There were a bunch of college basketball games last night and I didn’t see any of them. Actually, I watched a few minutes of UConn’s 90-63 win over Lafayette, but that’s it. I don’t know if Gonzaga beat Washington (God I hope so). I don’t know if our teams ranked in The Other Top 25 held serve. I know nothing.
Join me as I visit the ESPN.com college basketball schedule page from last night and scroll through the final scores.
Gonzaga 81, Washington 79
Rui Hachimura is CLUTCH, Gonzaga survives pic.twitter.com/eeDQ3sGMKB— Chris Montano (@gswchris) December 6, 2018
I have a social life and I miss things, but OH MY GOD I CAN’T BELIEVE I MISSED THIS. Hold on let me dive into the box score and try to figure this out.
So Rui Hachimura had 26-and-7 and Brendan Clarke had 10-and-11. Cool. How did the Zags blow a 10-point halftime lead against an unranked foe at home?
Ah, so Jaylen Nowell had himself a night as Washington began the second half on a 12-2 run, which included a couple big threes from the sophomore guard. Also, Geno Crandall and Killian Tillie are still out and the Huskies were a preseason Top 25 team so maybe we shouldn’t be shocked that this was a close game. Fair enough. Moving on!
The other ranked teams
They all won except for Nebraska, which lost at Minnesota. Cool.
Duquesne 93, Marshall 82; Missouri State 84, Western Kentucky 78
GUYS GET IT TOGETHER! I decided in the preseason that Conference USA would be a multi-bid league and you’re making me look stupid! To be fair, Duquesne and Missouri State are both solid, but Marshall and WKU are supposed to be better than this!
The Herd have now lost three out of four with two of those losses to KenPom sub-150 teams. If they want to finish anywhere near the at-large conversation, they probably have to knock off both Texas A&M and Virginia on the road. In other words, it’s not happening.
As for the Hilltoppers, they let Missouri State shoot 55 percent from the field and next they have to deal with an uptempo and fun Arkansas offense. Good luck with that. WKU is now 4-4 and honestly I’m not sure if they will be in The Other Top 25 next week.
Southern Illinois 61, Saint Louis 56
We don’t release everyone’s The Other Top 25 ballots, so take my word for it that I’m pretty much the only one left who is high on Southern Illinois. WELL GUESS WHAT FOLKS, THEY BEAT SAINT LOUIS LAST NIGHT. The stats from this game are pretty terrifying, but here’s something interesting: Saint Louis shot just nine free throws all game. and the Billikens are typically a good team at getting to the line (even if they’re not good at, you know, converting those freebies).
Now excuse me while I gloat and NO YOU MAY NOT ASK WHERE I RANKED ILLINOIS STATE LAST WEEK.
Yeah, about the Redbirds
UIC 94, Illinois State 75
Milik Yarbrough went for 30 but UIC manhandled them last night. Jordan Blount (27 points, 11-16 FG) was the star of the show for a Flames team that scored 1.24 points per possession. This is Illinois State’s first really bad loss and it still has a win over BYU. Before you ask, no I have no idea how good that BYU win will look come March.
VCU 54, Texas 53
Welcome back to Earth, Utah State
BYU 95, Utah State 80
KenPom has LOVED Utah State for whatever reason this year. Because of that, the Aggies’ OK-but-nothing-special resume has been blown out of proportion. The wins over Saint Mary’s and UC Irvine were cool, but cool enough to be a top-50 team nationally? I don’t know.
Well, T.J. Haws and Yoeli Childs not only made sure that Utah State would be humbled, but Nick Emery returned as well to make our own Will Maupin look like a genius.
The Cougars have scored at least 80 points in seven of their 10 games and have surpassed 90 four times.
Time to hit that panic button for the Ramblers
Ball State 75, Loyola University Chicago 69
They lost again? Really?
I was all aboard the “Loyola is actually overrated” train at the beginning of the season, but I expected the Ramblers to be better than this. Ball State’s a good team, don’t get me wrong, but the Cardinals weren’t supposed to win this one. And they won despite National Player of the Year (to me) Ish El-Amin scoring just three points! That’s well below his average of [checks notes] 5.7. They SHUT DOWN the consensus No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft!
In all seriousness, expect Ball State to be ranked next week in The Other Top 25, assuming it doesn’t slip up at Evansville.
Battle of the Whale Va[redacted]
San Diego 73, San Diego State 61
Hey, good for the Toreros! We’ve been hearing for a month now that the West Coast Conference is oddly deep, and San Diego gave us some added proof with a 12-point win at Viejas. This was their first win on the Aztecs’ home court since 2000.
San Diego joins Loyola Marymount and San Francisco as surprise teams in the Conference Of The Zags.
This isn’t a great loss for the Aztecs, but it’s not the end of the world. San Diego is a top-100 team and they’ll have plenty more opportunities for good wins. Cal, which is next on the schedule, is not one of those opportunities. The Bears are bad.
Here’s how bad
San Francisco 79, Cal 60
Woof. The only thing more brutal than a Pac-12 school losing by 19 at home to a WCC school is this Twitter exchange, which was brought to my attention while writing this: