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Sully's Court: Arizona prove its worth with a victory over Florida

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  December 17, 2012 10:20 AM

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Monday’s weekly report while wishing the Holiday Festival was still an eight-team tournament at Madison Square Garden. It’s where I saw Bob Lanier score 50, Rick Mount display deadly shooting and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar when he was known as Lew Alcindor.

Five rising:

Arizona: The Wildcats stamped themselves as the Pac 12 favorite after beating previously undefeated Florida 65-64 in Tucson Saturday. Here’s to Billy Donovan for scheduling the game and taking the tough loss, too.

Butler: The Bulldogs slipped last season, but after their victory over No. 1 Indiana it’s obvious they’re set up for a great 2012-13 and look like the favorites in the Atlantic 10. Of course, who knows how long they’ll stay in the Atlantic 10? I assumed they’ll stay long enough to play out this season.

Louisville: Big victory for the Cardinals as they rallied from 15 down in the second half to beat Memphis on the road. Their only loss is to Duke.

New Mexico: The Lobos are 11-0 after crushing archrival New Mexico State 73-58 at The Pit Saturday. The two meet against Wednesday in Las Cruces.

Notre Dame: Since losing to St. Joe’s in OT, the Irish have won seven straight.

Five Falling:

Alabama: The Crimson Tide won their first six but have now lost three in a row after getting beat badly at Virginia Commonwealth.

UC Riverside: The Highlanders could be the worst offensive team in the country. They lost to Southern Cal 70-26 Saturday. That was after 62-40 loss to Pepperdine. Plus there was a 39-30 loss to Fresno State earlier in the season. Doesn’t seem possible. As a team, they’re shooting 38 percent from the field and 24 percent on threes.

Ohio: The Bobcats, despite having All-Sully guard D.J. Cooper, had a ridiculous loss to Winthrop Saturday. This isn’t the Winthrop of five years ago that was an NCAA team; this is a team that lost to Virginia Commonwealth by 36. It’s Winthrop’s first victory of the season over a Division 1 team. The game was played in Athens, Ohio, too.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies looked like they had something working this season, but then they lost at home to Georgia Southern Saturday. Hard to imagine. Georgia Southern isn’t some upstart, tough mid-major; it’s now 4-5 after the upset.

West Virginia: What a bad week for Bob Huggins. First, his team blows a 15-point lead in losing to Duquesne (which turned around and lost to Robert Morris 91-69), then it couldn’t compete against Michigan, losing 81-66.

This Week’s George Mason (best mid-major): Murray State

This week’s Final Four: Indiana, Michigan, Duke, Creighton

This week’s National Champion: Indiana

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