1. And then there were six. After Marquette knocked off Wisconsin and Washington it looked favorable for them to enter the Big East undefeated. They had LSU on the road, and Milwaukee and Vanderbilt at home. Certainly not a cakewalk, but at least they’d be favored in every game. Turns out LSU (who had losses to Coastal Carolina and South Alabama with no big wins) didn’t give them the chance. Marquette jumped to a 13-0 lead, causing many to change their channels. Then LSU rotated in three seniors and the game changed. Ultimately it was sophomore Ralston Turner who did most the damage – he scored 22 behind 4-5 3s and 6-7 FTs. Marquette had 9 extended possessions (5 more offensive boards, 4 fewer turnovers), but outside of Darius Johnson-Odom couldn’t make a shot. The rest of the team was 11-31 on 2s (35.5%) and 4-16 (25%) on 3s. LSU suddenly finds themselves on a 5-game winning streak and has a couple cupcakes before their huge January 2nd showdown at home against Virginia.
2. What happens when Kansas tries to get into a 3-point shooting contest with a team used to 3-point shooting? The Jayhawks, which average 16 3-pt attempts per game, took 23 against Davidson. And while they took 44% more than usual, they made their exact average (6). And the problem wasn’t necessarily the number of threes, it was the type and timing of those threes. On several possessions Thomas Robinson established solid post position only to see one of Kansas’s guards jack a three without even trying to run the offense. The end result was their third game this season (all losses) where they failed to average a point per possession. Davidson won 80-74 in a 75 possession game.
3. If you haven’t watched Creighton play yet, what are you waiting for. Naismith Player of the Year candidate Doug McDermott shot 14-21 on 2s and 2-2 on 3s on his way to 35 points an a solid win over Tulsa. McDermott closed out the 1st half with 10 straight points for Creighton and had two streaks of eight straight in the 2nd half. Tulsa did keep him from his 5th double-double in six games, limiting him to just 7 rebounds.
4. What happened to Belmont? Ranked to start the year they took Duke to the wire and lost by one. Then they were soundly beaten by Memphis. After taking out Middle Tennessee in double OT they pushed their record to 6-2 before falling in the rematch. Then they lost to Miami of Ohio and their at-large hopes were officially done. Still, they had two games remaining with Marshall before they launch into Atlantic Sun play, and on Monday they dropped the first of those, an 87-86 heartbreaker with a chance to win it in their last possession. Giving up 87 points in 75 possessions (1.16 per trip) isn’t a good recipe for success. Luckily for Belmont, the Atlantic Sun has zero offenses (besides their own) currently ranked better than 150.
5. Who is the worst 1-loss team in the nation? According to the Pomeroys it’s Auburn. After squeaking by Florida A&M (who have no Division I wins) the Tigers are now 7-1. Five of those seven are against teams ranked worse than 275th. One is against North Florida (213) and their signature win is South Florida (135 after they beat Cleveland State on Monday).