John Groce whipped his jacket at his bench during a late game tirade that earned him a technical foul in Illinois’ loss to Michigan State. The usually reserved Kevin Ollie lost it at the refs and was quickly tossed after a bad missed call in UConn’s primetime tilt with Louisville. Jamie Dixon got a technical for his paroxysm in Pitt’s thrilling loss at Syracuse. And on a day of T’s, six technicals were assesed during a chippy battle between Kansas and Oklahoma State. Heck, even Steve Donahue, Boston College’s mild-mannered coach, got into the spirit yesterday, drawing a technical foul in BC’s road loss to North Carolina. Aside from all the apoplectic coaches and ref-related drama, this Saturday was probably the best day of the year thus far in terms of being loaded with great games. Here are some thoughts looking back at a day packed with entertaining college hoops:
- The Seton Hall Pirates love their threes. They made 11 of 20 treys in a win over Georgetown yesterday and it was the sixth straight game Kevin Willard’s team launched at least 20 bombs.
- The Big Ten, which boasts a ridiculous quartet of very strong national title contenders (Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa) isn’t just the best conference in college basketball; it is also the deepest conference in the nation. Michigan isn’t far off from those four, as they showed in their win at Wisconsin yesterday. And even Northwestern, a team very light on talent, has proven to be a tough out. The Wildcats knocked off Indiana in Bloomington yesterday and are playing elite defense. Purdue and Minnesota are two more teams exceeding expectations–both have worked themselves onto the bubble and, with their win over Ohio State this week, the Golden Gophers might be working their way toward the top 25.
- Syracuse’s tilt with Pitt was as much fun as we expected. The rematch at the Pete can’t come soon enough.
- Wichita State pounded Indiana State yesterday. Going undefeated through an entire regular season is almost always impossible, but the Shockers look like they’ve got the talent (and of course the schedule) to do it. (Now that I said that, watch them lose to Illinois State on Wednesday.)
- Providence’s win over Creighton was huge for their NCAA Tournament chances. It also took some of the luster off of Creighton’s game with Villanova on Monday. 😦
- They didn’t have quiet enough to beat Duke at Cameron this week, but Virginia is one of the hottest teams in the country right now. The Cavs have now taken down Florida State twice and their games with Wake and NC State weren’t even competitions.
- Also heating up: Kansas. The Jayhawks’ win over Ok State was their third straight over ranked competition. KU now sits at 4-0 and atop the stacked Big 12.
- One of KU’s non-conference losses came to San Diego State and the Aztecs are incredible. Few teams in the nation D up the way San Diego State does.
- Remember those rule changes before the year? And how refs were going to keep games high scoring by calling every hand check? The refs stuck with that for a few weeks at least (free throw laden games like KU-Duke and Providence-BC stand as proof), but at this point it seems officials have largely eased up on the calling of fouls.