Well let’s start with some alum news first: Steve Wojciechowski’s Marquette team took Louisville in overtime.
That’s a huge win for the Golden Eagles.
Louisville, according to the Courier-Journal, has had trouble closing out games - something that Rick Pitino, whatever his faults, would not have tolerated.
In Vegas, UNC bounced back from the loss to Texas with a win over UCLA. Freshman Coby White had another big game with 19 points and eight assists but got into some foul trouble.
UNC has a tough stretch coming up, other than UNC-W: Michigan, the team we think has to be the favorite for the national title, Gonzaga, not far behind, and Kentucky.
That’s some serious competition.
We’ll get back to Michigan as we turn to the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
The other day, Tony Bennett said he thought 5-9 freshman Kihei Clark was a winner and put his faith on the line by starting him in place of Brandon Key.
He didn’t exactly tear it up - he finished with five points and five rebounds - but Bennett must have been pleased since he stuck with him for 37 minutes.
Bennett is now starting four guards: Clark, Ty Jerome, Travis Guy and De’Andre Hunter, who at 6-9 gives him immense flexibility.
Virginia had a tussle with Wisconsin, as you can imagine, but prevailed 53-46.
Ethan Happ had a huge game for the Badgers with 22 points, 16 boards, six assists and four blocks.
To the best of our recollection, Clark is the second Filipino to play in the ACC, following Duke’s Chip Engelland.
We thought FSU-LSU sounded like a good game, but if you had told us that Mfiondu Kabengele would hit a game-winning three in overtime we’d never have believed it.
MJ Walker led the way with 21.
Miami’s Chris Lykes had another good outing with 17 points although he shot just 6-16 as Miami nipped Fresno State. Zach Johnson came off the bench to hit for 24. The schedule is favorable for the ‘Canes and they could enter ACC play 11-0.
Now to the depressing stuff.
Wake Forest lost - at home - to Houston Baptist. The Deacs had a 14 point lead and lost it late. Then a four point lead disappeared. All in all it was just not a good night for the young Deacs.
It’s a horrible feeling as a fan to watch your team fail like that. It doesn't happen at Duke very often but we’ve seen it before. Brandon Childress had 27 and Jaylen Hoard added 22. Sharone Wright Jr. added 14.
To their credit, the young Demon Deacons seem to understand they took their foot off the gas. The season is still quite young so there’s time to correct things. We hope Deac fans are patient.
After not starting last time out, Jose Alvarado returned to the lineup for Georgia Tech and good thing: scheduled patsies Prairie View A&M actually pushed the Yellow Jackets.
Alvarado had 15 points, six assists and four steals. Along with Virginia’s Clark and Miami’s Lykes, he’s a guy we really pay attention to.
Because he’s a ballplayer. He’s not the most talented guy in the gym usually, but he knows how to play.
As Prairie View was embarrassing Tech at home, up nine, Alvarado ripped off nine straight by himself and pretty much bailed his team out.
Basically Tech had the same problem Wake Forest did: it didn’t take the Aggies seriously and nearly paid the price.
On Saturday, three minor prep games before the ACC-Big Ten Challenge: DePaul visits Notre Dame, St. Francis will challenge Virginia Tech and NC State hosts Mercer.
|SATURDAY'S ACC ACTION|
|DePaul @ Notre Dame||12:00||ACCNE|
|St. Francis @ Virginia Tech||1:00||ACCNE|
|Mercer @ NC State||5:30||ACCNE|
- What UNC learned about itself in the Las Vegas Invitational, and why that’s important now
- North Carolina uses big second half to rally, beat UCLA 94-78
- Virginia outlasts Wisconsin to win Battle 4 Atlantis title
- University of Miami propelled to Wooden Legacy final with Johnson’s game-winning dunk
- No. 4 Virginia shakes off pesky Wisconsin in Battle 4 Atlantis title game
- Georgia Tech avoids upset against Prairie View A&M
- In Pitt’s bounceback season, team chemistry is both chicken and egg
- ’Older guy’ Sidy N’Dir continues to be a luxury off Pitt bench
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