Louisville scored a solid 77-69 home win over UNLV because Rick Pitino's team took care of the basketball, committing only ten turnovers and forcing eighteen. Preston Knowles led the way in scoring with 20 points. Kentucky showed just how far Indiana's rebuilding project has to go in hammering the Hoosiers 81-62. This victory came primarily on the free throw line, where the 'Cats outscored their rival to the north 31-12 and inside, where they won rebounding 43-32. DeAndre Liggins and Brandon Knight combined for 37 points in the backcourt, while Josh Harrelson controlled the glass with 12 rebounds.
In another regional rivalry game Wisconsin got a clutch road win over Marquette, 69-64 in Milwaukee thanks to great guard play from sophomore Jordan Taylor who scored 21 points. Taylor's play contrasted sharply with Marquette's three-guard tandem of Darius Johnson-Odom, Vander Blue and Reggie Smith who could only combine for 15. Another Catholic Midwestern school in the Big East fared better on their home floor--Notre Dame beat Gonzaga 83-79 with great play from forwards Tim Abromaitis (21 points, 8 rebounds) and Carleton Scott (23 points).
Checking in further west, it was a tough day for the Pac-10 as Washington lost to Texas A&M 63-62 in spite of the Aggies failing to hit a single three-point shot. Huskie forward Justin Holiday was held to four points in the loss. Arizona, after showing promise early on, went in the tank against BYU, surrendering 33 points to Jimmer Fredette and being blown out from the get-go in an 87-65 final.
Finally, Duke started the process of getting a new backcourt combination going without injured fabulous freshman Kyrie Irving. The new starter was Andre Dawkins, a sharpshooter who didn't do much against St. Louis. Coach K got better production from Seth Curry, the brother of the former Davidson star Stephon and son of former Virginia Tech star Dell. Seth scored 11 points. For today anyway, Duke's usual suspects of Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler were enough to carry them to an 84-47 home rout of the Billikens.
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Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily commentary in college football ,game analysis in the NFL. and coverage of college basketball. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.