NCAA Daily Links

Thu, 12/01/2011 - 10:15am

With a resounding 8-4 victory, the Big 10 beat the ACC in the challenge between the two conferences. This being the first year the Big 10 has 12 teams. Beyond the obvious mathematic confusion involved, the Big 10 has claimed the last three inter-conference challenges. They still have a ways to go in the all-time numbers, as the ACC claimed the first ten. This challenge showed there was a great deal of depth in the Big 10 this season, while the ACC is in rebuilding mode with a few of their schools. The biggest game of the night was a clash between two top 10 ranked teams and it did not disappoint and ended up being a bounce back match-up for the pre-season ACC favorite school:

Harrison Barnes Plays Big in Tar Heels win over Badgers
(Ben Glicksman/

Harrison BarnesHarrison BarnesHarrison Barnes left the arena on crutches after rolling his ankle in during the closing minutes of a surprising Saturday loss to UNLV. He was immediately being reported as an unlikely participant for a big Wednesday showdown against #9 Wisconsin. Well, Barnes did indeed end up playing and willed #5 North Carolina to a 60-57 win over the Badgers. Barnes had a 20 points and made his presence felt during a run that helped North Carolina take a permanent lead over their hard fighting opponents.

Even with the game nearly out of reach with UNC up by 10 with around one minute remaining, the Badgers never let up. Ben Brust made a long heave at games end to make the final look like a single possession game. The Tar Heels, who had been outrebounded by a number of foes in previous games, had a commanding 39-26 advantage on the boards. John Henson made his presence felt with 17 rebounds and 5 out of the 6 NC blocks. UNC played imposing defense and held Wisconsin to 35.9% shooting from the field.

On the Badgers front, star guard Jordan Taylor finished with 18, 4 and 4. He was held to only 6-20 (30%) FG and 3-11 (27.3%) 3PT, only making 3-6 FT's in the process. Though center Jared Berggren chipped in 14 on 6-12 shooting and 2-5 from deep, the trend seemed to be set by the poor shooting of Taylor. The Badgers seemed to rely on the 3 ball, taking a resounding 28 attempts and making only 8 (28.6%). Bo Ryan's Badgers still play fantastic defense, as evidenced in the low final score and their 14 TO's forced. They also had only 4 TO's on the game as a team, which shows incredible ball control and decision making. But, when you live and die on the reliance of the long ball, these positives can be negated.

UNLV Wins Double OT Shootout over UCSB
(John Dvorak/Presidio Sports)

Orlando Johnson and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos gave the #18 UNLV Runnin' Rebels all they could handle, but it was not enough. Despite Johnson's fantastic 36 point and 10 rebound performance, his team lost a double overtime shootout, 94-88. Johnson, a 6'5 wing, is seen as a definite draft prospect for this season, averaging 23.8 ppg and 7.7 rpg for the 4-2 Gauchos. Center Jaime Serna shot a perfect 5-5 from the field and had 13 points for the losing Gauchos.

The Runnin' Rebels had their own monster performer in 6'8 forward Mike Moser, who had 34 points and 10 boards. Moser was seen as an afterthought at UCLA his freshman season, but in his first season at UNLV, he has been on a total rampage. His 13.3 rpg makes him the current NCAA leader, while he is stuffing the stat sheet with 17.5 ppg, 3.3 apg, 2.5 spg and 1 bpg. Moser also hit 6 trey's against UCSB, but fouled out of the contest. Chace Stanback made some remarkably clutch shots and scored 19 to move UNLV to 8-0 on the season.

Cody Zeller's Parents Dip Out Early, But Indiana Still Holds On For Win
(Terry Hutchens/

Lori and Steve Zeller were incredibly proud parents last night and were lucky enough to have two sons playing their games in relatively close parts of North Carolina. Their son Cody, a freshman F/C for the Indiana Hoosiers, was playing the first game in Raleigh. The parents were their in support, donning split Indiana/North Carolina T-Shirts. However, while the game was still fairly close and Indiana actually in a seven point hole, the parents dipped out and left to see their elder son Tyler's game in Chapel Hill. Cody did not seem to mind, as he was a major contributor in Indiana's 86-75 victory over North Carolina State.

The younger Zeller had 19 points and 7 rebounds, showing great running ability and some solid athleticism in the process. At times outmuscled, Zeller still finished a respectable 8-14 (57%) from the field, which is actually below his current 68.5% average on the season. Zeller's been averaging 15.4 and 7.6 for the 7-0 Hoosiers, who are in the process of delivering credibility to a coach thought to be on the hot seat in Tom Crean. Zeller was not alone, as he got help from Jordan Hulls game leading 20. Christian Watford also had 16 points and Victor Oladipo added 11.

The NC State Wolfpack led 42-41 at the half, thanks to a beautiful putback by CJ Leslie as time expired. They looked to be in control of the game with the home town fans on their side, until Indiana came climbing back thanks to solid defense and shooting. Lorenzo Brown had 19 in a losing effort while sharp shooting junior F Scott Wood had 16. Leslie finished with a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. An explosive athlete, Leslie has a great deal of potential, which keeps NBA scouts interested. While he shows flashes, he also seems to force things at times, as he had 5 TO's on the night.

Keith Appling's Career Night Leads Spartans over Seminoles, 65-49
(David Mayo/

Sophomore guard Keith Appling had a big 24 point, 7 rebound night to give Michigan State the victory over the visiting Florida State. The tough as nails Noles are known for their defense, but Michigan State played incredibly well on that end to obtain the victory. Guard Brandon Wood had 16 points, 10 boards and 5 assists and Draymond Green finished with 16 and 8. FSU big man Bernard James finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Noles, who fell to 5-3. Michigan State's only losses of the same came to two ACC powerhouses in North Carolina and Duke, so it was very nice for them to get this ACC-Big 10 challenge W and move to 5-2.

Creighton Rallies From 17 Down to Beat SDSU
(AP/Sacramento Bee)

Doug McDermott paced the Bluejays with 25 and 12 as they had an incredible comeback victory to beat the tough San Diego State Aztecs, 85-83. Playing on the road, the Bluejays came back late in the game after being down 17 points in the first half. McDermott's father is Creighton head coach, Greg.

Fantastic as a freshman, Doug has stepped his game up to a higher level this season and is averaging 23.7 ppg and 8.5 rpg for the 6-0 Bluejays. Bluejays PG Antoine Young had 18 points and they received a boost off of the bench from Ethan Wragge, as he had 19 points in 19 minutes. The Aztecs have played a tough non-conference schedule and are now 7-2. They had a trio of strong performances from Xavier Thames with 21 points/6 assists, Jamaal Franklin with 19 points/8 rebounds in 22 minutes and their leading scorer on the season Chase Tapley had 15.

Thomas Robinson and Jayhawks Roll Over Owls
(Tom Keegan/

The #15 Kansas Jayhawks received another double-double performance by junior PF Thomas Robinson in a 77-54 romp over the Florida Atlantic Owls. Robinson now has a double-double in every game this season for the 4-2 Jayhawks and boasts season averages of 16.5 ppg and 12.8 rpg. The 6'9 Robinson is considered a lock to be a first round pick in the 2012 NBA Draft and has a chance to crack the lottery. Kansas had a sloppy 17 TO's on the game, but held the Owls to 32.3% FG and 23.5% FT. The Jayhawks fans put in work of their own, holding FAU to 8-19 from the foul line.

Pittsburgh Grabs Rebounds, Victory over Duquesne
(Ray Fittipaldo/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Grabbing almost as many offensive rebounds (13) as Duquesne had total rebounds (14), Pittsburgh survived 23 turnovers and beat the Dukes 80-69. Pittsburgh starters Ashton Gibbs, Travon Woodall, Nasir Robinson and Lamar Patterson provided 20 of the 23 mistakes for the Panthers. Luckily enough, Pittsburgh shot very well from the field and from downtown, but still gave up a very high percentage to Duquesne as well. Ashton Gibbs led Pitt with 18 points, but Duquesne guard Sean Johnson led the game with 19 points. Khem Birch, who had been receiving more playing time, saw his minutes reduced with the return of junior F/C Dante Taylor. Taylor had 15 points and 11 rebounds to help the #17 Panthers get to 6-1.

Gonzaga Blows Out Notre Dame
(Eric Prister/

The #18 Gonzaga Bulldogs imposed their will on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in a 73-53 home victory. The Irish, who just recently lost star F Tim Abromaitis, had 13 first half turnovers which dug them a hole to large to climb out of. David Stockton, son of NBA legend and former Gonzaga grad John Stockton, tied with Robert Sacre to lead the Bulldogs with 15 points. KEVIN PANGOS (shoutout to Seth Sommerfeld and the 24 Hours of Madness Chat Crew) finished with 12 points and Elias Harris had a beastly 11 points and 15 boards for the 5-0 Zaga. Notre Dame is now 5-3 on the season and received double figures from Jerian Grant (16) and Pat Connaughton (11).

Scott Suggs Returning to Practice For UW
(Percy Allen/The Seattle Times)

Needing surgery to repair a toe injury, Washington Huskies fans knew it was going to take some time for senior Scott Suggs to return. Well, it appears that he may actually return in the near future, as he is hoping to return to practice in the upcoming week. Suggs says he is pain free, but that doctors and trainers want him to practice for a few days before he makes his season debut.

Suggs is a 6'6 guard with a sweet shooting stroke who averaged 7.4 ppg in 18.3 mpg for UW last season. The Huskies already have some great depth at guard, but Suggs experience and leadership must be a welcome sign for coach Lorenzo Romar. This article also points out that star freshman football TE Austin Serfarian-Jenkins, who is 6'6 and 258 pounds, has explored the possibility of playing for the Huskies, but is on the fence about whether to play both football and basketball.

UNC, Duke Land Two For 2013
(Bill Cole/Winston-Salem Journal)

The tobacco road rivalry should rage on into the future as North Carolina and Duke announced major signings of top HS juniors. Washington, DC PG Nate Britt committed to coach Roy Williams and North Carolina, while Texas SG Matt Jones gave his commitment to coach Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. Currently ranked as two of the top 25 players in their respective recruiting classes, both had fantastic summers and should be valuable players immediately at the college level.

That is all for today, thank you for reading and I will hit you up with more tomorrow!

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