Cold-blooded shooting and that Duke swagger which fans either love or hate, and it happened again early Saturday night in front of a raucous crowd at Charlottesville, Virginia. Coach K’s 1,001st win was neither pretty nor glamorous–but it got the job done when the chips were down.
The 69-63 upset by Duke (18-3 overall, 5-3 in conference play) not only makes the ACC race a bit tighter than it was entering the day (especially with Pitt upending conference leader Notre Dame in overtime and Louisville using an 18-0 run to stun North Carolina), this race could get more interesting than originally anticipated.
Kentucky won their game 70-55 over Alabama at Rupp Arena. Only time will tell if John Calipari’s bunch of young pups decides to become the first team since Bobby Knight and the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers (yes, my blog friends–it was a long, LONG time ago–but you can see the DVD which is easily available online) to finish the entire season without a loss.
Another shocker came from the Missouri Valley, as another long streak was snapped
Wichita State held a 30 game winning streak (27 in the regular season) against Missouri Valley Conference opponents. But on Saturday afternoon, the Shockers defense was mostly lackluster at best as Northern Iowa got a much needed measure of respect creaming Wichita State 70-54. The Shockers only managed to shoot 5 of 24 from three-point range and suffered the first MVC loss between ranked teams since Tulsa beat them 99-88 in 1982. The UNI Panthers used 60 percent shooting to pull off the upset.
Illinois on the verge of being Orange Crushed, and it is not even March yet
Two of their big scorers for John Groce’s Fighting Illini are both ill at the moment, both physically and literally.
Senior starting guard Rayvonte Rice (whom you might recall hit a game winning three at the buzzer in their annual Border War game against Missouri) and junior starting guard Aaron Cosby have been suspended indefinitely. At one point in the season, Rice suffered a broken hand and Cosby came up with a retinal tear in his left eye. Both men arrived on the Big Ten scene due to transferring from other schools: Rice originally started at Drake, was averaging 17.2 points and 6.9 rebounds a game while Cosby came from Seton Hall. He averaged 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
Illinois is 13-8 and just like defending champion UConn, one of my next subjects ‘Under The Microscope’–are both in serious danger of missing out on reaching the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
A very light schedule as Michigan State at Michigan early on Super Sunday, while Virginia goes to North Carolina and Iowa State gets their grudge rematch at Kansas will be on Monday night.
If more upsets occur, I will try to check in after facing yet more snow to arrive in time before, during, and after “The Big Game.” Please pray that our power stays on long enough for me and other fans to enjoy the commercials, LOL:).
Enjoy your parties, and hopefully this Super Bowl will live up to all of the advanced hype. Please enjoy the rest of your weekend.