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It was close, and then it wasn’t:

#7 Cal over Utah.

#8 Penn State over Ohio State.

#5 Kentucky over LSU.

#22 Florida State over Virginia Tech.

Texas Tech over TCU.

NC State over Georgia Tech.

UTEP over Houston.

Butler over VCU.

Delaware over Drexel.

Creighton over Bradley.

Washington over Oregon.

It was close, and stayed close:

#19 UCLA over Arizona State

#13 Louisville over St. John’s.

#11 North Carolina over Miami.

#18 South Carolina over Arkansas.

#15 Purdue over #25 Michigan State.

Seton Hall over Rutgers.

Wichita State over Evansville.

It was never close:

#4 Duke over Boston College

#15 Georgia over Florida.

#17 Dayton over Massachusetts.

#16 TAMU over Missouri

#10 Maryland over Clemson.

Duquesne over Fordham.

MTSU over Western Kentucky.

Fresno State over Colorado State.

It wasn’t close, and then it got close.

Virginia over Wake Forest.

It was so close, it became a loss.

Iowa over #23 Michigan.

Washington State over Oregon State.

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If you were, once again, scoreboard watching, I’m sure there was a moment when you went, “Whaaaaaa? Is someone messin’ with the ESPN numbers?”

Well, they sure were — ‘cept it was the players on the other teams. Six, count’em, six ranked teams got upset. Some by a bit, some by a ton. Awesome for the game.

Undefeated no more: #9 Green Bay got schooled by the other Mitten, Detroit. At home (the ESPN front page picture contrasting the players and the GB fans is, as they say, worth a thousand words).

WHBlog readers had this game penciled in their calendars: #18 Gonzaga v. BYU in the WCC. Well, it wasn’t much of a game as the Cougars ran roughshod over the Bulldogs, 70-40. Man, the conference tournament ought to be fun!

And how about Arkansas, knocking off #24 South Carolina. By 21. Perhaps the Gamecocks were a little cocky?

In her chat, Mechelle wondered about the Vols emotional state and how much they had in the tank. Well, they had enough to pull even with Vandy in the second half, but then ran outta gas. Glory fouls out, Comodores win pulling away, 93-79.

There had been some talk of #10 Ohio State being leery of going in to Champaign to face Illinois, but it felt more like “don’t look past an opponent, ’cause the Purdue game is coming up” talk (and the Buckeyes had beaten the Illini by 12 two weeks ago). But who thought Illinois, down twelve, would squeak out the 1-pt victory courtesy of an Alexis Burke layup with two seconds left?

The other other Mitten (no, not Central Michigan) went into Lincoln and made first-half life absolutely miserable for the Cornhuskers, holding them to 12 points. Michigan did manage to hold on through Nebraska’s second half surge and come away with the 63-52 win.

Chelsea Gray made sure Duke didn’t become the seventh ranked to fall as Boston College got all feisty at the Forum.

In an off night (27 pts, 15 rebounds, 2 ast, 3 blks), EDD made sure Delaware stayed undefeated in the CAA.

In the CAA under-card, James Madison (9-3) and Drexel (7-5) went to overtime, and it was the Dukes over the Dragons.

In the other CAA under-card, VCU (7-5) took down Hofstra (8-4), 76-60. Man, get your tickets now – that’s going to be a fierce conference tourney.

UTEP still rules all in the C-USA. (There are some off-court distractions, though.)

In a battle of bears, the Golden took down the Bruin.

Has anyone noticed that Eastern Washington is now 10-2 in the Big Sky, quietly leap frogging the Montanas?

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I was listening in to Debbie and Beth’s podcast from last week (love their State of the (Basketball) Union addresses) so I could pick up the names of five “under the radar” players (though I wouldn’t call Julie UTR) and give them a little shout out:

At Florida International, it was sophomore guard Jerica Coley. She’s had 5 30+ games and her 24ppg sits her right behind EDD in the scoring race.

At Hofstra, it was junior forward Shante Evans. She entered her junior season with 1,024 career points and 665 career rebounds (putting her at eighth all-time in program history.

At VCU, it was senior forward Courtney Hurt. “Hurt turned in perhaps the greatest season in VCU history in 2010-11, leading the nation in rebounding (12.4 rpg) and double-doubles (25), while ranking second in the NCAA in scoring (23.2 ppg).”

At Green Bay, it was senior forward Julie Wojta. Shooting 52% from the field this season, she averages 18.7 ppg, is an 82% FT shooter, and has snagged 77 steals.

At Gonzaga it was senior forward Kayla Standish. She averages 15 ppg and 7.5 rebs. Last year she scored double-figure points in all but five games; including 12 20-plus point contests and two 30-plus point contest.

A player they might want to holler at: junior forward Central ArkansasMegan Herbert. When the Sugarbears took down McNeese State, Herbert had a season-high 32 points and 15 rebounds for her 56th career double-double and became the eighth player in Sugar Bear history to eclipse the 1,500-point mark. Howee says Van says: she’d exceeded Fowles’ double-double count, and was second only to Courtney Paris in consecutive dd games.

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by their names won, but…

the Vols have an injury scare to deal with.

the Boilermakers needed a key block

the Blue Hens needed a ridiculously productive 22 minutes from EDD

the Orange have a Sugar (and cupcake?) problem

the Hurricanes needed a Yderstrom to break a quarter-century drought

revenge tasted sweet as the Lions ate Cornhuskers for lunch

the Gamecocks had a huge turnover problem

In the world of the unnumbered:

Kansas sent Missouri to 0-4 in the Big 12

Florida derailed LSU’s SEC winning streak

Davidson gave Appalachian State their first loss in the Southern, and improved their record to 7-1 in the conference.

Bowling Green dismantled Buffalo, and is now 4-0 in the MAC.

In a tight battle, the Owls topped the Flyers, 61-57.

“Down” Marist is now 6-0 in the MAAC.

This is the kind of loss that F.O.B Lady Swish says is killing the Tribe: VCU takes down William & Mary 83-80.

One step forward, one step back. St. John’s lost to Marquette. At home. (Well, at the Garden.)

Hofstra’s win over ODU (their first ever at) puts the Pride at 5-0 in the CAA. Looking ahead, they’ll face Delaware on the 26th and VCU on the 9th.

It took OT, but UTEP squeaked by Tulane, 65-64.

Cal pulled away from Utah in the second half to earn a 63-58 win. Any bets on how many bids the Pac-12 gets?

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Thursday, March 17

St. Bonaventure 77, Lehigh 43
Syracuse 77, Monmouth 53
Eastern Michigan 67, Michigan 59
UNC Wilmington 63, Richmond 54
Boston College 85, Yale 61
St. Joseph’s 72, VCU 66
Virginia 69, Morgan State 56
Duquesne 64, Kent State 56
Utah State 103, Arizona 95
Oral Roberts 78, TCU 74
Arkansas 91, Lamar 65
Tulane 61, Southern 31
Northwestern 89, Creighton 63
Auburn 68, Tennessee Tech 54
Illinois State 72, Central Michigan 59
Missouri State 76, Rice 65
Alabama 80, Memphis 69
Colorado 71, UC Riverside 62
BYU 75, Denver 60
Southern Cal 67, UC Santa Barbara 64
Nevada 65, St. Mary’s CA 62
California 74, Cal Poly 60

Friday, March 18

Florida 59, UMBC 47
FGCU 73, Drexel 67

Saturday you have

Auburn at Toledo, 12 p.m. EST
St. Joseph’s at Boston College, 1:30 p.m. EST
Utah State at BYU, 5 p.m. EST
Duquesne at Kansas, 8 p.m. EST

Sunday it’s

Illinois State at Wisconsin, 2 p.m. EST
Charlotte at South Carolina, 2 p.m. EST
Arkansas at Missouri, 3 p.m. EST
Alabama at Northwestern, 3 p.m. EST
Virginia at Loyola, 4 p.m. EST
Southern Cal at Nevada, 5 p.m. EST

Monday’s schedule is

St. Bonaventure at Syracuse, 7 p.m. EST
Eastern Michigan at UNC Wilmington, 7 p.m. EST
Florida at Florida Gulf Coast, 7:05 p.m. EST
Tulane at Oral Roberts, 8 p.m. EST
California at Colorado, 9 p.m. EST
Oklahoma State at Wyoming, 9 p.m. EST

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they fall down. Again. This time, Kentucky was “out hustled” by Georgia, 69-51.

Speaking of wobbling, Duke fell to Maryland. Hard. The BasketCases had lots of reasons to be happy.

The Hurricanes survived a feisty Boston College team, 90-80 and Florida State escaped Wake Forest with a 3-point win. This all makes it mighty crowded at the top for the ACC.

Ohio State’s title streak is over, but that didn’t stop them from taking down #23 Penn State, 89-67.

From Rocky Talk Talk (say that quickly three times): Lady Vols Earn Share of SEC Crown by Beating South Carolina 82-60

There is much to say about the game but precious little to learn.  With a combined 35 fouls – almost none of which were called in the closing minutes – the game never really had any kind of flow.  Both teams seemingly spent more time preparing for free throws than running offenses and hustling back on defense.  The sputtering nature of the game was significant enough that it must be addressed first.  And boy, it’s a game the refs would like to forget ever happened.

Chris Solari says Michigan State is a win away from history.

With their 19-point victory over Troy, Middle Tennessee is now 13-1 in the Sun Belt.

James Madison and Dawn Evans are now 13-1 in the CAA, courtesy of a win over Towson.

The CAA is a bit of a dogfight this year: ODU (11-3) lost to VCU (10-4) to give coach Beth Cunningham’s team their first sweep of the Monarchs in program history.  Drexel (7-7, CAA) needed overtime to take down William & Mary (1-13, CAA).

Eeeeuw: Hartford moves to 9-4 in the Am. East with a 55-37 win over Binghamton.

The America East top spot holders flipped with UMBC’s victory over Boston University.

“Houston, we have no problems.” The Cougars are now 12-0 in C-USA.

Last year’s Maggie Dixon Rookie Coach of the Year T-Spoon has LaTech 11-0 in the WAC.

Ouch. Cal Poly (10-2 in the Big West) stumbled against CS Northridge (4-9, BW), 68-65.

Gonzaga’s win over Santa Barbara clinches them a share of the conference title.

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and say, it “Felt Like March . . .”

Watching tonight’s game between #14 Maryland and #3 Duke, you’d never have known it was January; or, that it was opening night of the ACC season. No, this game felt more like March . . . like an ACC final. That’s when we expect intense, hard-fought nailbiters, full of punches and counterpunches by two really good teams. Not so much in early January.

A little south of them, Lady Swish has your Saturday special: HU, NSU, Richmond, Liberty, Radford in action and notes that VCU’s Hurt goes off again; ODU, JMU earn CAA wins

Courtney Hurt is doing for the Rams (7-6, 2-0 CAA) what Elena Delle Donne did for Delaware a year ago during her fabulous freshman season – almost singlehandedly carrying her squad to victories. Hurt’s number were spectacular by themselves – a school record-tying 35 points, 13 rebounds. But 25 of those points – 25 of VCU’s 39 – came in the second half as she rallied her Rams past the dangerous Seahawks (9-4, 1-1 CAA). It was the latest in a string of sensational efforts from Hurt (24.9 ppg, 13.7 rpg), the most potent double-double force in the CAA since, well, Elena Delle Donne. Hey, ESPN, how ’bout some national pub for this kid?

Will you take a little love from the WHB?

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