I guess the Notebook jinx is officially born. Not a few hours had passed since me writing that I'd pick Georgetown to go to the Final Four and they turn in a clunker at home, in losing to South Florida. But before writing it off to a jinx, it perhaps better underscores the danger of picking teams based on potential rather then performance, especially once the calendar turns to February. The Hoyas got good games from Greg Monroe and Austin Freeman, their old reliables, but everyone else no-showed. The Bulls got to the line more frequently and their 19-11 scoring advantage here equaled the eight-point margin of victory.
Pitt joins Georgetown in falling off the radar in the Big East race. The Panthers season has followed a strange path. A mediocre December was followed by a phenomenal road run to start conference play. Now they're losing again and have
dropped four Big East games. They shot the ball terribly last night in a 70-51 loss to West Virginia. Ashton Gibbs was 2-of-13 and even center Gary McGhee was clanking the rim at 3-of-11. A big win for Bob Huggins' Mountaineers as they try to stay in contention themselves.
Kansas continues to live dangerously, but keeps on winning. The Jayhawks had their second straight overtime escape, this one at Colorado. Free throws were the difference, but give credit to their inside tandem of Aldrich and Morris, who combined for 31 points, and more importantly, 22 rebounds in keeping control of the paint.
And another nice win for Vanderbilt, who survived Mississippi State at home, 75-72, in continued to make it clear that they are the only real challenger to Kentucky for SEC honors. The Commodores got a lot of help from Bulldog shot selection last night, as Mississippi State launched 34 treys and only hit nine. Dee Bost was the chief culprit, while
Vandy got a nicely balanced attack from Jermaine Beal and Brad Tinsely outside and A.J. Oglivy inside.
Notable wins elsewhere included Virginia going to 5-2 in the ACC with a win over N.C. State, Ohio State beating Penn State to stay two games back in the Big Ten, and Texas A&M getting a much-needed resume win over Missouri.