Providence upsets Villanova 76-71

After a tough loss to DePaul at home, Providence bounced back in a huge way with a win over Villanova. The Friars now have wins over Xavier and Villanova at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center this season. They will be in the NCAA tournament.

Providence used a balanced scoring attack tonight, having five guys in double figures. Kyron Cartwright led the way with 17 points, five assists, and three steals. Mikal Bridges had 19 points for the Wildcats.

Villanova has now lost two of their last three games. For a team that relies so heavily on the 3-point, going 3-20 from deep isn’t quite the recipe for success. Giving up 49 second half points also does not help. Villanova definitely looks vulnerable right now.

 

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Florida State outlasts Clemson in OT

The Seminoles were able to come out with the victory against the Tigers in overtime in Tallahassee 81-79. Phil Cofer had 17 points and Trent Forrest added 16 points off the bench. Marcquise Reed had 23 points for Clemson. This was Clemson’s first loss of the season after having a double digit lead at the half.

You can pretty much book Florida State as a tournament team without much hesitation. As for Clemson, they are now tied with Duke for second place in the ACC. So, this weekend’s game between the Blue Devils and the Tigers will be a huge one.

Jahvon Qunierly commits to Villanova

Five-star point guard and McDonald’s All-American Jahvon Quinerly committed to Villanova this morning. The former Arizona commit is the 26th overall recruit on the ESPN Top 100 Chart for 2018. Quinerly is also the sixth ranked point guard in the class. He joins four-star power forward Cole Swider and four-star small forward Brandon Slater as Villanova pledges for 2018.

Assuming junior star point guard Jalen Brunson forgoes his final year and enters the 2018 NBA draft, Quinerly will take his place as the starting point guard for Jay Wright. This is a huge get for Villanova and really solidifies a tremendous 2018 class for the Wildcats.

Texas A&M’s Point Guard Woes

Just as things were coming together for the Aggies, the program suffered some horrible news on Sunday. Redshirt freshman point guard J.J. Caldwell has been dismissed from the basketball team. Freshman point guard Jay Jay Chandler has been suspended indefinitely for violating Texas A&M policy. Losing these two young guys is devastating.

On top of this, Duane Wilson has a lingering knee injury (partially torn ACL). This means that the point guard duties will fall onto freshman T.J. Starks. Starks has been playing really good basketball recently, scoring 23 points and 17 points in wins over Auburn and Kentucky.

We will see if the Aggies can continue to play well amidst all of this unfortunate news.

Washington falls to Oregon State in 2OT

Stephen Thompson’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Beavers a huge win at home over Washington in double overtime. Thompson finished with 22 points, six assists, and six steals. Tres Tinkle finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists. Drew Eubanks added 18 points and 13 rebounds. Noah Dickerson had 28 points and 12 rebounds for the Huskies.

This is not a good loss for Washington, as they now have dropped two in a row (Oregon and now Oregon State). Washington is one of five Pac-12 teams projected to be in the NCAA tournament (along with Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State, and USC). However, Washington is the team that concerns me the most. In my opinion, they are the weakest team of the bunch.

A team that I wouldn’t count out just yet is Oregon. They have a lot of talent and could be a dark horse team in the conference.

Some Saturday CBB Headlines

Hokies stun the Hoos in OT

Virginia just needed a win over their rivals to ensure that they would be ranked number one come Monday. Virginia Tech decided to spoil the day as they pulled off the 61-60 victory in OT. This marks Virginia Tech’s first win over a top-five team on the road since 2009 (Wake Forest). They also have beaten UVA in OT in back-to-back seasons. Justin Robinson led the way for the Hokies with 20 points and seven assists, but it was Kerry Blackshear’s put-back layup that gave Virginia Tech the win. Devon Hall had 16 points and six assists for the Cavaliers. We know about Virginia’s defense, but Virginia Tech’s defense was spectacular in this game. They held UVA to just 34.4 percent shooting from the field. Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome combined for just 4-24 from downtown. This win all but solidifies Virginia Tech’s placement in the NCAA tournament.

Michigan State defeats Purdue 68-65

Miles Bridges had the game-winning 3-pointer in this epic Big Ten battle. He had a team-high 20 points to lead the Spartans. Isaac Haas had 25 points for the Boilermakers. This was a tough week for Purdue, as they lost back-to-back close games to Ohio State and Michigan State. Ohio State sits alone at the top of the Big Ten.

Texas Tech alone at the top

The Red Raiders are now a full game ahead of Kansas in the Big-12 and they have won six straight games. They smoked Kansas State today 66-47 in Manhattan. The Wildcats shot 28.9 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from downtown. Keenan Evans had 19 points and five assists to lead Texas Tech and Dean Wade had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Kansas State. Chris Beard has the defense and the star in Evans to really do some damage come March.

Baylor stuns Kansas in Waco

Jo Lual-Acuil (19 points), Manu Lecomte (18 points), and Nuni Omot (17 points) led the way for Baylor as they cruised by Kansas 80-64. Now 15-10, the Bears don’t want to be done just yet. Kansas shot just 39.7 percent from the field and 19.4 percent from 3-point range. Devonte Graham had 23 points. Bill Self and the Jayhawks are definitely in trouble. They have been way too inconsistent and their regular-season title streak is very much in jeopardy.

Alabama pounds Tennessee 78-50

Donta Hall poured in 17 points and added 11 rebounds as the Crimson Tide dismantled the Volunteers in Tuscaloosa. Tennessee shot just 27.6 percent from the field and 23.5 percent from 3-point range. Collin Sexton added 16 points and John Petty added 14 points. Grant Williams had 16 points for Tennessee. Alabama has the length, physicality, and toughness to be a very scary team come March. Now 7-5 in the SEC, they are no joke.

Iowa State takes down OU in Ames 88-80

The Big-12 freshman who never seems to get enough love is Lindell Wigginton. His game-high 26 points gave the Cyclones a big-time victory. Donovan Jackson added 19 points and Cameron Lard had 19 points and 17 rebounds. Trae Young had 22 points and 11 turnovers, while Christian James added 22 points of his own. The Sooners have now dropped three straight games.

West Virginia upset at home 88-85

Like Baylor, Oklahoma State wants to show us that they are still in the hunt for a tourney bid. Cameron McGriff and Kendall Smith poured in 20 points each. Jevon Carter’s 33 points was not enough for the Mountaineers. It is officially time to press the panic button for West Virginia. This is a game that they simply cannot lose at home. They host TCU on Monday.

Caleb Martin is back, already?

Caleb Martin was supposed to be sidelined indefinitely, but was magically able to play on Saturday. Something doesn’t add up there. Anyway, this is huge news for Nevada, as they look to finish at the top of the Mountain West. They defeated San Diego State 83-58 behind 26 points and 11 rebounds from Jordan Caroline. Next up? Boise State.

Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman lead the way over Miami 72-70

Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman are as good as any backcourt in the country. They went for 29 and 24 points, respectively. Bowman also had 12 rebounds and six assists. Dejan Vasiljevic had 17 points for the Hurricanes and Chris Lykes added 16 points. Boston College is a very good team, but it will be a long-shot to land a tourney bid. As for Miami, this is a very tough loss to swallow.

Shamorie drops 44

Shamorie Ponds dropped 44 points on Marquette in the 86-78 victory. The Red Storm have now won three straight games. Andrew Rowsey had 34 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. When will Chris Mullin’s club lose next? As for the Golden Eagles, their tourney hopes are extremely thin after this loss.

Missouri defeats Mississippi State in OT 89-85

Kassius Robertson had 22 points for the Tigers in the OT win over the Bulldogs. Lamar Peters had 22 points and seven assists in the loss. Missouri is now 7-5 in the SEC. The icing on the cake would be a Michael Porter Jr. return in the near future.

Notre Dame defeats Florida State 84-69 in South Bend

Matt Farrell dropped 28 points as the Irish got a really good home win over the Seminoles. C.J. Walker had 16 points for Florida State. It is hard to imagine what this Notre Dame team would be like if they were healthy for the entire season. As for Florida State, they dropped two games this week, and this loss especially is not a very good one.

Providence goes down to DePaul 80-63

Marin Maric’s 18 points and eight rebounds helped give DePaul their third win in the Big East. Max Strus added 17 points and Tre’Darius McCallum added a double-double. This is a brutal loss for the Friars at home. If you are a bubble team like Providence, this is the type of loss you just simply can’t have. Unacceptable.

Marcus Derrickson leads Georgetown over Seton Hall

Marcus Derrickson had 22 points and 18 rebounds in the 83-80 win over the Pirates. Myles Powell and Desi Rodriguez combined for 49 points. Seton Hall has dropped three in a row. They really need to get their act together here down the stretch.

Arizona State beats the two LA schools this week

After an impressive comeback win over USC on Thursday, the Sun Devils beat UCLA in Tempe 88-79 on Saturday. Shannon Evans had 23 points and Tra Holder had 22 points. Aaron Holiday had 20 points for the Bruins. Arizona State is back on track as they have now won three straight.

Boise State suffers ugly 71-65 loss to Utah State 

Not only is Caleb Martin back for Nevada, but Boise State also lost to Utah State on Saturday. What’s next for both teams? A date in Boise. The Broncos were outscored by 13 points in the second half. Koby McEwen went for 23 points. Chandler Hutchison had 28 points in the loss. With this loss, Nevada now sits alone at the top of the conference. What a game we have coming up on Wednesday in Boise.

Gonzaga gets pay-back win over Saint Mary’s 78-65

Rui Hachimura’s 23 point points and a double-double from Johnathan Williams gave the Bulldogs the victory over the Gaels in Moraga. Gonzaga did an incredible on Jock Landale, who finished with just four points, his lowest point total of the season. Gonzaga will now be back in the top-ten.

Kentucky defeats Texas A&M 85-74 in College Station

Kentucky has lost three straight, the most in a row in the Coach Calipari era. Robert Williams and D.J. Hogg both had double-doubles, while T.J. Starks added 17 points. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had 19 points and eight assists in the loss. Texas A&M has won four straight as they start to click here down the stretch. They have a ridiculous amount of talent. As for Kentucky, it is starting to get worrisome, especially with the remaining schedule that they have.

Arizona gets back on track with the 81-67 win in Tucson 

Rawle Alkins scored 20 points, Dusan Ristic had 16 points and 11 rebounds, and Deandre Ayton added 18 points and seven rebounds as the Wildcats soared past the Trojans. Chimezie Metu had 18 points for USC. This has been a brutal week for the Trojans, who suffered a stinger on Thursday to Arizona State and then missed out on this big opportunity in Tucson.

Winning streaks to keep an eye on

East Tennessee State: 16 games

Vermont : 13 games

New Mexico State: 11 games

 

 

 

Caleb Martin injury opens up Mountain West

UNLV defeated Nevada last night 86-78. The Wolf Pack are now 0-4 as a ranked team, but the more important issue at hand is that their star player Caleb Martin is out indefinitely with a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot. This is huge college basketball news.

Caleb Martin is an extremely important piece for this Nevada team and is a primary reason for their success this season. Many Boise State fans would argue for Chandler Hutchison, but Martin has a case to be made as the best player in the conference. Hutchison (19.9) and Martin (19.8) are the top two leaders in points per game.

Nevada has San Diego State next at home, but then they have to travel to Boise to face the Broncos. Without Caleb Martin, the Wolf Pack are in serious trouble. With him sidelined, I think this conference is Boise State’s to lose. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team like Wyoming, Fresno State, or UNLV got hot and made a run late to climb up in the standings as well.

Penn State beats Maryland 74-70

Lamar Stevens led the way with 25 points as the Nittany Lions took down the Terps in PA. Anthony Cowan had 15 points and five assists in the loss.

I know the Wolverines just lost to Northwestern, but the Big Ten has four clear-cut NCAA tournament teams in Ohio State, Purdue, Michigan State, and Michigan. Penn State is a team, along with Nebraska, that has a chance to possibly get in. The Nittany Lions have Ohio State, Purdue, and Michigan all in a row as we start to close out the regular season. They have the opportunities to help themselves.

As for Maryland, it has been a brutal year with injuries. It is hard for me to see them as an NCAA tournament team, especially after tonight’s loss.