Foster The People, “Coming of Age”
Can be found on the 2014 Supermodel album from Columbia Records.
Once again, ESPN served up a really neat slate of college basketball games for the true hoops binge watcher.
I managed to watch all but three games in the early morning on Tuesday, but the rest of the games proved to be interesting.
Led by George Washington and Tulsa, more upsets continue to shake the rankings in the opening days
Call this a huge win by GW and not a bad loss for Virginia, according to Joe Lunardi and Seth Greenberg of ESPN. The Colonials 73-68 victory really did not raise too many eyebrows since it is so early in the season. Also, in the grander scheme of things–this loss will serve Virginia very well in terms of hanging around for a 1 or 2 seed.
George Washington (2-0) took control with a 10-0 run that started with Patricio Garino making a three-point play to give the Colonials a 57-55 lead with 8:06 left on the clock. Garino added another basket on a tip-in rebound and an assist on a subsequent Tyler Cavanaugh’s layup. Cavanaugh hit two free throws to make it 64-55 with 5:24 remaining and held on from there.
Wichita State goes down big time in Tulsa
A four-point play by junior college transfer Pat Birt with 9:18 remaining gave Tulsa a 57-51 advantage and the Hurricane eventually increased the lead to 69-57 with 4:02 left on two free throws by Shaquille Harrison (who finished with a team high 20 points). Led by Ron Baker’s game high 23 and Anton Grady’s 18 points and nine rebounds, their 36.4 shooting going only 20 of 55 on the game. That final score was 77-67, as Tulsa won for the first time in four years by outscoring the Shockers 47-36 in the second half.
Valparaiso survives, Colorado and Oklahoma impressive
Valpo had a nice game Tuesday morning in Rhode Island. Led by Alec Peters with 14 and Vashil Fernandez sharing a trio of 12 point scorers, the Crusaders survived a furious rally as Four McGlynn (yes, that is his real name) missed two straight three-point shots that could have won the game for the Rams.
Even more important, URI has to go forward without standout guard E.C. Matthews, who suffered a devastating knee injury that ended his season prematurely last Friday night in the first half against American University of Washington, DC.
Colorado used their big men to withstand a raucous Auburn fanbase and come away with a hard-earned 91-84 win. George King led the charge nailing 4 of 6 attempts from long range.
Meanwhile in Elvis Country, Memphis seems to be stuck in third gear as a huge defection of transfers and graduation have decimated this once proud program. Even the stoic nature of coach Josh Pastner might not be enough to save the season the way things are going at the moment, after Oklahoma earned a statement win 84-78. Buddy Hield’s 30 points and 8 rebounds were huge, especially in key stretches of the second half.
Maryland fends off pesky former foe
For most of the 40 minutes inside the Xfinity Center in College Park, Georgetown seemed to have their way. It almost felt like watching David Wingate raining jumpers and Patrick Ewing hitting soft floaters in the lane circa 1984 and 1985.
But someone forgot to tell Melo Trimble how big this game turned out to be. His 24 points helped erase a seven point deficit and Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon nailed a cold-blooded three pointer with 1:18 left to help the Terrapins bring “Turtle Power” back to life with a really nice 75-71 win. Traffic was snarled several hours before the game and it was quite a party atmosphere once fellow Maryland alumnus Scott Van Pelt began SportsCenter on the court minutes following the game. Trimble seemed to be very humble and did not let the pressure of the moment get to him, and that is what you need not as a leader but also in helping your team to bigger things.
Although this is the first time since 1998-99 where the Hoyas have stumbled out of the gate losing their first two decisions, there will be a new Mourning that will eventually be called upon by John Thompson III to someday crack the starting lineup. His name, Trey Mourning son of the NBA and former Georgetown star Alonzo Mourning.
Sandwiched between the CFP rankings, Kentucky and Michigan State appear to have the inside track
Call this a lesson learned in the case of Bill Self and Coach K at all of the Cameron Crazies.
The matchup we were all waiting for last April in Indianapolis did not happen, thanks to Wisconsin’s big-time upset at the Final Four.
With several key players for both UK and Duke leaving for the NBA, the game was decided on the little things. Even with Kentucky stockpiling in the recruiting game for 2016, this current crop is doing fine thank you very much.
Even with Ashley Judd in attendance at “The House That Jordan Built”, all she could do is stare in awe as the Wildcats sent Duke back to Durham with a convincing 74-63 victory in front of 20,917 at Chicago’s United Center. Without Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor, the Dukies were mostly lost in transition. Tyler Ulis, Jamal Murray and Isaiah Briscoe chipped in big time for John Calipari tabbing 46 points to go along with 12 assists, seven steals and more importantly, only four turnovers. UK was the more athletic team and performed at a much quicker pace while Duke seemed to be at times bewildered and confused especially on the offensive end. Another telling stat had Duke back on their heels most of the night–Kentucky used the fast break often to score 17 points off 16 Duke turnovers.
The second game showed how much grit and determination can dictate the outcome of a game. Early on, Kansas was almost in complete control but thanks to Denzel Valentine’s triple-double had 29 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, the 6’5″ senior’s heady play helped turn a 13 point halftime deficit to a 79-73 win. Playing 38 of the 40 minutes, this was only the fourth triple-double by a Spartans player since 1979. The others, just in case if you were curious to know:
- Earvin “Magic” Johnson
- Draymond Green
- Charlie Bell
Hawaii had a nice win in their customary 4 a.m. Eastern time slot escaping with a one point win over Nevada and Long Beach State also won by the slimmest of margins, 66-65 at home over BYU.
Notre Dame, Indiana, and Pittsburgh also won at home in convincing fashion.
The Puerto Rico holiday tournament starts on Thursday, I hope to give a recap sometime over the weekend.
And my final blog before the Thanksgiving holiday will be a small preview of what you can expect across the ocean in Hawaii for the always fun tournament in Maui.
That tournament has taken on a life of its’ own, and the Selection Committee values the winner of those three games as a true benchmark for getting a very high seed when the brackets are released.
Sure hope the wind does not knock over any of your garbage cans, let alone any loose gutters that could be flying to goodness-knows-where.
Please try to have a great rest of the day.