Dammit. The Duke problem is over, at least for now. I would not have minded watching that losing streak go another game or two. Here are the various results in another busy day of college hoops. Lots of top teams struggled against pretty questionable competition. Let's get to it.
#1 Florida 76, #25 Alabama 67 Good Goddamn, every day its some other Gator showing what a badass he is. Tonight it was Taureen Green who pumped in 20. Alabama was leading this game by as much as 18. But even just watching the ESPN crawl, you could see Florida coming back, in fits in starts, before blowing it open in the second half. This opens the door for Duke to be back in the Top 25 next week, which I find much more disappointing than I should.
#2 Ohio State 64, Penn State 62 If you were watching this game, and switched away at halftime, no one would have blamed you. Ohio State held Penn State to 19 points in the first half, and were winning by more than 20 points. And they apparently took their foot off the gas in the 2nd half, allowing should have been a severely overmatched Penn State get back into this one. PSU went on a huge run in the 2nd, and had a chance to win the game at the buzzer. As someone who is rooting for Wisconsin this year, it was tough to see the top teams ahead of them in the rankings come so close to losing. But there was little worry that Wisconsin wouldn't keep pace, after all they were playing hapless Minnesota.
#3 Wisconsin 75, Minnesota 62 Wisconsin started sluggish to start the game; at halftime they were up only 4 points, and scoring only 28 points on a team that has been getting scored on a lot. The Badgers came back from halftime, perhaps relaxed by a particularly good performance of Bo Ryan's Hambone extravaganza, and took care of business. Alando "Calrissian" Tucker scored 29 points, and became the Country's Best Player (until Kevin Durant plays again, and then it will be his turn again). Michael Flowers, a quiet x-factor for Wisconsin, is a player to watch. He's been a defensive specialist, but it is clear he is capable of generating offense for this team.
#8 Memphis, is the safety and security that is the forgiving embrace of Conference USA, won again tonight, beating Tulsa 69-52. I have no idea still what to make of this team--sure they are undefeated in their conference, but Jesus, this conference is weak. Their biggest non-conference wins came early in the year to Oklahoma and Kentucky, which looks a lot better now than it did then. I have no idea what to think of this team, and won't until the Tournament, which will be too late, dammit. Right now, I'm guessing I'll stay away from them for the past part.
#9 Kansas beat up on Colorado, 75-46. The only thing I feel like noting about this game is that everytime I hear the name of Kansas' big man, Sasha Kaun, I get the beginning of I Feel For You in my head.
#10 Washington State wins over Washington, 65-61. I know nothing about this Washington State team. I mean, absolutely nothing. I didn't even realize that they had cracked the Top 10. But they are second in the Pac-10, and apparently play tough defensive basketball. If you are looking for potential teams for a different looking Elite 8, play close attention to the PAC-10 Tournament.
#11 Nevada cruises past San Jose State, 68-60. This doesn't mean much of anything one way or another. San Jose has won 4 games all year long. Nick Fazekas isn't as unknown as he was last year, or certainly the year before, but he still doesn't get anywhere near as much press as you'd think one of the top 3 big men in the NCAA's would get. It will be interesting to see how badly they get fucked in the seeding process.
#12 Marquette's freefall continues, losing to DePaul 72-67. Note to CBS Sportsline caption writers. Let's stay away from "humor" in our captions, shall we?
#21 Boston College loses to Duke, 87-80. In Boston. Come on, you stupid Eagles! Note: Even Greg Paulus looks like a quality guard if you leave big men all alone under the basket for him to pass to.
#Also Receiving Votes--My boys, the Winthrop Eagles, continue their march through the Big South (12-0!), this time around whupping up on Charleston Southern. Eat, it you dastardly Buccanneers!