13) Oregon 89, Arizona 83 OT— Most intense regular season college basketball game I’ve seen in years; Arizona was out to win for its suspended coach, with an us-against-them mentality, but they ran out of gas in overtime, and lost despite 28 points, 13 rebounds from Deandre Ayton.
Sean Miller has a weird contract at Arizona; he gets $10.3M if he is fired for cause, but only $5.15M if he is fired without cause. Either way, if Arizona fires him because of this mess, he ain’t gonna have to work anymore.
With all this FBI stuff going on, will the IRS go after the families who took payoff money and didn’t pay taxes on it? If coaches are losing their jobs, I hope they do go after the families.
12) Shaquille O’Neal’s son is a big time high school recruit this year who had committed to play at Arizona. He de-committed Saturday, which is probably good news for LSU, Shaq’s alma mater.
11) Virginia 66, Pitt 37— Halftime score: Virginia 30, Pitt 7. I’m not making that up. 30-7. Pitt was 1-22 from the floor in the first half. One basket, 22 shots. No bueno.
Sean Miller is a Pitt alum and from the Pittsburgh area. You wonder if they would hire him once Arizona shows him the door, which could happen soon. Given Arizona’s NCAA troubles, probably not.
10) Kansas 74, Texas Tech 72— Jayhawks clinched at least a tie for their 14th consecutive Big X title, which is extremely impressive. Don’t think they had the best team in the league this year but that does not matter, since they’ve won the most games.
9) Creighton 89, Villanova 83 OT— The huge grin Creighton coach Greg McDermott wore in the last few seconds of this game said a lot; the Bluejays are going to the NCAA’s.
Villanova split its last six games; they’ll be a shaky #1 seed when NCAA tournament brackets come out in two weeks.
8) If you read this space regularly, you know I’m a big fan of the Showtime series Billions. Learned last night that Paul Giamatti, the actor who plays prosecutor Chuck Rhoades, is the son of the late baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti.
Has to be a way they can work Pete Rose into an episode to bust Chuck’s chops.
7) William & Mary 114, Charleston 104 OT— Cougars scored 1.30 ppp and lost, which almost never happens. Teams combined to shoot 21-47 on arc. W&M blew a 16-point second half lead but made 33-38 on the foul line.
If seeds hold in CAA tourney, these teams would meet in the semifinals.
6) So far this season, 105 of 351 D-I teams have taken 40%+ of their FGA’s from behind arc; eight years ago, only 33 teams took 40% of their shots behind the arc.
279 of 351 teams have taken 33.3% of their shots behind the arc; eight years ago, only 149 teams did. College basketball has largely become a 6-6 and under sport.
The increase in 3-pointers means more long rebounds, more loose balls— success in shooting 3-pointers is tough to sustain from game-to-game. It creates hugely erratic performances from more and more teams. Makes the sport much harder to handicap.
5) Oregon State 79, Arizona State 75— Beavers led by 9 with 2:36 to go, ASU tied it with about a minute left, but never scored again. Bobby Hurley was going off on one of the refs as the game went off the air. Sun Devils are 7-9 in the Pac-12, after a 12-0 pre-conference mark- they have no inside game, and their guards played lot better in December than they are now.
4) Seton Hall 81, St John’s 74 OT— Red Storm played six guys in an overtime game; four of their five starters played more than 40:00— their only sub played 23:00.
3) Jacksonville Jaguars gave QB Blake Bortles a 3-year, $54M contract, so they’re out of the market for a new quarterback.
2) Upsets of the Day:
Wyoming (+9.5) 78, Fresno State 68
Creighton (+7.5) 89, Villanova 83 OT
Tenn-Martin (+7) 72, SE Missouri 66
Indiana State (+6) 66, Bradley 64
Valparaiso (+5) 69, Drake 64
Arkansas (+5) 76, Alabama 73
Louisville (+4) 75, Virginia Tech 68
1— Baseball streak that will never, ever be topped; in 1980, Oakland’s Rick Langford threw 22 straight complete games, one of which went 14 innings. He went 19-12, 3.26 for the season in 35 starts, throwing 290 innings.