#9 Pittsburgh 85 Oklahoma State 68 - Time for the country to recognize Pittsburgh Freshman OF Dejuan Blair. The man is a beast and is the best Freshman big man in the country East of Michael Beasley. He dominated the weak Ok State big men to the tune of 20 points and 10 points in a game in which Pitt led by 18 at the half. All five Panther starters were in double figures with four scoring 15 or more. The headscratcher of the day was that Trena Sutton, the smokin hot wife of Cowboys coach Sean Sutton was in the stands at the Oklahoma/Arkansas game, not in Pittsburgh with her husband.
Nebraska 88 #16 Oregon 79 OT - As predicted by MTAC, the Huskers had this game in hand, blew it, then won it in OT. We watched the entire second half and OT (I know, what is wrong with us?) and here are our observations. NU's Alecks Maric (23 points) is pretty good for a pure post man. Ryan Anderson (21 points) has a sweet touch from the outside. Oregon's Tajuan Porter is the biggest ball hog we've seen in years. How do his teammates not kill him? Seemingly everytime the Huskers scored, the ball was inbounded to Porter, he would run down to the other end of the floor and jack up a bad shot. He took 25 shots. The rest of the team took 34. Yes, he did single-handedly bring them back and forced OT with a three, but he never looked to pass. Never.
#13 Marquette 82 Sacramento State 51 - So I set the over/under on the points by Marquette's three guards at 62. The under won by a ton (33). Luckily, that's all the Golden Eagles needed.
Purdue 67 #20 Louisville 59 in Indianapolis - Blame the injury bug. Blame the immaturity of Derrick Caracter causing yet another suspension and leaving his teams front court severely shorthanded. But this Cardinal team is a far cry from the Final Four caliber squad it was predicted to be this preseason. Shooting 32% from the field won't win you many games either. Leading scorer Earl Clark was the main culprit going 0-7. They are about to fall out of the polls. Meanwhile, this was a big time resume building win for Purdue.
Arizona State 77 #17 Xavier 55 - I believe we called this one as well. This was a classic trap game for Xavier, coming off the emotional win against rival Cincinnati. Musketeer big man Josh Duncan tried to give it a go, but only could go five minutes due to his knee injury. Meanwhile, like Purdue, ASU got a big boost to their at large resume. Freshman James Hardin had 16, fellow Frosh Ty Abbott led the Sun Devils with 19, and Sophomore Jerron Shipp (Josh's brother) added a career high 17 as ASU shot 59% from the field.
#3 Kansas 88 Ohio 51 - Take it from me, this was the best KU has looked all year and as impressive of a win as we've seen all year. The ball movement was outstanding. The defensive pressure was stifling. For the first time all year, KU looked healthy and like a legitimate title threat. The Jayhawks hit 11 threes and Mario Chalmers led a balanced attack with 17. Not to be overlooked - Russell Robinson's 11 assists.
#19 Butler 79 Florida State 68 - Lead Guard AJ Graves was in a mini-slump. He broke out of it in a big way, scoring 25 points including seven three pointers leading the Bulldogs to the winners circle. Backcourt mate Mike Green added 20 as Butler moved to 9-1 and continued to prove their legitimacy. Meanwhile, their coach, Brad Stevens looks like he is 10.
#11 Tennessee 88 Western Kentucky 82 - This was maybe the best game of the day. The Vols couldn't shake the Hilltoppers all night long, but in the end, it was an unsung hero that saved Tennessee. Little used big man Brian Williams collected his first career double-double filling in for Duke Crews more than admirably. He had 16 and 12 rebounds. Jajuan Smith led the Vols with 19. Sun Belt player of the year Courtney Lee had 20 in a losing cause. It didn't help that starting guards Tyrone Brazelton and Ty Rogers both were in foul trouble most of the night before eventually fouling out late. Did Bruce Pearl's club really get to the line 42 times?
#2 Memphis 65 Middle Tennessee State 41
#10 Michigan State 79 IPFW 57
#5 Texas 96 Texas State 81
#4 Georgetown 110 Radford 51
#14 Indiana 100 Western Carolina 52
#8 UCLA 89 Idaho State 49
The statement I made was that all of the ranked teams on this list should win by at least 20. Well, we were close. Only Texas couldn't do it and they won by 15, but they struggled mightily, leading by only a deuce at the half. The stat of the day: The Longhorns and Tennessee went to the line 42 times each. Indiana's win saw the return of Eric Gordon after missing the Kentucky game with the hip and back injuries. He buried his first four three pointers on his way to 26. Memphis grinded out there win thanks to the frontcourt duo of Robert Dozier (11 and 7) and Joey Dorsey (11 and 12). Chris Douglas-Roberts and Derrick Rose only combined for nine points. None of Georgetown's starters played more than 19 minutes in their annihilation of Radford.