What Happened Last Night
- Louisville 73, Kentucky 70: As you would expect, this one came down to the wire, only with Louisville picking up its first win in the rivalry since 2012. The culprit was shooting: the Wildcats shot 40 percent from the floor and 5-of-22 from three, with Malik Monk looking human after a 47-point outing on Saturday (16 points, though he attempted 17 shots to get there.) De’Aaron Fox led Kentucky with 21 points.
- Dayton 68, Vanderbilt 63: Matthew Fisher-Davis had a career-high 25 points; the rest of the Commodores combined to go 14-of-47 from the floor, and Vanderbilt couldn’t get to the foul line much either, attempting just 8 free throws on the night. This one seemed to stay close because Dayton was missing a lot of open shots.
- Florida 94, Little Rock 71: The Gators’ return to the O-Dome was a triumphant one; Florida managed an incredible 1.40 points per possession thanks largely to shooting nearly 60 percent from the floor, including 16-of-31 from three. That was enough to make this an easy win even with a decent offensive performance by Little Rock. Devin Robinson led the Gators with 21 points and 7 boards.
- Illinois 75, Missouri 66: Missouri picked up its third straight loss and dropped to 5-6 on the season, though this was at least competitive against a decent team — which, well, can’t be said for the two losses that preceded it. Kevin Puryear led Missouri with 17 points and 9 boards, but the Tigers couldn’t overcome 36 percent shooting from the floor.
- Texas A&M 81, St. Francis (PA) 58: This was a tuneup against the #320 team in the nation per KenPom. The Aggies led 46-19 at the half and had exactly zero trouble and managed to get their walkons into the game at the end, so there’s that. D.J. Hogg had 15 points for Texas A&M; Robert Williams had 10 points, 10 boards and 4 blocks.
- Auburn 74, Oklahoma 70: So if you weren’t taking Auburn seriously yet, you might want to start: Auburn is 9-2 and added Oklahoma’s scalp to a previous win over Texas Tech, both on neutral courts. Jared Harper and T.J. Dunans each had 21 points for the Tigers.
- Alabama 67, Arkansas State 52: We’ve figured out by now that Alabama’s defense will keep them in games, and against lesser teams it’s going to be enough even when the Tide aren’t doing much on the offensive end — as they weren’t on Wednesday. Alabama didn’t crack a point per possession but it didn’t matter much here. Jimmie Taylor led Alabama with 12 points off the bench.
- Clemson 62, South Carolina 60: Let me express my severe annoyance at the “fouling when up 3 in the closing seconds” strategy, deployed (possibly unintentionally) by Clemson in this one, though the Gamecocks still got a chance to win but P.J. Dozier’s three-point attempt at the buzzer missed. Dozier had 26 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals and seems to have picked up most of the slack from Sindarius Thornwell’s absence... but the Gamecocks really could have used a win here.
|Morehead State at Mississippi State||7:00 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
|Tennessee at East Tennessee State||7:00 PM||ESPN3/WatchESPN|
|Sam Houston State vs. Arkansas||8:00 PM|
|LSU at Wake Forest||9:00 PM||ESPNU/WatchESPN|
|South Alabama at Ole Miss||9:00 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
Four more teams close out nonconference play on Thursday night (Mississippi State will play a final tuneup next week.) Tennessee faces a nasty road trip to ETSU, who’s already beaten Mississippi State and now gets the Vols in their own house — granted, there’s a good chance a majority of the crowd will be Vols fans (and, Vanderbilt fan joke, a good number of those will be ETSU students.) LSU travels to Wake Forest, which is much improved in its third year under Danny Manning.
The other three games are standard-fare buy games: Ole Miss should handle South Alabama easily, Mississippi State is playing a team that just fired its coach (for non-basketball reasons, but whatever), and Arkansas is playing a decent Sam Houston team in Little Rock, though the Razorbacks should be favored. Also, yes, you’re reading that correctly, the Arkansas game isn’t on television and from best I can tell won’t be streaming anywhere — though if you’re aware of a (legal) stream of the game, feel free to post it in the comments.
Odds and Picks
Yesterday: 4-3 ATS; Season to Date: 46-69-1 ATS
- Morehead State at Mississippi State (-10.5): Mississippi State has handled most of the bad teams they’ve faced pretty easily, and Morehead State has an interim coach.
- Tennessee (+4) at East Tennessee State: I don’t know why, but my gut is telling me to go with the Vols in this one.
- LSU at Wake Forest (-8): This is, somehow, LSU’s first true road game of the season, and Wake Forest has looked surprisingly solid this year. 8 points seems like a bit much to be giving here but I’ll take it.
- South Alabama (+12.5) at Ole Miss: Ole Miss this season has had this weird tendency toward bad beats in games in which they’re favored, just narrowly avoiding that fate against Bradley the other night. My prediction: Ole Miss will lead by 20 for most of the second half and end up winning by exactly 12. Don’t try to fight it; you know that’s how this will go down.