THOUGHTS FROM THURSDAY NIGHT
Tape-delayed: I didn't get to watch any games but my DVR was active, including catching a Tennessee-Martin game, so I can have a Lester Hudson report Monday. Martin won and Hudson had 29 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and 5 steals. I'm looking forward to watching that one. I also recorded Northeastern-Delaware, another impressive victory by the Huskies as they continue to play well while looking forward to their big conference matchup vs. George Mason Jan. 21. Delaware, with a couple of touted transfers, has been a disappointment at 7-11 and 1-5.
A cure for your ills: For North Carolina, it was a road trip to Charlottesville, Va., where Virginia was not competitive. The Heels won, 83-61, to end their two-game losing streak.
Tubby does it: Another landmark win for Minnesota and Tubby Smith as they beat Wisconsin, 78-74, in overtime in Madison, Wis., a place they haven't won at since 1994. The Gophers were down nine with 3:24 left but were able to force overtime on a 3-pointer by Lawrence Westbrook. There was no looking back in overtime. It was only the ninth home loss in the eight years Bo Ryan has coached Wisconsin. Smith has done an incredible job, and his team is looking very much like an NCAA caliber one.
What a beatdown: UCLA thundering Arizona, 83-60. The Bruins have now beaten Arizona eight straight times.
Impressionist: Washington guard Isaiah Thomas obviously idolizes Allen Iverson. He's adopted his mannerisms and even wears a similar medical sleeve on his left arm. My advice: Share the ball, Isaiah.
Upset-city in the MAAC: Rider lost to Canisius 84-66. The Broncs could be a MAAC contender but not if they play like this, losing to a team that was winless in the league. Niagara, a personal favorite because of its playing style, lost at home to Iona and now have two bad losses (the other to Chattanooga). The MAAC will still probably come down to a Niagara-Siena final. Siena just escaped vs. Marist, winning in overtime.
Sorry I missed it: Xavier's 2-point victory over Rhode Island.
Sun Belt developments: It's official: South Alabama is in trouble after the Eddie Stankys lost to Troy by the ridiculous score of 94-70 in Mobile. Western Kentucky, always the team to beat in the Belt, put Middle Tennessee in its place, 63-61. Western and Middle are now tied for first.
A familiar name: Troy Gillenwater scored 17 points for New Mexico State in the Aggies' victory over Idaho. Gillenwater is from Dorchester and played at Charlestown High, but left Boston for Los Angeles to play high school ball. He was part of a group of kids from Boston who played for Fremont High in LA that had to forfeit all their victories because of a violation of transfer rules. Bob Hohler detailed the whole mess in the Globe back in 2006. Another Fremont/Boston player, Orion Outerbridge is a bench player for Rhode Island.
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell