Let's all be honest with ourselves here; you didn't watch very much college basketball on Saturday. If you did, you saw Colorado score nine points in the entire second half against Wyoming. This is only not funny if you can actually point as to where Wyoming is located on a U.S. map. Then there was Duke running over Stanford in a game that was on a television channel you probably didn't know you had.
Thankfully, there was Sunday. You had your violent football fix on Saturday and then were able to flip over to college hoops on Sunday, because who really watches that NFL nonsense these days anyways?
Penn State 63, USC 61: In the fifth-place game of the Gildan Charleston Classic located in Charleston, SC, it was a battle between two schools infinitely better suited for the gridiron. Some joked about both schools having recently been penalized for the football programs lack of integrity, but we won't stoop that low.
Instead, we'll praise D.J. Newbill of the Nittany Lions. Finishing with 22 points, Newbill looked like a pro player against a team of weekend warriors from the local Y. A true seesaw battle saw the Trojans trail at halftime by one, and at the final buzzer by two. They would lead with under four minutes to play, but Newbill would have none of that, scoring seven points in the game's waning minutes.
Despite the loss and falling to 2-3 on the young season, USC can take solace in the strong play of Strahinja Gavrilovic (yes, I did spell check that a half dozen times). Despite not scoring and grabbing just one rebound against Akron less than a week ago, Gavrilovic had a double-double on Sunday. His 13 points and 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes off the bench were almost enough to spark the Trojans to victory. Almost.
Washington 76, Pacific 69: There go the Huskies, "on the road again." Not really, of course, considering the game took place in Key Arena in Seattle. Still, even with the neutral court factored in, this one felt too close for comfort.
There is no doubt that Shawn Kemp Jr. was the best player on the floor. Even though he would grab only four boards, he would lead the Huskies in scoring with 18 points, while going 7-for-11 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line.
Kemp Jr. wasn't the only one to have a stellar night on the court as Pacific countered with a gem of their own in sophomore guard T.J. Wallace. Having shown the ability to fill it up, Wallace went for 24 points and 10 boards, even though he would make only six shots from the field. Shooting 15 free throws just by himself, Wallace knocked down ten-although the other five certainly may have helped.
UCLA 77, Long Beach State 63: Despite playing a team that boastfully proclaims themselves "The Beach," the Bruins just overwhelmed the mid-major. All five starters would score in double-digits for UCLA, with only four points coming from the bench.
After going nuts in his most recent outing, Bryce Alford wasn't as sharp shooting the rock (going 4-for-15 from the field), but still finished with 17 points, and most importantly, seven dimes. This game seemed to be Norman Powell's to shine in, as he poured in four threes en route to a 24-point, six-rebound, six-steal night that showcased another member of the Bruins starting five. Not wanting to get lost in the shuffle, forward Kevin Looney also pitched in a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Ahead, the Bruins face the challenge of the Battle 4 Atlantis. First up, they get a collision with the Oklahoma Sooners, their first true test of the season.