Sidelines with John Clay

Utah’s math mistake, plus more college basketball notes and TV schedule

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, left, is restrained by associate coach Tommy Connor after a non-call on what Krystkowiak thought was a foul, during the second half of Utah’s 83-82 loss to UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Salt Lake City.
Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak, left, is restrained by associate coach Tommy Connor after a non-call on what Krystkowiak thought was a foul, during the second half of Utah’s 83-82 loss to UCLA on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, in Salt Lake City. Associated Press

Some college basketball notes from Saturday, plus Sunday’s TV schedule:

Utah made a two when it needed a three and lost to UCLA 83-82 on Saturday night, reports Kyle Goon of the Salt Lake City Tribune. “Needing a big shot to tie it with one second left, Utah called for a ‘Home run.’ Many parts of it worked. Kyle Kuzma’s 94-foot inbounds was precise. Lorenzo Bonam quickly threw up a shot that went in. It would’ve been the play Utah was looking for to upset No. 4 UCLA, as good a team as Utah has hosted at the Huntsman Center in years. But Bonam was standing inside the 3-point line — and Utah needed three points, not two.”

Kentucky’s next opponent, Mississippi State, improved to 3-1 in league with win over Texas A&M, reports Michael Bonner of the Clarion-Ledger. “Ben Howland pulled Lamar Peters close after Saturday’s game against Texas A&M and hugged and kissed his freshman point guard. ‘I said, ‘Your dad would be really proud of you right now,’ Howland said. Peters’ father died on Wednesday. The Louisiana native started his third consecutive game but his production was never more important down the stretch. He scored four of Mississippi State’s final six points in a game that was even closer than the 67-59 win over Texas A&M.”

The Grayson Allen Show left Louisville without incident, but there were plenty of boos, reports Ben Roberts of the Herald-Leader. Louisville beat Duke 78-69 in a game in which Allen was booed nearly every time he touched the ball. “Actually, they started earlier than that. Before Louisville’s eventual 78-69 victory over Duke even began, the Cardinals’ student section was heckling Allen on the Blue Devils’ bench. When the junior guard was introduced as part of the Duke starting lineup, the rest of the crowd got into the act.”

Duke’s sputtering freshman class must grow for Blue Devils to contend, writes Brian Hamilton of Sports Illustrated, who was in Louisville for Saturday’s game. He writes, “In this sport, one regular-season result can be entirely meaningless and assumptions made in January are often punch lines by March. But here is Duke’s reality on a glum afternoon for the program both inside and outside the Yum! Center: It is Jan. 14 and the Blue Devils have three ACC losses and they must face the prospect that the cavalry may never come. This was a preseason superteam cast as national championship favorites on the basis of a spectacular freshmen class performing spectacularly at some point, and nothing close to that seems close to happening. And unless someone unearths a totem with mystical healing powers from some dark recess of Cameron Indoor Stadium soon, there might be nothing to be done about it.”

North Carolina has Theo Pinson back from injury, which could make a big difference, says Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News and Observer. “The question, as Theo Pinson started his run-up in front of the North Carolina bench, was whether he could get to the rim at all. There was no doubt in his mind – he said later that if he had second thoughts, he would have flipped the ball over and laid it in – but there was a surplus of doubt in so many other minds, from the crowd that involuntarily inhaled in unison to his surprised teammates.”

Undefeated Gonzaga made a statement with rout of Saint Mary’s, says Garry Parrish of CBS Sports. “Is this the year Gonzaga finally makes the Final Four? That’s the question Sean Farnham was asked during Saturday night’s broadcast of the fifth-ranked Zags’ win over No. 22 Saint Mary’s, and the ESPN analyst didn’t hesitate with his answer. He said, yes, Gonzaga will be in the Final Four.”

A Colorado State player and New Mexico coaches were involved in a post-game altercation after New Mexico’s 81-74 win, reports College Basketball Talk. “According to (Geoff) Grammer, a New Mexico beat writer, the incident was started by Omogbo, who walked toward the UNM coaches and said something before his camera was recording. According to Omogbo, it was Terrence Rencher, the bald assistant in the video above, that said something first.”

South Carolina continued its best SEC start in two decades, reports David Cloninger of The State. “South Carolina took Ole Miss to the pulpit. The Gamecocks crunched the Rebels 67-56 Saturday to continue their best SEC start in two decades, again leaning on their suffocating D and getting enough points to get by. Ole Miss (10-7, 1-4 SEC), playing without leading scorer Deandre Burnett (high ankle sprain), managed a meager 47 points in their last game and had to follow it by playing the best defense in the conference. The Gamecocks (14-3, 4-0) didn’t light up the scoring columns but P.J. Dozier and Chris Silva each had 16 points to easily out-pace any of the Rebels’ usual stars.”

Georgia took Florida to overtime but the Gators are still undefeated in the SEC, reports Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph. “Georgia came oh-so-close to securing a signature win for the season. Taking No. 23 Florida to overtime Saturday, the Bulldogs gave the Gators every bit of a challenge they could’ve hoped for. But after Florida guard Canyon Barry sank two free throws with 18 seconds to go in the game, Georgia guard J.J. Frazier was unable to hit a 3-pointer to tie the game. Forward John Egbunu then closed the game out by making one of two free throws to give the Gators a thrilling 80-76 win at the newly renovated O’Connell Center.”

Kansas held off Oklahoma State for its 35th straight Big 12 home victory, reports Gary Bedore of the Kansas City Star. After the game, OSU coach Brad Underwood stopped Kansas guard Frank Mason in the handshake line. “I told him if it (season) ended today, in my opinion he’d be National Player of the Year. He refuses to let them lose, both ends of the court,” Underwood said of the guard who scored 22 points in the win.

Butler pulled out an 83-78 win over visiting Xavier, reports Patrick Brennan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Xavier men’s basketball didn’t go quietly. The Musketeers can at least say that much of Saturday’s 83-78 loss at Butler University’s Hinkle Fieldhouse, but not much else. Xavier again played a solid first half against one of the Big East Conference’s elites, but again stumbled mightily in the second half.”

Here is the list of college basketball games on television Sunday:

▪ 12:00 - Rutgers at Indiana (Big 10)

▪ 1:30 - Michigan State at Ohio State (CBS)

▪ 2:30 - UMass at Rhode Island (NBC Sports)

▪ 3:00 - Georgia at Kentucky women (SEC)

▪ 4:00 - Cincinnati at East Carolina (CBS Sports)

▪ 4:00 - Missouri State at Loyola of Chicago (ESPNU)

▪ 4:30 - George Washington at LaSalle (NBC Sports)

▪ 6:00 - SMU at Tulane (CBS Sports)

▪ 6:30 - Georgia Tech at North Carolina State (ESPNU)

▪ 7:30 - Iowa at Northwestern (Big 10)

▪ 8:30 - USC at Colorado (ESPNU)

SEC men’s basketball standings

Team

SEC

Overall

Kentucky

5-0

15-2

Florida

5-0

14-3

South Carolina

4-0

14-3

Miss State

3-1

12-4

Alabama

3-1

10-6

Georgia

3-2

11-6

Tennessee

2-3

9-8

Vanderbilt

2-3

8-9

Arkansas

2-3

13-4

Auburn

1-4

11-6

Ole Miss

1-4

10-7

Texas A&M

1-4

9-7

LSU

1-4

9-7

Missouri

0-4

5-11

SEC men’s basketball schedule this week

Tuesday, Jan. 17

7:00 - Arkansas at Texas A&M (SEC)

7:00 - Kentucky at Mississippi State (ESPN)

9:00 - Vanderbilt at Georgia (ESPNU)

9:00 - Tennessee at Ole Miss (SEC)

Wednesday, Jan. 18

6:30 - Florida at South Carolina (SEC)

7:00 - Missouri at Alabama (ESPNU)

8:30 - LSU at Auburn (SEC)

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