This is a weekly digest documenting the biggest upsets, craziest comebacks, and Alan Williams news of the past seven days.
These teams have been reading some Malcom Gladwell lately. David can beat Goliath on occasion and here’s this week’s proof.
Coppin State 78, Oregon State 73 (5%), Friday. There were extenuating circumstances on this one as the Beavers are without Eric Moreland for the next six weeks and Devon Collier sat this one out as part of coach-imposed suspensions. Still, a Baltimore-area team from a one-bid league hadn’t won in Corvallis since, uh, last season.
St. Francis NY 66, Miami FL 62 (OT) (8%), Friday. The last time Saint Francis entered my consciousness was when I played as the Dallas Mavericks’ Mike Iuzzolino in the original NBA JAM. That’s a long time ago, and anyway, Iuzzolino attended the Pennsylvania version of Saint Francis while this victory was achieved by the Brooklyn version. It was arguably the biggest win in program history for a team that’s never been to the NCAA tournament, and hasn’t been to postseason play since 1963 when they lost an NIT game to…Miami. Revenge is a dish best served by a dog wearing a sweater.
When you think a situation is hopeless, just know that every week, there are cases of teams overcoming the impossible. These are the best examples from this week.
Binghamton (0.6%) over Cornell, Wednesday. The Bearcats were down 61-42 with 12:44 left and won 89-79. My patented score-by-quarter technology tells the story here. Binghamton went 11-19-18-41. You might think that Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed had the best week among Jordan Reeds, with six receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. But no, Binghamton’s Jordan Reed went for 25 and 14 in this one, which included going 11-for-11 from the free throw line.
College of Charleston (0.9%) over Charlotte, Tuesday. The Cougars were down 80-73 with 0:39 left and won 83-82. Charlotte’s good fortune was legendary last season, finishing second overall in the statistical luck department. Lady luck may be turning the other cheek this season after a Willis Hall lay-up with 1.7 seconds left sealed an incredible comeback.
Yale (2.4%) over Central Connecticut, Saturday. The Bulldogs trailed 63-46 with 13:47 left and won 93-77. Do the math: Yale closed the game on a 47-14 run. The Bulldogs are always good for some excitement on opening weekend. They blew a 24-point lead in their season-opener last year.
Slowest game of the week: Yes, it’s still possible to have a sub-50 possession game in the modern era. Clemson and Delaware State played to just 48 trips in the Tigers’ 58-37 win over the Hornets on Wednesday. Amazingly, this was a full ten possessions slower than any other game involving two D-I teams. On the Mount Rushmore of long-possession basketball, you have Joe Scott, Bo Ryan, and Delaware State head coach Greg Jackson.
Fastest game of the week: 80-possession games are a dime a dozen right now, but BYU and Stanford pushed 90 on Monday night in the Cougars’ 112-103 win. The two squads produced the highest-scoring regulation game among D-I teams since Lamar beat Texas State 113-102 on March 2, 2011. It was a classic matchup of a fast offense (BYU) against a defense that promotes quick possessions (Stanford’s aggressive man-to-man).
Alan Williams Watch:
Think you’re really good at basketball? Alan Williams disagrees and he will crush you, at least statistically. UCSB’s undersized center piles up stats like nobody else. Ignored by scouts and media alike, this place is occasionally reserved for reporting on Williams’ incredible exploits.
Williams tuned up on Hawaii Pacific last Friday with 27 points and 17 rebounds in 25 minutes. That wasn’t fair and he knew it. Williams then went to Vegas and posted 21 and 9 on UNLV in the Gauchos 86-65 devastation of the Rebels. Through two games he’s used 41.9 percent of UCSB’s possessions, grabbed 21.7% of his team’s misses and drawn 9.2 fouls per 40 minutes. This week, Williams will bring pain to Utah State on Saturday and Colorado on Thursday. Enjoy!
Best games of the upcoming week (according to FanMatch, all times eastern):
If you can only watch five games this week, these are the ones to catch.
Ohio State at Marquette (Saturday, 1:00, FOX).
Creighton at Saint Joseph’s (Saturday, 7:00, Comcast Philly/CSN)
Michigan at Iowa State (Sunday, 5:00, ESPN2).
Memphis at Oklahoma State (Tuesday, 8:00, ESPN).
Iowa State at BYU (Wednesday, 9:30, ESPNU).