— Alabama 78, South Carolina 76 OT— Freshman Brandon Miller scored 41 points and pretty much single-handedly won this game, despite being in the news for off-court reasons. Miller made 6-13 shots on the arc; only one other Alabama player scored in double figures.
— Belmont 89, Indiana State 88— Sycamores led by 19 in first half, by 17 at half, by 9 with 3:16 left in game, but they lost. Belmont is now in a 3-way tie for 3rd with Indiana State, Southern Illinois. Two of those three teams are likely to play each other in MVC quarter-finals.
— When you miss a 3-point shot, the rebounds are longer/more scattered than a rebound of the typical 2-point shot. Because of that, one of the most underrated skills in today’s game is getting loose balls— knowing angles, being quick to react, then being tough enough to get the loose ball, even if it means diving on the floor to get it.
It is a little harder to measure that skill, but it is there.
— There is a receiver for the Houston Roughnecks in the XFL, Jontre Kirklin; he caught five passes for 71 yards and a TD last week, and looked good doing it. You figure he is a guy who could get a look in an NFL training camp this summer.
Kirklin was on the Arizona Cardinals’ practice squad last year, but was cut before the season started. Turns out he got a DUI and if you’re a practice squad guy, that Is something that will end your employment. Quickly.
Hopefully he learned his lesson and will get another chance.
— In case you were wondering, underdogs covered three of four games in Week 1 of the XFL; three of the four games went over the total.
— Remember the movie Little Big League? The guy who owns the Minnesota Twins (Jason Robards) dies and wills the team to his 12-year old grandson, who winds up naming himself manager of the Twins. Pretty good movie, but not the most realistic one.
Anyway, the mom in that movie (Ashley Crow)…..her son in real life is Pete Crow-Armstrong, an outfield prospect for the Cubs— he hit .312 in A ball last season. The kid got drafted in our fantasy league Wednesday night.
— Last season, major league home runs were hit at the lowest rate since 2015.
— Has anyone ever had Marco’s Pizza? Am seeing lot of commercials for it on TV, but I’ve never seen a Marco’s pizza place. The Interweb indicates their locations are mostly in the midwest, but it looks like there are several in Las Vegas. May have to check one of them out next month.
— Former UCLA/NBA star Marques Johnson posted a video on Twitter this week, showing him dunking on an outdoor hoop…….at age 67. Good for him.
— Elvis Andrus signed a one-year, $3M deal with the White Sox; he is expected to play second base for the first time in his career. This will be Andrus’ 15th year in the big leagues; he hit 17 homers last year, for A’s/White Sox.
— Texas A&M is 11-3 against the spread in SEC games this season; Buzz Williams is a good coach.
— Boston College 63, Virginia 48— Cavaliers are struggling; they shot 32% from floor in this game, after beating Louisville/Notre Dame by 2-3 points in their previous two games.
— Old Dominion 69, Southern Miss 64— Sun Belt is a weird league; teams from Virginia to Louisiana. This is one of the worst shooting conferences; rebounding is very important.
Southern Miss had won nine in a row, but now they’ve lost their last two road games, are tied for first with Marshall.
— Kentucky 82, Florida 74— Kentucky was 10-6 on January 10; nitwits there were calling for Calipari’s head. Wildcats are 9-3 since then; Bracketology has them as an 8-seed now, so they are off the bubble for now. The nitwits have been quiet.
— Boise State 82, New Mexico 77— Broncos won 12 of their last 14 games, are game behind San Diego State atop the Mountain West. New Mexico has lost six of its last eight games, after an 18-2 start; they’re sliding off the bubble.