A light slate on a Monday doesn’t go without a daily roundup as there is still plenty to talk about within the world of College Basketball. Obviously, if the game of the day is a Virginia-Iowa game, the day is not filled with great matchups, but we go on with the daily roundup.
Iowa escapes with win at Virginia
After scoring 44 points in the first half and at one point leading by 20 points against Virginia, the Hawkeyes seemed destined for a blowout win at Virginia. Tony Bennett made adjustments, they fronted and took away Keegan Murray and made the other players beat them, and that defensive strategy worked pretty well as the Hawkeyes only scored 31 second-half points. Of course with Iowa’s zone defense, there was room for shooters, which led to freshman Taine Murray hitting 4 threes off the bench. Ultimately, it was Joe Toussaint who hit the game-winning jumper, and Patrick McCaffery who made the game-saving block to help Iowa escape. With this being my first real-time watching them, I must say the offense is still legit, although again any team with shooting will have a field day against this defense. This Hawkeyes team will settle in as a tournament team, nothing more and nothing less.
Gonzaga struggles with Tarleton State
Coming off a tough loss to Duke, it was expected that Gonzaga would roll over Tarleton State, as they were 32 point favorites. Instead, they only won 64-55, which has created some cause for concern. Credit Gonzaga for having the program in a position that a 9-point win seems like a disappointment, but at this point, that’s where their program is at. Tarleton State played a great game as well, defending at an extremely high level, while Tahj Small had 25 for the Texans. Next up for Gonzaga is a game Saturday against Alabama, and if they play like this, they will lose.
Kofi Cockburn and Alfonso Plummer shine in Illinois’ win against Notre Dame
Illinois beat Notre Dame 82-72 on Monday in a game where the Illini led pretty much throughout. The Irish stood no chance at guarding Cockburn, who ate them alive inside to a tone of 28 points, while the team improved. Alfonso Plummer had 21 points, albeit on inefficient scoring, Add-in good point guard play from Frazier and Williams and this offense was rolling. When Curbelo returns, I’m not too uncertain I wouldn’t bring him off the bench, especially if they can get quality point guard play elsewhere.
Texas plays game with only students in attendance
I’m undecided on how I think about this but Texas played Sam Houston State in front of a students-only audience at their Volleyball arena. The environment was good but my main question is what purpose did this serve. The court was difficult to look at because it’s a Volleyball court, while it surely didn’t please donors. I’m all for thinking outside the box, especially when Texas doesn’t sellout most of their games anyway, but this is definitely not the answer.