Sat, 02/12/2011 - 01:04 — Raphielle Johnson
The day has arrived for those who pegged Saturday as the first loss for the undefeated Ohio State (24-0, 11-0) Buckeyes, who visit Wisconsin (18-5, 8-3) in a contest that will go a long way in determining the tenor of the Big Ten race from this point forward. That seems to be the forgotten aspect of this contest, with many choosing to focus on the question of whether or not Thad Matta's crew can go undefeated (personally, this is a silly question as it hasn't been done (tournament included) since 1976).
Fri, 02/11/2011 - 18:51 — Raphielle Johnson
Outperformed, outworked and outclassed. That would sum up what happened to the Connecticut Huskies in the second half at Madison Square Garden, where the St. John's Red Storm built upon the momentum gained from a Malik Boothe buzzer-beater before halftime to win 89-72 in one of their best performances of the season. Just days after scoring 32 points in a losing effort at UCLA, Dwight Hardy once again lived up to his nickname ("Buckets") in scoring a new career-high 33 points and D.J.
Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:08 — Raphielle Johnson
Thursday's slate features a matchup in the Big Ten between two teams who have the ability to head in either direction: a win rights the ship while a loss could the latest event that potentially triggers a nosedive out of the field of 68. Illinois (15-8, 5-5) has lost five of their last seven while Minnesota's (16-7, 5-6) dropped three in a row, and with two games in the loss column separating 4th from 9th in the Big Ten standings their meeting at "The Barn" is critical to both.
Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:02 — Raphielle Johnson
The question going into Wednesday's matchup between rivals North Carolina and Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium was how the young Tar Heels would respond to the atmosphere. They responded quite well in the first half, scoring the first seven points of the game and leading by as many as 16 points before taking a 43-29 lead into the locker room. If anything the first half was a case of the more experienced Blue Devils being caught up in the moment, as getting away from the things they do best in addition to failing to truly compete inside landed them in the early hole.
Wed, 02/09/2011 - 18:02 — Raphielle Johnson
Unlike last season's two regular season meetings there's more than pride on the line in tonight's matchup between North Carolina (17-5, 7-1) and bitter rival Duke (21-2, 8-1). The Tar Heels, who have played their best basketball of the season over the last three weeks, may have lost Larry Drew II last week but they didn't miss a beat in their beating of Florida State on Super Sunday.
Tue, 02/08/2011 - 17:19 — Raphielle Johnson
Missouri played one of their best offensive halves of the season in the first half on Monday night, making 57.7% of their shots and scoring 42 points. But they were down four at the break thanks to the combination of suspect defense and superior execution by the Kansas Jayhawks. And as the Tigers slid closer to their season average in regards to field goal percentage Kansas got even better offensively, making 66.7% of their shots in the second half to win going away 103-86.
Mon, 02/07/2011 - 05:52 — Raphielle Johnson
"Rivalry Week" tips off on Monday night, featuring an important Big 12 battle between Missouri (18-5, 4-4) and border rival Kansas (22-1, 7-1). While the Jayhawks have lost just one game the entire season (Texas at home), Mike Anderson's Tigers are stuck in the middle of the Big 12 standings (3rd-10th are separated by one game in the loss column) and could use a win like this one to further boost their standing in regards to NCAA Tournament seeding.
Sat, 02/05/2011 - 06:32 — Raphielle Johnson
There's just one game on Saturday matching ranked teams and surprisingly it comes in the SEC, where #11 Kentucky (16-5, 4-3) heads south to take on #23 Florida (17-5, 6-2). And while the SEC East has shown itself to be somewhat wide-open, John Calipari's young Wildcats would be well-served to win this one and avoid falling behind the Gators by two games in the loss column. But Kentucky also has just one road win in conference play (South Carolina) and they'll have their hands full with a talented group of Gators.
Thu, 02/03/2011 - 09:56 — Raphielle Johnson
The Syracuse Orange made their way to Hartford knowing that head coach Jim Boeheim had never lost five consecutive games at any point in his illustrious career. But if that wasn't a heavy burden for this group to bear they had to deal with silly rumors of possible point-shaving (something that began as a message board joke became a "story" that some media outlets thought credible for a short period) Tuesday night. But the Orange took care of business, especially on the defensive end, as they beat the Huskies 66-58 to end their skid and get back on the right track.
Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:53 — Raphielle Johnson
The big matchup on Wednesday is also one of the better rivalries in the Big East as Syracuse (18-4, 5-4) visits Connecticut (17-3, 5-3) with both teams looking to rebound from losses on Saturday. Syracuse's situation may be a bit more urgent since they've now lost four straight games, and during the Jim Boeheim era the Orange have never dropped five in a row. While point guard Scoop Jardine played well in the loss at Marquette he wasn't the most pressing issue for Syracuse during their losing streak.