Here are the most extreme things to happen in college basketball between Friday, February 5th and Thursday, February 11th…
1) #254 Pacific 77, #54 BYU 72 [72 possessions] (9%), Saturday. There was but one major upset across the land this week and that belonged to Pacific. The only D-I school named after an ocean missed a great opportunity to beat Saint Mary’s at home a week earlier. And the Tigers followed that up with a loss to San Diego in which they scored just 43 points. Then they followed this game with a home loss to Loyola Marymount. But Pacific put together 40 minutes of good basketball against BYU to get a win that, along with Pepperdine’s 11% upset of Saint Mary’s puts Gonzaga in the driver’s seat for its 15th WCC regular-season title in the last 16 seasons.
Least likely comebacks
3) #256 Austin Peay 76, #183 Murray St. 73  (2.1%), Saturday. Austin Peay head coach Dave Loos is the seventh-longest tenured coach in D-I, having been at Peay since 1990. So he’s probably seen better comebacks than this. It wasn’t actually remarkable in itself. The Governors were down by seven with 2:50 left. But it was on the road and against Murray State and even though Austin Peay is improved over last season behind the insanely good play of senior center Chris Horton, it’s still not the type of thing that a team of its quality should be doing.
2) #165 Illinois St. 58, #10 Wichita St. 53  (1.5%), Saturday. Wichita State is going to win the Valley. The Shockers’ margin of victory in their 12 conference wins has been 3, 13, 16, 19, 20, 20, 21, 25, 26, 26, 27, and 34. So when they were up 13 at the half against Illinois State, there was enough reason to move on to other affairs and assume this was another Wichita State win. But one thing the Shockers don’t do all that well this season is shoot the basketball. And so it was in a 20-point second half where Wichita State made just one-of-14 3’s and 7-of-26 field goals overall to allow the Redbirds to pull off the upset. There are now just three conference unbeatens: Stephen F. Austin, Stony Brook, and Yale.
1) #247 UTEP 93, #184 Western Kentucky 89 (OT)  (1.1%), Saturday. Tim Floyd is enduring what may be his worst season as a head coach at the collegiate level. Replacing Vince Hunter has not been easy. (However, this UTEP team is still on track to win more games than any of Floyd’s Chicago Bulls’ squads.) But this game provided a dose of optimism as the Miners overcame a 19-point deficit with 8:47 left to force overtime. Western Kentucky missed only one shot in overtime – a free throw at that – but still lost.
My five-man #ShootersClub of Micah Mason, Isaiah Williams, Jared Brownridge, John Simons, and J.C. Hampton is barnstorming the country this season, spreading goodwill and providing inspiration that you, too, can make three-point shots with enough practice.
The club put together its third consecutive week over 40% by hitting 28-of-64 shots (43.8%). That included a special performance from Micah Mason, who made 7-of-8 in a heartbreaking 76-74 loss at Dayton on Tuesday. This nudges the season mark up to 39.1% (313-for-801). 40% and 1,000 attempts. That’s all America is asking for.
Fastest game: #146 Marshall 109, #340 UTSA 91 , Saturday. Marshall ended a two-game losing streak and improved to 8-3 in Conference USA play with this win at UTSA. It was the fastest-paced game for the Thundering Herd this season, which is saying something considering Dan D’Antoni’s team ranks third in adjusted tempo.
Slowest game: #5 Virginia 64, #46 Pittsburgh 50 , Saturday.Of all the things Tony Bennett has done in his career, he’s never won the national slow-pace title. But after this game and a 61-possession contest later in the week against Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers have improbably unseated Joe Scott’s Denver team from the bottom of the pace standings. This is no small feat: Scott is gunning for his tenth such title.
Highest-scoring game: #145 Fresno St. 111, #91 UNLV 104 (2OT) , Saturday. The Todd Simon experiment is not working out so well. The Rebels gamely came back from a 17-point deficit with ten minutes to go to force overtime but ultimately extended their losing streak to three. Then they really tried to lose to San Jose State at home, but overcame an 11-point deficit with ten minutes left to move to 5-7 in Mountain West play. However, if UNLV gets Stephen Zimmerman, who sprained his knee in the first half of the Fresno game, back in time for the conference tournament, they could actually be favored to win the event. The loss of Zimmerman combined with the earlier season-ending injury of 6-8 Ben Carter means UNLV is going to play extra-small going forward. The super-athletic Derrick Jones – all 6-7, 190 of him – will now get an extended chance to show off his rebounding skills. He had 18, easily a season-high, against San Jose State.
Lowest-scoring game: #261 Miami OH 45, #184 Western Michigan 44 , Tuesday. There have been 25 games that have failed to get to 100 points this season, and Miami has been involved in two of them. The ending of this game wasn’t even satisfactory as Miami’s Rod Mills made a free throw with five seconds left for the final margin.
Coaches Pet Award: The CPA goes to the player that averages the fewest minutes per game while appearing in all of his team’s games. I’m tracking the leader for this exciting new award all season.
Anthony Swan played in his 50th college basketball game on Wednesday night against Saint Joseph’s. He has never played more than 10 minutes in any of them. More importantly, he has not played fewer than 15 seconds in any game this season. I have to level with you, dear reader. At this point, I feel like a prisoner in my own blog.
On the one hand, I don’t want to be a quitter. But on the other, it’s time to cut my losses. I thought this might be an interesting thing to track, but in reality, Mike Lonergan is super predictable with his substitutions. Swan is just a part of that machinery, entering the game sometime between the 13 and 15 minute mark of the first half and subbing out three to four minutes later. If Lonergan gets really crazy, Swan will play the last minute of the first half. So let’s just assume Anthony Swan is going to win the CPA and I’ll update if needed.