Breakfast Buffet: Defense sparks Notre Dame to big win

Jeff Eisenberg

Pull up a chair and sit down at the breakfast buffet, an assortment of all the freshest newsworthy college hoops stories on the net. To make a submission, contact me via email or Twitter.

• If Georgetown is truly an elite team and truly a Big East title contender, then the Hoyas are going to have to figure out a way to be more competitive on the road in Big East play than they were Wednesday at Notre Dame. The Irish controlled the game from the opening tip until the final buzzer, emerging with a 69-55 victory on the strength of 20 points from Tim Abromaitis and stifling perimeter defense against Georgetown's guards.

Duke's 108-62 rout of UNC Greensboro on Wednesday night was Mike Krzyzewski's 880th career victory, moving him past North Carolina's Dean Smith and into second place on college basketball's all-time wins list. It's a milestone that is receiving more attention on Tobacco Road than elsewhere as a result of the significance of one rival's most iconic coach eclipsing the other's.

• Rick Pitino used his official site to offer five reasons why he has accepted the gig to coach Puerto Rico's national team. Not to be skeptical, Rick, but I'll guess that No. 4 (recruiting) may have played a slightly larger role than No. 2 (the desire to travel a shorter distance to play Louisville's foreign exhibition tour next season).

• Already thin at guard after the season-ending injury Brad Redford suffered in the preseason, Xavier's backcourt took another hit when 6-foot-6 wing Jay Canty sustained a broken right foot that will sideline him for four to six weeks. Xavier now has only nine healthy scholarship players and all four healthy reserves for the Musketeers stand at least 6-8.

How does a team that lost to Fordham bounce back and win by double digits at West Virginia? The magic of Steve Lavin, of course. In all seriousness though, an 81-71 win over the Mountaineers to open Big East play is huge for St. John's especially if the Johnnies can build some more momentum with a winnable game against Providence up next on Saturday.

Boston College's momentum heading into ACC play fizzled Wednesday night because the Eagles fell 67-65 at Rhode Island. Orion Outerbridge returned after sitting out the first semester for academic reasons and dunked home the Rams' final two baskets, snapping Boston College's seven-game win streak and extending Rhode Island's 33-game home win streak against non-league opponents.

• You won't typically see me link to reader mail pieces, but this opening rant from ESPN.com's Eamonn Brennan was fantastic.

• Why the SEC West is a spectacularly awful, part I: Auburn blew a 27-point halftime lead at home, and needed overtime to eke out an 88-84 victory over Georgia Southern, one of the handful of teams ranked below the Tigers in the RPI. Aside from a two-point win over Georgia State, Georgia Southern's only other wins were against Reinhardt, Carver Bible & Brewton Parker College -- two by single digits.

• Why the SEC West is spectacularly awful, part II: LSU trailed by as many as 15 in the second half against Rice and fell 74-68, proving that nobody visits the Owls and wins (except half of Conference USA each season). Rice's best win before defeating the Tigers? Probably either Arkansas Little Rock or Stetson.

• Why the SEC West is spectacularly awful, part III: With Dee Bost still not eligible and Renardo Sidney and Elgin Bailey still suspended, preseason SEC West favorite Mississippi State was nowhere close to competitive against Saint Mary's. The Gaels remained in decent shape to compete for an at-large berth, earning a 94-72 victory to send the Bulldogs to their fourth loss in five games.