What’s Trending: The Wild and Crazy Continues On and Off the Floor

Posted by Matt Eisenberg on February 10th, 2020

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

In a season in which North Carolina was sitting at 3-8 in the ACC — its worst start to conference play since the 2009-10 season — expectations of an upset of Duke were far from high, even in Chapel Hill. That said, in a season where the only thing expected is the unexpected, the Tar Heels were clicking on all cylinders and appeared to be in total control of the rivalry game on Saturday evening. With just over four minutes to go, North Carolina led Duke, 77-64. Then Tre Jones took over. An 18-7 Duke run cut the lead to just two with a mere four seconds left on the clock. Then, this happened…

https://twitter.com/espn/status/1226314721319620614?s=20

A series of runs in overtime resulted in the game being tied again, with just 6.6 seconds left on the clock and Jones back at the charity stripe. Another miss, another tip-out, and another instant classic in the Duke-North Carolina rivalry.

While the unexpected has been the norm nearly everywhere this season, one of the few teams that has avoided the crazy has been Gonzaga. Mark Few’s squad sat at 24-1 heading into a weekend rivalry match-up at Saint Mary’s. Behind a blistering start, the Zags blew out the Gaels in a contest that was never close.

Gonzaga made a blistering 73.7 percent of its two-point attempts against Saint Mary’s. The Bulldogs have score 80 or more points in 16 of their past 17 games and currently lead the nation in offensive efficiency, a statistic of which they also led the nation in last season.

A little like Duke and North Carolina, Saturday’s SEC battle between Auburn and LSU was back and forth down the stretch. After Samir Doughty pushed the Auburn lead to three in the final minute, Skylar Mays cut the LSU deficit to just two points with 17 ticks left. LSU then forced a turnover and took the lead with a dunk. Auburn, now trailing by a point, put the ball in the hands of J’Von McCormick, a decision that would pay off handsomely…

It was a very strange week for Michigan’s Zavier Simpson. Off the court, more information trickled out regarding his recent one-game suspension. News that left many speechless…

On the court, Simpson found himself in the middle of a unique play near the end of Michigan’s game against Ohio State. Down one, Simpson drove the lane and was fouled by Ohio State’s Kyle Young. While a foul was called on Young, a replay showed that Simpson pulled on and tore Young’s jersey as he was falling the floor. A flagrant foul was called Ohio State walked away victorious…

https://twitter.com/BigTenNetwork/status/1224876480343101440?s=20

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, it was a week of coaches being annoyed by others. At Michigan State, Tom Izzo’s frustration came via Spartans’ fans lashing out at players on social media. Izzo made sure to express his displeasure with those fans in his postgame press conference…

While Izzo waited until after the game to express his feelings, Iowa’s Fran McCaffery had his outburst in the handshake line following Iowa’s win against Illinois. Circle March 8 on the calendar for the finale between these two teams…

The Buzz Williams era at Texas A&M has gotten off to a tough start. The Aggies began the week sitting at just 10-10, but that did not stop Wendell Mitchell and Quenton Jackson from teaming up for this “Dunk of the Month” nominee…

https://twitter.com/SECNetwork/status/1224913349386887170

Have I mentioned that this college basketball season has been full of the unexpected? Well, this weekend’s game between Butler and Villanova had a new “first” for the season. Early in the first half, the roof at Hinkle began to leak and the game was stopped… for a rain relay.

https://twitter.com/SeanAshWX/status/1225206675533127680?s=20

And finally, Bob Knight finally returned to Indiana. In a week where Big Ten coaches were certainly ornery, Knight’s return to his old home just felt right.

Matthew Eisenberg (105 Posts)


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