Sat, 02/19/2011 - 08:01 — Raphielle Johnson
One of the more important games of the day doesn't involve a ranked team, but because of the inconsistent nature of both teams they find themselves in need of a victory. Michigan State (14-11, 6-7) hosts Illinois (17-9, 7-6) in an important contest both teams need in regards to their NCAA Tournament hopes. Tom Izzo's had to deal with maddening inconsistency from some of the players expected to be leaders, not to mention the dismissal of backup point guard Korie Lucious that's sapped them of their depth at the point.
Wed, 02/16/2011 - 17:45 — Raphielle Johnson
At the most the winner of tonight's game between Wisconsin (19-5, 9-3) and Purdue (20-5, 9-3) becomes the team with the best chance to catch Ohio State at the top of the Big Ten standings. But at the very least a win puts the victor in a good position to earn the two-seed in next month's Big Ten Tournament, a nice reward given the fact that the quarterfinal opponent will have played on the opening Thursday. Wisconsin looks to cap a season sweep of the series, and an important aspect of tonight's game will be their ability to put Saturday's win over Ohio State in the past and move forward.
Wed, 02/16/2011 - 07:08 — Raphielle Johnson
If you haven't paid much attention to Jim Larranaga's George Mason Patriots it's about time you did. The Patriots made quite the statement on Tuesday night, going on the road to whip VCU 71-51 to wrap up at least a share of the CAA regular season title. A win in either of their last two conference games clinches the league outright, and this group is well on their way to their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. Ryan Pearson led five players in double figures with 18 points and eight rebounds, and George Mason assisted on 17 of their 23 made baskets.
Mon, 02/14/2011 - 08:48 — Raphielle Johnson
Many fans and pundits alike felt that Ohio State's trip to Madison would be the point where they'd suffer their first loss of the season. But after a first half that didn't do much to separate either team those prospects didn't look good as Thad Matta's group went on a 23-6 run to push their lead out to 15 points with 13:21 left in the game. Thankfully for the Badgers Jordan Taylor and company had other ideas, answering with a 30-8 run of their own and eventually going on to win 71-67 at the Kohl Center.
Sat, 02/12/2011 - 01:04 — Raphielle Johnson
The day has arrived for those who pegged Saturday as the first loss for the undefeated Ohio State (24-0, 11-0) Buckeyes, who visit Wisconsin (18-5, 8-3) in a contest that will go a long way in determining the tenor of the Big Ten race from this point forward. That seems to be the forgotten aspect of this contest, with many choosing to focus on the question of whether or not Thad Matta's crew can go undefeated (personally, this is a silly question as it hasn't been done (tournament included) since 1976).
Fri, 02/11/2011 - 18:51 — Raphielle Johnson
Outperformed, outworked and outclassed. That would sum up what happened to the Connecticut Huskies in the second half at Madison Square Garden, where the St. John's Red Storm built upon the momentum gained from a Malik Boothe buzzer-beater before halftime to win 89-72 in one of their best performances of the season. Just days after scoring 32 points in a losing effort at UCLA, Dwight Hardy once again lived up to his nickname ("Buckets") in scoring a new career-high 33 points and D.J.
Thu, 02/10/2011 - 10:08 — Raphielle Johnson
Thursday's slate features a matchup in the Big Ten between two teams who have the ability to head in either direction: a win rights the ship while a loss could the latest event that potentially triggers a nosedive out of the field of 68. Illinois (15-8, 5-5) has lost five of their last seven while Minnesota's (16-7, 5-6) dropped three in a row, and with two games in the loss column separating 4th from 9th in the Big Ten standings their meeting at "The Barn" is critical to both.
Sun, 02/06/2011 - 07:53 — Raphielle Johnson
Heading into Saturday's action the Arizona Wildcats were already up by a game in the Pac-10 standings thanks to their win over Stanford combined with Washington's loss at Oregon State on Thursday night. With a golden opportunity to make themselves the clear favorite to win the regular season title at their fingertips as Washington lost at Oregon earlier in the day, the young Wildcats took a big step in that direction in Berkeley. It's just hard to imagine that anyone involved realized just how much effort would be needed to do so.
Thu, 02/03/2011 - 09:56 — Raphielle Johnson
The Syracuse Orange made their way to Hartford knowing that head coach Jim Boeheim had never lost five consecutive games at any point in his illustrious career. But if that wasn't a heavy burden for this group to bear they had to deal with silly rumors of possible point-shaving (something that began as a message board joke became a "story" that some media outlets thought credible for a short period) Tuesday night. But the Orange took care of business, especially on the defensive end, as they beat the Huskies 66-58 to end their skid and get back on the right track.
Wed, 02/02/2011 - 18:42 — Raphielle Johnson
In a game that didn't provide much separation in terms of the starters and their production it was a reserve who proved to be the difference in Wisconsin's 66-59 win over Purdue in Madison. Ryan Evans supplied 10 points and some sold defense off the bench, most importantly tying up E'Twaun Moore on a drive to the basket with 25 seconds remaining and the Badgers up 63-59.