NFL Sunday, you say? Why do that when there are six Pac-12 men's basketball games on?
Days and nights like Sunday are pristine for college hoops fans. Rarely does the Pac-12 take an entire night off (hint: of course, they're doing it three times this upcoming week), so there's always something to watch. Not to mention, the action on Sunday was first class entertainment.
Colorado 84, Lipscomb 75: Have a game, Josh Scott. You cannot even begin to speak about the game before giving the man his due credit for absolutely dominating for the 30 minutes he was on the court. Finishing with 29 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and three blocks, Scott was selected by ESPN.com as the Top Performer of the night.
This game got shakily close down the stretch, with Lipscomb pulling within six with just under six minutes to play. Then, Josh Scott would answer with an and-one, effectively putting the game back on ice.
Askia Booker would pitch in as well; adding 18 points and seven assists to combine for a lethal combination for the Buffs on Sunday. It's as if the nine-point second half against Wyoming has already been forgotten.
DePaul 87, Stanford 72: Let me preface this by pointing out that two days prior to this game, DePaul lost by a dozen at home to Lehigh. In no way should the Cardinal have gotten their doors blown off in such fashion.
Give credit where credit is due to Stanford for traveling to Chicago for one non-conference game in November. They easily could have just invited in a school they would clobber by 30 and get an easy win, but they traveled all the way to DePaul's campus for a game that even if they won, wouldn't have done a whole lot to build their résumé.
The issue I saw with the Cardinal was that there was no bench depth. None. Zilch. All five starters played at least 33 minutes, with Reid Travis, Anthony Brown and Chasson Randle all getting a minimum of 37. Dorian Pickens' and-one in the game's final minutes were the only points they would get off their bench the entire night.
Combine all that with the fact that Myke Henry dropped 29 points and the Cardinal were in for a long afternoon. They should be able to put this loss behind them, and it more than likely won't affect their tournament résumé when it comes to March. But ahead of some crucial non-conference matchups at the end of the month (BYU and Texas), they'll need to find someone who can play off the bench.
USC 66, New Mexico 54: Can we all allow ourselves to get ridiculously over-excited about this win for the Trojans? They went into The Pit and knocked off the Lobos, who have been a Mountain West powerhouse for the past few seasons.
You may be asking yourself, how in the world did USC win this game? Well, they had seven players score at least seven points. Their leading scorer was Darion Clark with 12 points, who also chipped in 11 rebounds. But their real star was Nikola Jovanovic, who in just 24 minutes on the floor snagged 16 boards to go with his 11 points.
I could totally go on and on about how this was all about the Trojans picking up a hard earned win on the road, but the fact of the matter is, Hugh Greenwood was horrific. Arguably the Lobos' best player, Greenwood had been filling it up in previous games, with a season-high 24 points against Boston College two weeks ago. On Sunday, he went 0-for-11 from the field, and 0-for-9 from three.
California 64, Fresno State 57: A sound victory for Cal in a game that nearly got too close for comfort at the end.
Tyrone Wallace continued to prove he is a big-time player for the Golden Bears, having a huge night of 21 points and 10 rebounds, including three treys. It was a particularly important performance due to the fact that Jabari Bird was colder than a carton of ice cream, going 1-for-9 from the field and 0-for-5 from deep. When Bird struggles to get going (four points and two rebounds in 25 minutes), Cal can become a bit stagnant.
Also of note, Marvelle Harris had a splendid game for the Bulldogs. His 27 points were a season-high and he played all 40 minutes in what became a narrow loss.
Oregon 81, Portland State 59: For a team that is usually all about the offensive side of the ball, the Ducks did an impressive job of locking up the Vikings on Sunday. They would shoot under 26 percent from the field, with their starting lineup going a combined 13-for-48.
Then again, these are Dana Altman's Ducks, and they can score a bit, too. Jalil Abdul-Bassit had a big night from long range, drilling five threes to tie for the team-high in points with 19. Joining him was Joseph Young, who did a little of everything for Oregon. While he would once again have a head scratcher of a shooting chart (6-for-17 from the field, 1-for-7 from three), Young filled up the stat sheet with 19 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Washington 68, UTEP 65: Sure, the listed attendance might say 2,191, but that number is only accurate if it's divided by like 200. With a nearly empty building outside of both teams' benches, there was actually a brilliant basketball game taking place.
A true seesaw battle, both clubs threw haymakers-especially in the second half. Despite controlling the game for the first 33 minutes, the Huskies struggled with the Miners pressure late. Mike Anderson, Andrew Andrews and Nigel Williams-Goss all made a pair of free throw in the waning moments to ice it for Washington.
There may have been some real controversy had Omega Harris buried the three he took with two seconds left. Williams-Goss was giving the foul, but the official decided not to call it before Harris unleashed what looked to be a perfect shot. It would clank off the rim and fall aimlessly to the ground as the Huskies celebrated winning the Wooden Legacy.
Arizona and Washington both sit at 6-0 and are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the Pac-12 Conference.