Notre Dame made a very solid showing against Villanova Saturday, taking the #1 Wildcats to the wire before losing 74-66.
The Irish were in it until the last minute, down just 68-66 with :56 left. Villanova hit free throws and Notre Dame missed threes, essentially.
Still, Notre Dame knows it can play with anyone now. That was a heck of an effort.
Josh Hart basically won the game for Villanova: he had 37; no one else managed more than eight.
In another sign of concern for Villanova, the team only went seven deep.
By the way, Rex Pflueger? No turnovers.
Not in that game...in the season. Wow.
NC State returned to a renovated Reynolds for a night and had to go to overtime to beat Tennessee State.
Beejay Anya, who’s been a non-factor for most of the season, had 12 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks and even talked some smack after the game: "They kind of came in here and thought they could punk us. I ain't no punk, so that's one thing they ain't going to do to me. So I came in and heard them talking and it got me going."
Surprisingly, the rotund big man played 38 minutes.
Good thing, since State got just three points and five rebounds from Abdul-Malik Abu and Ted Kapita, who combined for just 30 minutes.
Dennis Smith had 19 points, six assists and four steals.
State is almost whole now: Maverick Rowan is back from his concussion and while he didn’t do that well, he’s at least back. And highly regarded Omer Yurtseven will debut on Thursday against Appalachian State.
Terry Henderson may be our favorite Wolfie simply for this quote: ““I think the Reynolds magic guided that bank shot in on the 3-ball. It was a great atmosphere. I wish we could play more games here, honestly, but it is what it is.”
State’s new barn is very nice, but Reynolds has soul. It’s nice to see it acknowledged.
Syracuse got back on track with an easy win over Boston University, 99-77.
The ‘Cuse shot 51.6% and hit 14 treys.
BU’s Cedric Hankerson had 34 points.
The Tylers continue to fade: Tyler Lydon had 10 points and six boards in 26 minutes; Tyler Roberson, who has at times been superb, came off the bench for four points, three rebounds and two turnovers.
We’re not applying this to Roberson because how would we know, but a guy who played at Bakersfield once told us that we’d be surprised how many guys play college basketball but really don’t like it that much.
Good news: Matthew Moyer is almost ready to go. He’ll help.
Louisville got Rick Pitino his 400th win as the Cardinals head man Saturday, beating Texas Southern 102-71.
Derrick Griffin ripped down 26 rebounds for the Tigers, the best rebounding night in the NCAA this season and one that will get him some serious attention.
Louisville put six guys in double figures. VJ King continues to come on as a freshman.
Like Jim Boeheim, Pitino doesn’t really have a firm grip on his team’s identity yet. That’s a bit surprising in both cases.
Normally we wouldn’t say a win over Penn State is worth much but the Nittany Lions have played well at times this season and Pitt is in transition so it’s a good win.
Sort of anyway.
Pitt has developed an unhappy pattern of giving up leads. Everyone is aware of it but no one has figured out how to prevent it. Pitt had a 20 point lead at halftime; with less than two minutes, the Panthers were clinging to a five-point lead.
A couple of ACC smackarounds will focus attention.
Michael Young had 29 to pace the Panthers.
Clemson beat Mercer (altogether Duke fans - go away Mercer!), 90-47 to move to 6-2.
Donte Grantham had 19 and Jaron Blossomgame had 16. Shelton Mitchell and Avery Holmes are now pretty firmly the starting backcourt and Clemson has some depth. The one possible weakness?
Center Sidy Djitte.
Potentially good news on that front: Texas A&M transfer Elijah Thomas will be eligible on December 18th. He was very highly regarded in high school but left A&M very quickly. He could help a lot.
Proudly noted: the top two vote-getters for the Heisman were ACC quarterbacks and notably, neither plays for Florida State. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson beat out Clemson’s Deshaun Watson.
- Wolfpack survives Tennessee State with 67-55 overtime win
- Notebook: Josh Hart too hot to handle for Notre Dame men's basketball
- Jersey guys set tone for Notre Dame men's hoops
- Notes: Notre Dame sophomore Rex Pflueger heck of a handler
- SU routs Boston University; breaks out of slump
- Boeheim on SU reaching potential: 'It's going to take a long time'
- Gillon sorts through grandfather's death during midnight practice
- Cards blow out Texas Southern
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