Hoops Update: Feb 4th to Feb 10th

By Jenna

Just when you thought the men's college basketball season couldn't get any wilder than usual, along came last week's action.

College basketball writers and pundits, ESPN prognosticators and broadcasters... all of them were wondering what was next in an already strange season.

No matter what happens from here, the big question everyone is asking is a simple one. Does anybody want the No. 1 ranking in college hoops?

It seems like as soon as the Associated Press hands out its college basketball poll on Monday, teams go to work making the voters look foolish for their choices. There has been nothing wrong with that. After all, fans love to go to games and see the big teams get upset. Let's take a look at what happened in college basketball over the past week.

The Gator's Got Your... Razorback?

It has been a few years since a Florida men's basketball team has made plenty of noise, and it looked like the Gators were on the verge of a No. 1 ranking for the first time since Billy Donovan's squads won back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007. Then along came Arkansas, and the Razorbacks destroyed the party. Arkansas' 80-69 win on Feb. 5 was more one-sided than it looked thanks to some dominating play by Marshawn Powell and Michael Qualls.

Later that same night, Michigan held on for a 76-74 win over Ohio State, which looked to cement the Wolverines' reputation as a tough team to play at Crisler Arena. Then along came Indiana, in a game which we'll get to later.

Down Goes a Trio

Feb. 6 proved to be a tough night for top-25 teams in the AP rankings. If Kansas wasn't losing 62-55 to TCU, of all teams, then Creighton was manhandled 76-57 by Indiana State and Cincinnati fell 54-50 to Providence. The Kansas game was noteworthy for a memorable postgame interview with Kansas coach Bill Self, in which he basically said his team played some of the worst basketball since Naismith invented the game.

Guard the Basket

Thursday, Feb. 7, was a low night for Oregon, which fell 48-47 to Colorado, and for Missouri, which dropped a 70-68 heartbreaker to Texas A&M. None of that matched what happened in Champaign, Ill., as a last-second inbounds pass to Illinois reserve Tyler Griffey sent the Fighting Illini to a 74-72 upset of Indiana. Once again, No. 1 went down to defeat. But the best was yet to come.

Is This Game Over Yet?

It is a wonder ESPN broadcaster Dick Vitale did not get laryngitis following the memorable Louisville-Notre Dame contest. Notre Dame needed five overtimes to top Louisville, 104-101, in what may be the most memorable regular-season Big East Conference game in history. It is too bad the league as we know it is being split up in the next one or two years, because some of the most memorable moments have been provided by it.

Chane Benahan had 30 points and Russ Smith added 21 points for Louisville, but Notre Dame had six players finish in double figures, led by Jerian Grant with 19 points. That balance alone, plus the Irish's tenacity, may have been enough to send Notre Dame to a big victory.

Hurricane Jim

Lost in all of the hubbub over the overtime game was another great performance by Miami, which has blossomed since former George Mason coach Jim Larranaga took over the squad. The Hurricanes defeated North Carolina 87-61 to take a two-game lead over Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference standings. Miami has never finished higher than fifth since it joined the ACC in 2004, and the last time the team won or shared a conference title was 2000, when it was still in the Big East. This would be a huge story if Miami could hold on to knock off all the other ACC challengers.

Maize and Bruised

Don't worry. There is still plenty of demand for Michigan Wolverines Basketball Tickets, but the team's pride may be hurting following a 65-62 loss to Wisconsin. Michigan has only lost three times this year, but Ben Brust's 40-foot heave from near halfcourt found the net and forced overtime. After such a big win over Ohio State at home, it was hard to see the Wolverines hit the road and lose, but Michigan is still a big part of the Big Ten basketball picture.

And there you have it. What a week, huh? If all weeks could be this good, college basketball may rival football as the nation's most popular sport.

To think NCAA Selection Sunday isn't for another 30 days. What will happen next?

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