It seems like there are one or two every day now.
Just yesterday there were four such tilts in the SEC alone. Not only UK’s single OT W over Mizzou, but Georgia needed an extra five to subdue the Gamecocks. Then there was LSU’s triple OT win over the Crimson Tide. Then there was Rocky Top who needed an extra 20 minutes to win in College Station.
There were more, including Davidson’s exciting Bracketbuster OT W over Montana.
Say what you will about the quality of this year’s hoops, the lower scoring, the lack of fundamentals, etc. This is the most exciting season in memory.
I’ve said it before, and I repeat. I’ll be surprised if scratch wins the NCAA.
* * * * *
UK’s win last night was huge.
I’ll be most surprised if the Cats don’t make the Dance.
Missouri on the other hand proved once again it can’t close on the road, where the Tigers now stand, I believe, 1-7. They’ve come from ahead to lose in the final minutes five times . . . if Dickie V is to be believed. The flip side is their record at home and on neutral courts which would be unblemished, but for an L to U of L at Atlantis.
* * * * *
The final buzzer hadn’t finished ringing when I got an email from Mark It Hoya, a reader who loooooooooves Georgetown.
It read, in full, “Hoya Saxa, baby!!! They’re very for real. Porter is tremendous. But Markel & Smith-Riviera are solid. This is a mature team.”
Indeed, mature. And, fundamentally sound, as JTIII’s squads tend to be. I’m always impressed how they simply play the game, without the normal accoutrements of woofing and posturing that plague the game.
Otto Porter Jr. did indeed shine, scoring 33 of G-town’s 57 on 12/19 shooting, including 5/10 from beyond the arc. The praise he and his teammates are receiving for their pulling away W in front of 35,012 in the BoeheimDome is deserved.
But such is the wonderful nature of this season, that his performance and that of his team wasn’t even the most stunning yesterday, even during the 4:00 pm time slot.
Take this Otto Porter II. New Mexico’s Kendall Williams scored 46. He was 12/17 from the free throw line, and 12/16 from the field.
Lest you think he tallied on a bunch of bunnies, near the hoop, digest this statistic. Williams was 10/13 from Treyville.
10/13. Worth 30 points.
And the game itself, Colorado State’s second L last week, was harder fought than the more heralded Big East matchup.
* * * * *
Hear me now, and believe me later.
Miami will get a #1 or #2 seed, unless their sure to come fade has already started (which it might well have). Miami will be the first #1 or #2 seed eliminated from the tournament.
To use a hockey metaphor, they’ve been skating on thin ice. They fell through yesterday in Demon Deacon Land.
* * * * *
Other noteworthy observations from yesterday. Or, so I would offer.
Shaka Smart’s VCU came from 17 down to win at Xavier.
Improving Carolina battered over-hyped NC State by 11. Preseason league favorite Wolfpack are now 8-6 in the league with 8 losses overall. There’s a reason why Mark Gottfried was retired, and NC State fans are now discovering it.
This is the worst season any Bob Huggins team has had that I can recall. West Virginia, big losers yesterday to Okie State, despite Marcus Smart’s foul trouble, is awful.
St. Louis beat Butler for the second time this season Friday night. This time in Hinkle.
You want your team to face the Billikens in the Dance? Didn’t think so.
– Seedy K