This post is sponsored by the Fairfield Inn Bloomington.
Minnesota 77, No. 9 Indiana 74: See here.
No. 6 Duke 61, No. 17 Virginia 58: Virginia may have lost this game, but the Cavs proved their mettle to the people that still didn't believe that Tony Bennett's team is a real threat, not just in the ACC but on a national scale. UVa doesn't put up flashy offensive numbers and they don't spend much time on Sportscenter's top ten with highlight reel dunks, but this is a group that competes as well as anyone in the country with the nation's best teams.
As of today, Mike Scott is probably the player of the year in the ACC -- and he proved it tonight as he scored 16 of his 23 points in the first half to help the Cavs take a 32-28 lead into the break -- but only college basketball's die-hards knew who he was. While Scott provides Bennett with a potent scoring punch, its the stout defense that the Cavs play, packing in their defense and daring opponents to beat them with contested perimeter jumpers, that make them so tough.
To the Blue Devil's credit, they did just enough to win. During one stretch in the second half, when Duke opened up their biggest lead of the game, they hit 11 of 14 shots and put UVa in a hole that they weren't quite able to dig their way out of. Mason Plumlee led four players in double figures with 12 points (which would have been much more if he wasn't 2-10 from the line) as Duke displayed as good of a team effort as we've seen out of them this season. For the first time in Duke history, they shot below 50% from the free throw line and 25% from three and won. That's notable.
Also of note: Quinn Cook once again started at the point, but he struggled, playing just 12 minutes. Andre Dawkins got the majority of the back court minutes along side Seth Curry, which means that Duke is still trying to figure out their point guard situation. Its something to keep an eye on every time the Blue Devils take the court.
St. Mary's 83, No. 23 Gonzaga 62: Right now, the Gaels have to be labeled the favorite in the WCC. They are now sitting at 5-0 in the league -- a game and a half up on the Zags, BYU and LMU -- and they hold convincing victories over not only Gonzaga, but BYU as well. Perhaps the most impressive part of this win is the fact that they were so impressive despite getting just two points (and 11 boards and eight assists) out of Rob Jones, their leading scorer. Is there a more underrated point guard in the country than Matthew Dellavedova. (If you say Jordan Theodore, I won't argue much.)
Having said all of that, I am going to reserve judgement on the Gaels until they have to visit the Kennel and the Marriot Center. While they also own wins over Weber State, Northern Iowa and Missouri State, St. Mary's lost by 12 when they went to visit Denver.
Wisconsin 67, Purdue 62: Its hard to think of a team that needed a win more than the Badgers, and they got it in fairly impressive fashion against Purdue. The Badgers opened up a 22-4 lead on the Boilermakers thanks to some hot shooting from the perimeter and were able to hang on down the stretch. Terone Johnson sparked the comeback, scoring 16 points, but Purdue's bigger issue is the struggles of Robbie Hummel. He was 5-17 from the field against Wisconsin, a performance that has come on the heels on a elongated shooting slump.
No. 20 Mississippi State 62, Tennessee 58: Dee Bost, Renardo Sidney and Arnett Moultrie all scored 13 points as the Bulldogs hung on against the Vols, but the bigger issue is that the Bulldogs have looked far from impressive at the start of their conference schedule. They were up 12 early in the second half against Tennessee, but they allowed the overmatchedVols to get back into the game, needing a Dee Bost steal and dunk late in the game to seal the win. Could it be that Mississippi State is nothing more than ordinary?
- Cal 57, Colorado 50: Cal has to be considered the odds-on favorite to win the Pac-12 right now, as they moved to 4-1 in league play with a win over Colorado at home. More importantly, they did it despite the fact that Jorge Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe combined to go 4-26 from the floor. While the fact that Colorado was able to keep it close with the Bears is impressive and certainly a sign that the Buffaloes deserve to be taken seriously, I don't know how often those two are going to shoot so poorly.
- Arizona 81, Oregon State 73 OT: This was easily one of the most entertaining games of the night. Josh Fogg, Nick Johnson and Brendan Lavender combined to score 60 points, making up for a poor game out of Jesse Perry, but a flurry of buckets from Ahmad Starks brought the Beavers back. Starks had a three rim out at the buzzer that sent the game to overtime. In the extra frame, Arizona pulled away, but not before a Fogg and-one turned into a shoving match between the two teams.
- Stanford 68, Utah 65: The Cardinal are now tied for first place in the league with Cal, but the fact that they struggled to knock off Utah at home isn't exactly a ringing endorsement for this team. Of note: the two teams combined to go 6-26 from the free throw line. Ick.
- Oregon 67, Arizona State 58
Drexel 60, George Mason 53: Drexel outscored the Patriots 10-2 over the last three minutes of the game, picking up a much-needed win over Mason, who had previously been undefeated in league play. Damion Lee led the way with 21 points while Ryan Pearson was just 1-9 from the floor.
Manhattan 75, Iona 72: The Jaspers outscored Iona by 20 points over the last eight minutes of the game, erasing a 17 point deficit and winning on one of the season's most impressive buzzer-beaters:
Manhattan now has to be considered a threat in the MAAC race. They are sitting a game behind Iona at 4-2 in the league, a half-game up on 3-2 Fairfield and a half-game behind 4-1 Loyola.
No. 14 Murray State 66, Jacksonville State 55: Yup, the Racers are still undefeated.
Other notable scores:
- VCU 65, JMU 45
- Coastal Carolina 65, Gardner-Webb 63
- UNC-Asheville 89, Campbell 82
- Davidson 88, Western Carolina 67
- Georgia State 75, UNC-Wilmington 61
- UNC-Greensboro 73, Charleston 66
- Milwaukee 58, Wright State 38
- MTSU 70, FIU 59
- South Dakota State 86, South Dakota 56
- Oral Roberts 71, Western Illinois 70 2OT
- Weber State 63, Montana State 49
- New Mexico State 80, Utah State 60
- UC-Riverside 79, UC-Santa Barbara 70 OT
- LBSU 86, UC-Davis 58
Matthew Dellavedova, St. Mary's: 26 points, six assists, 10-16 shooting and a 21 point win over Gonzaga. Boom.
Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts: Morrison continued his hot streak, scoring 27 points, hitting the game-tying jumper at the end of overtime and the game-winning free throw with 1.4 seconds left.
Phil Martin, UC-Riverside: A 6'4" guard, Martin went for 33 points and 11 boards as UCR knocked off UCSB in overtime.
Eugene Phelps, LBSU: Phelps went for 23 points, 11 boards and four assists as the 49ers won in impressive fashion.
Vander Joaquim, Hawaii: Hawaii improved to 2-0 in the WAC on the strength of 23 points on 9-11 shooting and 16 boards out of Joaquim.
John Fraley, Austin Peay: Fraley had 25 points (on 10-12 shooting) and 12 boards (seven offensive) as the Governors picked up their first win in the OVC, knocking off contender Eastern Kentucky.
Tony Mitchell, North Texas: Mitchell had 21 points on 8-9 shooting and 13 boards as the Mean Green picked up another win.
O.D. Anosike, Siena: The Saints improved to 3-3 in the MAAC on the strength of 23 points and 14 boards from Anosike.