Patric Young (US Presswire)
Patric Young (US Presswire)
Ryan and I already provided our thoughts on Saint Mary's win at BYU, Iowa State's victory over Kansas, Towson snapping its record losing streak and the blown call that cost West Virginia at Syracuse. Here's a look at some of the other teams whose stock has risen or fallen this weekend.
Stock rising: Florida
Some abandoned the Florida bandwagon when the Gators lost to Tennessee and Rutgers within a two-week stretch, but Billy Donovan's team showed once again on Saturday that was premature. Bradley Beal scored 19 points and Patric Young provided a spark with his energy and effort as Florida improved to 5-1 in the SEC with a convincing 69-57 home win over Mississippi State. A back-loaded SEC schedule and Patric Young's lingering knee tendinitis are still long-term concerns, but the Gators have shown enough to be considered along with Vanderbilt as the top challengers to Kentucky.
Stock falling: Seton Hall
Remember when the Pirates looked like the Big East's feel-good story after a 4-1 start in conference play that included wins over UConn and West Virginia? That looks like a mirage now that Seton Hall has followed that by dropping four straight culminating in Saturday's 60-51 home loss to Louisville. The worst part for the Pirates is that they now venture on the road for three straight at Marquette, UConn and Rutgers. Unless Seton Hall finds a consistent third scorer to complement Jordan Theodore and Herb Pope, the Pirates could be buried by the end of that stretch.
Stock rising: Southern Mississippi
The Conference USA team with the best chance to unseat Memphis atop the league or at least join the Tigers in the NCAA tournament? Right now, that appears to be Southern Mississippi. Larry Eustachy's Golden Eagles earned that status Saturday night when they won 78-65 at Central Florida to improve to 19-3 overall and 6-1 in Conference USA. Reserves Neil Watson and Darnell Dodson scored 23 and 22 points respectively, setting up a crucial first-place showdown in Memphis on Wednesday between the Tigers and Golden Eagles.
Stock falling: Dayton
No Atlantic 10 contender has been immune to bad losses this season, but none has suffered a worse one than Dayton did Saturday. The Flyers fell 86-81 at home to Rhode Island, which is just 4-18 overall and was winless in conference play before Saturday. If Dayton cannot claw back into the Atlantic 10 race, it will rue allowing the Rams to shoot 52.5 percent or score 53 second-half points. The Flyers have defeated Xavier, Temple and Saint Louis already in conference play, yet they are still just 4-3 overall in the A-10.
Stock rising: Tony Wroten
For all the criticism Tony Wroten receives for his sometimes ill-advised shot selection or his tendency to go for the flashy pass instead of the safe one, let's not forget how good the Washington freshman has been recently. Wroten has averaged 20.3 points per game in Pac-12 play, leading the Huskies to a conference-leading 7-2 record. Wroten's free throw shooting and perimeter jumper remain works in progress, but he made the key defensive play in Washington's win at Arizona on Saturday night. He blocked fellow freshman Josiah Turner's layup at the buzzer to save a 69-67 victory.
Stock falling: Arizona
Whatever slim chance Arizona had of reentering the Pac-12 title picture likely vanished on Saturday when the Wildcats lost at home to Washington 69-67. Worse yet, Arizona learned it will be without versatile forward Kevin Parrom for the rest of the season as a result of a fractured foot. The Wildcats fought valiantly behind the play of Solomon Hill, but the talent discrepancy between them and the Huskies was clear. Josiah Turner made the key gaffe, attempting to draw a charge in the backcourt in a tie game with less than 10 seconds left and getting called for a block instead.
Stock rising: Colorado State
What has separated Colorado State from the Mountain West's upper crust the past season and a half is the Rams inability to beat the league's top teams. They went 2-7 against BYU, San Diego State, UNLV and New Mexico last season and fell by 33 at New Mexico last Wednesday. Perhaps Saturday was the beginning of Colorado State joining that group as the Rams (14-6, 3-2) clobbered travel-weary San Diego State 77-60 in Fort Collins. Colorado State's RPI and strength of schedule are strong enough that it could conceivably make an NCAA tournament push with another win or two of this caliber.
Stock falling: Those formerly considered the Big East's second-best team
That label continues to be a curse of death. Cincinnati staked claim to that unofficial title with a win over UConn only to drop three straight to West Virginia, Syracuse and Rutgers. West Virginia inherited it by beating the Bearcats ... and then promptly forfeited it with a 16-point loss at St. John's. It belonged to Georgetown on Saturday, and the Hoyas surrendered it with little fight by falling to previously struggling Pittsburgh. That means that the new owner of the title of second-best Big East team is likely Marquette, which improved to 7-2 in league play with a come-from-behind win over Villanova on Saturday. Can the Golden Eagles maintain that distinction for more than one game? We'll find out when they host Seton Hall next week.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sports & Recreation/Basketball
- West Virginia
- Seton Hall
- Colorado State
- Golden Eagles
- Iowa State