Court Awareness: Tuesday Night College Hoops Recap
College is really the only place where streaking is acceptable, and the campuses hosting last night's games provided plenty of that. There was Kentucky's nine-game win streak against Mississippi, Texas' 22-game win streak against Baylor, and Wisconsin's unlikely four-game losing streak.
Which streaks stayed alive?
Which were broken?
Find out in the Tuesday night recap...
Two weeks ago last night, Kentucky was on national television against Tennessee. Jodie Meeks exploded for a school-record 54 points on 15-of-22 shooting. Last night, in another nationally televised game, this one at Mississippi, Kentucky's star shot just 4-for-15 in an 85-80 loss.
It would be interesting to overhear a conversation between someone who only saw the Tennessee game and someone who watched Meeks for the first time last night.
The junior guard, who had been averaging 31 points per game in SEC play, managed to score 21 last night, but six of those came on threes in the final 13 seconds, when the game had already been decided. Ole Miss used a variety of tall, quick defenders to limit Meeks, who didn't convert a single field goal in the first half. He did get to the foul line often, where he was a perfect 10-for-10.
However, it was not enough. The Rebels grabbed several key offensive rebounds on a night they outrebounded No. 24 Kentucky 42-32. They also had three players who scored 20+ points, led by guard David Huertas, who scored 19 of his 21 in the second half.
Kentucky's win streak over Ole Miss? Snapped.
The first half of the game between Baylor and No. 11 Texas was not pretty. Yes, Rick Barnes may be stressing defense more than ever this year, but when two teams combine for a dismal 21-for-66 (32 percent) from the field, that's just ugly.
The scoring picked up after the intermission, though, and when it was all over, Texas had its 23rd consecutive win over its in-state rival, 78-72. The outcome may have been different had it not been for a couple crucial plays in the final minutes.
With just over four minutes remaining, Baylor's leading scorer, Curtis Jerrells, badly missed a three-point shot that would've given the Bears a one-point lead. He thought he was fouled and didn't hustle back on defense. Texas' Dogus Balbay looked like the roadrunner as he sprinted past three Baylor players and laid it in to give Texas a four-point lead.
Three missed foul shots by Baylor's Tweety Carter a few minutes later didn't help the Bears either.
With an early-season win over Arizona State and a 3-1 start to conference play, Baylor must have thought it could compete with the Big XII's big boys. But after a thrashing at the hands of Oklahoma last Saturday, and now a home court loss to Texas, coach Scott Drew has to be disappointed.
It doesn't get much easier for Baylor, which has to travel to Missouri next before coming home to face Kansas. With so many seniors contributing, the Bears must find a way to right the ship quickly.
Texas' win streak over Baylor? Alive.
Bucky's Not Used to This
There are only five teams in college basketball that have won 30 or more games each of the past two seasons. Can you name them?
Four of the schools probably won't surprise you—UNC, Kansas, Memphis, and UCLA—but the fifth might: Wisconsin. So it's certainly worth noting that the Badgers had lost four straight games going into Tuesday night's showdown with No. 16 Purdue, a team that had beat Wisconsin earlier this month.
Despite Keaton Nankivil's sweet shooting, Wisconsin fell to the Boilermakers 64-63, as Robbie Hummel's clutch three-pointer helped Purdue sweep the Badgers and hand Bo Ryan's squad its fifth straight loss.
The game was very physical from the start, as Wisconsin's 6'7", 220-pound forward Joe Krabbenhoft set a bone-rattling screen on 5'9", 165-pound guard Lewis Jackson before the first TV timeout. Krabbenhoft appeared to extend his forearm during the collision, one which sent Jackson to the bench looking woozy. Jackson did return and played 17 minutes.
Wisconsin, known for its stingy defense under Ryan, allowed Purdue to shoot a whopping 59.5 percent from the field. Purdue benefited from uncharacteristic defensive lapses, several of which led to open lay-ups. Even so, the Badgers appeared to have the game in hand until Purdue's 13-7 run in the final three minutes of the contest.
The loss makes the Badgers 3-5 in conference, dropping them to an unfamiliar place: the bottom of the Big Ten standings.
Wisconsin's losing streak? Alive.
Other Tuesday Night Highlights
Most Important Conference Game
Northeastern's 68-63 win over VCU. It looked like VCU had the inside path to the Colonial Athletic Association title, as the Rams' schedule pitted them against Northeastern and George Mason only once each, with both games being at home. But the impressive road win puts Northeastern, which has victories at Providence and at Indiana, at 9-1 and alone atop the conference standings.
Of course I didn't watch every minute of every game, but I can't imagine any were better than the slam thrown down by Mississippi's Terrico White. White dribbled twice to his left, then took a hop-step before exploding to the rim and jamming the ball with his right hand.
What made this dunk so special is that White is 6'5" and he threw it down over Kentucky's Patrick Patterson and Perry Stevenson, both of whom are 6'9" and known for their shot-blocking ability.
Best Overtime Game
There were three last night, and while I'm tempted to go with Eastern Kentucky's thrilling victory over Austin Peay, I'm choosing North Carolina State's 84-81 win against Miami. Freshman Julius Mays hit a three with 2.6 seconds left to win it for the Wolfpack.
Second Best ACC Game
To be fair, there were only two ACC games last night, and while there was no OT in College Park, Boston College did pull off the small upset, beating Maryland 76-67. Despite Tyrese Rice's foul trouble and subsequent poor performance (only 10 points), the Eagles still managed to outscore the Terps by 20 in the second half.
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