The College Basketball Closer is written by the gang at Storming The Floor.
Late Saturday night, the San Francisco Dons moved to 6-15, having taken advantage of a 7-15 Pepperdine squad that may be even more fouled up than USF, if you can imagine such a thing. A score that would have sunk beneath the weight of East Coast Bias and sheer irrelevancy in any other season was momentarily elevated to the national spotlight because a 71-year-old coach finally managed to win 22 percent of his games at a new school.
Sutton is a bit of an anomaly amongst the members of the 800 Club. We associate Jim Phelan with Mount St. Mary's, Adolph Rupp with Kentucky, Dean Smith with UNC and Bobby Knight with Indiana. But who can really claim Sutton? He's been a Creighton Blue Jay, Arkansas Razorback, Kentucky Wildcat and Oklahoma State Cowboy. Oh yeah, and a Don. Sutton has survived scandal, team tragedy and personal illness to claw his way to this milestone. He's kind of like Andy Dufresne crawling to freedom, though definitely less inspiring.
To put the mark in perspective, the revered and beloved John Wooden seems pretty happy with his measly 671.
So, the Sutton patriarch is a basketball immortal. His story will most likely always be told with warts and all, but obviously Sutton can live with that. He is what he is. Hell, it may not even bother him that Mike Krzyzewski will probably crash his party within the next few weeks (Duke's head man sits at 794 wins). He can bask in the glow of his updated Wikipedia entry, and know that he survived everything that came his way.
Well-wishers are requested to send envelopes stuffed with cash in lieu of flowers.
Top 25 Weekend Recap
Memphis 70-UTEP 64. Miners' coach was asst. at Memphis, kept it tight.
Kansas 72 - Colorado 59. Buffs' misfortune: following K-State victory.
Duke 88 - Miami (FL) 73. Devils shove 'Canes aside, glare at UNC.
UNC 84-Florida State 73. Heels needed OT before glaring at Duke.
UCLA 82 - Arizona 60. Budinger neutralized, shot only 25%.
Georgetown 73 - Seton Hall 61. Will Isiah use his pick on Ewing, Jr.?
Michigan State 76 - Penn State 85. Pringle chips in 19, Floor is Stormed.
Indiana 75-Northwestern 63. If you thought Wildcats were tough, Illini are next.
Tennessee 76 - Mississippi State 71. Chism was everywhere.
Stanford 67 - Washington State 65. Cougars falling to the middle of the Pac.
Wisconsin 63-Minnesota 47. Tubby, Schlubby. Let's go ice fishing.
Texas 80 - Baylor 72. Bears led for much of the first half. Burnt orange rules.
Xavier 75 - LaSalle 62. Musketeers put another feather in their floppy hats.
Marquette 75 - Cincinnatti 60. Unlikely hero Barro gets double-double.
Drake 83 - Indiana State 77. Larry Bird's not walking through that door.
Vanderbilt 78 - Auburn 71. 'Dores right the ship at home.
Florida 61 - Arkansas 80. The student becomes the master.
St. Mary's 86 - Portland 49. Aborigine SG > Japanese PG.
Pitt 53 - Uconn 60. Will Huskies even want Dyson back?
Ole Miss 77 - South Carolina 80. Dave Odom wants just one last NIT.
Texas A&M 60 - Oklahoma 52. Sooners hit more shots, but none in the final 3:00.
Kansas State 74 - Missouri 77. Once again, benching players leads to a win. It's like we're living in bizarro-world!
Three Feet High & Rising
Virginia Tech: 5-3 in the ACC.
Notre Dame: 6-2 Big East.
Arkansas: 5-2 SEC.
Purdue: 8-1 in the Big 10.
Tonight's Big Game
Gonzaga (17-5) at Saint Mary's (18-3). When was the last time Gonzaga played a WCC foe that was ranked in the top 25, while they weren't? Never? The Gaels have been strong all season, riding the skills of Freshman and Indigenous Australian Person Patty Mills (15 ppg). Mills is backed up by able scorers Diaman Simpson and Omar Samhan. Gonzaga you likely know a little about already. Oddly, if St. Mary's wins this one, they're only in a tie with the Zags atop the conference.