Dominique Jones is Superman. South Florida 72, #8 Georgetown 64. A few days after getting its best win of the year against Pittsburgh at home, South Florida outdid itself tonight with a major upset at Georgetown to move back into the middle of the pack at 5-5 in the Big East race and put the Bulls squarely into the NCAA Tournament picture. The primary reason for the recent four-game surge, of course, has been the astounding play of guard Dominique Jones, who dropped another 29 points (plus 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals) to give him a ridiculous 140 points in the last four games (all USF wins, mind you). Georgetown, coming off a big win versus Duke and looking ahead to a huge game this weekend against Villanova, may have found itself lacking focus, but as usual, the Hoyas’ fortunes came down to the offensive play of Chris Wright, and he was not good. His 3-10 shooting included 0-6 from deep, and even though Greg Monroe (21/8/3 blks) and Austin Freeman produced (21 pts), it wasn’t enough for the Hoyas to survive. Monroe was in foul trouble in the second half, which undoubtedly ended the Hoyas’ chances as soon as he left the floor. We’d like to believe that this was a minor blip on the Hoya season exacerbated by a player hitting on all cylinders and a motivated team, but we have a feeling that Georgetown’s margin for error is just so incredibly slim because of the complete lack of quality depth. Where’s Vernon Macklin and Jeremiah Rivers when you need them?
Backyard Brawl, Literally. #6 West Virginia 70, #21 Pittsburgh 51. WVU easily handled Pitt tonight in the Backyard Brawl tonight, with solid games from Da’Sean Butler (18/5) and Kevin Jones (16/6), but it was an incident late in the game with the Mountaineers up twelve that makes you wonder what the hell is in the water in Morgantown these days. Just days after the WVU student section took heat for their uncouth behavior during the Louisville game, and barely 15-20 minutes after Bob Huggins excoriated the crowd for throwing things onto the court, someone threw a coin from the stands (see below), hitting Pitt assistant coach Tom Herrion just below the eye. The incident that inspired the bad behavior wasn’t even all that rage-inducing, as a couple of players got tangled up when a ref got under them and everyone fell to the ground. There certainly weren’t any punches thrown, and neither player seemed all that upset with the play. Pitt’s hot start to the Big East season has officially come to a grinding halt with this loss (four in five games), shooting just 30% and handing out just five assists in this one. The Panthers get Seton Hall at home prior to hosting WVU again next week — these unbalanced schedules are crazy, eh? Final thought – WVU’s Deniz Kilicli came off the bench for nine points on 4-4 shooting in only seven minutes – what a debut for Bob Huggins’ new big man.