ATB: Woo Pig Sooey AgainPosted by rtmsf on January 6th, 2009
- Vegas Watch has his Big East preview and odds analysis up.
- Oklahoma St. transfer Ibrahima Thomas will resurface at Cincinnati for the second semester next season.
- Pitino’s excuse is already prepared for why his team wasn’t focused at South Florida on Wednesday night.
- You think the poor economy is hurting your family? Illinois dump hoops arena Assembly Hall says hello.
- Hey, that’s just how the kids have fun down in Northridge!
- Bradley 56, Illinois St. 52. ISU’s undefeated season came to an end in front of a packed house at Bradley behind a balanced attack that saw nine Braves score in this game. Bradley held ISU 24 points below its scoring average by defending their 3-pt attack (6-26, .231), holding the Redbirds well below its typical 40.5% average from long range. ISU made a small run in the second half to close a 14-pt lead down to six, but Bradley hit their FTs (11-13) and took care of the ball enough to secure the upset win.
- Clemson 66, Alabama 59. For a while, it appeared that we would be left with only two undefeated teams after tonight, as Alabama was continuing to play well on the road against the unbeaten Tigers. A quick 15-0 run in the mid-second half put an end to that, however, as Bama’s Ronald Steele in particular was held scoreless in the second stanza. Bama appears to be playing much better than they were at the beginning of the season, but the real question we have is whether Clemson will be able to sustain its so-far great season once ACC play begins in earnest. We may not know for sure until a five-game stretch beginning 1/17 where Clemson plays Wake, UNC and Duke in the span of eighteen days.
Upset of the Night. Arkansas 67, Texas 61. For the second time in eight days, the Hawgs knocked off a top ten Big 12 team at home. So we’re pretty clear on Arkansas this year – they’re really good at home. It appeared that Texas had this game under control until an 11-0 run keyed by Michael Washington gave the Hawgs all the momentum and crowd support they needed to pull off another major upset. He then put the game away with a redonkulous and-one dunk with the Hawgs up one and less than 30 seconds remaining (see below). What’s amazing about this Arkansas team is that five of its top seven players are freshmen. Only Washington and guard Stefan Welsh are upperclassmen, so the Hawgs have a tremendous amount of potential. The one concern we have is that they’re completely untested on the road – they lost at Missouri St., and skated by South Alabama and North Texas. Not exactly the SEC (although this year, it could be argued…). As for Texas, the Horns are only as good as AJ Abrams, and tonight, he was bad (3-16 for 7 pts).
Another Upset. Penn St. 67, Purdue 64. Is Penn St. for real? The Nittany Lions held Purdue scoreless for a key eight-minute stretch late in the second half to come from down five to take a five-point lead, holding on for the upset win at home to go 2-1 in the early Big Ten race. PSU’s backcourt of Talor Battle and Stanley Pringle outplayed Purdue’s (who were without the services of Robbie Hummell), and already with 13 wins, Penn St. is on its way to its best season since 2001. How are they doing it? One stat that jumps out is that they don’t turn the ball over (#4 nationally in turnovers/game at 10.5).
Other Scores You Probably Should Be Aware Of.
- Kansas 91, Siena 84. KU jumped out to a huge lead early, but Siena fought back to within four with 8 mins to go. The Saints just didn’t have enough down the stretch to pull off the upset. Cole Aldrich had 24/13 in the win.
- Northern Iowa 69, Creighton 66. Tough conference loss at home for Creighton.
- Utah 91, LSU 61. This was fairly predictable, as LSU had only played (and lost) one road game all season.
- Georgia Tech 67, Georgia 62. In a battle of two teams going nowhere fast, Georgia blew a 15-pt lead at home to its archrival.
- Michigan St. 67, Ohio St. 58. MSU used a mid-first half 12-2 run to get a quick lead on Ohio St. and never looked back. The Buckeyes have now lost three of four and the schedule isn’t getting any better (IU, then @ Michigan and @ Illinois).
- UConn 61, West Virginia 55. In a close game throughout, the Huskies were able to use its dominance on the boards (51-28) – astonishing for a Bob Huggins team – and defense, holding WVU to 30% shooting, to get a tough road win in the Big East.
- Dayton 45, Miami (OH) 40. In a local rivalry game that only locals (w/o No-Doz) could love, Dayton extended to 14-1 with a late charge to get the win behind Chris Wright’s 14/6.
- Villanova 89, Seton Hall 85 (OT). Jeremy Hazell’s bank-three from 26 feet (see below) tied a game that Villanova probably should have long ago put away. Scottie Reynolds matched his career high with 40 pts on 10-17 FGs and 15-16 FTs.