- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog2 hrs ago
Well-traveled Texas Southern big man Aaric Murray has been putting the ball in the basket a lot this season, but his scoring prowess hasn't often led to wins for his 4-7 team.
Murray had his way with the Temple Owls on Wednesday, scoring 48 points, the single-game high in the nation to this point in the season, and also came away with a 90-89 road win.
The fact that Murray's career-best performance came on the road in Philadelphia had to make it that much sweeter. Murray is from Philadelphia and began his college career there playing two years for La Salle. He lost all five games against Temple when he was playing the Owls as a conference opponent but finally beat them Wednesday.
Drop 48 points in a game and you're likely to get a lot of feedback from friends and foes. Do it in your hometown and you probably get inundated. Murray posted a thank you message on his Twitter account late Wednesday after hearing from too many people to respond to.
I just want everyone to know I see the @'s it's just too many to reply to all. Thanks!!! Truly Blessed
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog2 hrs ago
Stanford has been so far removed from the national spotlight during Johnny Dawkins' first five seasons that it's hard to identify the embattled coach's most significant victory prior to Wednesday night.
Maybe it was an exciting one-point home win over UCLA in Dec. 2011. Maybe it was a rout of Minnesota in the NIT title game in March 2012. Maybe it was a 24-point thrashing of tenth-ranked Oregon last January.
All of those dropped down a spot as of Wednesday night, however, thanks to a stunning 53-51 Stanford road win at previously undefeated tenth-ranked Connecticut. The Cardinal trailed by 10 at halftime but befuddled the Huskies in the second half with an aggressive zone defense, holding them to just 13 points on five field goals.
Upsetting UConn is clearly Stanford's biggest victory in six years because it breathes new life into the Cardinal's season and Dawkins' fight to save his job.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog4 hrs ago
Four days after one embattled high-profile Texas coach resigned, another posted a victory that may go a long way toward helping him keep his job.
Texas coach Rick Barnes took his Longhorns to Chapel Hill and upset North Carolina 86-83, a resumé-boosting victory that suggests the team's 10-1 start isn't merely a product of a modest early-season schedule.
It's remarkable that Texas can beat a Tar Heels team with wins over Kentucky, Michigan State and Louisville considering the nightmarish past 12 months the Longhorns endured.
Plagued by cold shooting and terrible shot selection, Texas lost 11 league games last season and missed the NCAA tournament for the first time in Barnes' 15-year tenure. Seemingly making matters worse, Myck Kabongo and Ioannis Papapetrou turned pro with eligibility remaining and Sheldon McClellan and Julien Lewis transferred, leaving Texas without its four leading scorers from last season.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog12 hrs ago
It would be difficult to start a game in more impressive fashion than Michigan State did Tuesday night in its win over North Florida.
The Spartans put the ball in the hole on a Branden Dawson dunk just 4 seconds into the action. What makes the achievement even more impressive is that four Spartans had a hand in making it happen.
Center Adreian Payne won the tip. Gaurd Alex Guana snagged it out of the air and made a stellar pass to Keith Appling who lobbed to Dawson for the dunk. All of that in 4 seconds. Impressive.
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- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog13 hrs ago
It's not enough for Bill Self that Wichita State won 30 games last season, advanced to the Final Four and is off to an 11-0 start again this year.
The Kansas coach still doesn't feel he has incentive to deviate from his longstanding policy of not playing a home-and-home series with the Shockers.
Self made that clear Tuesday, telling the Kansas City Star he doesn't believe a series with Wichita State is in the best interest of the Kansas program. The Jayhawks coach noted he has been on the other side of the equation as head coach at Tulsa when he was unable to get a series with Oklahoma or Oklahoma State.
"This isn’t knocking Wichita State,” Self told the Star. "But if it was best for our program, I would reach out to them about scheduling them. But it’s not. I’ve heard a lot of talk about them wanting to play us so bad; Gregg Marshall’s never contacted me about playing."
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog16 hrs ago
For once, the Mountain West may not need to worry about furthering its reputation as a perennial underachiever in the NCAA tournament.
Unless the league's non-conference performance improves the next few weeks, it may find it difficult to replicate its usual 3 to 5 NCAA tournament bids, let alone produce any teams seeded well enough to be favored to beat their opening-round opponents.
One year after sending five teams to the NCAA tournament, finishing first in conference RPI and entrenching itself as the West's premier league, the Mountain West has slipped to eighth in conference RPI and the WCC is nipping at its heels for that spot. Though surging San Diego State boasts wins over Creighton, Marquette and Washington, the rest of the Mountain West is a meager 1-21 against teams currently ranked in RealTimeRPI.com's top 70.
UNLV is the symbol of the league's underachievement thanks to a middling 4-4 record highlighted by a stunning 20-point home loss to UCSB and two squandered chances for quality wins at home against Arizona State and Illinois.
Barry Hinson’s rant includes mama’s boys, snipers, his wife’s scoring ability and house-training puppy dogsKyle Ringo at The Dagger1 day ago
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Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson watched his team drop its fourth consecutive game and eighth of the season Tuesday night at Murray State and was so frustrated by the performance he unleashed a hilarious rant that won't soon be forgotten.
The first sign that something unusual and memorable was in the works after the 73-65 defeat came 30 seconds in when Hinson called his team soft.
"I've got a bunch of mama's boys right now," Hinson said. "We just won't buck up and bow our necks and we've got to get through that."
You can listen to Hinson's complete postgame remarks below. Thanks to OVC Ball for the original.
Hinson didn't handle the situation well, or maybe he did, depending on your perspective, but his frustration is certainly understandable. He has a team that is finding ways to lose close games this season.
Each of the past four losses and six of the Salukis' eight losses this season have been by single-digit margins. Hinson complained that his players are bowing their heads and tuning him out when he tries to coach them.
- Kyle Ringo at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog1 day ago
Florida has made three consecutive trips to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament. The Gators are used to prevailing in tough games and physical battles.
So maybe it shouldn't be a surprise that coach Billy Donovan's team successfully navigated one of the toughest four-game stretches any team in the nation will face this year, going 3-1 with a one-point loss on the road to a ranked opponent.
The No. 16 Gators survived a rally from Memphis in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden to win 77-75 and finish a brutal 21/2 weeks that included wins over Florida State and No. 13 Kansas and the aforementioned loss at No. 12 UConn.
Forward Casey Prather, one of the most improved players in the country so far this season, was at it again. He scored 22 points to lead all scorers on eight of 13 shooting.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog1 day ago
Had even one more tenth of a second remained when Florida Gulf Coast inbounded the ball down two points in double overtime Tuesday night, the Eagles would have completed one of the most jaw-dropping plays of the season.
Instead a remarkable full-court lob pass went for naught
Chase Fieler's acrobatic game-tying shot actually appeared to leave his hands before the game clock hit triple zeroes, but referees still made the proper call nullifying the basket and awarding South Florida a 68-66 double-overtime victory. Since only three tenths of a second remained when FGCU inbounded the ball, anything besides a tip-in had to be waived off per NCAA rules because there wasn't enough time to get off a shot.
That referees made the proper call won't offer much consolation to an FGCU program that would have loved the boost a road win at South Florida would have provided.
- Jeff Eisenberg at The Dagger: College Basketball Blog1 day ago
After piling up early-season victories against overmatched opponents the past five weeks, undefeated Pittsburgh pointed to Tuesday night's matchup with Cincinnati as its chance to validate its torrid start.
Instead the Panthers delivered easily their worst performance this season, inspiring more questions regarding whether their gaudy record is merely a product of a embarrassingly soft non-conference schedule.
In a slow-paced rock fight of a game that surely didn't make anyone nostalgic for the former Big East, Cincinnati snapped a two-game losing streak by edging Pittsburgh 44-43 on a Titus Rubles put-back with five seconds remaining. Only guard Sean Kilpatrick entered Tuesday's game averaging double digit points for the Bearcats, yet Pittsburgh still couldn't score enough to win despite holding him to a quiet nine points on 4 of 9 shooting.