While Conference Championship day in College Football received the majority of attention for Saturday, College Basketball had its first great Saturday of College Basketball. Alabama-Gonzaga was the headline game of the day, as the Crimson Tide pulled off a major upset of Alabama. Elsewhere, there were plenty of solid matchups, upsets, disappointments, surprises, and more, so let’s get into the daily roundup.
Alabama takes down Gonzaga
After winning an SEC Championship, the day was already incredible for Alabama but by finishing the day off with a win against Gonzaga, it is one heck of a day to be an Alabama fan. The Tide got hot early, nailing 10 first-half threes, while Jaden Shackelford had 20 first-half points and the Tide led by 16 at the half. While Gonzaga made their runs at Alabama, it was the freshman JD Davison who hit the big three and finished the game off with a scoop and slam. After losing to Iona and struggling against Drake, the Tide seemed to find themselves in the Miami game and it certainly translated in this game. With the three guards of Shackelford, Quinerly, and Davison, the Tide has extreme scoring pop that can help them beat any team in the sport and this game proves it.
For Gonzaga they aren’t the same as they were a season ago, while Holmgren does help defensively, they are missing the scoring pop they had a season ago. Timme is going to score northwards of 20 points per game, but who else can be counted on as a consistent reliable scorer? Nembhard isn’t a pure scorer, Holmgren isn’t a great offensive piece. Add in that the role players like Bolton, Strawther, Watson, Sallis, and Hickman are inconsistent and because of that this team is beatable. Sure, they could win a National Championship, but their margin for error is much less than it was a season ago.
Rank Colorado State
The headline speaks for itself at this point, the Rams ran a good St. Mary’s team out of the gym, winning 74-58. Their schedule hasn’t been great to this point, but this roster is fantastic. David Roddy is a legitimate superstar, while Isaiah Stevens is one of the best pure point guards in the sport. Saturday’s game was just a typical Colorado State game, Roddy had a cool 19 points, Isaiah Stevens had 14 points, which were more than enough for Colorado State. The Rams can beat teams going small, they can beat you playing big, and anyway in between. At this point, Colorado State winning the Mountain isn’t a question of if, but by how many games.
Wake Forest wins at Virginia Tech, looks like Tournament threat
While Virginia Tech has certainly not been great to start the season, Wake Forest going on the road and beating them by 19 is impressive. Steve Forbes has developed a really good team this season, one that seems poised to contend for an NCAA Tournament bid. Daivien Williamson had 19 in this game and has been one of the key scorers, add in Jake LaRavia and Alondes Williams, who both have taken a major step forward offensively from their previous stops and this team is decent. I have my doubts on whether this roster can maintain consistency enough to make the NCAA Tournament but they certainly have a chance to do so.
Memphis drops third straight against Ole Miss
Memphis fell 67-63 on the road against a likely non-NCAA Tournament-bound Ole Miss team. Penny Hardaway looked less than thrilled as the team continued to look uninterested in playing as a team. “We’ve got so much negativity in our locker room with veterans being jealous. Nobody is willing to sacrifice minutes, touches, anything. It’s been miserable,” we’re quotes given to The Athletic’s Seth Davis postgame. The team is playing one on one basketball, they aren’t passing, sharing, or doing what it takes to win. A simple solution would be benching players but in a locker room that seems to be lost, I don’t know if Hardaway can get this turned around in time to make the NCAA Tournament.
Adaway’s three lifts short-handed St. Bonaventure to win against Buffalo
With Kyle Lofton out a few games with an ankle injury, the Bonnies seemed extremely vulnerable to an upset. That upset wouldn’t come Saturday thanks to a game-winning three-pointer by Jalen Adaway. With Lofton out, Jaren Holmes took over the lead guard responsibilities and he was able to have 8 assists. Adaway led the scoring with 16 points, including the game-winning shot. The bench remains a concern for this team as we go on, but for now, the Bonnies move to 7-1.
Caleb Houstan impresses in Michigan’s win against San Diego State
In a battle of teams that have been rather unimpressive to start this season, Michigan beat San Diego State 72-58. While Dickinson had a typical All-American level performance with 23 points and 14 rebounds, the key to the game was Caleb Houstan. Houstan, who has struggled mightily scoring the ball, went 4-5 from the perimeter in Michigan’s win. If he can become a consistent second scorer for this team like he was in this game, the Wolverines can still get back to being a Top-10 level team.