13) Before I start in on Thursday’s college games, there was a high school game this week in California that ended 146-123. A 32:00 high school game ended 146-123. No bueno.
Lonzo Ball’s (PG at UCLA) brother is in 10th grade; he scored 92 points in this game for the winning team, 41 in the 4th quarter, but he rarely crossed half court to defend in the second half. All of this raises numerous questions.
— What coach allows their players not to play defense, just so he can show off?
— What parent is OK with their son and his team embarrassing an opponent? The winning team was fouling on purpose, just to get the ball back— this is OK?
— Who coaches the other team? You have to double or triple-team the kid, just so he can’t make fools out of your players. Thats the least you need to do.
— Refs are probably relieved that no one on the losing team tried to put the kid into a wall for being a self-absorbed human being.
— The kid is an outstanding player, already committed to UCLA, and he is only in 10th grade, so this is likely to be repeated at times over the next two years.
12) Duke 86, North Carolina 78— Sorry to disagree with Duke alum Jay Bilas, but Auburn-Alabama football is a much bigger rivalry than this game; I mean, someone poisoned a tree over the Iron Bowl. I didn’t even know it was possible to poison a tree. Duke was 13-27 on the arc.
Weird fact; these teams have met only once in last 12 ACC tournaments. Surprising.
If I’m running ESPN, I bring in UNC alum Brad Daugherty for a 3-man booth for these rivalry games, with Dan Shulman and Bilas. Too may Dukies on network TV.
11) Wofford 131, Samford 127, 4OT— This is the third night in a row a game went four OT’s. Samford led by 6 at the half, made 14-27 on the arc but lost.
10) Purdue 69, Indiana 64— Swanigan had 16 points, 14 boards and I thought he got by far the worst of the officiating- couple fouls against him were total home court calls. . Swanigan has improved his draft stock by staying in college this year. Indiana is 15-10, 5-7 in the Big 14; they need to start winning some games, so Selection Sunday isn’t a very long day.
9) Northeastern 73, Charleston 72— Kid on Northeastern grabbed an airball, tossed up an underhanded flip at the buzzer and it went in, giving Huskies an unlikely win in a game they trailed by 16 at the half. Cougars fall out of a tie for first place in the CAA.
8) Furman 60, Chattanooga 56— Paladins are in first place in an improved Southern Conference; well-balanced Paladins start three juniors and a senior- no one on Furman scored more than 13 points in this game. Chattanooga is 2-3 in its last five games.
7) Rice 89, FIU 78— 16-8 Owls are headed for only their second winning season since 2005; they’re 7-5 in Conference USA.
6) Colorado 81, Washington 66— Huskies’ star freshman Markelle Futlz didn’t play because of a sore knee, which should raise red flags in front offices all over the bottom half of the NBA. Buffs are now 4-8 in Pac-12, after starting out 0-7 in conference games.
5) Wisconsin 70, Nebraska 69 OT— Nigel Hayes tore the Cornhuskers’ hearts out with a 3-pointer with 0:18.4 left in OT, after Nebraska had tied the game with a 3-ball at buzzer of regulation. Nebraska has now lost eight of its last nine games.
4) Cal State-Bakersfield 72, New Mexico State 53— Roadrunners hand NM State their first loss in WAC, are now tied with Aggies in loss column for first place.
3) Liberty 92, Gardner-Webb 87, 2OT
NC-Asheville 104, Winthrop 101, 2OT— Both winners are 11-2 and tied for first place in the Big South, but they both were fully extended here.
2) UCLA 82, Oregon 79— Highly entertaining two hours; Ducks controlled the game early, led by 9 at the half, by 13 with 12:00 left, but then UCLA got momentum in the second half and surged to a win that avenged their 89-87 loss in Eugene back in December.
1— St Mary’s and Gonzaga both won their games vs inferior opponents last night, setting up Saturday’s showdown in Moraga. Gonzaga won first meeting with St Mary’s 79-56 at home Jan 14.