Georgetown beats #17 Villanova
Needing a number of wins to salvage any hopes of making the NCAA Tournament, the Georgetown Hoyas had a perfect chance on Wednesday to pick up a huge win when 17th ranked Villanova was making its way to Washington D.C. and Georgetown came out firing on all cylinders.
Throughout much of the first half things stayed close, but a pair of threes by Mac McClung pushed the Georgetown lead out to 29-22 and the Georgetown defense did a great job of stifling the Villanova offense, stretching its lead all the way out to 14 points at 42-28 before going into halftime with a 42-32 lead over the defending national champions.
During the second half Villanova tried to crank things up and they were able to do a good job of getting the offense in gear, putting up 41 points in the half, but as the game wore on it became more clear that this just wasn’t Villanova’s night. For the Wildcats to come back and win they were going to need to string together stops and despite scoring 41 in the second half, they gave up 43 and were never able to put a string of stops together to give themselves a real chance as Georgetown picked up a huge win.
The Hoyas were lead by Jessie Govan, who put up 21 points and 11 rebounds on 8/12 from the field and Mac McClung, who went for 21 points and was 4/8 from three.
Florida beats #13 LSU
Last week LSU experienced the high of beating then number five Kentucky in Rupp Arena on a game-winning tip-in by Kavell Bigby-Williams and last night they experienced the low of being beat by one of the more inconsistent teams in the SEC. Florida has a very underwhelming 15-11 record on the season but despite that they have found a way to sit at 7-6 in SEC play following their overtime win over LSU, who had been one of the hotter teams in college basketball coming into this matchup.
KeVaughn Allen lead the Gators with 21 points, but a huge reason why Florida was able to win this game is because, while turning the ball over 14 times themselves, they were able to even it out by forcing 14 LSU turnovers. Another huge stat was LSU only going 16/25 from the free throw line.
It’s hard to win conference games when you shoot it that poorly from the free throw line and LSU had to learn that lesson the hard way, suffering a very tough defeat at home.
Syracuse beats #18 Louisville
Syracuse has been one of the more Jekyll and Hyde teams in college basketball this season and frankly they have been that way for the past number of seasons pretty much since they joined the ACC, but last night was a high moment for them, as 18th ranked Louisville came to the Carrier Dome and Syracuse showed why they are a team that not a lot of people should be lining up to play come March.
After the game was a 14-12 Syracuse lead, the Orange went on a run to make it 24-12 before the Cardinals would score again and after that point the game was never really in doubt.
Louisville did put up a nice stretch of offense to end the first half, but that run they allowed had already put them in a hole and they went into halftime trailing 35-23.
In the second half Louisville didn’t have any more answers for the Syracuse defense as they managed only 26 points in the half, totaling a measly 49 points for the whole game.
On the other end Syracuse did enough offensively to come out with a very comfortable 69-49 win, but the name of the game for Syracuse was defense. They held Louisville to just 25.9% shooting and just 21.4% from the three-point line.
That defense is why not a lot of people will be lining up to play Syracuse come March, because if they get you into a slower-paced game that revolves around defense they are hard to beat because they’re so accustomed to playing in those types of games.
This Syracuse team yet again has the feel of a team who could lose right away in the tournament, make a run to the Elite Eight or not even make the tournament at all if they slump at the end of the year. They have just had some really up and down teams over the past few seasons.
San Diego State beats #6 Nevada
San Diego State is trying to make a late run to prove they belong in the NCAA Tournament and last night they picked up their biggest win of the season, beating 6th ranked Nevada 65-57 in a sold-out Viejas Arena.
The Aztecs were lead by Devin Watson with 15 points and 8 assists and 15 points and 6 rebounds from Jeremy Hemsley.
They were also able to dominate Nevada on the boards, out-rebounding the Wolfpack 46-37 and probably most impressively they were able to hold the Martin twins and Jordan Caroline to 9/33 shooting, which lead to Nevada shooting 33.9% overall and just 28% from three.
This is only the second loss for the Wolfpack this season, the other one being a blowout loss to New Mexico, but they also barely have a lead over Utah State in the Mountain West standings and even though they are as highly-ranked as they are, they have yet to pick up a quadrant one win. Nevada will still make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large if they end up not winning the Mountain West Tournament, but they are looking at being seeded much lower than their ranking would indicate if they end up not winning the conference tournament.