1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.. have the top 6 teams in the country ever lost on the same day? With the exception of #2 Florida who rocked South Carolina.. the other top teams were in serious danger of losing on Saturday. #1 UNC obviously ended up losing by 6, #3 UCLA won by a point, #4 Wisconsin won by 6 in a poorly played game at Northwestern, #5 OSU won by 2, and #6 Kansas won in overtime. UCLA, Wisconsin, and Kansas all were down at half before pulling out close victories.
But what separates a team like UCLA from a Washington is the ability to win close games on the road. The #24 Huskies by the way are in a tailspin, having lost 5 of 6 games.. the last two which have come down to the wire. Even UCONN can now claim to have accomplished something Washington hasn't.. winning a game away from home. The #22 version of the Huskies beat St John's in the Garden, while the #24 version lost in overtime at California.
Now that conference play has begun in earnest, it is worth taking a look back at the first half of the season and determining who has benefited the most, and the least, from the 2006-07 non-conference schedule.
Oregon ends UCLA's 14-game winning streak.
This is dedication.. 11:30 on a Saturday night, and I'm not out on the town, but in on the computer writing the Dribble.. or is it just being lame? I'll leave it up to you to decide..
I already wrote an earlier entry this afternoon, which includes thoughts on Virginia Tech's big upset of Duke. The rest of my afternoon and evening was spent watching the NFL Playoffs.. so unfortunately I didn't get to watch some of the day's later upsets.
The only game I did get a peak at was Air Force's 56-50 win over UNLV. At 15-1, the Academy is off to its bes start ever.. while UNLV drops to 14-3. This game was surprising because you think of both of these teams as being dangerous from three, but no one could hit from outside. UNLV was 1-18 from three, and AFA was 3-12. Kevin Kruger, averaging 14 ppg and coming off an 8-three game against Utah, was ice cold and finished with 4 points on 1-9 shooting. Who know.. maybe if he was hot, this game would have had a different ending. Regardless, it was close because UNLV dominated on the interior.. getting 38 rebounds to just 19 for Air Force. Essengue and White really had their way on the inside. Overall, it was a well-fought though not necessarily very well played game. The only player that stood out was AFA's Dan Nwaelele. This isn't a name that you hear often nationally, but it should be. Nwaelele leads the team at 15 ppg as a 6-5 small forward, and amazingly does it by shooting 62% from the floor and 56% from three. As good as those numbers are, you can't help but think the senior could be even better. With a solid 6-5 frame, and that nice shooting touch, this is a guy who should be getting an outside look by NBA scouts. Unfortunately, the color commentator was quick to point Nwaelele should shoot more, and a dozen other things he knew was right. I kept trying to figure out who this know-it-all was.. than they finally said it was Rick Barry.. and suddenly the condescending tone made perfect sense.
What a fun night of games.. thank goodness conference play is in full swing. I dont even know where too begin, too many good games to discuss.
Big day for USC, escaping with a 84-82 over previously unbeaten Oregon. A lot of weird stuff going on at the end of this game. Ernie Kent calling a horrific timeout right as his team was about to score the game-tying lay up. Then ESPN, who was covering the end of the game instead of Memphis-Cincy, cuts back to the studio and misses the ensuing basket. Is there really a need to cut back to the three shmos in the studio when the two local announcers were doing a fine job. Then you have a bad charging call called on Maarty Leunen driving to the hoop, followed by bad clockwork which favored the home Ducks. Finally, a horrible foul in the final second by USC against Aaron Brooks shooting a desperation three, but Brooks misses his 2nd of three free-throws which could have tied it. Despite the miss, can't blame the loss on Brooks, who had 27 points and a huge-NBA range three in the final minutes. For USC, its now 3 wins in the last two weeks over ranked teams (Oregon, Washington, Wichita State) and a 12-4 record. For Oregon, it was the type of close loss that plagued them all last year..
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- Bracketology: Saturday Night NCAA Tournament Projection
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- Non-BCS Top 25: Air Force, Davidson Making Moves
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