Around The Blogosphere: February 1, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on February 1st, 2011


Sorry for the delay in publishing our ATB2, but we had some scheduling issues that prevented us from publishing at our regular time so today you our longest version of ATB2 to date. One quick thing to point out is that we used the team rankings from the time that the games happened when listing the results so teams that played on Saturday and Monday could have a different ranking for the two games. If you are interested in participating in our ATB2 feature, send in your submissions to rushthecourt@gmail.com. We will add to this post throughout the day as the submissions come in so keep on sending them.

Top 25 Games

  • #1 Ohio State 58, Northwestern 57: “No Shurna, no problem. Almost. Facing an uphill battle, albeit at home, without their 19 ppg scorer, Northwestern gave Ohio State all they could handle before a Jared Sullinger free throw with 3.5 seconds left gave the Buckeyes a 58-57 victory moving them 22-0 overall and 9-0 in conference play. Sullinger’s 21 points and eight rips paced the good guys and Aaron Craft was also a beast adding 13 points while William Buford chipped in 11.” (Eleven Warriors)
  • #2 Texas 69, #15 Texas A&M 49: “Looking to snap a six-game losing streak in College Station, the Texas Longhorns (19-3, 7-0) blew out Texas A&M (17-4, 4-3) early in the game, opening up a 25-point halftime lead before coasting comfortably to a 69-49 win. In building a commanding 45-20 halftime lead, the Longhorns nearly scored as many points in the first half as the Aggies did in the entire game. Though the Longhorns were absolutely brilliant offensively in the first half, the big story continues to be the unbelievably dominant performance by this Longhorns squad on the defensive end. Following Texas A&M’s 17-55 shooting night, through seven conference games Texas’ Big 12 opponents are now shooting just 36% from the floor. And counting the Aggies’ woeful 1-for-12 performance from downtown tonight, Big 12 opponents have now connected on just 19 of 100 three pointers attempted. Like I said on Saturday night, if this holds we’re not just talking about Rick Barnes’ best defensive team, but one of the best defensive performances in college basketball across the past decade.” (Burnt Orange Nation)
  • #5 Kansas 90, Kansas State 66: “With Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale looking on, ESPN aired 2+ hours of great KU advertising as the Jayhawks destroyed Kansas State by 24 in a scoreline that probably flatters the Wildcats a bit. The Wildcats were under 20% from the floor for much of the game (and finished with just a 39% eFG), and it’s hard to believe that at one point the game was tied at 9. Oh wait, that was Markieff Morris 9, K State 9. My bad. The Morris twins were as advertised tonight, combining for 30 points and 18 rebounds. K State’s defense isn’t bad (33rd nationally according to KenPom) and Kansas absolutely destroyed them. After some of our recent struggles, especially last week against Texas, it was nice to see the offense get back on track tonight.” (Rock Chalk Talk: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)
  • #6 Texas 71, #11 Missouri 58: “The Longhorns started the game on a quick 10-0 run and really, never looked back. The lead was as big as 18 points in the first half, but the ‘Horns let Missouri cut the advantage to just 11 points after a final minute three by Phil Pressey. Missouri played better in the second half and was the beneficiaries of horrific free throw shooting by multiple Longhorns. The Tigers got the lead to eight points, but Texas pulled away late with buckets by Jordan Hamilton and Cory Joseph, solid work on the glass by Tristan Thompson and Hamilton, and better free throw shooting by J’Covan Brown.” (Burnt Orange Nation: Part 1 and Part 2; or Rock M Nation)
  • Louisville 79, #8 UConn 78 (2 OT): Breaking down the most exciting game of the weekend through 18 thoughts. (Card Chronicle)
  • Marquette 76, #10 Syracuse 70: “Late in the game Saturday, Syracuse has a chance to steal a win from Marquette and get off the schnide. All they seemed to need was one Eagle possession that ended with a score. If they could get that and then make something happen on their end of the floor, they stood a chance. In those two key possessions, Marquette’s Jimmy Butler hit three-pointers. One was a shot-clock beater and the other was a circus shot from far beyond the arc. Marquette won 76-70. That sums up what’s going on with Syracuse basketball. Not to absolve them of blame, but the Basketball God simply do not want SU to win basketball games right now. Opponents are hitting three-pointers at absurd levels and at any given crucial moment, way beyond what’s explainable by bad defense. We have lost the favor of the Gods. I’m not entirely sure why and I don’t know how to fix it. But we better figure it out ASAP cause the season is starting to slip away.” (Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician or Cracked Sidewalks)
  • #12 Purdue 73, #19 Minnesota 61: Purdue showed signs of turning things around with a huge win at home over the Gophers. (Boiled Sports or The Daily Gopher)
  • #14 Kentucky 66, Georgia 60: “Well, that was just lots of fun, wasn’t it? For a half, anyway. Outstanding effort by the Georgia Bulldogs. This was always going to be a tough game for them, especially under the difficult circumstances of their last game against the Florida Gators. But that, as they say, is life in the SEC. The ‘Dawgs came in and laid an egg in the first half. They came back and played well in the second and watched Kentucky lay an egg. In the end, both fan bases got one half of good basketball, and one half of crappy basketball. Kentucky won in the end. Good for us, bad for them.” (A Sea of Blue)
  • #17 Georgetown 62, #14 Louisville 59: “Look out world, Georgetown is a force again. The Hoyas completed an impressive Saturday-Monday stretch, beating Louisville 62-59 in Washington, DC Monday night. This victory came on the heels of a thrilling road victory over Villanova in Philadelphia on Saturday. Georgetown continues to feed off of its senior leaders, with Austin Freeman and Chris Wright setting the tone for this team.  Tonight Wright, the fiery point guard, carried Georgetown. He scored 24 points on 15 shots, while limiting reigning Big East Player of the Week Peyton Siva to 5 points on 5 shots.” (Casual Hoya or Card Chronicle)
  • #21 Georgetown 69, #6 Villanova 66: “The Hoyas are now 5-4 in the Big East, on a four game winning streak with Louisville coming to Washington, DC on Monday night. The eight day layoff between the games against Seton Hall and St. John’s have proven to be crucial for the Hoyas. John Thompson III’s shakeup of the starting lineup has paid huge dividends on the defensive end. The Hoyas of two weeks ago in no way resemble the outfit we saw Wednesday night and today.” (Casual Hoya)
  • #23 Michigan State 84, Indiana 83 (OT): “This was a fun, tightly-contested, up-and-down game from start to finish — even if both teams got a little tired in the waning minutes of regulation and into overtime. And even though it ended in a loss for Indiana, I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that it was an encouraging performance, as a lot of the good things Indiana brought against the Illini — heart, execution, intensity and effort — were more than apparent in the Breslin Center tonight. Indiana just ran out of gas in overtime. The Hoosiers went 2-of-10 in the extra frame, and couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end at all. Still, it was there for the taking, as Michigan State didn’t do anything to blow this one open in OT, either.” (Inside the Hall)

Other Games of Interest

  • Maryland 74, Georgia Tech 63: “Jordan Williams started a new double-double streak, racking up 21 points and 15 rebounds, and Sean Mosley scored an ACC season-high 16 points as Maryland defeated Georgia Tech, 74-63. The Terrapins have won their third straight game, raising their record to 14-7 overall and 4-3 in the ACC heading into a crucial matchup with Duke on Wednesday that very well may decide their NCAA Tournament fate. If tonight’s game was an indicator of what’s to come, it was a pretty encouraging one.” (Testudo Times)
  • Tennessee 74, Mississippi 57: “The numbers suggest the outcome – when you see that Ole Miss shot a stunning 16 of 60 (26.7%) from the field and an even worse 4 of 20 (20.0%) from the arc, and you factor in their 16 turnovers and the Vols’ massive +13 rebounding advantage, a 17 point win isn’t surprising. But if you didn’t see this thing, you’d probably be very surprised to hear that the game was tied at halftime, and that the Vols led by just two at 47-45 with 12:30 remaining.” (Rocky Top Talk)
  • UNC 84, NC State 64: “Barnes had nine points of UNC’s opening 13-2 run, and State never recovered from the initial shock. The Wolfpack would never cut the lead to less than nine, while Barnes would finish with 25 points on 10-16 shooting. More importantly, he was relaxed and all smiles for an audience that included a group of his high school teachers. He often out-hustled multiple State players to lose balls, and really elevated his game. While his closing effort against Miami was too short of a spurt to promise a new and improved player, this game is a heartening sign; if he plays the same against Boston College, it’s enough to call it a trend.” (Carolina March)
  • UCLA 73, Arizona State 72: “I guess we have to keep waiting for UCLA to play a full 40 minutes. Despite some atrocious refereeing in the first half, the Bruins showed mental toughness, composure, smart play and the energy necessary to get wins on the road in the Pac-10. Then the second half started and the Bruins are horrific in every sense, allowing a terrible Arizona St. team to make a comeback, force overtime and bring the topic of refereeing back into the discussion, when it should never be for the Bruins in this type of game.” (Bruins Nation)
  • Texas Tech 75, Oklahoma State 74: “Everybody ready to fill out that NIT bracket? OSU was the better, more talented team, but that doesn’t matter on the road in the Big 12. Although you’d think the whole “playing on the road in the Big 12″ thing would kind of be negated by the fact that the United Spirit arena looked like it was hosting a neutral site non-conference mid-November game. We like to complain about our fans but that was ridiculous.” (Pistols Firing)
  • Michigan 87, Iowa 73: “It was perhaps the most enjoyable Michigan game to watch all year. It featured everything from 60-foot assists, follow up dunks, a barrage of three pointers, and even a rare triple double. Darius Morris was the catalyst, notching a triple double, but he had plenty of help. Morris’ support cast shot the ball extremely well and allowed him to do what he does best: distribute the ball.” (UM Hoops)
  • Virginia Tech 72, Miami (FL) 68: “Jeff Allen recorded his ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and 11 rebounds to help the Hokies hold off visiting Miami for a 72-68 win. Erick Green scored 15 points and had six assists. The sophomore guard from Winchester, Va., has scored at least 10 points in 11 of the 12 games he’s started.” (Tech Hoops)
  • Canisius 69, Niagara 54: “Julius Coles led a quartet of Griffins in double figures, Greg Logins registered a double-double and Elton Frazier added to his highlight reel as Canisius defeated cross-town Niagara Purple Eagles 69-54 in Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference action at the Koessler Athletic Center.” (Pickin Splinters)
  • St. Bonaventure 69, Fordham 60: “St. Bonaventure bounced back from a tough home loss to UMASS on Wednesday, defeating Fordham 69-60 at Rose Hill on Saturday.” (Villanova by the Numbers)

Pre-Game Analysis

  • #13 Purdue at #16 Wisconsin: “If Wisconsin men’s basketball team is to pull into a second-place tie in the loss column of the Big Ten conference race Tuesday, it is going to be because Bo Ryan’s top pair comes up bigger than Purdue coach Matt Painter’s does.” (Bucky’s 5th Quarter)

News/Analysis

  • As player of the year buzz grows, Kemba Walker struggling to live up to the hype: “Kemba Walker is arguably the best scorer in all of college basketball. He’s the go-to scorer on the No. 6 team in the country, a player so adept at attacking the rim that he scores on average more than all but one player in all of college basketball. But because he’s so good at scoring, the junior may not even be the best offensive option on his own team any more.” (The UConn Blog)
  • And the Home of the What?: An Open Letter to Jayhawk Fans: “As some  of you know, I am scheduled to sing the National Anthem at the next KU home game, Feb. 7, against Mizzou. Obviously, I’m thrilled and humbled to have the opportunity, especially for such a big game. But I’m also concerned. I noticed this when I first sang the anthem at Allen Fieldhouse last season, and unfortunately it reared its ugly head again for the entire nation to see on College Gameday last Saturday. Therefore, I have a simple request:  please, please, please stop with this “home of the CHIEFS!!!” nonsense at the end of our National Anthem.” (Rock Chalk Talk)
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Duke Week: “Everybody’s favorite week has arrived: that’s right, it’s Duke Week (replete with a sanctioned post-game bonfire, which is sure to stop any and all riotous activity should Maryland pull out the victory). Wednesday’s game int he Comcast Center is crucial for a lot of reasons, mostly ones with NCAA tournament implications, but it’s mostly important because it’s Duke. ‘Nuff said.” (Testudo Times)
  • DJO: Dominating the Big East: “When Buzz Williams welcomed Darius Johnson-Odom to the Marquette campus two years ago, few expected the Raleigh product to emerge as a dominant player. At the time, Johnson-Odom was a late addition to a promising class that carried with it the burden of bridging the program out of the Three Amigos Era. In short order he became much more than that.” (Cracked Sidewalks)
  • Tobias Harris and Meighan Simmons: Hitting the Freshman Wall: Taking a look at a pair of Volunteer freshmen who have struggled lately. (Rocky Talk Top)
  • Sullinger gets open late in the game: Breaking down the play that allowed the Buckeyes to survive their trip to Evanston. (The Mikan Drill)
  • Latest Drama in Howland’s Joyless “Soft” UCLA Program: “I realize many here will not be very happy with the title of the post. It’s a bit jarring. It seems out of place especially after we are coming off a road victory which gave us a much needed split in the Arizona road trip to keep our tourney hopes alive. But if you read through the game threads of last 2.5 seasons, you will find that is exactly how you would describe the state of our collective minds when it comes to following this program. Except for one game – BYU – UCLA basketball has been excruciating to watch this season. Last year was a total disaster.The year before the team fell apart during second half after Jrue Holiday all but tuned out Ben Howland following the implosion against Washington State at Pauley. Watching this team game after game has become a chore.” (Bruins Nation)
  • No Margin For Error – The Most Crucial Week Of Ben Howland’s Career At UCLA: “The Bruins as of now have an identifiable and very possible path into the NCAA tournament, but there is little room for error. Given the weakness of the Pac-10 again this year, we cannot count on a 2004-05 like performance (18 wins, 1st round conference tourney exit) equaling a tourney at-large bid. In at-large bid terms, 20 regular season wins has to be seen as a floor, and I feel a lot more comfortable with 21 (21-10) as a reasonable number to get in. To get to 21 wins, we need to win 7 of the final 10 games; with the always tricky Bay Area trip, as well traveling to the Pallouse and the excruciating game in Seattle still to come, we have to take every win that can be had. Sweep the weekend, and the squad has some breathing room on the path to 21. Fail to do so, and there becomes no room for error.” (Bruins Nation)
  • Film Session: A trip to the Breslin Center: Breaking down Indiana’s near-upset of Michigan State in East Lansing through a couple of key plays. (Inside the Hall)
  • Film Session: A look at The Win: Looking back at the decisive plays in Indiana’s big win over Illinois. (Inside the Hall)
  • Big East Basketball Power Rankings Week 12: There has been quite bit of movement in the Big East although the top team remains the same. (The UConn Blog)
  • Big Ten power rankings: Week 6: The top two teams in the Big Ten are pretty clear at this point in the season, but the rest of the conference is a little less clear. (Inside the Hall)
  • Big Ten Roundup: January 31st, 2011: Taking a look at the Big Ten through advanced metrics. (UM Hoops)
  • Texas Basketball Report 4.5: Dare To Dream Big: “After last season’s disastrous collapse, it is perhaps understandable that so many have been hesitant to believe in Texas as a Final Four contender again. Not only that, but heading into this season Texas was considered by most to be the fourth- or fifth-best team in the conference. Both Wiggins and I thought we were looking at a 21-10, 10-6 type of team. Hopefully a good enough team by February to have a fair shot at being a No. 6 seed. But here we are with just one game left in the month of January and Texas is 18-3 overall, 6-0 in Big 12 play, and one of the leaders in the clubhouse for a No. 1 seed. If the season ended today, Rick Barnes would be your national Coach of the Year. And though for reasons I’ll explain in more detail below I’ve been hesitant to pull the trigger on endorsing Texas’ fans dreams of a trip to Houston, that ship has sailed. This team is one of the best in the country, and a Final Four contender. A national title contender.” (Burnt Orange Nation)
nvr1983 (1317 Posts)


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