Monday, December 3, 2007

Coast to Tyus Edney against Mizzou

Sorry I didn't get to the big games on Saturday. There was a full slate, but there were a ton of ranked teams who took the floor. North Carolina went into Rupp arena and disposed of an average Kentucky team 86-77. Duke won a tough one against a game Davidson squad 79-73 in Charlotte. Louisville, continued their sub par play, escaping with a three point win over Miami-Ohio 47-44 at Freedom Hall. Said coach Rick Pitino: "We had three goals, to stop their 3s, keep them off the offensive glass and not make offensive turnovers. One out of three isn't bad." In a game I watched, Indiana looked much better in an impressive road win over ranked Southern Illinois 64-51. This was my first extended view of Eric Gordon. The hype is justified. He was nailing NBA three pointers, driving his man to the hole with ease, then drawing contact. No way he isn't a top three pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Perhaps the most impressive showing over the weekend was Butler's dominating performance of Ohio State. Down 10 at the half and missing their first 15 three's, Butler came out absolutely smokin' in the second half, outscoring the Buckeyes 45-16. We will have more on that game tomorrow from one of the MTAC correspondence who was there. Gonzaga went to Boston and took down Connecticut 85-82 in front of current Celtic and former Huskie Ray Allen. Sunday though had three interesting games that may have implications later in the season for all teams involved. Three Big 12 teams went on the road to visit three Pac 10 teams.

#8 Texas 63 #1 UCLA 61 - What a game this was. Texas' run and gun offense matched up with the in your face defense of UCLA. Up tempo vs slow down. Kansas wilted under this pressure during last year's West Regional Finals, but somehow, Texas managed to weather the storm long enough to come away with a victory after blowing a double digit lead. With the score tied at 61 under 19 seconds left, Texas point guard D.J. Augustine drove to the hole and put up a wild runner which was dunked home by Damion James. "I stumbled, but I knew Damion was down there," he said. "I threw it up for him to rebound and put it up or finish it with a dunk and that's what he did." The Texas zone neutralized all world Freshman Center Kevin Love and turned him into a non-factor. he scored a season low 11 and took just six shots. Augustine also helped lock down UCLA PG Darren Collison and held him to just 4-14 shooting. "That wasn't fun," Love said. "It could be a good wakeup call for us."

#4 Kansas 59 #22 USC 55 - In a sloppily played game, KU made just enough plays in the second half to come away with the four point win. Mario Chalmers NBA three with the shot clock running down iced the game with 20 seconds left. He led all scorers with 20. The Jayhawks looked bad all game long. Brandon Rush may have had his worst game as a collegiate, going 2-11 from the field including a layup with nobody around him. USC phenom OJ Mayo shot just 6-21 from the floor with 19 points. Not to be overlooked was KU's dominance on the glass, outrebounding the Trojans 40-25. My main man Darnell Jackson was a beast on the boards with 13, including two monster putbacks for four of his nine points.

Arizona 78 #9 Texas A&M 67 - Talk about a tale of two halves. Between Josh Carter's deep shooting and Joseph Jones' post play, the 'Cats couldn't hang with the Aggies, as they led by 32-12 with six minutes left in the first half. Then seemingly out of nowhere, Arizona caught fire, outscoring A&M 50-27 in the second. Freshman Jerryd Bayless couldn't be stopped, scoring 26 points and knocking down all 10 of his free throws. Chase Budinger added 19 and Jordan Hill came off the bench with 13. "Nothing went our way in the second half, and Arizona had a lot to do with it," Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. "The first 15 minutes we were pretty good. The last 25, it was like our offense was nonexistent."

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