Oh Louisville.. what should we make of you? You have a big name and a hall of fame coach.. but I guess you're just not that good. Graduation losses and injuries have been too much to bare. There's no shame in losing to a 9-2 UMASS team, or an 8-1 Dayton team, or a 7-1 Arizona team either.. but ultimately you're running out of chances to prove your worth. You don't play a ranked team again until 10 games from now.. by then, perhaps with a loss to Kentucky this weekend or a loss to Notre Dame in a couple weeks.. you'll have blown your at-large chances. Sorry, David Padgett's not going to help you.. the fragile one is as reliable as my old 1980 Ford Fiesta. Juan Palacios is solid but not the star I'd thought he'd be. Derrick Caracter almost has more missed free throws than career points.. But perhaps our expectations are simply too high for you Louisville.. so many freshmen and sophomores is hard to deal with.. especially against more experienced teams like UMASS and Dayton. Perhaps you only need time.. but my patience is running thin.
Wow.. what a day of college basketball.. big games, big wins, big performances.. this is what it's all about. I have so much to say.. I wont be able to give justice to any one game or team. Behold the power of stream of consciousness..
No need to see the #2 team in the country dancing around when they beat a 6-4 Buffalo team. I know people always say a win is a win, and Pitt is now 10-0.. but I have a hard time believing their close to the 2nd best team out there.
Texas A&M dropped their second game in a row.. but their 3 point loss at #1 UCLA was deserved of Top 10 respect. The aggies kept it close the whole, entertaining John Wooden and the rest of the large crowd. At 7-2, they'll probably drop to the 12-15 range, but their resume so far is certainly more impressive than higher ranked teams like Duke or Pitt.
Knock #5 Alabama off the list of unbeatens. We've seen this time and time again.. when college basketball teams finally go and play quality teams on the road.. they lose. #6 Texas A&M learned this rule a few days ago when they lost at LSU, and UCONN will learn the same fate if they ever leave Storrs.
Apparently Notre Dame and Bama were content not to play defense. The Irish ran off a whopping 95 points compared to Bama's 85. This played right in Notre Dame's hands.. they've now scored 90+ in 5 games this season. Colin Falls had 20 in the win and he managed to do it despite hitting only 3 field goals. For Notre Dame, after beating Maryland on the road and now knocking off another Top 25 team in the same week, the AP Poll could and probably should be in their future.
Chris Lofton looked like he was ready to beat Memphis one on five. Tennessee's sharpshooter had 21 points at the half while the #17 team in the country had just 22. Lofton ended with 34 points, including 6 threes, often of the fade-away, off-balance variety. Prior to this game, the Vols had lost to UNC and Butler and their best win of the season was arguably at home over Fordham. This win puts them back in the thick of the nationl picture, though the Top 25 is still probably out of reach.
On a night busy with Top 25 action, everyone else advanced with relative ease. #2 Pittsburgh, #7 Florida, #9 Duke, #10 UCONN, #14 Butler, #22 Maryland, #23 Air Force, and #25 Michigan State all won by double digits.
Tom Crean, Jamie Dixon, John Thompson III, and Jay Wright are the future of the Big East.
The difference as usual for LSU in their win over #6 Texas A&M was that they had Glen Davis, while their opponent didn't. Lost in Florida's championship, Tyler Hansbrough's Player of the Year hype, and this year's stellar class, is that Davis just might be the country's best player. Big Baby had 24 points and 9 rebounds to key the win. And this isn't one of those 24 point efforts in an up and down game where both teams are scoring into the 80's or beyond. This is 24 points in a game featuring two tight defenses, limited possessions, and where Davis' 9 field goals were almost half of LSU's 20. A&M was led by Antanas Kavaliauskas who is quietly becoming a major offensive player for Billy Gillispie. The big Lithuanian added 18 points a game after setting a career high with 23 against Pacific.
#24 Georgia Tech.. not anymore. #19 Maryland.. good try. #4 Florida.. thanks for playing. A season of wild upsets, surprise, and intrigue, continued on what was expected to be a somewhat quiet Sunday.
Don't feel bad for Gator fans though. Florida will play Ohio State in the National Championship game in football so today's 70-66 loss at Florida State will be forgotten. For FSU, Al Thornton was basically one man team. They needed everyone of his 28 points and 9 rebounds. The last 2 minutes of the game was all Thornton.. a nice post move in the paint, a 15 foot jumper, and a pair of free throws to lock the game up. The Gators were without Corey Brewer.. but his replacement Walter Hodge added 17 points so you can't blame it on that.