While most of America was recovering from whatever Super Bowl hangovers they might have had, Iowa State and Oklahoma State played a game to remember.
The last time the Sycamores won at Gallagher-Iba Arena was March 2, 1988. That was when both schools were in the old Big 8 Conference. DeAndre Kane scored 26 points and missed out on a triple double compiling 10 rebounds and nine assists to help the Cyclones edge Oklahoma State 98-97 in triple overtime. In spite of shooting 44% on the night OSU honored longtime former coach Eddie Sutton, the Cowboys nearly shot 49%, but the key story was that Iowa State doubled Oklahoma State in total rebounds during the 55 minute contest–22 to 11. Le’Bryan Nash led four double figure scorers for the losers with 25 points while playing 50 minutes.
Syracuse followed up after their emotionally draining cliffhanger over Duke on Saturday with a rather tough struggle against a slightly undermanned Notre Dame Fighting Irish outfit on Monday. The 61-55 final score was not really indicative of how that game played out inside the cavernous Carrier Dome. Rather, Trevor Cooney really made his presence felt in a big way. Cooney was a blistering 75 percent from three-point land, a rather cool 9 for 12, as he shares company with Gerry McNamara, star point guard during the 2004 NCAA tournament and equaled by Andy Rautins in 2008 and also James Southerland in 2012. Both teams did not shoot really well, but the Irish find themselves looking square at a possible NIT berth come Selection Sunday–falling to 12-11 overall and a paltry 3-7 in their inaugural ACC season of play. The Irish tried to make it interesting in the final minute, but it was not enough. Ironically, it was two years ago in 2012 when the Orange arrived in South Bend as the nation’s #1 ranked team and fell to the Fighting Irish.
Tuesday had Ohio State winning a statement game at Iowa, while Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, and North Carolina won easily.
Wednesday night, Wichita State survived a major scare at Indiana State 65-58 in Terre Haute as the Shockers extended their school record for wins to start a season at 24 straight games. And this just in–San Diego State survived an upset bid at chilly Boise State, 67-65.
Sure hope everyone continues to stay safe as we head down the stretch in this mostly unpredictable and wild college basketball season. And if the recent comments by Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Syrcause head coach Jim Boeheim are any indication, this may be the most wide open NCAA Touranment ever.
Stay tuned, folks. The best is yet to come.