Control of the Pac-10 race was on the line in Berkeley Thursday night with Lorenzo Romar's Washington Huskies needing to shake their road woes in order to declare themselves a factor. But all they did was show exactly why they're currently a longshot to make the NCAA Tournament, failing to defend in the first half as California got whatever they wanted in building a 48-34 halftime lead on the way to a 93-81 triumph.
You can normally tell the magnitude of a game at Duke by how fired up head coach Mike Krzyzewski is, especially when it comes to pumping up the Cameron Crazies. Coming off of a sound defeat at the hands of Georgetown, the Blue Devils needed to respond against a team that had knocked them off earlier in the season and they did just that. In the 83-65 win Kyle Singler hit eight three pointers in scoring 30 points while also grabbing five rebounds, and as a team Duke shot 66.7% (12-18) from behind the arc.
In order to enjoy success against the top-ranked Texas Longhorns you have to hold your own on the boards. Kansas State, hosting their first matchup of Top 10 teams in school history, may lack in sheer bulk when compared to the Longhorn front line but they had to match (or exceed) the intensity of the visitors if they were to pull off the upset. And thanks to Jamar Samuels and Curtis Kelly they did just that, leading the way in the Wildcats' 71-62 win in Manhattan.
Big Monday delivers one of the best matchups of the week when top-ranked Texas visits the Little Apple to take on Kansas State. Frank Martin's Wildcats could be the team with the best chance to break through the Kansas/Texas tag team atop the Big 12 thanks in large part to guards Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente. These two have accounted for just over 42% of the team's points and 49% of the team's assists so far and when they get rolling KSU is a tough team to slow down.
The weekly Bracketology field is based on how the tourney looks "as of this moment." . In late February, I release Bracketology updates daily as the season approaches crunch time.
With a lot of talent leaving the Big East, a lot of people felt the conference would be in a down year. However, it currently has the best record of any power-6 conference and has a great shot at putting 7+ teams in the NCAA tournament.