You know how at the end of the game the officials swallow the whistle? Well Lance Stephenson just got a relatively phantom call in the lane in a tie game in the final seconds. Moreover, the call looked like it happened after time expired. But somehow Stephenson, like an NBA star player with a "wouldn't miss the shot" reputation, earned the call. (He also laid on the floor for 80 seconds, in what seemed like an unsportsmanlike celebration to me.) And after an official review, Lance was determined to have been fouled with 0.7 seconds left in the tie game. Stephenson then knocked down two free throws as Cincinnati beat Connecticut.
It wasn't the only timing question in the game. 55 seconds earlier, UConn tipped the ball away with the shot clock running down, but Cincinnati dived on the loose ball and called time out. Problem was, the shot clock should have expired. Instead Cincinnati was awared a generous 1 second. Let's just say fate was on Cincinnati's side tonight.
But more importantly, the Bearcats survived a game when its best two players, Yancy Gates and Deonta Vaughn had foul trouble. This will be a really nice win to have on Selection Sunday.
-Northwestern may fall out of the AP poll for the first time in 40 years this week, but after they lost in OT at Illinois, they didn't lose my respect. Northwestern is always reliant on threes and backdoor cuts, but the thing that has hurt them in recent years is the lack of true athletes. Look, I love the Princeton offense, but sometimes threes and backdoor cuts don't work and you just need someone to make a play. Northwestern now has two of those players. Michael "Juice" Thompson is the terrific point guard with a ridiculously low 10.9% TO rate for a player that drives as often as he does. But the key addition this year is freshman Drew Crawford. He's a slasher and athletic rebounder that provides some incredible balance to what Northwestern does. And with a 125.9 ORtg, Crawford is the kind of freshman that can keep Northwestern in the hunt.
-William & Mary is an upper division ACC school this year. They won at Wake Forest and now Maryland. Hmm, it's looking like Colonial Williamsburg will be more than just a fun vacation spot this year, it might be the home of the CAA favorites.