|Syracuse: still only has one loss thanks to Kris Joseph's clutch shooting Wednesday night. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday night’s reaffirming slate of games …
Game of the Night: Syracuse and Georgetown was the better game. And that's the tremendous thing about it. When most of the sports world tuned in to ESPN to watch two classic hoops rivalries, both tilts delivered in a huge way. And Syracuse and Georgetown better continue to play games at the Carrier Dome going forward. (Syracuse is headed to the ACC very soon.) The sweet came in the way the overtime played out. The Orange -- who, by the way, will get overshadowed again thanks to Austin Rivers -- played terribly but still got the win, 64-61 in the extra session. Jim Boeheim's angry with the world, even though he passed Dean Smith's record for all-time wins, now owning 880.Game of the Night, No. 2: Duke and Carolina added a thick chapterto the sport's best rivalry. This comeback doesn't top Duke's against Maryland more than a decade ago, but it's close. UNC had no business losing that game at home. We'll have more on the site soon, and you can check Parrish's reaction from Chapel Hill in the post below this one.
Win to brag about: Notre Dame is an 8-3 Big East team. This is 10 times more shocking than Jeremy Lin’s week. Mike Brey’s team is headed to the tournament so long as it avoids the fact that it is Notre Dame and is playing each game with pixie dust. The Irish went on the road and won against West Virginia, 55-51. Notre Dame's tremendous season takes another back seat tonight because of the other two huge games.
Loss to hide from: Baylor, you can't hide tonight. You want to. Most will overlook you, but I won't. Not here. Awful performance by the Bears, who got punked at home by Kansas, 68-54. Baylor's soft. It plays in stretches that mirror the kind of effort you see from bad JV teams at the end of the season. Baylor could win every game from now until the end of the Big 12 tournament: it’s still not getting a one seed. The Bears got conclusively slammed to the mat by Kansas tonight. Great for the Jayhawks, who might just end up winning the damn Big 12 again, against some serious odds, but Baylor's bandwagon emptied, and they should be mocked for how they laid down.
Loss to hide from: It’s not hard to win at Boston College. But it’s hard for Florida State, which is building up quite the bipolar resume. The Seminoles leave Beantown with a 64-60 loss in their pockets. PUKE.
Player who deserves improper benefits: Austin Rivers. Twenty-nine on the road in the biggest game of his life to date. Then he hits the game-winning 3 over the other player who'd played so well, Tyler Zeller. Watershed moment tonight for Rivers and his role on this team going forward. Toss him the keys, K.
Another player who deserves improper benefits: Jeff Withey's career-high 25 for Kansas deserves recognition. Incredible job by him tonight, pulling Kansas to a runaway win.
Numbers don’t lie
- 46-4. According to my man John Gasaway, Drexel, VCU, ODU, George Mason and Georgia St. are 46-4 against the rest of the CAA. Wowow.
- 28-1. And if you thought that was dominance, consider LIU Brooklyn, Wagner and St. Francis (NY) are 28-1 vs. NEC foes.
- 6. In the NEC, Wagner reached 20 wins. Sixth time it's done it.
- 33%. That's Wake coach Jeff Bzdelik's record in the ACC to date. Among the worst in league history. the worst coach in recent ACC history? Bob Wade won 41% of games. Les Robinson, 44%. Buzz: 33%.
- 10. Zeller needs another bump for his play which was so good until the end, when he inadvertently tipped in a Duke ball, missed a free throw and didn't get a hand in Rivers' face before the game-winner. Zeller's now at 10 double-doubles this season, which is twice as many as he had in the past three years.
Three other notable results
- Southern Miss goes into UAB and takes on some water, falling 71-61, losing its second C-USA game.
- I sold too soon on Saint Louis, which got to 7-3 in the A10 tonight with a 72-60 win at St. Joe’s tonight. Billikens will be a tournament team.
- La Salle lost 78-76 at mediocre Richmond tonight, and so their Atlantic 10 honeymoon is officially over.
- So long as I’m in charge of Night Court, you won’t see another Arkansas result passed along. The Hogs fell 81-59 AT GEORGIA, and remain winless on the road this season. Mike Anderson’s team was never a serious NCAA tournament threat, but this cements their complete irrelevance this season.
- I almost want to go there with Pitt, but I’ll still hold out and see what the Panthers can scrounge up down the stretch. Pitt fell at South Florida tonight, swiftly debunking a lot of the good ink they’d gotten over the past two weeks. Also not a tournament team.
- After 15 straight wins by the MAC East over the MAC West, Toledo's 77-73 W against Ohio ends the intra-conference massacre.
- Seton Hall avoided a season-ending loss tonight at Rutgers. Giants wide receive Victor Cruz was there to watch.