Here are the most extreme things to happen in college basketball between Friday, February 13th and Thursday, February 19th…
3) #239 Miami OH 67, #59 Bowling Green (8%), Wednesday. The regular season in the MAC features high stakes because the winner of each division gets a triple bye to the conference tournament semifinals. This year the chase for that honor is particularly interesting since the top of the MAC is stronger than it’s been in a while. There are five teams ranked in the top 100, but no clear leader of the MAC pack. Bowling Green, under first-year head coach Chris Jans, was in the driver’s seat for the East division before being stunned at home by Miami. The Falcons are now in a tie with Kent State and one game clear of Akron with five games left in the regular season. MACtion!
2) #294 Delaware 73, #89 William & Mary 70 (7%), Saturday. A Delaware win makes the list for the second straight week. The Blue Hens went to Williamsburg and handed the Tribe its first home loss of the season for the very unlikely season sweep. Colonel Ebirt sad face! This was the Tribe’s fourth conference loss and oddly, all of them were to teams in the bottom four of the CAA standings.
1) #344 Jacksonville 89, #131 USC Upstate 70 (3%), Saturday. This was the third-biggest upset of the season, behind NJIT over Michigan and Texas Southern over Michigan State, but look at that margin. This was a 16-over-1 level win that wasn’t close. Marcel White led the way with 30 points, which was unexpected considering White’s season-high to that point was 10. He didn’t even get on the floor in the previous game, and in the four games prior to that, he didn’t score at all. This was one of the most unlikely outcomes this season and it was driven by one of the most unlikely individual performances as well.
Least likely comebacks
3) #247 Rice over 129 UAB (2OT) (0.9%), Saturday. UAB led this one 70-63 with 58 seconds left in overtime. The Blazers committed turnovers on their next three possessions but Rice still needed UAB’s Tyler Madison to miss one of two free throws with six seconds left just to force double overtime. Rice outscored UAB 11-2 in the second extra session and won 82-73.
2) #326 Jacksonville over #171 USC Upstate (0.5%), Saturday. It isn’t difficult to show up in the comeback section when you pull off one of the upsets of the year. Just starting at 0-0, Jacksonville was fighting an uphill battle. Following a missed layup by Marcellous Bell, the Spartans led 57-43 and had the ball with 13:27 left. But in over a little more than three minutes, the Dolphins went on an 18-0 run to take a 61-57 lead, one that would not be threatened the rest of the way. It was a game that didn’t make any sense based on past results.
1) #281 Navy over #169 Colgate (0.2%), Saturday. The dream of a 10-way first and last-place tie in the Patriot League is dead, but Navy’s upset of Colgate keeps the standings compressed. It was as shocking of a comeback as you’ll see at the college level. An Austin Tillotson layup put the Raiders up 68-56 with 1:45 left. But Navy got back in the game with three consecutive 3-pointers, including one banked in by Worth Smith. Meanwhile, Colgate got one point out of three trips to the free throw line and ended its two other possessions with turnovers. A missed three-pointer by Colgate’s Austin Tillotson on the game’s final possession sealed the win for Navy.
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 is down a man while Frazier continues to deal with a high ankle sprain, but the other four guys picked up the slack, nailing 19-of-44 (43.2%) attempts to raise the Club’s overall mark to a season-high 41.0 percent on 261-of-637 shooting. And we know these guys won’t stop, because they are incapable of stopping.
Fastest game: Coppin State 96, Delaware State 92 [87 possessions], Monday. Delaware State’s Amere May earned the MVP distinction for his 39-point effort. That honor was deserved, but normally when you see someone score that many points, you don’t have to worry about whether it was efficient. But in May’s case, it wasn’t that amazing because it took him 34 shots to get there. That is the most field goal attempts for any player this season.
Slowest game: IPFW 63, Denver 47 , Thursday. May took 34 shots and in this one, the entire IPFW team took 32. The Mastodons got to the free throw line 25 times, though, and that was a big reason for their easy win. Denver devoted a whopping 66 percent of its field goals to 3-pointers. That is not nearly a season high, though. That distinction belongs to our friends at VMI, who hoisted 55 (!) of its 75 shots (73.3%) from long-range in a 92-77 win over Marist earlier in the season.
Highest-scoring game: Coppin State 96, Delaware State 92 , Monday. Covered previously.
Lowest-scoring game: Utah 47, Oregon State 37 , Thursday. This game had the potential to end up in the slow hall of fame after a 22-possession first half which saw Utah lead 16-14. But when Oregon State needed to play catch-up in the second half, the Beavers actually had a few possessions that were under 20 seconds and late fouling pushed the possession count near 50.
Alan Williams Watch: After a seven-game absence, Williams returned to action against UC Riverside on Thursday, scoring 12 and rebounding 11 in 27 minutes in his first game back. But UCSB still lost to Riverside 64-62 and dropped to 6-5 in Big West play, so we have to face the facts that we may not see Williams in an NCAA tournament game.
kPOY Watch: No news in the kPOY where Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky continues to maintain a lead over Utah’s Delon Wright. In the kPOY, though, postseason play counts, so the race is never over. Actually, it’s over after the national title game.
Here are the five games you’ll want to watch this week (as determined by FanMatch, all times eastern):
#16 Iowa State at #19 Texas, Saturday, 2 PM, ESPN2
#22 Butler at #26 Xavier, Saturday, 2 PM, Fox Sports Net
#26 Xavier at #40 St. John’s, Monday, 8 PM, Fox Sports 1
#19 Texas at #28 West Virginia, Tuesday, 7 PM, ESPN2
#13 Baylor at #16 Iowa State, Wednesday, 9 PM, ESPNU