The Weekly Sports Report

Finally there was movement at the top! In the just released A.P. Top 25 poll, undefeated Stanford replaced Duke in the #1 spot after the Blue Devils' loss to North Carolina St. on Sunday. The only other unbeaten team, St. Joseph's, also jumped ahead of Duke into 2nd place. The Blue Devils fell to #3. Mississippi St. moved up two notches from 6th to 4th. Despite a double overtime loss at Seton Hall on Monday, Pittsburgh only fell one spot to 5th.

At this point, it appears that Stanford and St. Joseph's would be #1 seeds even if they lost a game. After that, the outlook gets a good deal murkier. Duke would clearly be a top seed if they run the table including the ACC Tournament. However, if the Blue Devils lose one or two games, several teams could jump ahead of them. Mississippi St., Oklahoma St., and Pittsburgh are the current contenders for a one seed. If several of them falter down the stretch, Gonzaga could slip in by default.

While the West Coast Conference is weak, the Bulldogs played a very respectable OOC schedule and are unlikely to suffer another defeat. The last three weeks of the season should prove very interesting!

I'll be taking a one week sabbatical to soak up some much-needed sunshine in Puerto Rico. The next Weekly Sports Report will be posted on Tuesday, March 2nd. Adios till then!


Tuesday
East – Syracuse got back on track, but the Orangemen were far from impressive. They edged Rutgers 63-61 at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse came into the game having dropped four of their previous five games. Rutgers was coming off an 85-58 drubbing by Seton Hall. The Scarlet Knights trailed 61-58 with 43.7 seconds remaining when the Big East's best free throw shooter, Gerry McNamara, missed the front end of a one and one. With a chance to tie the game, Rutgers freshman SG Quincy Douby missed an open 3 pointer. The Scarlet Knights then fouled Syracuse PF Hakim Warrick who also missed the first of a one and one. Again, Douby missed on a 3 point attempt. Warrick followed with two free throws to lock up the victory. Rutgers had an excellent chance to win despite shooting a horrid 29% from the field. Junior SG Ricky Shields led all scorers with 20 points, though he shot only 7-23. Warrick was the leading scorer for Syracuse with 16.

South - #8 Kentucky prevailed 66-55 over Alabama at Rupp Arena. With the Wildcats' leading scorer Gerald Fitch sidelined with an injury, senior SG Antwain Barbour started for only the 2nd time this season. Barbour made the most of his opportunity, scoring 23 points and adding 5 rebounds. The Crimson Tide has now dropped five straight games… #15 Georgia Tech defeated #14 North Carolina 88-77 in Atlanta. Junior guard B.J. Elder had 30 points for the Yellow Jackets. Sophomore SG Rashad McCants of the Tar Heels led all scorers with 31… Also in the ACC, #21 North Carolina State continued to roll as they topped Florida State 75-59 in Raleigh. Freshman SG Engin Atsur led the Wolfpack, scoring a season-high 20 points. N.C. State was very effective from three point range, hitting 14 of their 30 shots… In the Atlantic 10, Xavier continued their recent hot streak with a 62-51upset at Richmond.

Midwest – In Big 12 action, Missouri defeated Colorado 77-65 in Columbia… Illinois cooled off Michigan State 75-51. Junior guard Luther Head led the Illini with 17 points. Freshman guard Shannon Brown was the only Spartan in double figures with 12. The loss dropped Michigan St. ½ game behind Wisconsin for first place in the Big 10.

Southwest - #11 Texas routed Baylor 84-58 in Waco. The Longhorns have now won 5 straight. Junior guard Kenny Taylor, a transfer from Baylor, scored 18 for Texas. All of Taylor's points came on three pointers. Junior forward Harvey Thomas scored a game-high 20 for the short-handed Bears.


Wednesday
East - #3 St. Joseph's easily passed what many observers thought would be their toughest remaining regular season test. The Hawks are now 21-0 after an 81-67 home win over Dayton. The only team with a winning record left on St. Joseph's schedule is slumping Rhode Island. The Hawks have a "home and home" left with the Rams beginning Saturday in Philadelphia. St. Joseph's was again paced by their superb backcourt. Jameer Nelson scored 24 points and Delonte West contributed 16 points along with 7 assists. The loss was the first for Dayton in Atlantic 10 play and also ended the Flyers' nine game winning streak. Senior PF Keith Waleskowski had 20 points and 10 boards for Dayton… In other A10 action, George Washington topped Fordham 77-66, LaSalle overcame Duquesne 71-55, and Temple gained an upset win at Rhode Island 69-53… #24 Providence scored a huge road win over Villanova 100-74. Sophomore PG Donnie McGrath and junior PF Ryan Gomes each tallied 23 points for the Friars while senior SG Sheiku Kabba added 20 more. McGrath shot 6-8 from three point range while overall the Friars were an outstanding 15-25 from beyond the arc. Sophomore PF Curtis Sumpter had 20 points for theWildcats, who suffered their worst defeat of the season… Elsewhere in the Big East, West Virginia evened their conference record at 5-5 with an 86-52 decimation of troubled St. John's in Morgantown. The Red Storm once again had only eight players available. Five Mountaineers scored in double figures, led by sophomore SG Patrick Beilein's 19 points. WVU head coach John Beilein missed his son's outstanding performance. He was sidelined with back spasms. Assistant coach Jeff Neubauer took over for Beilein. In the Big 10, Indiana whipped up on Penn State 75-56.

South - #1 Duke easily disposed of Virginia at Cameron Indoor Stadium 93-75. Sophomore SG J.J. Redick led the Blue Devil attack with 25 points while fellow soph Shelden Williams added 19 points and 10 rebounds. The victory was the 18th straight for Duke and extended their home court winning streak to 39 games, tied with Pittsburgh for the current best in Division One. #6 Mississippi State needed overtime to defeat #25 South Carolina 79-75 in Columbia. Senior SG Timmy Bowers sent the game to OT by hitting a three point shot with just 7.2 seconds left, capping a dramatic comeback by the Bulldogs. The Gamecocks led 66-54 with about five minutes remaining but could not hang on as Mississippi St. finished with a 17-5 run. In overtime, senior PF Branden Vincent's free throw put the Bulldogs ahead to stay at 76-75… In other SEC games, Tennessee topped Arkansas 69-65 in Knoxville and Vanderbilt embarrassed Georgia 61-39 in Nashville… In the Big East, Boston College handed Miami their 6th straight loss. Freshman SF Jared Dudley's career-high 24 points led the Eagles to a 74-72 overtime win… Virginia Tech won their second straight by thumping Georgetown 80-65 in Blacksburg. Freshman forward Coleman Collins scored 20 points for the Hokies… In CUSA, both Memphis and UAB won on the road. The Tigers topped East Carolina 79-73 while the Blazers edged Southern Mississippi 69-65… Tulane took care of Houston 77-63 in New Orleans.

Midwest - #13 Cincinnati defeated South Florida 80-67. Senior SG Tony Bobbitt led the Bearcats with 26 points… Elsewhere in CUSA, DePaul scored a 70-68 upset win at St. Louis… #17 Wisconsin edged Iowa 54-52 in Iowa City. Junior SG Devin Harris once again paced the Badgers with 20 points. Sophomore guard Pierre Pierce had 18 for the Hawkeyes… The other Big 10 contests were also thrillers. Minnesota won at home over Michigan 81-78 and Northwestern recorded a major upset, edging Purdue 40-39 in West Lafayette. I wonder if the 35 second clock was working!.. In the MVC, #23 Southern Illinois improved to 19-2 with a 96-76 home win over Drake… Also in the MVC, Creighton topped Bradley 74-56… In Big 12 play, Kansas State routed Iowa State 90-59.

Southwest – Oklahoma dropped #18 Texas Tech 63-48 in Norman. Freshman PG Andrew Lavender led the way for the Sooners with 11 points and 5 assists. Senior SG Andre Emmett provided nearly half of the Red Raider's offense with 22 points… In another Big 12 contest, Nebraska scored an 83-77 road win over Texas A&M.


Thursday
South - #9 Louisville blew a 12 point 2nd half lead and suffered a 77-71 upset loss at Charlotte. It was the third loss in the last four games for the Cardinals, while the 49ers have now won four in a row. Charlotte finally took the lead at 67-66 on a jumper by sophomore PF Curtis Withers with 1:42 remaining. After Francisco Garcia's basket put the Cardinals back up by a point, Charlotte's Brendan Plavich and Garcia traded 3 pointers. The 49ers finally went ahead to stay 72-71 on a driving layup by sophomore guard Mitchell Baldwin. Withers, who scored 23 points, hit four free throws in the final minute to ice the win… #23 Wake Forest ended their two game losing streak with an 82-67 road victory over Clemson. Sophomore guard Justin Gray scored a career-high 29 for the Demon Deacons.

West - #7 Gonzaga cruised into San Francisco and left town with an easy 71-48 win. Senior center Cory Violette led the Bulldogs with 24 points and 10 boards… #16 Arizona destroyed USC in Tucson 97-70. Junior guard Salim Stoudamire scored 22 points to lead the Wildcats… Elsewhere in the PAC 10, Oregon State scored a 65-58 upset win at Washington State, Arizona State topped UCLA 74-62, and Washington beat Oregon 83-74… In the Big West, senior PG Mark Brown scored 25 points to lead #19 Utah State to a 69-47 road win over Cal. St.-Northridge.


Friday
South – In CUSA, South Florida scored a mild upset, topping Southern Mississippi 68-60 in Tampa.


Saturday
East - #3 St. Joseph's remained undefeated at 22-0 by struggling past Rhode Island 73-59. Senior PG Jameer Nelson led the Hawks with 20 points and backcourt mate Delonte West added 14. St. Joseph's won despite being out-rebounded 48-26 by the Rams… Also in the Atlantic 10, La Salle continued their recent hot streak as they defeated St. Bonaventure 89-78… #24 Providence won at Boston College 61-52. Junior PF Ryan Gomes led the way for the Friars with 20 points and 11 rebounds… In another Big East contest, surprising West Virginia topped Villanova 67-60 in Morgantown The Mountaineers are now at 6-5 in the conference. Junior SF Tyrone Sally scored 20 points and sophomore center Kevin Pittsnogle added 18 for WVU… In an OOC match-up, Temple beat Georgetown 59-53 as senior SG David Hawkins poured in 28 points. The win was the 4th straight for the Owls and put them over .500 (11-10) for the first time this season.

South – Georgia swept the season series against #8 Kentucky with a 74-68 upset win in Athens. Senior center Jonas Hayes scored 19 points for the Bulldogs and fellow seniors Damien Wilkins and Rashad Wright each added 14. The Wildcats were again without their leading scorer, SG Gerald Fitch. He has now missed three games with an injury to his right index finger. Sophomore swingman Kelenna Azubuike scored a career-high 23 for Kentucky, but they couldn't overcome 22 turnovers… LSU also scored a big upset. The Tigers edged #22 Florida 73-70 in Gainesville. The Gators led by eight points with just 4:02 left before LSU went on a 15-4 run. Sophomore guard Darrel Mitchell put the Tigers ahead to stay with two late free throws. Senior PF Jaime Lloreda led LSU with 19 points and 9 boards and Mitchell added 18 points. Sophomore SF Matt Walsh led Florida with 24… Senior center Rolando Howell scored 17 points as #25 South Carolina held off Vanderbilt 82-75… Elsewhere in the SEC, Alabama got by Tennessee 83-70 and Mississippi slipped past Auburn 72-68… Virginia pulled off a big upset at home, nipping #15 Georgia Tech 82-80. Rutgers transfer Todd Billet nailed the game-winning three pointer with just 2.4 seconds left to shock the Yellow Jackets. It was Billet's only basket of the game… In another ACC game, Florida State won at home over Clemson 65-52… In the Big East, Syracuse got their offense back on track in a big way! Junior PF Hakim Warrick set a school record by shooting 11-11 from the field as the Orangemen destroyed Miami 91-74. Warrick's 27 points led Syracuse, who shot a season-high 64.4% from the field. Sophomore PG Gerry McNamara added 23 points. Reserve PF William Frisby was Miami's leading scorer with 16 points… In CUSA, Tulane came from behind to edge TCU 67-66 and UAB topped East Carolina 72-69… In the Atlantic 10, Richmond overcame an early 17 point deficit and pounded Fordham 74-53.

Midwest - #17 Wisconsin drubbed Ohio State 78-48 in Madison. Junior SG Devin Harris had a monster game for the Badgers with 33 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists… In other Big 10 action, Iowa topped Michigan 69-61, Michigan State defeated Minnesota 69-58, Northwestern handled Penn State 65-52, and Purdue bested in-state rival Indiana 71-56… Iowa State erased a 14 point deficit in the final 14 minutes to upset #11 Texas 78-77. Senior PF Jackson Vroman led the Cyclones with 20 points and 9 rebounds. Senior SG Brandon Mouton scored a game-high 29 points for the Longhorns… In the Big East, Notre Dame cooled off Seton Hall 71-68. The loss likely will prevent the Pirates from moving into the Top 25. Junior guard Chris Thomas scored 26 for the Irish. With starting center Torin Francis still sidelined with back spasms, senior Tom Timmermans filled in nicely with 10 points and 8 rebounds. Senior PG Andre Barrett led the scoring parade for Seton Hall with 20 points and sophomore center Kelly Whitney added 18… In the Atlantic 10, Xavier whipped Massachusetts 64-44… In CUSA, Memphis won at Marquette 89-71. Freshman SF Sean Banks hit 6 of 7 three pointers and scored 28 to pace the Tigers, who have now won eight straight and are in first place in the league… In another CUSA contest, St. Louis edged Charlotte 46-45… #23 Southern Illinois improved to 20-2 with a thrilling 59-58 road win over Southwest Missouri State… Also in the MVC, Drake upset Creighton 78-73 in double overtime.

Southwest - #6 Mississippi State remained unbeaten on the road (10-0) after defeating Arkansas 77-70. It was the Bulldogs' first road win over the Hogs in 32 years. Junior swingman Winsome Frazier poured in 23 points for the Bulldogs and junior PF Lawrence Roberts added 19 points and 12 rebounds… #10 Oklahoma State opened up a 43-14 lead at halftime on the way to trouncing Baylor 98-58 in Stillwater. The victory was the 9th in a row for the Cowboys and gave them the lead in the Big 12 race. Seniors Tony Allen and Ivan McFarlin each scored 14 for the winners… #18 Texas Tech got back on track with an 82-71 win over Kansas State. Senior SG Andre Emmett once again paced the Red Raiders with 26 points and 10 rebounds… In another Big 12 game, Oklahoma recorded a 78-72 road win over Texas A&M. Freshman PG Drew Lavender scored a career-high 31 for the Sooners. Texas A&M remains winless (0-10) in the Big 12… In CUSA, DePaul defeated Houston 66-54.

West - #2 Stanford stayed undefeated at 21-0, winning at California 69-58. Junior center Rob Little scored 16 points and fellow junior SF Josh Childress added 15 for the Cardinal… #16 Arizona pulled away in the final 20 minutes to defeat UCLA 107-83 in Tucson. Junior guard Salim Stoudamire scored a career-high 34 points for the Wildcats. Stoudamire shot 13-17 from the field including 7-9 from three point range… Elsewhere in the PAC 10, Oregon topped Washington State 67-62, Washington edged Oregon State 80-79, and USC needed overtime to defeat Arizona State 93-84 in Tempe… #7 Gonzaga stayed unbeaten in the West Coast Conference with a 79-60 road win over St. Mary's. Freshman SF Adam Morrison led the Bulldogs with 22 points… In the Big West, Pacific stunned #19 Utah State 64-60. Senior guard Miah Davis scored 18 points for the Tigers. Senior SF Cardell Butler's 16 points led the Aggies… Air Force just got by New Mexico 51-50 in Colorado Springs. Sophomore guard Antoine Hood scored 16 for the Falcons, including the winning free throw with 9 seconds left. Air Force is now 18-3, the most wins in school history.


Sunday
East – First place in the Big East was on the line as #5 Connecticut visited #4 Pittsburgh. When the smoke cleared, the Panthers increased their lead over the Huskies to 1.5 games with a hard-fought 75-68 win. Pittsburgh increased their home court winning streak to 40 games, temporarily breaking their tie with Duke. Senior SF Jaron Brown scored 13 of his 17 points in the 2nd half to help keep the Huskies at bay. Junior SF Mark McCarroll made a huge contribution to the victory with 15 points off the bench. Connecticut junior SG Ben Gordon led all scorers with 23 points. The win avenged an earlier 68-65 Pitt loss to UConn in Hartford… Also in the Big East, Rutgers tortured Virginia Tech at the RAC, winning 85-52. Believe it or not, Rutgers had a 30-0 run in the first half! Senior PF Herve Lamizana scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights while freshman guards Marquis Webb and Quincy Douby added 16 and 15 points respectively. Senior SF Bryant Matthews was the only Hokie in double figures with a game-high 29… In the MAAC, Manhattan clinched the top seed in the upcoming tournement with a 79-62 home win over Siena.

South – The biggest news of the week was North Carolina State's 78-74 upset of #1 Duke, snapping the Blue Devils' 18 game winning streak. Duke fought to the bitter end, closing to within one with seven seconds remaining. However, senior SG Julius Hodge coolly hit two free throws to clinch the win. Senior PF Marcus Melvin led the Wolfpack with 18 points. Sophomore SG J.J. Reddick led Duke with 28 points… #14 North Carolina topped Maryland 97-86 in Chapel Hill. Sophomore SG Rashad McCants scored 25 points and junior PF Jawad Williams chipped in with 23 more to lead the Tar Heels to victory. The officials were certainly a factor, as the game "featured" 55 fouls and 80 free throws. North Carolina took full advantage, hitting 36-50 from the line. They also out rebounded the Terps 50-32. Sophomore SG Chris McCray led Maryland with 16 points… #20 Wake Forest defeated #13 Cincinnati 91-85 in an OOC game in Winston-Salem. Freshman guard Chris Paul paced the Demon Deacons with a career-high 30 points. Senior SG Tony Bobbitt scored 23 points for the Bearcats, who have now dropped three of their last five games.

Midwest - #12 Kansas was upset by Nebraska 74-55 in Lincoln… In an OOC match-up, Missouri routed UNLV 94-60… In the Atlantic 10, Dayton topped Duquesne 70-58.


Monday
East – Two Big East games that could significantly impact NCAA Tournament bids were both won by visiting teams… Boston College rallied from an eight point deficit in the 2nd half to defeat Seton Hall 67-63. Sophomore PF Craig Smith scored 21 points for the Eagles, 14 coming in the final twenty minutes. Junior swingman Jermaine Watson was the only other B.C. player in double figures with 12 points. Seton Hall had a difficult time handling the Eagles' zone in the 2nd half, shooting only 32.1% (9-28). Junior SF Andre Sweet led the Pirates with 15 points… At the Carrier Dome, Notre Dame continued their recent hot streak with an 84-72 win over Syracuse. Junior guard Chris Thomas scored 25 points for the Irish. He has scored at least 23 points in his last four games. Sophomore guard Chris Quinn added 22 points. Junior PF Hakim Warrick scored a game-high 28 for the Orangemen and soph PG Gerry McNamara added 20.

Southwest - #10 Oklahoma State defeated rival Oklahoma 65-52 in Norman. The Cowboys swept the season series from the Sooners for the first time since 1998. Senior PF Ivan McFarlin scored a game-high 21 points for Oklahoma State and guard John Lucas added 18. The Cowboys shot 54% from the field, while their tenacious defense disrupted the Sooners all night.


Basketball News & Notes

Utah head coach Rick Majerus announced he will not return to the bench this year, ending his 15 year term at the school. He's been sidelined since January 28th with heart problems. Majerus stated he'd be taking next year off from coaching and his future after that is uncertain.

The Big Sky Conference issued a one game suspension to Montana coach Pat Kennedy for comments he made about a game official.

Sophomore SG Billy Edelin of Syracuse is still sidelined with "personal problems". The Orangemen have gone downhill since Edelin's absence.

The St. John's program remained in the news. On Thursday, School president The Rev. Donald Harrington issued a statement that "in no way, shape, or form are we thinking of disbanding the program." This was in response to rumors that the school's administration was considering such a step. Harrington did say that he might recommend suspending the school's program if it can't remain scandal-free. On the player front, suspended sophomore guard Elijah Ingram withdrew from school and freshman PF Tyler Jones was reinstated to the team after serving a two game suspension.

There were two more suspensions to report. Rutgers sophomore guard Calvin Wooten was suspended indefinitely for violating team policy by coach Gary Waters. Iona senior guard and co-captain DeShaun Williams was suspended by Iona for "failing to attend to academic and athletic related issues" by coach Jeff Ruland. Williams transferred to Iona from Syracuse last year.

Congratulations to Franklin & Marshall coach Glenn Robinson. F&M's 75-72 win over Muhlenberg on Saturday was his 667th, the most in Division 3 history.

Indiana announced that sophomore PF Sean Kline will be out indefinitely with an injury to his right knee.

Dartmouth coach Dave Faucher submitted his resignation, effective at the end of the season.


Football News & Notes

The Big Ten's proposal to allow referees to use instant replay this year was given preliminary approval by the NCAA Rules Committee. Joe Paterno must be thrilled!

It's now Maurice Clarett 2, the NFL zero. On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlein rejected the NFL's request to suspend her original ruling that Clarett be allowed to enter the NFL draft in April. The NFL isn't giving up the fight, though. Their lawyer, Gregg Levy, stated that the NFL will ask the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay Scheindlein's ruling pending an appeal. Meanwhile Clarett has hired an agent, preventing him from returning to college football under current rules.

Coaching Carousel – Jim Reid resigned as head coach at Richmond to become the defensive line coach at Syracuse… Doug Williams resigned as head coach at his alma mater, Grambling for a player personnel job with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Williams began his NFL career with Tampa Bay… Don Roushar was hired as the new offensive coordinator at Illinois… Arizona St. named Brent Myers as their running game coordinator/offensive line coach… Rutgers hired Rod Holder away from Western Illinois to take over their offensive line. However, the Scarlet Knights lost two more assistant coaches. Wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell moved to the same job with Ohio St. and recruiting coordinator/linebackers coach Mark D'Onofiro left for Virginia. Earlier this year, tight ends coach Mario Christobal left for Miami. The odd thing about D'Onofiro's departure is that I was at a National Football Foundation dinner on Wednesday night, that he attended, and he painted a glowing picture of Rutgers' recruiting efforts and how happy the whole staff was with the progress they've made.


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