% of its shots and trails by six. Is that a bad sign? Conventional wisdom says yes, but I’m not so sure. Iowa won’t keep that up, but neither will Wisconsin continue to score 1.39 points per possession.
12:34 PM – This is not a record for most games played in one day. There were 153 games on the Saturday opposite NFL Conference Championship Sunday in 2013.
12:27 PM – Meanwhile, Wisconsin is up on Iowa 32-24 at the under-eight media timeout. That’s 32 points on 17 possessions according to our friends at StatBroadcast.
12:18 PM – And at the 12:23 mark, we have our first review in the Xavier/Seton Hall game. It’s for a potential flargrant, so I guess that’s acceptable. How many reviews will there be on #SuperHoopsSaturday? I’d guess somewhere around 300.
12:08 PM – Isaiah Whitehead makes his first appearance for Seton Hall after a nine-game absence. Fun Fact: Kevin Willard has used six different starting lineups in those games.
11:57 AM – There are 12 games tipping off in the noon eastern window, most notably Seton Hall at Xavier and Wisconsin at Iowa. Least notably (according to FanMatch) Auburn at Tennessee in the Bruce Pearl reunion game.