Blog Entry

Night Court: Kentucky should run the table

Posted on: February 11, 2012 6:32 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2012 11:44 pm
Chace Stanback and UNLV made big defensive plays down the stretch to hold off San Diego State. (AP)

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By Matt Norlander and Jeff Borzello

Game of the Night: Vanderbilt made the charge. It took the lead back from Kentucky in the middle of the second half. Then it didn't score in the final four minutes and seven seconds, and Kentucky remained the best team in college basketball. Wildcats 69, 'Dores 63. Anthony Davis will now wrestle the title of Player of the Year away from Thomas Robinson. That's a debate for later in the week, though. Davis had 16 points and seven blocks. He completely changed how Vanderbilt attacked inside.

The Wildcats only have incalculable Miss State and flaky Florida left to play on the road. Then comes the SEC tournament, where Kentucky fans will smother the joint. The chances this team gets to the NCAA tournament 33-1 are better than not, even if Ken Pomeroy is telling us otherwise.

Game of the Day: OK, we absolutely need a rubber match between San Diego State and UNLV. The first game ended on a Jamaal Franklin layup at the buzzer. Saturday’s contest didn’t have a buzzer-beater, but it took a Justin Hawkins offensive rebound, free throw and steal in the final 10 seconds to give UNLV a 65-63 win. The Runnin’ Rebels went four minutes without a field goal down the stretch, but they constantly came up with huge defensive plays – including Chace Stanback knocking the ball away from Franklin in the final minute. These two are now tied atop the Mountain West standings, along with New Mexico.

Michigan State now clearly worthy of a two seed. (AP)

Spartans Final Four-worthy: Michigan State got a road win at Ohio State and did it by shoving Ohio State's head into the ground. According to this tipster, Ohio State was less than 30 percent in eFG% first time since late 2007 against Texas A&M. A 58-48 outcome has to make you wonder if the Spartans will be ranked higher than the Buckeyes come Monday. What's clear after this: Tom Izzo is in the thick of the Coach of the Year race again.

Also clear: Ohio State can't be considered on the same level as Kentucky and Syracuse and Missouri. Not at this moment. Jared Sullinger was able to score 17, grab 16 rebounds ... but also had 10 turnovers. It was the eighth time this season a player had at least 10 giveaways. The other seven times, it was a guard with all those donations.

Second-tier game with significance: Reminiscent of its series of comebacks in December, Louisville ended its game at West Virginia on a 13-3 run to beat the Mountaineers in the final minute. There was some questionable calls late in the game that had Bob Huggins heated in the postgame – again. Kyle Kuric tied the game on a 3-pointer with two minutes left, then had the game-clinching steal and free throws in the last 10 seconds. West Virginia has now lost five of its last six, putting itself squarely in bubble trouble.

Saturday all-stars

  1. Jeff Withey had 18 points, 19 rebounds and seven blocks to lead Kansas to an 81-66 win over Oklahoma State. He’s become such an underrated cog for the Jayhawks.
  2. Notre Dame’s Jack Cooley shot 10-for-12 from the field, finishing with 22 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in a win over DePaul. He’s making a case for the all-Big East team.
  3. Andrew Nicholson notched a Dwight Howard-esque performance, going for 21 points and 23 rebounds in St. Bonaventure’s win over Duquesne.
  4. Penn State’s Tim Frazier nearly racked up a triple-double against Nebraska, putting up 23 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He also had three steals.

Numbers don't lie

30. Kent State has now won 30 consecutive games against MAC West opponents dating back to 2008.
3. Prior to today, Virginia hadn't lost this season by more than three points.
22. The number of rebounds for Miles Plumlee, one of the best performances around the tin in Duke history.
12-for-12. Indiana State made the most 3s without a miss in a game in NCAA history.
664. Roy Williams tied John Wooden with 664 wins, 23rd all-time.
23. It's been 23 years since Harvard has won at Princeton.

Other Saturday action worth your attention

  • Missouri knocked down 14 3-pointers and Baylor stubbornly stayed in its zone all game, as Tigers rolled to a 72-57 win. Read more about this game here.
  • Murray State has no hangover. The Racers defeated Austin Peay, 82-63.
  • Temple's an 8-2 A10 team after its home win over Xavier to the tune of 85-72. Owls are working their way toward another seven seed, just like last year. Xavier's tripping over itself on the way to the First Four or the NIT.
  • Florida State pulled out a five-point win over Miami (Fla.). The Hurricanes have a nice win over Duke from last weekend, but they need more beef on their profile.
  • Marquette got down 16-4 early to Cincinnati, but the Golden Eagles came back and won in a blowout. They made 32 of their last 53 shots.
  • Kansas State blew a 13-point lead to Texas, as the Longhorns now throw themselves squarely in the bubble picture. Kansas State is too inconsistent.
  • Good night, Davidson’s at-large hopes. The Wildcats lost to Charleston.
  • VCU is hitting its stride at the right time, as the Rams went into Old Dominion and knocked off the Monarchs.
  • In its first game since Austin Rivers’ big shot, Duke suffered a bit of a hangover against Maryland – but the Blue Devils made a nice second half run to get a win.


  1. With Kent State’s win over Ball State, the Golden Flashes have now swept the MAC West in four straight seasons.
  2. The Atlantic-10 could be seeing a little bit of separation at the top. Saint Louis went on the road and beat La Salle today – could the Billikens win out?
  3. Alabama suspended Trevor Releford, JaMychal Green and Andrew Steele indefinitely, days after suspended Tony Mitchell. The Crimson Tide are going to have trouble making the NCAA tournament without them.
  4. Will Yeguete was knocked unconscious in Florida's bad, bad home loss to Tennessee. It's been diagnosed as a concussion  and due to the 10 stitches in Yeguete's head, he's out indefinitely.

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2012 12:15 pm

Night Court: Kentucky should run the table

Interesting theory, but explain this:  If there is a conspiracy against WVU, then why were they only whistled for 16 fouls (including the late foul they intentionally committed after Kyle Kuric stole the pass to Kevin Jones with 5 seconds remaining) to the 23 fouls called on Louisville???  Why was WVU already in the double bonus with 10 minutes to go in the second half???  Why did WVU shoot 27 free throws (and miss ten of them) to Louisville only shooting 15 (and taking advantage of all but 2)???  There's winners and there's losers and some of the losers happen to be sore ones.  It's probably not being lost on Big XII officials who must be realizing the more they hear WVU fans bawling that they picked the wrong horse.

Since: Feb 12, 2012
Posted on: February 12, 2012 11:15 am

Night Court: Kentucky should run the table

WV is leaving the sinking BE. Like any scorned mate-the BE (officials) are taking out their anger on the Mountaineers. I know it sounds like a conspiracy theory but I go to ALL of the home games and see first hand what is happening. During the L'ville-WVU game yesterday, Pitino was out on the court the entire game-at one point he actually blocked a transition in front of the officials with no call. The fouls called were absolutely biased. Even the rythym of the game was controlled by the officials. The players had to adjust their game because of the way the game was being called. I usually don't buy in to the officials "fixing" a game but this season has convinced me there is something to this phenomenon. WVU made mistakes and went cold but was it forced by the calls? All I know is WVU is not going to get a fair shake with the remaining BE games and I can't wait for the 'eers to start competing in the Big 12.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:25 am

Night Court: Kentucky should run the table

maybe Huggy bear has made too many enemies over the decades......

Since: Sep 5, 2011
Posted on: February 12, 2012 9:44 am

Night Court: Kentucky should run the table

WVU loses to Baylor in final seconds on ? call.
WVU loses to Syracuse due to a no-called foul.
WVU loses to Louisville after several ? calls.

I'm begining to suspect there is a conspiracy.

Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: February 12, 2012 1:18 am

Night Court: Kentucky should run the table


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