What’s Trending: Brawls, Bulldogs and a Boisterous Brey

Posted by Matt Eisenberg on January 27th, 2020

What’s Trending is a column examining the week that was in college basketball social media. Matthew Eisenberg (@matteise) is your weekly host.

As the final seconds ticked away in a lopsided Kansas win over intrastate rival Kansas State last week, what appeared to be normal ending of a blowout turned into anything but normal…

Bill Self spoke on the matter postgame and provided context: While it’s not always seen, every coach should be thrilled with the hustle of his players while time remains on the clock. He felt that DaJuan Gordon stealing the ball as well as Silvio De Sousa running him down and blocking his shot should also be applauded. But the line was crossed when De Sousa taunted Gordon after the clock struck zero, not before that point.

Allen Fieldhouse was not the only place with controversy between players. At Purdue, Illinois’ Alan Griffin blatantly stepped on Purdue’s Sasha Stefanovic in the opening minutes of the game.

In this week’s edition of “What Could Go Wrong College Officiating…,” Notre Dame found itself on the wrong end of the truly bizarre and wacky. Trailing by six points, the Irish forced a Florida State miss and grabbed the defensive rebound. Unfortunately for Notre Dame, the clock operator placed just 20 seconds on the shot clock. Somehow no one caught the mistake, leading to this fruitless rushed possession…

After the game, Mike Brey did not mince words about the officials. He even also threw out a theory that Notre Dame’s decision to remain independent in football results in unfair treatment by the ACC when it comes to basketball.

When it comes to coaches trolling others, though, no one enjoys throwing shade quite like Kentucky’s John Calipari. In Calipari’s latest quest to annoy Indiana, Coach Cal took a chance to compare Texas Tech’s “classy crowd” with the “just disgusting” group of fans from that place he won’t go back to…

While Calipari stole the show after the game with his quote, it was the play of Nick Richards that stole the show during the Wildcats’ key win at Texas Tech. Richards matched his career-high with 25 points and added 14 rebounds in the overtime victory. After scoring in double-figures just twice a season ago, Richards has now scored 10 or more points in 15 of 19 games and 20 or more points five times this season.

In Ann Arbor over the weekend, Illinois bested Michigan in the waning seconds behind a tightly contested jumper drained by Ayo Dosunmu. The Illini have now won six straight in Big Ten play, three of which have been on the road. Now tied at the top of the league standings, Illinois gets three of its next four games at home.

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It was a tale of two halves in the desert over the weekend in a game between Arizona and Arizona State. In the opening 20 minutes, Sean Miller’s squad led by as many as 22-points and appeared to be well on their way to another easy win. Then in the second half, things fell apart as Arizona State ultimately stole the game and handed Arizona its third consecutive conference loss on the road. Now just 4-6 in its last 10 contests, Arizona looks to end its road struggles as it gets ready for a pair in the state of Washington.

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While there was some action on the hardwood on Sunday, the news of the death of Kobe Bryant took center stage even in the college game. From the surprised look of Cassius Winston finding out the news…

…to Bryant’s impact on the women’s game, particularly with one of the nation’s very best players in Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu

Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim spent plenty of time with Bryant as part of Team USA and he too reflected on the news.

While the exact impact of a player at the collegiate or professional level can be tough to quantify, the numbers do not lie when it comes to the growth of the number of players who share the name of Kobe (or similar).

In lighter news, the world of college basketball was adorned to the newest live mascot, as Butler introduced Blue IV to the world. The cute little bulldog instantly became a favorite to land on any All-American mascot team this season.

Matthew Eisenberg (110 Posts)


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