Most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
1. Duke vs. Kentucky. It appears we’re in round two of Kentucky’s O > Kentucky’s D, despite the Wildcats having an elite shot blocker. Duke made 21-of-41 twos, and committed turnovers on just 12 percent of its possessions to get the 75-68 win in a 65-possession game. Ryan Harrow didn’t play for the Wildcats, and John Calipari played his bench for a March-like 19 minutes.
2. Michigan State vs. Kansas. The Spartans avoided becoming the best 0-2 team for the second straight season by neutralizing Jeff Withey (8 points, 2 blocks, zero offensive boards) and beating the Jayhawks 66-64 in a game played entirely in an 11-point window from Kansas up 7 to Michigan up 4.
Major upsets (<15% win probability): Albany (9%) won at Washington, 63-62, on the strength of Mike Black’s layup with four seconds left. It was a defensive battle for most of the game, but four consecutive lead-changing possessions occurred to close it out, before Abdul Gaddy’s desperation 3 missed the mark.
Crazy comebacks (<3% win probability): Northeastern, team of destiny? In their opener against Boston University, Demetrius Pollard drilled a 3 with 0.7 seconds left to give the Huskies a one-point win. (That has been Pollard’s only made field goal so far.) Last night at Princeton, Reggie Spencer scored at the buzzer to give the Huskies a one-point win. This victory came after Northeastern trailed by 18 with a little over 13 minutes to go, giving them roughly a one percent chance of beating the Ivy League favorites. Northeastern hosts Vermont on Saturday in what could be another tight contest. Anyone remember this?
Unbeatens remaining: 150 (26 fewer than yesterday). It wasn’t all bad for Princeton-related offenses last night. Richmond moved to 2-0 by virtue of piling up 101 points in 68 possessions against UNC Wilmington. (No, it’s not the most efficient game this season. Xavier’s 1.69 points per possession against Fairleigh Dickinson were the most in a D-I vs. D-I contest since Butler scored 1.72 against Cleveland State on 2/8/07. Xavier’s shooting and offensive rebounding were so effective that FDU could only manage six defensive rebounds.)
Winless teams remaining: 86 (31 fewer than yesterday). Lamar is now 0-2 after losing by 16 to North Texas, who had just lost to Alabama-Huntsville (who lost by 61 to Kansas State last night). Maybe it’s time to slam your players publicly, Coach Knight. On second thought, looking at your schedule, you might want to save it.
Other notable events: UCLA narrowly avoided being upset by UC Irvine when Larry Drew hit a go-ahead layup late in overtime and then hip checked the folically-gifted Michael Wilder to prevent a last-second score at the other end. On another coast, Florida Gulf Coast knocked off Miami 63-51 in a milder upset than some might think, since the game was played at FGCU. Miami also played without point guard Durand Scott, who served the last game of an NCAA-imposed suspension. However, that doesn’t fully explain the ‘Canes making just 8-of-29 two-pointers. Reggie Johnson was 2-for-8 with 5 turnovers.
Today’s top game: Wisconsin travels to Florida in the only game with national appeal. It tips at 7 Eastern.