There were 20 teams in action from my Top 25 on Saturday. Two didn’t play all weekend – Notre Dame and Illinois – and three (Duke, Washington and Michigan State) all play on Sunday.
Of the 20 who have played, 11 came out on the losing end.
Here are the Top 10 Storylines:
1) The most touching sight of the day was watching Thomas Robinson go to work and score 17 points and grab nine boards in a rout over Kansas State just two days after his mother’s funeral. The crowd at Phog Allen erupted after every Robinson basket and rebound – and the classy move of the weekend came when K-State’s Jake Pullen gave Robinson a hug before leaving the game late in the rout.
2) Top-ranked Ohio State nearly went down to a Northwestern team without its star, John Shurna. The Buckeyes got a key steal from David Lighty, which resulted in a free throw with 3.5 seconds left from Jared Sullinger. A desperation halfcourt heave from Drew Crawford was off the mark keeping the Buckeyes unbeaten – the lone team left without a loss.
3) Syracuse lost its fourth consecutive game, this time on the road to Marquette. The Orange 2-3 zone hasn’t exactly been all that intimidating lately with three of the last four teams shooting at least 50 percent from the field. Marquette was 52.3 percent from the field in the 76-70 victory.
4) Harrison Barnes, following up on his game-winner against Miami, went for a career-high 25 points and six boards in a rout over N.C. State. Barnes was 10-of-16 from the field and had some help from John Henson – who finished with 16 points, 16 boards and seven blocks.
5) New Mexico took down The JImmer. Well, Jimmer Fredette still managed 32 points, seven assists and five rebounds – but BYU came up short at The Pit as the Lobos came away with the win. Dairese Gary and Tony Snell both took turns on Fredette and did an admirable job.
6) Louisville got the resume win it needed with a road victory at UConn. Peyton Siva overshadowed Kemba Walker and hit huge shots down the stretch as Rick Pitino’s team beat the Huskies in double overtime.
7) Xavier struggled in the non-conference, but the Musketeers remain the team to beat in the A-10 – and Tu Holloway is the favorite for league Player of the Year honors. Holloway had a career-high 33 points and was 17-for-17 from the charity stripe and leads the A-10 in scoring (21.1) and is second in assists (5.3).
8) Butler needs to win the Horizon League tourney to have any shot of getting back into the Big Dance after a loss to Valparaiso. This puts Brad Stevens and the Bulldogs at 6-4 in the league, 2 ½ games behind Cleveland State.
9) Arguably the top two shooters in America went against one another - http://msn.foxsports.com/collegebasketball/story/College-baseketball-preview-top-shooters-for-2010-11-season-112010 - and it was Rotnei Clarke who showed he may still be numero uno. Clarke scored 36 points and was 6-of-8 from deep as his Arkansas team pulled the upset over John Jenkins (24 points, 2-of-5 from 3) and Vandy.
10) I stood in and helped coach my 7-year-old daughter’s basketball team to a huge win. I opted to toss the zone defense that the full-time coach has employed (he wasn’t in attendance today) and instead, went with a relentless man-to-man defense that was so suffocating that the opposing coach begged me to call off the dogs. I may wind up returning with a perfect 1-0 mark.