The 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
1) N.C. State 69, UConn 65 . UConn’s Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander played 39 minutes and took a total of one shot. I can’t say there was anything else noteworthy about this one. As expected, the Wolfpack prevailed in a close game.
2) Georgetown 64, Texas 41 . The Longhorns could use Myck Kabongo about now, but he’s not going to solve something like this. Texas shot 12 of 35 on twos and committed 22 turnovers which goes a long way towards answering the question “How does one score 0.59 points per possession?”
3) Memphis 84, Ohio 58 . In a game that was competitive for about a half, Memphis committed just nine turnovers against the team that held the nation’s best mark in opponents’ turnover percentage. Suddenly, Memphis guard Geron Johnson is the rage, and he had 21 points and one turnover in his fourth D-I game.
The 3 biggest upsets:
1) #312 Towson (7%) 68, #111 Vermont 64 . (Wednesday) The Tigers quadrupled last season’s win total with the win at Burlington. Jerrelle Benimon scored 29, rebounded 10, stole four, assisted three, and blocked two. He gets to play his old team, Georgetown, on Saturday.
2) #99 Dayton (14%) 81, #23 Alabama 76 . (Wednesday) Dayton has been the opponent for Alabama’s two worst defensive games over the past two seasons. Everywhere you look these days, there’s a Georgetown transfer. Vee Sanford wasn’t the MVP here, but he’s found a better place in Dayton, and scored 13 in 27 minutes.
3) #86 Northwestern (15%) 74, #21 Baylor 70 . (Tuesday) In a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated – Baylor’s win chances dropped below 25% with 14 minutes to go and never returned despite a spirited late rally – Northwestern pulled off the stunner in Waco.
The 3 craziest comebacks:
1) Wyoming (1.5%) over Illinois State. (Tuesday) The Cowboys were down 50-31 with 17:04 to go but managed to scramble and keep a zero in the loss column. It’s not that Wyoming won, it’s that they won 81-67 . If we had a “win by 14” probability, this event would look a lot more stunning than the 1.5% indicates. I’m pretty sure if Larry Shyatt’s last name was Brown, there would be 20 feature stories on this team by now.
2) Vanderbilt (2.7%) over Xavier. (Thursday) Vandy was down 43-30 with 15:21 remaining which isn’t a terrible hill to climb. But not too long ago, the Commodores scored 33 points in an entire basketball contest against Marist so it’s not like they’re blessed with much offensive firepower. Somehow they manufactured a 17-4 run at this point, and survived to see overtime where they eventually won a 66-64  decision.
3) Cal St. Bakersfield (2.8%) over Cal St. Fullerton. (Thursday) Bakersfield trailed 50-35 with 17:45 left but came back to win 72-70 . All hail Rod Barnes!
Unbeatens remaining: 18. (2 fewer since Monday.)
Winless teams remaining: 8. (1 fewer since Monday.)
This weekend’s 3 most appealing games (according to FanMatchTM):
1) #20 UNLV at #38 Cal. (Sunday, 6 ET, ESPNU) There’s a tight battle for the fifth, sixth, and seventh spots among the conference ratings involving the Mountain West, SEC, and Pac-12. The result of this game might shuffle that up. Mike Moser’s status is up in the air.
2) #23 Ole Miss at #40 Middle Tennessee. (Saturday, 5 ET, ESPN3) Wow, this is an interesting one.
The Rebels have rocketed up the ratings on the backs of humiliating a series of weak opponents at home. For Middle Tennessee, there is life after LaRon Dendy. And that semi-competitive loss to Florida doesn’t look so bad now, does it?
3) #9 Wisconsin at #49 Marquette. (Saturday, 6 ET, ESPN2) It’s gone completely unnoticed, but it’s possible that the Runnin’ Badgers could end up being the eighth-fastest paced team in the Big Ten. After this game, they should leapfrog Nebraska for 11th.