Conference Games of Note
In the Big East, Notre Dame and Louisville entertained us with a back-and-forth game that went to OT before Louisville eventually wore down the Irish, pulling away for a confidence-boosting 87-73 win.
This just in: Luke Harangody is good. He always gets his numbers, but he also gets the other team’s best shot—and cheap shots. Basically, the Gody is the Big East’s version of Tim Tebow, except he’s uncharismatic, somewhat flaccid, and doesn’t have near the lady following. But Harangody, like Tebow, definitely enjoys a challenge and a little good old-fashioned smack talk.
Moments after some early shoving and jawing with Samardo Samuels, Harangody went off, hitting the Cards up for 14 first-half points and 28 overall. He also nabbed 13 rebounds on the night.
With Notre Dame’s offense clicking on all cylinders, yours truly wondered if Louisville could keep up with the high-scoring Irish, but Mr. Versatility himself, Terrence Williams, saw that they did, leading the Cards with a video game line of 24 points, 16 rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and a hilarious interview with Jay Bilas at the end of the game.
Pitino’s boys had an answer for everything, and Louisville’s bench made the difference, as the heavily fatigued Notre Dame team mustered only two points in overtime.
Over in the Big 12, Oklahoma snapped a six-game losing streak to Texas, who appeared to be boycotting defense. Rick Barnes took notice of his team’s lack of effort and promptly showed more emotion and fire at halftime than he has in his entire career.
You should be mad, Rick. Your leading scorer launched 15 treys and only made three, and your second-leading scorer, Damion James, had zero points and zero rebounds at intermission.
For the Sooners, it was the same old story, with Blake Griffin’s double-double leading the team. Willie Warren was all over the place, and Tony Crocker wore his pajamas again.
Quick question for Texas: What exactly are you doing?
Meanwhile, I can’t stop writing about VMI, the new King of the Big South.
Last Monday they pulled off a thriller without their two top scorers, Chavis and Travis Holmes (combined 40 ppg). This past Saturday, the Keydets won a one-point nail-biter with Travis still out with an injury.
And just last night, VMI continued its dominance with a convincing 90-75 win over Presbyterian, the 10th straight for the Keydets, who are now 6-0 in conference play and 14-2 overall.
I’m making the case today, in January: VMI should make the tournament even if they stumble in the Big South conference tournament. Throw them an at-large bid in that case. Extend the invitation now, for crying out loud. Let the country watch the highlight show ensue.
Because let’s be honest, what would you rather watch: a predictable and lame SEC team go through the motions while barely putting up a fight, or the highest scoring team in the nation fluster and give fits to some poor team, much like VMI did in their season opening 111-103 win over Kentucky—a team headed to the dance, by the way.
Earl Clark replays: Clark’s absolute funk on Luke Harangody is coming to a YouTube near you. Just plain nasty.
Mike Brey’s mock turtlenecks: It’s time for an intervention. Would it kill his kids to get the guy a tie every once in a while?
Apparently there is a school called Talladega College, and their mascot is the Tornado. Well, they lost in overtime last night to Savannah State, 78-70. The Tornadoes only managed three points in the extra period and lost a heartbreaker.
Hey, if you ain’t first, you’re last.
After last night, Independent schools Bryant University, Houston Baptist, NC Central, and NJIT are a combined 3-63. The good news is that they get to play one another soon, so hopefully one of them can figure out a way to get a W.
The best-laid plans
After beating Oklahoma and Texas, the Arkansas Razorbacks opened SEC play with a listless 14-point loss to Mississippi State at home over the weekend. This week they head on the road for their next two games, traveling to Ole Miss and Florida. Just another reminder about how bad the SEC is, I guess.
If Wake Forest can beat BC this Wednesday, their game at Clemson this Saturday will be an epic battle of unbeatens and will give the winner a leg up on the conference race.
Speaking of the ACC conference race: UNC is currently in the cellar. The cellar.
Chicago State’s David Holston, the nation’s third-leading scorer, dropped 32 on Longwood but recorded the double-double no one wants, notching 10 turnovers on the night.
The SEC has exactly one ranked team in the polls: No. 25 Tennessee.
Kentucky’s Patrick Patterson is averaging 19 points per game and is shooting 71 percent from the field. Is it just me, or should this kid be taking more shots?