College Basketball Weekend Update: Boston College Provides Sunday Night Shocker

Jonathan LintnerSenior Analyst IJanuary 4, 2009

Weekend Headliners

Boston College 85, No. 1 North Carolina 78

In the aftermath of Boston College’s victory over North Carolina, it’s hard to believe the game actually happened. The country had hopped on the bandwagon, expecting undefeated, only for it to be snatched at the most unlikely of times—on the Tar Heels’ home court against a young, inexperienced team picked to finish second-to-last in the ACC.

Tyrese Rice, famous for causing a near-upset of North Carolina last season, piled up 25 points and eight assists to lead the Eagles.

But the key to Boston College’s victory laid not in what the Eagles did. Put this loss on the poor shooting of North Carolina. On one possession late in the game, the Heels missed three open three-pointers in a row and ended up 28-of-73 for the game.

UNC standout Tyler Hansbrough met the free throw line 27 times and capitalized on only 15 chances. Deon Thompson was 2-of-6 from the field and Ty Lawson an awful 3-of-13.

Bottom line, North Carolina wins this game nine times out of 10, but this was the loss every great team needs to get grounded again.

No. 3 Pittsburgh 70, No. 8 Georgetown 54

The doubters said Pittsburgh’s non-conference schedule wasn’t strong enough. On Saturday, the Panthers proved it didn’t need to be, dismantling Georgetown on the Hoyas’ home court.

Coming off a dominating upset of UConn last week, it was Georgetown who carried momentum into its second straight top-five match-up of the season. Pittsburgh had struggled just to beat Rutgers and Florida State, but through experience in the backcourt and mismatches in the post, the Panthers were able to win without ever trailing and solidify themselves as a forerunner for the Big East title.

For every good thing Georgetown did against Connecticut, Pitt seemed to do it better. Scrappy rebounding and execution in half court situations and full court run-outs keyed an easy win for the Panthers.

The ball was falling into the Panther’s hands as they gathered multiple offensive rebounds off the bounce in the second half. Pittsburgh out-rebounded Georgetown 35-14 overall and 11-2 on the offensive end alone.

Louisville’s Sosa Plays Positive Head Games

Rick Pitino joked following Louisville’s 74-71 win over Kentucky that he conferred with point guard Edgar Sosa last Friday about transferring to a school that doesn’t play defense. Sosa responded, scoring a season-high 18 points including a buzzer-beating 30 footer with two seconds left.

The Cardinals played their most complete game of the season, featuring cutthroat defense and a solid three-point shooting from a hibernating Jerry Smith. The Kentucky game was a turning point for Louisville last season, and the story could be the same for 2009.

Minnesota Over Ohio State: Not an Upset?

Some people are tailor made for a job, and that describes Tubby Smith at Minnesota. In just his second year as head coach of the Golden Gophers, the program has experienced a resurgence that sits them at No. 21 in the nation, and potentially higher after knocking off Ohio State 68-59 last Saturday.

Minnesota shot the three ball well and executed its offense to Smith-style perfection, scoring easy baskets on backdoor cuts and ball screens—just how Smith drew it up.

Jayhawks Hand Vols Another Loss

Up 35-22 late in the first half, Kansas coach Bill Self collected a technical foul. His team didn’t respond to its coach’s anger by falling apart or making a run, but instead continued to play the same up-tempo style that got them a double digit lead in less than 20 minutes of play. The Jayhawks extended their home winning streak to 33 despite losing over 80 percent of their scoring from last year in a 92-85 win.

Tennessee is currently the only ranked team from the SEC at No. 18. With their latest loss, the Volunteers could fall out and leave the conference with nothing in the polls.

Wake Ends the Streak

Kansas may have continued its home winning streak, but BYU’s nation-leading 53-game streak came to an end after Wake Forest ended up on the plus side of a 94-87 shootout.

Down eight early in the second half, it appeared that BYU would extend the lead behind an electric audience of 26,096--the second largest ever in the Marriot Center. Instead, Jeff Teague and the hottest team in the country responded, trading leads through the final minutes with water bottles flying on the floor and Cougar coach Dave Rose working the PA in an attempt to hold back crazy fans.

Red Storm Surge Over Irish

Notre Dame now holds the nation’s longest home winning streak, but they didn’t have the luxury of playing in South Bend against St. John’s. Anything can happen in Madison Square Garden, and an unlikely scenario played out on Saturday when the Red Storm defeated the Irish 71-65.

When St. John’s went up eight late in the second half, the game looked to be over. Luke Harangody disagreed, and trimmed the deficit to one in the game’s final moments almost single-handedly. Clutch free throw shooting from D.J. Kennedy (5-of-6 in the last 15 seconds) was enough to transform Harangody’s fouls into an upset win, handing Notre Dame its third loss of the season.

Still Undefeated

Clemson pushed its record to 14-0 for the second time in three years with a 79-66 win over East Carolina.

Illinois State beat fellow Valley competitor Creighton 86-64 to go to 14-0.

Pittsburgh and Wake Forest both remained undefeated as a result of last weekend's games.


    Trae Just Enjoying the Moment: 'It's a Dream Come True'

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Trae Just Enjoying the Moment: 'It's a Dream Come True'

    Yaron Weitzman
    via Bleacher Report

    Where Does UNC Stand with 5-Star Vernon Carey?

    UNC Basketball logo
    UNC Basketball

    Where Does UNC Stand with 5-Star Vernon Carey?

    Keeping It Heel
    via Keeping It Heel

    Report: UConn Found Ollie Committed Multiple Violations

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Report: UConn Found Ollie Committed Multiple Violations

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    Ayton 'Overwhelming' Favorite to Go No. 1 in NBA Draft

    College Basketball logo
    College Basketball

    Ayton 'Overwhelming' Favorite to Go No. 1 in NBA Draft

    Kyle Newport
    via Bleacher Report