Here are the most extreme things to happen in college basketball between Friday, January 9th and Thursday, January 15th…
3) #173 Rutgers 73, #4 Wisconsin 62 (7%), Sunday. Wisconsin was missing Frank Kaminsky in this one, so maybe Rutgers’ true chances were more like, I don’t know, 10 percent? The Badgers blew an early 14-point lead and witnessed Rutgers uncharacteristically hit 57 percent of its 2’s. The Scarlet Knights now rank 302nd in 2-point accuracy.
2) #74 Miami FL 90, #4 Duke 74 (7%), Tuesday. Duke posted back-to-back defensive performances that were vintage 2014. The Blue Devils allowed 1.24 points per possession to N.C. State and 1.21 to Miami. It’s possible both figures will hold up as the best offensive game for both teams in ACC play.
1) #104 Kansas State 66, #7 Oklahoma 63 (OT) (6%), Saturday. Sure, maybe the laptop got a little too excited about the Sooners after a 21-point win at Texas on January 5th. And maybe it was a little harsh on Kansas State after close non-conference losses to Pitt, Tennessee, and Texas Southern. Buddy Hield scored 31 for the Sooners and players not named Buddy Hield went 12-for-32 on 2’s and 0-for-6 on 3’s to go with 12 turnovers.
Least likely comebacks
3) #173 Rutgers 73, #4 Wisconsin 62 (1.3%), Sunday. The Scarlet Knights trailed 40-28 with 17:30 to go in the game. From there, they went on an improbable 32-13 run. Rutgers Fever. Catch it while it lasts.
2) #52 LSU 87, #34 Georgia 84 (2OT) (0.9%), Saturday. LSU blew an eight-point lead with five minutes left in regulation, then found themselves trailing 79-71 deficit with 1:25 left in the first overtime with Georgia having the ball. But some timely Bulldog missed free throws to go with some heroics by Tim Quarterman, including a three-point play with 18 seconds left allowed LSU to see a second overtime and pull out the win.
1) #284 Miami OH 82, #130 Eastern Michigan 81 (OT) (0.7%), Saturday. Miami trailed 76-70 with 0:27 left in regulation. A pair of 3-pointers by Eric Washington in the last 11 seconds sent the game to an extra period where the Eagles suffered their second-consecutive one-point overtime loss. Fun fact: Nobody scored in the final 3:19 of the overtime.
My five-man #ShootersClub of Micah Mason, Brett Olson, Michael Frazier II, Seth Hinrichs, and Devante Wallace is barnstorming the country this season, spreading goodwill and providing inspiration that you, too, can make three-point shots with enough practice.
The Club took a step back this week. Or maybe like three or four steps back. Let’s get right up on that line when you shoot, fellas! The fivesome combined to go 13-of-41 (31.7%) which dropped their season-long numbers to 164-for-422 (38.9%).
Fastest game: Northwestern State 103, Incarnate Word 101 [84 possessions], Saturday. There’s one place where basketball is played like it was in the early ‘90’s. In the Southland, coaches have care-free attitudes and players are encouraged to run and take shots with double-figures on the shot clock. Not every game is a 103-101 thriller, but those kinds of games are possible without any overtimes in a league where the average contest has had 70.3 possessions through 22 games. That’s a full three possessions more than the next-fastest conference.
Slowest game: Northern Iowa 64, Drake 40 , Saturday. The Panthers are emerging as a viable threat to Wichita State at the top of the Valley and they needed just 42 field goal attempts and eight shots from the free throw line to dispatch Drake in the slowest game of the season to date. UNI went on an intense 28-2 run over the first 13 minutes of the second half to put the game to bed. If people weren’t already sleeping anyway!
Highest-scoring game: Washington State 108, Oregon 99 (OT) , Thursday. My normal routine is to grab a burrito for lunch on Friday and hammer out the week in review then. This week, I tried to be responsible and write it Thursday evening because I’d just prefer to eat burritos without typing on my laptop. But then the Cougars and Ducks reminded why I procrastinate. It was the very last game of the week to be reviewed and it also was the highest scoring.
Lowest-scoring game: SIU Edwardsville 45, Tennessee State 38 , Saturday. Despite finishing 12-of-42 (29%) on two-pointers and committing 16 turnovers, Tennessee State had a chance to win this game. They were up 38-35 with just under three minutes to go but failed to score again. After the Tigers’ Jay Harris missed a shot with 16 seconds left, they elected not to foul despite being down just seven. That’s because a seven-point deficit was like a 20-point deficit in a game with 83 total points.
Alan Williams Watch: After an up-and-down pre-conference experience, UCSB got conference play started off on the right foot. They won at Cal Poly 50-45 last Saturday when Williams had the rare single-double, going for nine and 15. The win required a fairly miraculous comeback from 10 down with eight minutes left. Then, as a double-digit favorite on Thursday hosting Cal St. Northridge, the Gauchos lost by double-digits, with Williams posting an even rarer zero-double of five and seven. I’m concerned.
kPOY Watch: There’s been some chaos in the kPOY standings with Duke suffering two lopsided losses this week. The Blue Devils’ free-fall has taken Okafor’s kPOY rating with it. Meanwhile, Frank Kaminsky missed a game entirely. That’s opened the door for Utah’s Delon Wright, who’s jumped into second while improving on his non-conference performance in Pac-12 play. He’s piling up assists and steals while avoiding turnovers like no other point guard in the country.
Here are the five games you’ll want to watch this week (as determined by FanMatch, all times eastern):
#17 Ohio State at #39 Iowa, Saturday, 2:00, ESPN*
#10 West Virginia at #31 Texas, Saturday, 6:15, ESPN
#5 Utah at #9 Arizona, Saturday, 7:00, Pac-12 Network
#12 Kansas at #16 Iowa State, Saturday, 9:00, ESPN*
#12 Oklahoma at #14 Kansas, Monday, 9:00, ESPN
* Kansas and Ohio State have not lost on the same day since February 19, 2005. It is possible they’ll both be slight underdogs on Saturday. Chances are at least one of them will win, but this is easily the most perilous day for The Streak this season.