With Saturday in the rear view mirror, basketball stepped bask to the forefront of collegiate sports and there was no lack of disappointment.
#16 Virginia Tech and #23 Purdue played in a classic that had the feeling of a Sweet 16 match-up. Carsen Edwards and Purdue were getting what ever they wanted in the first half scoring 44 points and going on a 12-2 run to help open up the game and give the Boilermakers a 44-36 lead at the half. Purdue ballooned their lead to 12 early in the second half but a 10-1 run for Hokies brought them back in the game. The two teams traded blow after blow before Virginia Tech finished the Boilermakers off 89-83 in what is easily the best game played so far this season.
Arkansas hosted Indiana and the two didn’t disappoint. Indiana struggled with the Arkansas pressure early on and the crowd helped Arkansas build a 10 point lead in the second half. Juwan Morgan and Romeo Langford were not going away quietly as they helped lead a charge that brought Indiana back within three. For the Last 12:00 of the game neither team could manage anymore than a three-point lead. With the game tied at 72 and 0:06 on the clock a whistle blew and a controversial foul called on Indiana. Arkansas made the most of it knocking in 1-2 free throws to seal a one-point win.
UCF turned things around from an early season loss to FAU to beat Western Kentucky and win the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Davidson held off a formidable mid-major in Northeastern and Alabama proved too much for Wichita State. West Virginia turned things around in their win over Saint Joseph’s. #18 Michigan continued to dominate as they took down Providence while #11 Michigan State completely dismantled Tennessee Tech. #10 Kentucky could only beat VMI by outscoring them as their defense is still nowhere to be found and #12 Kansas State cruised to the Championship game of Paradise Jam with a convincing win over Penn.
Feast Week continues with 61 games being played today 24 of which could have some implication in deciding the bracket in March. #7 North Carolina, #8 Nevada, #14 Florida State, #19 Clemson, and #20 UCLA should all have an easy road. #1 Duke will be facing an undefeated San Diego State team that shouldn’t offer any trouble but certainly are pesky enough to give it. Xavier is looking to right the ship as they take on #9 Auburn in Maui. Missouri has played long enough without Jontay Porter where they will hope they can challenge #12 Kansas State for the Paradise Jam Title. While Illinois will look to stun #3 Gonzaga. In the Game of the Night Arizona State will challenge #17 Mississippi State in Las Vegas in which the winner will most likely finish as the MGM Resorts Main Event Champs.
Games to Watch:
|Georgia vs. Illinois State, 1:30 EST|
|KenPom Line: Georgia 74-73||Matt’s Pick: Georgia 75-70|
|#9 Auburn vs. Xavier, 2:30 EST, ESPN2|
|KenPom Line: Auburn 83-74||Matt’s Pick: Auburn 88-74|
|#1 Duke vs. San Diego State, 5 EST, ESPN2|
|KenPom Line: Duke 83-70||Matt’s Pick: Duke 85-70|
|Missouri State vs. Nebraska, 7 EST, ESPNU|
|KenPom Line: Nebraska 78-65||Matt’s Pick: Nebraska 80-66|
|Arizona vs. Iowa State, 9 EST, ESPNU|
|KenPom Line: Iowa State 77-72||Matt’s Pick: Iowa State 73-72|
|Texas Tech vs. USC, 9:30 EST, ESPN2|
|KenPom Line: Texas Tech 74-69||Matt’s Pick: Texas Tech 74-72|
|Arizona State vs. #17 Mississippi State, 11 EST, ESPNU|
|KenPom Line: Mississippi State 77-73||Matt’s Pick: Mississippi State 76-73|
|Games with Possible Season Impacts:|
|Akron vs. #19 Clemson, 11 EST|
|Old Dominion vs. Northern Iowa, 3 EST|
|Loyola-Chicago vs. Richmond, 6:30 EST, FS1|
|Western Michigan @ Cincinnati, 7 EST, ESPN3|
|St. John’s vs. Cal, 7 EST, ESPN2|
|Canisius @ #14 Florida State, 7 EST|
|Boise State vs. Creighton, 7:30 EST|
|Liberty @ Vanderbilt, 8 EST, SECN|
|St. Francis (PA) @ #7 North Carolina, 8 EST|
|Northwestern State @ Houston, 8 EST|
|Little Rock @ Tulsa, 8 EST|
|Utah State vs. Saint Mary’s, 8:30 EST, ESPN3|
|Temple vs. VCU, 9:30 EST, ESPN3|
|Cal Baptist @ #6 Nevada, 10 EST|
|Presbyterian @ #20UCLA, 11 EST, PACN|
|#3 Gonzaga vs. Illinois, 11:30 EST, ESPN2|