ATB: Beilein > RodriguezPosted by rtmsf on December 7th, 2008
Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series. Look, we really do like the idea of this series – two quality conferences providing juicy matchups such as UCLA-Texas, Arizona-Texas A&M, and Wazzu-Baylor (among others). But the promoters of the Hardwood Series need to figure a way to get this thing on national tv and make it a mandatory event over the course of two or three nights. Ideally, ESPN’s family of networks would pick it up during the same week as the ACC/Big 10 Challenge, and we’d get fantastic matchups from 7pm EST until past midnight every weekday. As it stands now, most of the games aren’t televised nationally, and there seems to be very little coverage of the games as an “event” of any kind. Furthermore, three of the games occur outside the most recent Thurs-Sun window (Stanford already defeated Colorado two weeks ago and has an upcoming tilt with Texas Tech, and KU’s game with Arizona is in another two weeks), which also sucked because it got completely lost amidst all the weekend football coverage. So whoever is in charge of this “event,” take our advice and actually take the proper steps to turn this thing into something that Big 12 and Pac-10 fans will look forward to on an annual basis (similar to ACC and Big 10… uh, well, ACC fans). Diatribe over. Now, even if we count Stanford’s win, the Big 12 has already clinched at least a push in the Hardwood Series this year with a 6-4 record and two games remaining. Nine of the twelve games were this weekend. Let’s take a quick look at some of the highlights (the first three games were already covered in Thursday night’s ATB).
- Texas A&M 67, Arizona 66. Just call UA the hard-luck Cats – they’ve lost two games this year, one on one of the most unbelievably stupid intentional fouls we’ve ever seen against UAB, and the other on a three-ball by A&M’s Nathan Walkup with 20 seconds left in a game they led for 39:40 and shot 58%.
- Baylor 58, Washington St. 52. How impressive is it that Baylor went to Pullman, intentionally slowed the game down to Wazzu’s preferred pace, and still beat them at their own game? Answer: very.
- Iowa St. 63, Oregon St. 50. Craig Robinson’s team wasn’t going to win this game, but the Beavers continue to play competitively (avg. loss is 3.8 pts in their 1-5 start).
- Arizona St. 64, Nebraska 44. ASU’s James Harden had 20/9/6 in a defensive struggle.
- Missouri 93, California 66. Ok, maybe the Monty renaissance at Cal isn’t as likely as we touted last week. Mizzou ran out to a quick 27-8 lead and generally coasted the rest of the way behind Demarre Carroll’s 19 and Leo Lyons’ 18.
- Oregon 75, Kansas St. 70. The Mac Court magic remains. Tajuan Porter had 28 as Oregon outlasted K-State.
Upset of the Weekend. Michigan 81, Duke 73. For a few minutes yesterday, seeing those gold unis running around in Crisler Arena with a packed crowd supporting them, we had flashbacks to yesteryear of Webber, Howard and Rose. But then we watched yet another outstanding backdoor cut executed by Michigan against the Duke defense, and we quickly realized that this version of Michigan basketball actually has superb coaching behind it. What can you say – a mere two weeks ago Duke methodically defeated UM 71-56 on a neutral floor at MSG; oh, the power that home court wields! Michigan made big play after big play (usually by Deshawn Sims – 28/12) in lulling Duke to chuck up way too many threes (three of their first 27 attempts) as they pulled away in the mid-second half. Duke will be fine (maybe this is why K doesn’t schedule those nonconference road games), but the story here is that Michigan is well beyond its timetable for becoming relevant again now that they’ve defeated two top five teams in the last two weeks (UCLA). As of today, Michigan is an NCAA Tournament team and John Beilein is indeed a genius.
Upset of the Weekend II. Ohio St. 67, Notre Dame 62. Speaking of Big Ten surprises, suddenly the league is looking much stronger among its middle of the pack teams. OSU is now 5-0 after sophomore Evan Turner dropped 25/10/5 assts in his second consecutive strong game that led to an upset of a ranked team. Expect OSU to be the ranked team next week! ND’s Luke Harongody, coming back from pneumonia where he lost 11 lbs, had 25/16, but he didn’t get much support from his teammates, including the sharpshooter Kyle McAlarney (0-6 from three after hitting 26 in his previous three games).
Curry Drops Another 44. Davidson 72, NC State 67. This is one of those games Davidson couldn’t finish in the regular season last year, but that was before Stephen Curry decided that he would singlehandedly will his team to victories with regular 40+ point outbursts. The key stat to the victory here was that Davidson outrebounded the Wolfpack 41-33 and on the offensive end 21-9. Curry tied his career high (set two weeks ag0) despite a relatively poor shooting effort (15-33). He is now averaging 31.3 ppg in 33.6 minutes, almost a point per minute of action. Had he not frozen himself out in the bizarre Loyola (MD) game two weeks ago, he’d probably be at a 1:1 ratio. He’s also shooting a career-best 50.4% from the field thus far this season.
Games of Minor Interest to People not Enamored with the BCS.
- Illinois 76, Georgia 42. What an asskicking. The second half score was 46-19. Should Georgia just go ahead and fire Dennis Felton now?
- Cincinnati 87, UAB 80. The Blazers are going to have to turn it on to get that at-large bid out of CUSA.
- Georgetown 73, American 49. Georgetown ran off to a 40-12 lead by halftime, led by Chris Wright’s 22 pts.
- Gonzaga 70, Indiana 54. If Josh Heytvelt is all the way back, and it appears that he is (17/6), we’re totally on board the Zag bandwagon this year.
- Georgia Tech 63, Vanderbilt 51. Tech is as J&H as they come, but with the trio of Alade Aminu, Iman Shumpter and Gani Lawal, they might just be an ACC team to watch this season.
- Louisville 83, Indiana St. 43 & Louisville 91, Ohio 56. The Cards righted the ship in the Marques Maybin Classic with two blowout wins led by Earl Clark’s consecutive dub-dubs (16/10 & 17/14).
- Minnesota 71, Cornell 58. Cornell is having trouble closing out games. Minnesota made a 25-2 run in a 43-14 second half to once again dash the Ivy favorite’s hopes of an upset.
- Providence 66, Rhode Island 65. An Ocean State battle that went to the home team, behind Weyinmi Efejuku’s 21/8 (yeah, you say it).
- Northwestern 63, Depaul 36. When Northwestern is holding you to 36 total pts and 24% shooting, you have serious problems.
- Miami (FL) 73, Kentucky 67. Another horrid start for Gillispie’s Cats, getting down 46-26 at halftime at home. Patrick Patterson’s 19/16 led the comeback that fell short. Jack McClinton had 23 for the Hurricanes.
- Pittsburgh 80, Vermont 51. Sam Young (28/9) and Dejuan Blair (13/16) did what they do in another easy home win for the Panthers.
- Wake Forest 81, Bucknell 52. Jeff Teague had 26, and more importantly, only two turnovers, in a blowout win for the Deacs.
- Boston College 85, UMass 81 (OT). UMass, who seemed so promising in the Memphis loss three weeks ago, is now 1-6, despite Ricky Harris’ 35 pts.
- Marquette 61, Wisconsin 58. MU came back behind Jerel McNeal’s 19 second-half points to defeat their in-state rival for the second consecutive year.
- UNLV 64, Nevada 57. This was a key road win in a rivalry game that will serve UNLV well come Selection Sunday.
- Clemson 90, Liberty 85. Clemson woke up just in time to overcome a halftime deficit and keep its perfect (9-0) record intact. KC Rivers had a fantastic game (32/11), and Seth Curry continues to impress (24 on 9-16 shooting).
- Michigan St. 75, Bradley 59. MSU recovered from its Wed. emasculation at Ford Field by ripping an MVC team behind Chris Allen’s 19 pts.
- Oklahoma 69, Tulsa 44. OU cruises in a road win behind Blake Griffin’s 19/9 – is he slowing down?
- Florida St. 57, Florida 55. FSU continues to own Florida in this series (three in a row), just making enough plays (and getting stops) in an ugly game that proves that FSU is always tough at home.
- UCLA 85, Cal St. Northridge 67. Something isn’t right with the Bruins – they allowed 47% shooting and committed 19 turnovers to a vastly inferior team. Can Howland right this ship before the Pac-10 season?
On Tap Monday (all times EST) - it’ll be light as many schools have finals this week.
- Louisville v. Lamar (ESPN FC & 360) – 7pm
- Illinois (-23.5) v. Hawaii – 8pm