The Daily Roundup: Day 71

Tuesday was a great day of College Basketball, as there were plenty of great games, plus a few big upsets from the day. The ACC had two of the biggest games from the night as two of the blue bloods, Duke and North Carolina fell on the road in the State of Florida. There were some other big games throughout the day elsewhere, so let’s dive into it on the daily roundup. 

Florida State upsets Duke in overtime thriller

What a night in Tallahassee, the Duke Blue Devils who have been one of the best teams all season long went on the road to take on Florida State in a game that would be remembered for a while. Duke had been playing like one of the best teams in the sport and at times their talent was overwhelming to opponents. Naturally, that of course means that they were going to fall prone to an upset against a Florida State team that had been playing poorly all season long. 

This game was close throughout, Duke led at halftime 38-33 although the game felt much closer than that. Florida State started the second half on a 13-3 run and they took the lead, a lead in which they held pretty much throughout the half. For Duke, their offense was in a funk, Trevor Keels got injured on a fluke play (although he seemed okay when he went to the bench), while John Butler was having a terrific game. Then came the Paolo show, Banchero scored or assisted on Duke’s final 14 points in regulation, as Duke went on a 14-4 run to take a two-point lead. RayQuan Evans forced overtime with a miraculous layup off the glass. 

Overtime was back and forth, Caleb Mills hit two big threes, Banchero and Griffin made a couple of big shots, and while Florida State had the lead thanks to free throws, it was John Butler’s block that gave Florida State their biggest win of the season. The Seminoles have seemingly found their stride, they’ve won four straight and while not on the right side of the bubble right now, should they continue this winning trend, one would think they would sneak into the Tournament. For Duke, they probably have eliminated themselves from the number one overall seed talk, but could still get a one seed. They still have an abundance of talent and it showed well to rally and force overtime. Trevor Keels’ injury could be a concern but they should be fine if he only misses their next two games. The overtime win marked the Seminoles’ 13th straight overtime victory, which is a Division 1 record. 

North Carolina gets blown out by Miami

North Carolina still was without a huge road victory, but they had an opportunity to get a big win by going on the road and playing Miami and it did not go well. Miami led by 27 at the half, Sam Waardenburg was getting wide-open three-point attempts, Kam McGusty and Isaiah Wong both were getting easy looks and scoring with ease and Miami won 85-57. North Carolina has been a mess defensively, they allowed too many open looks from three, they don’t guard with any sort of passion and weren’t able to take advantage of their major size advantage that they had with Bacot inside. 

Braun’s shot helps Kansas survive at Oklahoma

There are games that you need to win to win a league title, Tuesday’s win at Oklahoma felt like one of those games for Kansas as they won in Norman. The Jayhawks struggled offensively at times, having a five-minute scoring drought in the first half, plus a nine-minute stretch where they scored two points, when that happens in most games, teams don’t win games but Kansas found a way. Ochai Agbaji took 34 minutes to score, but he had a big scoring stretch where he hit the game-tying three to tie the game at 58. After an exchange of baskets, Kansas had the ball in their final possession and Christian Braun hit the game-winning three to give Kansas the 65-62 lead, as Kansas held on for the big win. The Jayhawks are now 15-2 on the season, they maintain a one-game lead on Baylor atop the Big 12 standings and did so while not having great games from Agbaji, McCormack, and Remy Martin. 

Short-handed Baylor gets road win at West Virginia

Baylor lost two straight games at home and things didn’t look great for Baylor as they were without James Akinjo and Jeremy Sochan, who were both out with injuries. This game at West Virginia was going to be a major test for the Bears as they were hoping to get a big road win in the Big 12. The Bears started strong behind great shot-making from Matthew Mayer and LJ Cryer, but West Virginia made a 14-0 run to help the Baylor lead stay at 4 entering the second half. West Virginia started the second half strongly and took a 48-45 lead off a Sean McNeil three, but Baylor had their answers. Matthew Mayer hit a couple of big threes, LJ Cryer was scoring at a high level and Baylor was able to run away with a 77-68 road win. The Bears getting this win goes a long way towards them being able to compete for a Big 12 title, the other big news is that they got key scoring from Matthew Mayer and LJ Cryer who have struggled recently.

Kansas State gets a one-point road win at Texas

After struggling with Covid issues just a couple of weeks ago, Kansas State has finally gotten healthy and they have won two straight games against ranked opponents. This game was close throughout, but Texas had the five-point advantage entering the final stretch of the game. That’s when Kansas State locked down defensively and was able to get the win, as they held Texas scoreless over the last 3:30 of the game. Nijel Pack hit two big jump shots, including the go-ahead basket with 1:18 left, and they held on from there. The Wildcats were looking like they might be sinking towards the bottom of the Big 12 following their four-game losing streak, and Bruce Weber has gone from being on the hot seat to being a legitimate Tournament contender. 

Davidson makes it 14 straight wins against VCU

The Davidson Wildcats have now won 14 straight games and this one was one of the tougher wins for Davidson. This game was physically demanding as VCU made it a tough, grind-it-out type of game, yet Davidson prevailed. The Rams had used a strong second half to take a 59-53 lead but the Wildcats responded, Luka Brajkovic hit a couple of shots to cut it to one, then made a tough shot to build a three-point lead, as Davidson held on for a 63-61 win at VCU. The Wildcats not only have won two really tough road games in a row at Richmond and VCU, both in dramatic fashion, should they avoid taking terrible losses throughout the season, they will be dancing.

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