The College Basketball Closer is written by the gang at Storming the Floor.
The anonymous billionaire who runs STF was fortunate enough to meet n' greet A.J. "The Balls" Daulerio at the Philly stop of the Deadspin Book Tour this past week. Among the tidbits he learned about the 'stache of record, we discovered that Balls is a LaSalle man. For those of you not really watching the A-10 standings, there is an aroma of cheesesteak at the top of the league, with St. Joe's just behind Xavier at 8-4, and Temple and LaSalle holding steady at 7-5. The Explorers are on a four-game win streak at the right time of the season.
So, with apologies to David Letterman, Jason Whitlock, and the entire Muncie area, we'll be pulling for Balls State to make the dance this year.
Top 25 Action
Memphis 62-Tennessee 66. Pearl soiled orange jacket on Beale Street. Nobody noticed.
North Carolina 89-Wake Forest 73. Damn, that bubble be slippery!
Duke 86-St. John's 56. No losing streak can survive a visit by the Johnnies.
Kansas 60-Oklahoma State 61. OSU kids stormed the floor for all the right reasons.
UCLA 75-Oregon 65. Oregon's tourney hopes thinner than Love's ridiculous beard.
Stanford 79-Cal 69. Stanford's got the Goods. Anthony Goods (20 points).
Texas 62-Oklahoma 45. Longhorns might be positioning themselves for a #1 seed.
Butler 64-Drake 71. Keno must know that old "measure the baskets" trick.
Wisconsin 56-Ohio State 53. Bohannon (16 points) is dynamite off the bench.
Georgetown 73-Cincinnati 53. Guys named Sapp sure do like to talk smack.
UConn 65-Villanova 67. Big week for the Big Five. Except Penn, that is.
Indiana 85-Northwestern 82. The Dan Dakich regime: sponsored by Rogaine.
Vanderbilt 86-Georgia 74. Vandy is up and down. Are they streaking too soon?
Michigan State 66-Iowa 52. Izzo f'shizzo. That's win #300 for the man in green.
Notre Dame 94-Syracuse 87. McAlarney netted nine treys with Digger watching.
Xavier 57-Dayton 51. Musketeers defeat
Washington State 55-Arizona 65. Wildcats are going to break hearts in March.
St. Marys 57-Kent State 65. Al Fisher was ready for his closeup. Multi-bid MAC?
Texas A&M 59-Nebraska 65. No dominant performances by either team in this one.
Marquette 78-Rutgers 58. Jerel McNeal's line: 14 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists.
Louisville 75-Pitt 73. Padgett hits free-throws. No wonder he had to leave Kansas.
Kansas State 86-Baylor 92. Beasley and Walker scored 75 together. Nice bench, Wildcats.
Three Feet High and Rising: Bracket Busters Edition
Only three teams really made any racket that might reverberate in March.
Kent State has been in the witness protection program (also known as the MAC) this season, but 65-57 road win at ranked St. Mary's gives them a serious at-large feather to put in their caps.
Davidson beat a tough Winthrop team on the road, and did it with mid-major man crush Stephen Curry playing out-of-sorts all game. Dell, Jr. kept bombing away and broke out of his slump at the end of the game. As them little Wharvey gals might say: "He's a shooter!"
Drake went into a very hostile Hinkle field house and pulled a reverse-Hoosiers on their hosts. For a team that's already in, they probably did the most to elevate their eventual seeding. And, they looked pretty good in those blue unis. Will they have to wear them in the first round? Doubtful.
Tonight's Big Game
Texas (23-4) at Kansas State (18-8). The hottest team in the Big 12 takes on the hottest player. Both of these teams have beat my alma mater this season, and I'm still psyched to see them play. Nobody knows who will step up for Texas tonight, but everybody knows who will come up big for the Wildcats. By the way, Beasley has passed Carmelo Anthony as the NCAA freshman with the most double-doubles. And counting.