This is a weekly digest documenting the biggest upsets, craziest comebacks, and Alan Williams news of the past seven days.
3. Northwestern (12%) over Indiana, Saturday. The Wildcats have won three of their last four, but the least-likely of those was easily this win at Assembly Hall. While many of the newer Big Ten coaches are doing their best to play more exciting brand of hoops, Chris Collins longs for the days of the mid-aughts, promoting a slower, defensive-oriented style . Northwestern led this one 5-4 midway through the first half.
2. Central Connecticut over Wagner (10%) Thursday. The Blue Devils got their first NEC win at Wagner on Thursday. The two teams met in the conference opener on January 9 in New Britain and Wagner won by 29. So this was a surprise to everyone but Wagner head coach Bashir Mason.
1. Bowling Green over Ohio (10%), Wednesday. It was a week of unlikely wins for Bowling Green. On Sunday, the Falcons overcame a 15-point deficit with 14:33 left to pull off the upset at Western Michigan. Then on Wednesday, they pulled off the shocker in Athens, 58-56, after spotting the Bobcats an early 15-4 lead.
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:
3. Monmouth (1.5%) over Canisius, Sunday. The Hawks trailed Canisius 82-77 with 14 seconds left at Monmouth’s Multipurpose Activity Center. There was really only one purpose for Monmouth’s Andrew Nicholas at this point – make three-pointers. He knocked one down with nine seconds left, and after Canisius missed the front end of the one-and-one, he hit another with one second left to give the Hawks an 83-82 win. (box)
2. Alabama State (0.9%) over Alabama A&M, Saturday. The Hornets trailed 53-45 with 58 ticks on the clock. The deficit was quickly erased thanks to three consecutive turnovers by A&M. A three by Bobby Brown tied the game at 53 with 30 seconds left and Alabama State would win in overtime, 67-58. (box)
1. Prairie View A&M (0.8%) over Jackson State, Saturday. There was a double-feature of crazy comebacks in the SWAC on Saturday. The Prairie View press release says, “Prairie View A&M has now played 11 consecutive periods of basketball as they took down Jackson State 85-80 in double overtime Saturday night at the Williams Athletic & Assembly Center.” I’m not sure if that’s a record or not, but the Panthers overcame a 60-51 deficit with 2:59 left in regulation to get an 85-80, double overtime win on the road. (box)
Slowest game of the week: New Hampshire vs. Vermont, Monday. (51 possessions) ACC fans, you’ll be happy to know that your conference could only manage the fifth-slowest game of the week. With Syracuse-Miami on Saturday, maybe the conference will be back here next week. The Catamounts won this game 57-40, thanks to a ten-point second half by New Hampshire. The Wildcats only took 26 two-point shots, or the same amount that Tyler Haws took in BYU’s triple-overtime loss to Portland last night.
Fastest game of the week: UC Riverside vs. Hawaii, Saturday. (82) The Rainbow Warriors reached the century mark in an otherwise unremarkable 100-69 win for Hawaii. The pace allowed Christian Standhardinger to post 27 and 11 in just 23 minutes of action.
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 restrained himself this week, scoring 16 and 21, respectively, in wins over Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside. Also Big Al was left off every player-of-the-year award watch list. I’m sure that won’t motivate him.
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.
Michigan at Michigan State (Saturday, 7:00, ESPN). The top two teams by conference record square off in East Lansing. Michigan State will be missing Branden Dawson and possibly Adreian Payne. Gary Harris and Keith Appling appear to be healthy, however.
Oklahoma State at Oklahoma (Monday, 9:00, ESPN). The Sooners already have two high-quality road wins in conference play. Their defense isn’t good enough to realistically challenge for a Big 12 regular-season title, but the next three days are big for OU. A win at Texas Tech and a Bedlam victory will position them well for a good tournament seed.
Michigan State at Iowa (Tuesday, 7:00, ESPN). This week was a bad one for Branden Dawson to punch a table.
Iowa State at Kansas (Wednesday, 9:00, ESPNU). This will be the fifth time these teams have played in 54 weeks.
UCLA at Oregon (Thursday, 9:00 ESPN2). FanMatch likes this game not necessarily because of the quality of the teams – Oregon is currently ranked 48th – but because there should be points, points, and more points. Both teams like to run, both teams like to score, and the Ducks like to let the opponent score as well. Can Bill Walton contain himself?