As finals week approaches around the nation, the madness that is college basketball barely bats an eyelash at the education misnomer. Rather than stay boarded up inside on a Sunday studying for finals, six Pac-12 teams were out and about shooting jumpers and locking down point guards, rather than reading monotonous textbooks and locking down on biology homework.
There is a bit of a lull coming up this week, as only six games will be played during the week, with five of those coming on Wednesday. Study away, kids.
Georgia 64, Colorado 57: Credit to the Buffs for making a comeback in this one. With 4:11 to play in the first half, Xavier Johnson knocked down a three to tie the game at 22; the next Colorado bucket would come at 17:04 in the second half, and cut the lead down to 38-24.
We've seen on multiple occasions the issue the Buffs have with going ice cold from the field. It was a three-man show on Sunday, with Askia Booker, Josh Scott and Johnson combining for 48 of the team's 57 points. As a team, they would shoot just 2-for-17 from three-point land.
What helped drive the dagger into Colorado was the production off the bench from Georgia's J.J. Frazier. Every shot he took found the bottom of the bucket, as he stroked in three threes and knocked down all six of his free throws. Pitching in 15 points in just 24 minutes, Frazier was the answer off the bench Colorado couldn't find a solution for.
California 63, Nevada 56: With Jabari Bird still out, the Golden Bears have been hanging on by a shoestring, but snatched yet another victory from the jaws of defeat on Sunday.
It was the Tyrone Wallace show, as the left-hander poured in 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds, had four assists, two steals, and even blocked a shot. With Jordan Mathews not bringing much to the table on a night where he went 1-for-8 from the field, Wallace stepped up his game once again, single-handedly carrying the Cal Bears.
Ole Miss 79, Oregon 73: Despite numerous flurries of attempts to get back in this one, the Rebels were having none of it from the Ducks. The two biggest differences in this one were bench points and three-point shooting.
While the Ducks made more threes than the Rebs, Ole Miss went 5-for-12, a reasonable 41.7 percent. For Oregon though, it was open season (as it usual is), firing up an 8-for-31 evening, or 25.8 percent. Joseph Young was the primary culprit, going 2-for-10 himself, with a few of those taken from the Knight Arena parking lot.
Ole Miss's bench also annihilated Oregon's. Senior guard Ladarius White had 13 points, six rebounds and two steals, to go along with center Dwight Coleby, who had 10 points and three rebounds in just eight minutes on the court. The Rebels bench combined for 35 points, while the Ducks got just five (including 1-for-8 shooting from the three-point line from the combination of Jalil Abdul-Bassit and Casey Benson).
This loss is particularly puzzling because Jarvis Summers, Ole Miss's unquestioned best player, scored all of one point and fouled out after just 29 minutes of play. Picking up the slack was Stefan Moody, who poured in a game-high 22 points, but this serves as a bad loss for the Ducks, who had the Rebels just where they needed to be.
USC 89, Utah State 84: USC is hot, people! That's four in a row for the Trojans, who didn't bother to play a lot of defense, but hey, we'll let them be.
Aggie forward David Collette had a massive night, compiling 32 points and 14 rebounds to complete dominate the USC interior. To combat that, the Trojans turned to their Serbians. Nikola Jovanovic and Strahinja Gavrilovic were dynamite from the field, going a combined 15-for-19, while knocking down all three threes they would take, finishing the night with 36 combined points and eight rebounds.
Jordan McLaughlin was also not shy for USC, throwing up 13 three-pointers of his own, knocking in five, good for 21 points on the night, a season-high.
There is no denying that the Trojans are a fun team to watch. They have rangy European forwards that can shoot, they have Darion Clark banging bodies with nearly everyone down low, and the combination of McLaughlin and Katin Reinhardt on the wing is every pick-up basketball fans dream.
UCLA 75, San Diego 68: I can't help but think that the fact that UCLA relies so heavily on their starters is going to comeback to haunt them later in the season.
Despite trailing at the half, this was a typical Bruins effort where Kevon Looney collected his typical double-double and Bryce Alford led the way with his hot shooting. Looney's 18 points and 11 rebounds when combined with Alford's 22 points, six assists and five rebounds, helped spur UCLA to victory. Norman Powell would put the game on ice with a three-pointer with under a minute to play, moving the Bruins to 7-2 on the year.
Washington 49, #13 San Diego State 36: While this was a huge win for the Huskies, nothing about this basketball game was pretty-at all. Dwayne Polee II's box score is so nauseating I'm not sure I believe it-three points on 1-for-8 shooting (1-for-6 from three), with zero rebounds, zero assists and zero blocks.
The rest of the Aztecs lineup reads the same. Winston Shepard would be the only member of the starting lineup to make multiple shots. He would be the leading scorer with seven points. Combined, San Diego State starters shot just 4-for-36 from the field.
Nigel Williams-Goss himself made more shots (six) than the entire Aztecs starting lineup (four). It was the relentless effort by Williams-Goss and Andrew Andrews that spurred the Huskies on, as NWG had 15 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Andrews poured in 13 points, including three threes.
Off the bench, Robert Upshaw was a force yet again. Playing in just over half the game, he'd score seven points, grab seven rebounds and block four shots. It becomes difficult to shoot well from the field when Upshaw threatens to put your shot six rows deep.