Daily Dribble: 12/04
#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.
Georgia Tech opened ACC play by losing at Miami. Thaddeus Young only managed 2 points in 20 minutes of play. The heralded freshman missed the previous game with patellar tendonitis in his left knee and was not 100% in this game as well. Tech will drop out of the Top 25.. but this young team will only improve with more time.
Kyle McAlarney's career best 18 points keyed Notre Dame's upset win over Maryland. The Irish also got 16 points from junior Rob Kurz, who could turn out to be one of the Big East's most improved players. Kurz is averaging 15 points and 8 boards a game. Notre Dame now faces unbeaten Alabama on Thursday.. a win in that one could vault the Irish back into Top 25 contention.
While UCLA will probably become #1 in both polls, 8-0 Pitt will probably 2nd in both as well. The Panthers finally left home to face an overmatched Auburn squad and one 74-66. Aaron Gray added 16 and 14 in the win, his 5th double double of the season.
While Pitt did finally play that road game, 9-0 Missouri still hasn't left Columbia. The Tigers beat up on Evansville on Sunday and have been beating most opponents by 20 points recently. The biggest surprise has been sophomore Matt Lawrence, who barely got any playing time under the mighty Quin last season, but is averaging 14 points per game so far. The Tigers head to Purdue next Saturday for their first road test of the year.
Stanford has come back nicely from a blowout loss to Air Force early on and is now 6-1. The Cardinal had a relatively easy 70-59 win against Texas Tech. The big news for Stanford fans earlier in the week was that Brook Lopez finally saw some action after recovering from back surgery. Against the Red Raiders, Lopez had 18 points and 4 rebounds in just 17 minutes of play. Brother Robin has been solid (10 ppg, 8 rpg) so far, and the addition of Brook makes Stanford much more dangerous.
There are still five winless D1 teams left (though some teams like Northern Colorado only have win against non-D1 opponents). Those four are Alcorn State (0-8), Southern (0-7), Morgan State (0-6), Dartmouth (0-6), and Iona (0-5). What's amazing is that Iona was an NCAA Tournament team last year. Alcorn plays a non-D1 team this week and should win, Morgan State has a winnable game against Coppin State.. while Southern doesn't really have a win in sight.
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