13) Georgia Tech 55, Syracuse 51— The current state of college hoop; total of only 13 players played in this game— four of the 13 kids played the whole 40:00.
Lot of teams have almost no depth, partially because of the transfer epidemic (most transfers have to sit out a year) and injuries.
Teams combined to shoot 10-36 on the arc in this game; had to be lot of tired legs out there.
12) Is Wyoming the most fun team in the country? Cowboys are 15-7, 6-0 in overtime games this season; they won their last three games in OT, with two of those going double OT.
Wyoming’s starting guards are a freshman/sophomore, but their two forwards are their two best players- Justin James, who has 91 points in his last three games, and Hayden Dalton, who played 46:00 twice in their last three games. Good passer, solid glue guy.
11) If you like to shoot the ball a lot when you play pickup ball, then Central Michigan’s Josh Kozinski is your new hero.
Against Northern Illinois Wednesday, Kozinski played 27:00, scored 24 points— he made 8-15 on the arc, but did almost nothing else. One rebound, one assist, one steal. A specialist.
For the season, Kozinski has taken 91 3-pointers, five 2-point shots, 17 foul shots.
10) Northern Arizona is a bad, obscure team; they’re 3-18, 1-9 in the Big Sky- they even lost to an NAIA school named Embry-Riddle, which I think used to be a pilot’s school. NAU is 10-36 in conference games the last three years.
But its not wise to bet against the Lumberjacks; they covered six of their last seven games, are 7-3 vs spread in Big Sky games, 4-1 on the road. Go figure.
9) Cal-Irvine 75, Long Beach State 68— 49ers led by 7 with 12:50 left in game Wednesday, but fell apart in last few minutes and are now 13-13, 6-3 in conference.
Long Beach has a starting forward, I won’t mention his name, but the kid went 0-7 on the foul line, 3-9 from the floor and turned ball over three times. He is shooting 65.9% from the line for the year, so going 0-7 on the line in a home game is odd.
8) Pitt Panthers are 0-10 in the ACC, but they’ve covered their last five games.
7) Villanova will probably be a #1 seed in the NCAA’s, but since 2010, Wildcats have made the Sweet 16 once, when they won the national title two years ago.
Villanova won five of last seven first round games, but is 1-4 in last five second round games- they were favored in all four of those losses.
6) Arizona will also be a highly-seeded team; they’ve won 19 of last 20 games, but the second weekend of the NCAA’s hasn’t been kind to the Wildcats.
Since 2002, Arizona is 5-4 in Sweet 16 games, 0-5 in Elite 8 games. If you pick the Wildcats to get to the Final Four, do so at your own risk.
5) Apparently when the Patriots won the Super Bowl LY, they had rings made up with 283 diamonds in each ring, which seems excessive, but the “28-3” is reference to the score Atlanta led last year’s game, before things fell apart for them.
Falcons’ owner Arthur Blank isn’t happy about the “283 diamond” thing:
“I said to Robert (Kraft), ‘You didn’t have to do the 28-3 in the ring. It kind of pissed me off.”
4) If you like math, that adds up to 14,999 diamonds just for the 53 rings that went to players. If Mr Blank owned a jewelry store instead of Home Depot, he might not be so mad.
3) New Orleans Pelicans got Nikola Mirotic and a 2nd-round pick from Chicago in exchange for a 1st-round pick, Omer Asik, Jameer Nelson and Tony Allen, who will be waived soon— his acquisition just balanced out cap numbers. Mirotic replaces the injured DeMarcus Cousins.
2) Thursday night’s college basketball upsets:
Loyola Marymount (+9.5) 76, BYU 69
Cleveland State (+9.5) 77, Wright State 74
Citadel (+9) 80, Wofford 78
Temple 81 (+6), Wichita State 79 OT
1) One of the highlights for me every fall is when the Blue Ribbon Yearbook comes in the mail in October- it is an encyclopedia of college basketball.
This fall, their Newcomer of the Year: Michael Porter Jr of Missouri
Blue Ribbon’s Player of the Year: Bonzie Colson of Notre Dame
Missouri gave Porter’s father a coaching job when they signed the son and his brother, but Porter Jr played two minutes in the season opener before a back injury ended his season.
Colson got hurt and hasn’t played since December 30 and is likely done for the year. Notre Dame lost its last six games- they also have other injuries.
Even the college basketball encyclopedia couldn’t foresee some of this season’s events.