I will be at Delaware Valley High School covering a basketball game with the crew at Blue Ridge Communications tonight, so just a quick recap of last night, along with a short preview of this weekend’s action.
#16 Iowa 76, #4 Michigan State 59
The Spartans did a nice job of making me look like a fool last night. This game was never in doubt for Iowa, who gets a huge road win in Big Ten play, also taking their first season sweep of Michigan State since 1992-1993. The Hawkeyes shot 10-22 from 3-point range, and also pulled in 13 offensive rebounds, which both helped lead them to this dominant victory.
#18 Arizona 99, Washington 67
Holding just a 3 point halftime lead, Arizona exploded in the second half, outscoring the Huskies 55-26 en route to a huge 32-point victory. Washington entered this game in first place in the Pac 12, but Arizona reminded the young Huskies team that they still have a long way to go in order to contend in the conference.
#21 Louisville 59, #20 Pittsburgh 41
Pitt was held to its lowest point total this season, and shot just 1-11 from 3-point range in an 18-point loss to ACC rival Louisville. Damion Lee led the way for the Cardinals with 18 points and 4 steals. Pitt came into this game with one of the most efficient offenses in the nation, but they hadn’t faced a defense like Louisville’s. They may have been exposed.
BYU 69, #25 Gonzaga 68
BYU was able to come away with a huge WCC victory as they pulled one out over Gonzaga 69-68, when Nate Austin was able to block Kyle Wiltjer’s (35 pts, 10 rbs) layup attempt with under 3 seconds remaining. A last-second full court heave from Wiltjer came up short, and BYU came away with an impressive come-from-behind win.
Predictions for this weekend’s biggest games:
NC State @ #5 North Carolina, Sat 1/16, 12:00 pm ESPN
The Wolfpack, led by PG Anthony “Cat” Barber, are a team that could give the class of the ACC some issues this year, but the Tar Heels are playing too well right now. They should take care of business at home.
Notre Dame @ #9 Duke, Sat 1/16, 2:oo pm ESPN2
Any other time, I’d say that this would be a chance for the Irish to sneak into Cameron Indoor and come away with an upset, but with Duke coming off the disappointing loss to Clemson, they’ll be motivated to get back on track.
#8 Miami FL @ Clemson, Sat 1/16, 2:00 pm ESPN3
Clemson has been extremely good at home against really good teams, with recent wins over Louisville and Duke. But the Hurricanes are coming off a loss to Virginia, and I expect them to get back in the win column against the Tigers.
#7 Xavier @ Marquette, Sat 1/16, 2:00 pm FS1
The Musketeers are expected to get freshman G Edmond Sumner back from injury, but this Marquette team is much better than people realize. At home, with Xavier trying to work Sumner back into the rotation, I’ll take Marquette to pull off the upset.
#11 West Virginia @ #2 Oklahoma, Sat 1/16, 4:00 pm ESPN2
West Virginia is riding high after they knocked off #1 Kansas on Tuesday, but that could work against them in this game. Oklahoma is just as good as Kansas, and I expect the guard play for the Sooners to be the difference in this one. Sooners should take care of business at home.
Michigan @ #16 Iowa, Sun 1/17, 4:30 pm BTN
Both of these teams are coming off massive victories, over #3 Maryland and #4 Michigan State respectively, but Michigan is expected to still be without leading scorer Caris LeVert, and that gives the edge to a streaking Iowa team that looks like one of the best in the country.
No post coming tomorrow, as I will be at East Stroudsburg University covering some D-III PSAC action against Kutztown. Because of that, two posts is probable for Sunday! Also, I will be in Jim Thorpe on Monday, so Bracketology will be postponed to Wednesday next week. Have a nice weekend everyone!