No long shots
Temple did not make a three in the first 28 minutes and was 1-for-14 from the arc. Still, the defense was so good that it did not matter.
It was fun to watch Temple's Ryan Brooks and La Salle's Rodney Green go at each other. There was no nonsense, just two smart, dedicated players going all-out from start to finish.
Congratulations to Owls point guard Luis Guzman, who received his Bachelor of Business Administration on Friday at McGonigle Hall after just 3 1/2 years. He is a marketing major who is going to finish his college career in the NCAA Tournament, again.
Jerome wins in Ivy
On Friday at Yale, Jerome Allen lost his first Ivy League game since he was a freshman at Penn in 1992. But the losing streak ended Saturday when the Quakers, looking just about out of it at Brown, won, 55-54, on a Dan Monckton putback at the buzzer.
All looked lost for Penn (2-14, 1-1 Ivy) when Brown (8-13, 1-3) led by a point with 5 seconds left and was shooting a one-and-one. Tyler Halpern missed. Penn's Zack Rosen advanced the ball to Zack Gordon, who threw up an airball - which went right to Monckton, who dropped it in.
Rosen had 19 points and Jack Eggleston had 18. The Quakers are not going to win the Ivy, but they are going to be in many of the games and win more than a few.
Was it good?
Monckton's shot was released either just before or after the buzzer. It was ruled good on the court. There was no monitor and no review.
If Penn won while shooting 19-for-57 (33 percent), imagine what might happen if the Quakers make some open shots.
Lots of misses
Penn shot 4-for-33 from the arc in the two Ivy games. And got a split.
Got to love the Ivies.
ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Love the fashion statement by coaches around the country. Coaches vs. Cancer has been an incredible success and a testament to all that is good about the human spirit.
Harvard in SI; Cornell on court
Sports Illustrated did a big piece this week on Harvard and its star, Jeremy Lin. Cornell (18-3, 4-0), the two-time defending Ivy champs, did a big number on Harvard (14-4, 3-1). The final Saturday at Cornell was 86-50.
Lin shot 6-for-9, but had eight of his team's 25 turnovers. His teammates got punked, shooting 7-for-27. Harvard had just 13 field goals and only 36 attempts.
The Ivy still goes though Ithaca, N.Y.
Longest winning streak
Fran McCaffery's Siena team has the nation's longest current winning streak, at 13 games. Nobody is going to want any part of this team in the NCAA - again.
Got a win
Rutgers got six blocks from Hamidy Ndiaye, including some big ones near the finish, to earn its first Big East win, 74-73, over Notre Dame. Luke Harangody needed 26 shots to get his 19 points for ND. RU coach Fred Hill gets to breathe more easily for a few days.
-- Missouri shot 17-for-31 from the arc in its 95-80 win over Oklahoma State. Tigers have won 32 straight at home.
-- Navy shot 15-for-25 from the arc in a 100-91 win over Colgate. Jordan Sugars and Chris Harris combined for 10 treys and 59 points.
-- Connecticut outrebounded Marquette, 41-18, and lost, 70-68. How? UConn had 16 turnovers and Marquette just two. After losing five Big East games by a combined 11 points, Marquette was due for a break. UConn has a lot of good athletes, but maybe not enough good basketball players.
-- Louisville shot 51.9 percent at West Virginia. And lost, 77-74. Rick Pitino was less than pleased by one late out-of-bounds call that looked clearly wrong and another that seemed as much a guess as anything. WVU shot 35 foul shots, the Cardinals 13.
Temple-La Salle on ESPN2 began at the same time as Louisville-West Virginia on ESPN. When the A-10 game ended, the Big East game still had 6 1/2 minutes to play. Love the Big East, but its games just don't end.
The best conference
It is between the Big 12 and Big East, with no other league in the conversation. Please note eight of my top 15 are from the two leagues. Would be no shock if 75 or even 100 percent of the Final Four came from these two leagues.
Unbeaten in conference
We are down to 10 - Villanova (Big East), Kansas (Big 12), Michigan State (Big Ten), Butler (Horizon), Cornell, Princeton (Ivy), Sam Houston State (Southland), Murray State (Ohio Valley), Morgan State (MEAC) and Siena (MAAC).
Gonzaga was 17-3 and poised to move up in the rankings. The Zags were a double-digit favorite at San Francisco, which did not have Bill Russell or K.C. Jones. USF, which had been 7-14, won, 81-77 in OT.
DICK JERARDI'S TOP 15
1. Kansas (20-1): Won wildly entertaining OT game at Kansas State, 81-79. Sherron Collins won it with a late layup as KU shot 50 percent.
2. Villanova (19-1): Rare off weekend before sprint to the finish line. Starting tomorrow against Seton Hall, Wildcats play final 10 regular-season games in 33 days, including road games with Georgetown, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
3. Syracuse (21-1): Played what coach Jim Boeheim called "2 great minutes" at DePaul and won, 59-57, after trailing 33-15 with 9 minutes left in the first half. Wes Johnson had 16 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
4. Kentucky (20-1): LeBron was courtside at Rupp for Wildcats' 85-72 win over Vanderbilt. John Wall (19 points, nine assists, seven turnovers) said he's been "frustrated" for 2 weeks.
5. Georgetown (16-4): Shot a ridiculous 71.7 percent in dominating 89-77 win over Duke. When this offense is in rhythm, it is beautiful to watch.
6. Kansas State (17-4): Not sure why Frank Martin did not ask his team to foul and extend the game at the end of OT. Whatever, it was some game. Looked like a regional final.
7. Michigan State (19-3): Several highlight-reel dunks in 79-70 win over Northwestern. Halfway through Big Ten season without a loss.
8. West Virginia (17-3): Led 13-0, trailed 66-53 and won, 77-74, over hard-luck Louisville. Da'Sean Butler had a season-best 27 points for WVU.
9. BYU (21-2): My man Jimmer Fredette had 36 in 82-69 win over Utah.
10. Cornell (18-3): Outscored Harvard by 30 points in the second half and crushed the Crimson, 86-50. Shot 12-for-27 from the arc and set the tone for the Ivy season.
11. Duke (17-4): Overpowered again by a team that threw the first punch and kept on firing. This looks like most recent Blue Devil seasons. Just not going to be good enough to advance against the big boys.
12. NJIT (7-13): Break 'em up. Crushed Utah Valley State, 71-46, after leading 40-18 at the half.
13. Baylor (16-4): Had lost 24 straight to Texas. Now has won two in a row after 80-77, OT win in Austin.
14. Texas (18-3): Lost three of four since ascending to No. 1. Damion James had 20 points and 19 rebounds against Baylor.
15. Northern Iowa (19-2): Won, 55-54, at Missouri State. UNI is going to be a team no BCS conference midpack squad will want to see in the first round of the NCAA.