MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- After the lull of Finals Week, a literal explosion of college basketball action over the weekend! Here are a few results of interest and note from around Hoops Nation.Butler 68, Purdue 65 (Sat.)
-- The Bulldogs keep doing what they do. They kept hold of the ball (only 13 turnovers), made their free throws (80%), and had a super performance by A.J. Graves
(25 points on 8-for-14, which is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp finger). This game also featured a statistical oddity: both teams ended up scoring (and therefore giving up) exactly .999 points per possession; that's how close it was! But Purdue, despite crushing Butler on the boards 38-23, coughed up the ball 28 percent of the time. I'm telling you, ball control is What's Sexy in Oh-Seven.at Chattanooga 76, Oral Roberts 72 (Sat.)
-- Maybe there is such a thing as peaking too early. Ever since the Golden Eagles' triumph
at Kansas, they've handled Panhandle State and Lamar, but have lost to three squads a Jayhawk-beater should probably take care of: Akron, Tulsa and now the mighty mighty Mocs. The Ken Tutt-Caleb Green combo will take care of itself -- the key to the Kansas win was Marchello Vealy
, and he hasn't really had that kind of game since. Chattanooga, on the other hand, now prepare for their big SoCon showdown with Davidson tonight.Bradley 76, Iowa State 66 (Sat.)
-- Poor Greg McDermott. First his defection-addled Iowa Staters get smacked in their Northern Iowa homecoming, then Drake beat them, and now they're 0-for-3 against the Valley after the Braves ruined their Cyclone Classic for them. A lot of Valley-ites are going to be surprised by Bradley when they see them for the first time: with the inside games of Marcellus Somerville and Patrick O'Bryant gone, they've gone small and fast -- very fast. They'll match up well against some of the more lumbering and methodical teams in the MVC, and should win some games they shouldn't.Southeastern Louisiana 69, Penn State 66 (Sat.)
-- Remember, it's not "under the radar," it's "not on the radar." The Lions, out of the Southland Conference, have now beaten a Pac-10 team (Oregon State) and a Big 10 team, the prestigious and rare Southland 10 double. The revelation has been 6-4 guard Daryl Cohen (no relation?), who was an important bit player as a junior (7.8 ppg) but is an explosive force as a senior (19.0 ppg). Also, did you know that SeLU is fourth in the country in free throw percentage (78 percent)?
at Indiana 57, Southern Illinois 47 (Sun.) -- Talk about a game of missed opportunities. The Salukis did everything they needed to do: outshoot the Hoosiers, keep the tempo super-slow and keep them close on the boards (24-19), but they just turned the ball over too much. Indiana broke open a tight battle at around the six-minute mark and put it out of free throw range in short order. Jamal Tatum with 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
at Fresno State 69, Creighton 54 (Sat.) -- With the exception of a win over George Mason last month (50% from the field), the Jays have had real trouble shooting: no performances over 43%. And fireplug-like size, which was supposed to be the ace in the hole: Creighton has been outrebounded by double digits the past two games, by 12 in a win over Xavier and by 14 here. Also, I'm getting the impression that redshirt senior Nate Funk's wings aren't exactly 100% right now.
Virginia Commonwealth 53, Alabama-Birmingham 44 (Sat.) -- I really want to stick the CAA favorite tag (or co-favorite at least, along with Drexel) on VCU, because they have so much talent and promise. A little over a week ago, in the Black & Blue Classic, they didn't crush the spirit of Richmond and had to do extra work at the end, but they held off a C-USA squad that couldn't shoot straight, holding them off Heisman-style once they'd built a 10-point lead. They didn't exactly light it up themselves (38% shooting and a seven-rebound deficit), but if this is the beginnings of a killer instinct, watch out for the Rams.
at Appalachian State 87, Georgia Southern 84 (Sat.) -- Sure, mini-star D.J. Thompson and his 27 points was impressive enough, but it's obvious this win came from the momentum of App-State's championship in American-style college football, the highest such title that doesn't involve subjective judging like in Olympic figure skating. And it's an opportunity to bring out this old catchy chestnut, which two or three of you probably haven't seen yet. Solid as a rock and proud as a peacock, Appalachian is hot hot hot!
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