13) San Francisco 61, Virginia 60— Playing for third day in a row, Dons pulled a big upset, going 13-28 on the arc. Not often do you beat a top 10 team, 48 hours after losing to Mass-Lowell.
12) Illinois 77, Ohio U 75— Visiting Bobcats led by 8 with 13:47 left, but couldn’t hang on; they were 4-9 on foul line, Illinois 15-24.
Ohio was +9 in turnovers (16-7); they have kid Jason Preston who scored 31 points- only reason Ohio offered him a scholarship is because they saw a highlight reel he made himself and posted it on Twitter. He wasn’t even on the varsity at the prep school he went to in Florida.
11) UCLA 107, Pepperdine 98 3OT— Rough start to season for the Bruins, splitting pair with a couple of teams they would never normally schedule. Pepperdine led this game by 7 at the half; PG Ross scored 33 points, but Pepperdine was only 9-41 on the arc- they shot 62% inside arc.
UCLA played only seven guys; three of them played 51:00+. They’re missing two players right now; judging from this week, they must be two valuable guys.
10) West Virginia 70, Western Kentucky 64- Both teams were winners this week; West Virginia was down 9 in second half, rallied to win the tournament and improve to 3-0. Hilltoppers were not originally in this event; they gained lot of national respect and got a win over Memphis that will resonate on Selection Sunday.
WKU star Bassey got banged up, only played 19:00; if they keep him healthy all season, it is likely that the Hilltoppers will be in the NCAA’s.
9) Syracuse 85, Bryant 84— Syracuse kids hadn’t practiced in 10-12 days because of COVID; they were down 13 in second half of this game. Bryant put five guys in double figures but turned ball over 21 times (-7) and missed some open shots in last minute.
There were total of 72 3’s taken in this game, 74 2-point shots; playing in an empty dome, not the best shooting background, it is like playing outdoors.
8) This week’s Ravens-Steelers game has been pushed back to Tuesday night; next week’s Cowboy-Raven game has been pushed back to Monday, December 7.
7) NFL QB knowledge:
— Sam Darnold will start for the Jets this week.
— Mitch Trubisky will start for the Bears this week.
6) Over the last six games, Ron Rivera’s Washington team has outscored opponents 90-26 in the second half of games- they lead the NFC East, albeit with a 4-7 record.
5) Sign of the times: Baylor’s basketball team flew to Las Vegas Thursday, where they’re going to play two games, against Louisiana Saturday, Washington Sunday. The game with the Ragin’ Cajuns was put together Friday- the team flew to the desert not knowing who their first opponent would be. Baylor coach Scott Drew is still in self-isolation with COVID.
4) Lot of football coaches are nomads; they wander all over the country, getting jobs in various places. Todd Bowles has been a highly successful coach (NFL coaches make good bank); he was even head coach of the Jets, but he has done his share of moving. Here is how Bowles spent his last 21 years:
2000— Jets, secondary coach
2001-04— Browns, secondary coach, nickel package
2005-07— Cowboys, secondary coach
2008-11— Dolphins, assistant head coach, secondary coach
2012— Eagles, secondary coach
2013-14— Cardinals, defensive coordinator
2015-18— Jets, head coach
2019-20— Buccaneers, defensive coordinator
3) Contrast that resume to Steve Alford’s resume as a basketball coach; there was a time when I would have wagered that Alford would be the coach at Indiana someday, since he was such a good player there. Doesn’t look like that will happen, but he’s also had an interesting career:
1995-99— Missouri State
2007-13— New Mexico
2) Baseball’s postseason star Randy Arozarena was in some hot water in his native Mexico this past week, getting locked up after a fracas with his ex-wife and her father, which revolved around custody of their child; he is out of jail now and will not be charged.
If he keeps hitting during the season, Arozarena is going to be really rich in a couple years, but he needs to stay out of the headlines in the off-season.
1) Villanova-Virginia Tech are playing Saturday at Mohegan Sun, a matchup cobbled together Thursday night/Friday. Thats part of what will make this season so much fun, things changing on the fly— the teams that handle the chaos the best will likely win the most.