Nothing like a good Saturday of college hoops.. 21 of the Top 25 teams in action. More importantly, a lot of these teams are on the road at hostile conference foes. #5 Kansas at Texas Tech, #13 Nevada at New Mexico State, #19 LSU at Arkansas are just a few of them. Then you have some solid non-conference games like #23 Texas at Villanova.
Will be interesting to see how the Longhorns rebound from the epic triple-OT loss at Oklahoma State. My guess is that game will only make them better in the long run. Durant's on crazy good run, averaging 34 ppg over his last 4 games. Nova's no joke either, but they have been vulnerable at home with losses to DePaul and Drexel. DJ Augstin isn't the only top freshman PG in this game. Scottie Reynolds has been playing the best ball of his young career in recent weeks. The once almost-Oklahoma recruit is averaging 20.5 per game over his last four, after not breaking the 20 point mark in his first 13 games.
UCONN also hosts a non-conference foe in Indiana. The Huskies probably need this win more than Villanova does. UCONN's lost 3 of 4, and 4 of 6, and they haven't beaten a name opponent all season. Indiana on the other hand, is playing their best ball of the season, having won 8 of 9 games. The Hoosiers are one of the most well-rounded teams out there. It seems like every night they get a stand out contribution from any one of eight guys. UCONN's favored by 4 at home, but I just dont see any reason to really believe in them yet? Reputation is nice and all, but I need some proof.
Interesting that the Big East has only 2 ranked teams right now, Notre Dame and Pitt. That's only 2 of 16 teams, and Notre Dame is in danger of dropping out. If you had a league with one Top 25 out of 10 teams, we'd basically call that the WAC, or MWC, ie, a mid-major league. 2 out of 16 isn't much better.
Perhaps Georgetown will work their way back in next. After struggling to a 4-3 start, the Hoyas are up to 13-5. I watched some of their game against Seton Hall last night, and the Hoyas looked good. Jeff Green only had 8 points, but he played like he belonged in the NBA. He had 9 boards, 4 assists, and one pretty sick throw down on an alley oop. If there's ever a guy who runs, jumps, and looks like an NBA guy.. its Jeff Green. Then again, you wonder how he only averages 11 points per game.
I seem to be stuck on the Big East right now.. so lets discuss Cincinnati for a sec. The Bearcats are in a free fall. They've lost 5 straight, and are down 43-31 against WVU, so lets mark that down as six straight. To make matters worse, 3 of these games were at home (Ohio, Rutgers, and WVU today). Since starting 9-2, its not like there's been major injuries or anything.. they've just finally started playing better competition and Deonta Vaughn's hit a cold streak. The freshman guard is still averaging 14 ppg on the season, but he's missed shots at an Allen Iverson pace recently (only hitting at a Eric Snow pace though). Since December 23rd when Cincy beat NC State, Vaughn is 6 of 41 from three. Thats just 14.6%. But yet, he keeps on shooting.. including attempting a crazy 16 threes against South Florida.
17-1 Nevada faces their first major conference test of the year, heading to 14-4 New Mexico State. If the Pack manage to win this one, then you have to begin wondering whether they'll ever lose a conference game. I'm sure UNLV hopes that Nevada keeps on winning. The Rebels win at Nevada looks better and better as Fazekas and crew keep on winning.
Though Nevada probably wont run through the conference.. one team that definitely wont is Gonzaga. The Zags lost at Saint Mary's the other night, ending their 26 game WCC winning streak. Diamon Simpson had a monster 29 and 11 for the Gaels. It was definitely the best game of the sophomore forward's career. As of right now, neither of those teams leads the WCC.. because San Francisco is 3-0. After going 3-11 in non-conference play (against D1 teams), the Dons have to be the biggest surprise conference leader. Yes, they played 11 of those 14 on the road, but they only one of those 3 home games anyways.
Looks like BC's perfect conference record is about to come to an end. The Eagles are down 13 at Clemson with 7 minutes to go. Dont blame the loss on Sean Williams either, he would have helped, but BC was bound to lose this game anyways.