Let’s recap my top 5 games of Saturday.
5) Boilermakers pick up marquee win
60 #11 56
People might think that I put too much emphasis on one victory, but even Purdue coach Matt Painter knew how big a win like this is for a bubble team.
“I talked to our guys about the situation that we’re in. If you want to get to the NCAA Tournament, you have to beat teams without question that are going to the NCAA Tournament, and Wisconsin is one of those teams.”
Not a good result for those other bubble teams.
#1 81 73
Memphis moved to 19-0 with an impressive win over Gonzaga. If anybody still doubts this Tiger team as national championship contenders, well, think again. And lets not forget that Kansas is still undefeated as well after blowing out Nebraska once again. Which team is better?
3) Irish pick up huge road win
90 #18 80
Notre Dame needed a road win to legitimize their NCAA resume. Well, they got it in a big way with a dominating victory at ‘Nova. Kyle McAlarney led the charge with 30 points and Luke Harangody put up 25. The Irish might have gotten the Wildcats at the right time because it was obvious Villanova was still feeling the effects of that Rutgers loss. Speaking of which, Rutgers beat Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center.
2) Hoyas survive another scare
#9 58 57
Earlier this week, Syracuse let a huge win over Georgetown get away from them. Well, West Virginia let one against Georgetown get away from too, but this one was in Morgantown. You can’t let games like these get away especially in your home building. These Big East bubble teams really need to start feeding off the Hoyas because they are the only final four contender this conference has.
1) UPSET OF THE DAY – Huskies dance out of Bloomington
68 #8 63
To me, Connecticut sealed their NCAA tournament bid. Barring a huge skid in the Big East Conference, the Huskies got that resume building win every bubble team is looking for. Not only did they do it shorthanded (starting guard Jerome Dyson and backup guard Doug Wiggins are suspended indefinitely for violating team rules), but they did it convincingly. After the Hoosiers jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, UConn controlled the game from there on out against arguably the best team in the Big Ten.
Quote of the Day – Connecticut Head Coach Jim Calhoun
“To do what we did is certainly the greatest I’ve had and it’s going to get up there since the national championship team beat Georgia Tech, Quite frankly, they deserve more than a hug from me. They deserve one from the state of Connecticut, from the university, from our fans.”
SUNDAY GAME TO WATCH
#3 Duke@ Maryland
6:30 pm, FSN
These teams simply hate each other. Nothing really can compare to Duke and North Carolina, but this rivalry is not far behind. If you think Duke will easily win this one, then think again. Nobody has played Duke tougher in the past than the Terps. Here are some shocking statistics you might not know about this recently one-sided rivalry.
- Maryland swept Duke last season
- The Terps have beaten Duke in 5 of their last 7 meetings
- Maryland has defeated Duke 4 of their last 6 in College Park, including two when the Blue Devils were ranked No. 1
This might not be the same Maryland team of recent years, but they did just beat No. 1 North Carolina. And let’s not forget that Gary Williams can prepare his teams for top 10 opponents. If the Terps can pull of another huge upset, then they can play themselves back into the NCAA tournament picture after non-conference losses to Ohio and American at home. Also, if they do, be careful because things usually blow up after they beat Duke.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.