B-Ball Saturday: Afternoon Dispatch

Kentucky’s 6 point W over Bama in Rupp may have been its most impressive victory of the year. It certainly smacked of — no other way to say it — maturity.

The Crimson Tide never let UK out of its sight. Kentucky was up 5 at the half, and, if memory serves, never led by more than the final margin after the break.

But Kentucky never faltered, staying within its system, and displaying patience for the entire game. More important, the Cats were 23 of 29 at the free throw line in the second half. Including 8 for 8 in the final minute.

That’s the sign of — here’s that reference again — a maturing outfit.

Alabama, coming off a disappointing L at home less that 48 hours ago, never gave up. They were relentless. And, frankly, as impressive as UK in their own right. JaMychal Green (22/12) and Trevor Releford (17 points, all in the second half) can play for my club. In fact, if we could fly ‘em up to Pittsburgh, I’d stick them both in the starting lineup right now. Even with a tough game today already under their belts.

UK put 6 players in double figures. And committed only 8 turnovers against a better than average defensive club. Plus it survived the disqualification because of fouls by MVP Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Terrence Jones playing with four personals at the end.

If Marquis Teague continues to — one more time — mature as a point guard, Kentucky will be the team to beat come tournament time.

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JTIII’s Georgetown Hoyas won a grinder at home over vastly improved Rutgers.

Tied at 50, with the clocking ticking to :00, the home team got a home team call when Mike Poole was called for impeding Otis Porter, who hit the game winning FTs.

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While the two most surprising teams from a negative standpoint meet tonight in front of the Game Day crew at Pitt, the most pleasant surprise has to be Missouri.

All those who wondered what they were thinking in Columbia when Frank Haith was hired to replace Mike Anderson, raise your hand?

Okay, I’ll put my hand down now, so I can continue typing.

The 18-1 Tigers beat outlaw Scott Drew’s Baylor Bears in Waco. Mizzou let a comfortable lead slip away at the end, but were far enough ahead that they were able to hang on. The final margin is a might deceiving, since the Bears hit a meaningless trey at the buzzer.

PG Phil Pressey (18 points, 5 boards, 7 assists, 6 steals) can start for my team. In fact, if you can fly him up to Pittsburgh, I’d stick him in the starting lineup right now, even though he’s played a tough game already today.)

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One “trend” I’ve noticed today is how most squads have inbounds plays on which many times they actually get the ball to a player for a wide open layup or an open jumper. For some reason, I thought the Rules Committee had outlawed such plays.

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Speaking of MVPs, how about the timekeeper at West Virginia, who stopped the clock with :02.1 in regulation, when the ball was still in play and West Virginia was signaling for a timeout it didn’t have, but which the officials didn’t acknowledge. Which was good for the Mountaineers, who would have lost probably at that point on technical free throws, had the zebra called the timeout.

Bobby Huggs held on in OT, handing Cincy its first league loss on the road, after seven consecutive Ws.

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Have I mentioned before, how much I love me some college hoops?

– Seedy K

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