Missouri Shines At CBE Classic While Michigan And Memphis Get Chippy In Maui

The first day of Feast Week was highlighted by opening round action in Maui and the championship games of the Legends Classic and Paradise Jam.

SCORES

Top 25

No. 3 Ohio State 85, North Florida 30
No. 9 Florida 78, Wright State 65

Maui Invitational (First Round)

No. 15 Michigan 73, No. 8 Memphis 61
No. 6 Duke 77, Tennessee 67
UCLA 92, Chaminade 60
No. 14 Kansas 67, Georgetown 63

Paradise Jam

No. 17 Marquette 59, Norfolk State 57 (Championship)
Ole Miss 80, TCU 69 (3rd place)
Virginia 60, Drake 52 (5h place)
Drexel 68, Winthrop 45 (7th place)

CBE Classic (Semifinals)

No. 21 Missouri 87, Notre Dame 58
No. 18 California 70, Georgia 46

Legends Classic

No. 22 Vanderbilt 64, Oregon State 62 (Championship)
North Carolina State 77, Texas 74 (3rd place)

TEAM OF THE DAY: Missouri

No one was more impressive on Monday than the No. 21 Tigers, who absolutely dominated Notre Dame from the opening whistle on in the first CBE Classic semifinal. The Fighting Irish are down this year, but they're not that down.

"Flat out men against boys," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "That was the varsity against the JV."

The biggest man of all was Marcus Denmon, who scored 26 points and led a Mizzou fast break offense which allowed the Tigers to shoot 63% in the first half and put the game out of reach. They also brought relentless pressure on the other end of the floor, forcing 13 turnovers and rarely allowing the Irish to get a clean look at the basket.

I'd say there's no longer any question over whether or not Missouri is going to be a major factor in the Big 12 title race.

"I’m glad they’re not in our league," Brey said. "I don’t want to deal with them again."


GAME OF THE DAY: No. 22 Vanderbilt 64, Oregon State 62

Vanderbilt point guard Brad Tinsley, who has been playing most of this season with an injured hand, buried a 15-footer with 4.5 seconds left to lift the Commodores to a 64-62 victory over Oregon State in the championship game of the Legends Classic.

But there was plenty of praise to go around for the 'Dores after the game.

A lot went to junior guard John Jenkins, who scored a game-high 23 points and walked away with tournament MVP honors. Even more went to senior forward Jeffery Taylor for his defensive effort on Oregon State's Jared Cunningham. Cunningham had scored 35 and 37 in the Beavers' quarterfinal and semifinal victories, but was limited to just nine points on 3-of-9 shooting Monday night.

"He did a great job on Cunningham all game. Jeff left it all out there," Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "It was a solid outing defending their best player. Jeff has grown up and matured to handle that responsibility. We made some big adjustments to keep him off the foul line. He had 23 foul shots the other night and we kept him down (to five) tonight. I'll take that. It was a big emphasis for the entire team to guard him. When he had the ball, they all had to guard him."

The tournament title was a breath of fresh air for a Commodore team that carried a top ten ranking into the season, but suffered an embarrassing home loss to Cleveland State in their second team. The team is still playing without star center Festus Ezeli, who was suspended for the first six games of the season by the NCAA and is now recovering from a knee injury that will keep him off the floor until mid-December.

UPSET OF THE DAY: No. 15 Michigan 73, No. 8 Memphis 61

Trey Burke is quickly making folks in Ann Arbor forget all about Darius Morris. The freshman floor general was tremendous in easily his biggest collegiate test to date, scoring 14 points and dishing out four assists while navigating his way through the Memphis pressure for 35 minutes.

Memphis, which torched Belmont for 97 points in their season-opener a week ago, never looked comfortable against John Beilein's 1-3-1 defense and connected on just 19-of-57 (33.3%) field goal attempts.

The Michigan victory sets up a rematch of last year's tremendous NCAA Tournament third round game (not Sweet 16...third round) between the Wolverines and Duke. The Blue Devils won that game, 73-71.

HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: FFFFFIIIGGGHHHTTTTT....kkiiiiiiinnndddd ooooffffff


PLAYER OF THE DAY: Jared Sullinger, Ohio State

Yes, it came against hapless North Florida, but so what? It was still 27 and 13. Before the season I thought there was serious separation between the two top teams and the rest of the country, but after three weeks I'm convinced Ohio State deserves the same runaway favorite status that North Carolina and Kentucky have been receiving since last spring. Obviously, the man in the middle is the biggest reason why.

HONOR ROLL:

Marcus Denmon, Missouri - Finished with 26 points on 9-of-11 shooting. No one on Notre Dame had anything even resembling an answer for him.

Jeffery Taylor, Vanderbilt - Athletic 6-7 forward was the biggest reason Jared Cunningham was held to nine points after averaging 36 over the first two games of the Legends Classic.

Dominique Morrison, Oral Roberts - The senior forward played all 40 minutes and dropped 30 in a 62-56 victory over SMU.

Jayson Guerrier, Albany - The junior college transfer came off the bench to score 28 points and grab ten rebounds for the Great Danes. Guerrier, who scored 19 points in the second half alone, hit 5-of-6 from three and 9-of-10 from the field. Albany blasted Monmouth, 85-49.

Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan - Hit 9-of-10 from the stripe, scored 21 points and handed out five assists in Michigan's huge 12-point win over Memphis in Maui.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I guess when it's Big East play, they'll come (to) see the other teams." --Cincinnati's Yancy Gates on the Bearcats' poor home attendance so far this season.

ANGRY COACH QUOTE OF THE DAY: "You just can't do that. This happens too much. Sooner or later he's going to have to figure it out. It's a team game, it's not about him." --Texas head coach Rick Barnes

Longhorn junior J'Covan Brown entered Monday as the nation's leading scorer at 29.3 ppg. He'll see that average dip significantly after the immaturity that plagued his AAU days and first two years in Austin reared its ugly head again.

With Texas up 13 and in complete control more than midway through the second half of the 3rd place game in the Legends Classic against NC State, Brown was whistled for his fourth foul. That should have been the end of the story. Instead, Brown allegedly cursed at the referee and drew his fifth foul via the technical route. The Wolfpack responded by going on a 25-9 to end the game and walked out the IZOD Center with a three-point victory.

Brown finished the game with 17 points and seven assists.

PICTURE OF THE DAY:

Bailey_medium

Portland freshman Kevin Bailey is fairly athletic. The Pilots fell by ten to Washington State on Sunday, however.

That's right, the picture of the day is not actually from the day we're covering. Would you have rather seen Buzz Williams hugging Darius Johnson-Odom? Because that was the alternative. 

TEN TO END

--Duke's tougher-than-expected victory over Tennessee ran the Blue Devils' all-time record at the Maui Invitational to 13-0.

--Troubled UCLA freshman Reeves Nelson was suspended for the first half of the Bruins' victory over Chaminade for missing the team bus and having to fly to Maui by himself. He scored just one point, but is widely being praised for changing the game. UCLA led by just two at halftime, but won by 32.

--It appears as though it's going to be a rough year in Chestnut Hill as a UMass team that was predicted to finish in the middle of the pack in the A-10 blasted Boston College, 82-46. BC made just 14 field goals to the Minutemen's 33.

--Norfolk State missed a three-pointer in the closing seconds against Marquette that would have given them an improbable championship at the Paradise Jam. What would have made it even more improbable is that the same Marquette team beat the Spartans by 31 on Nov. 14.

--Presbyterian followed up its huge upset victory over Cincinnati with a 14-point loss to Davidson.

--Cincinnati, conversely, bounced back with a 71-43 victory over Northwestern State. Yancy Gates led the way with 18 points and ten rebounds.

--Highly-touted Arizona freshman Sidiki Johnson has been suspended by head coach Sean Miller for a violation of team rules.

--The Colonial Athletic Association, mid-major basketball's headline conference for the past five years are so, is off to a rough start in 2011-2012.

--The NCAA has ruled that Central Florida senior guard A.J. Rompza will be eligible to resume competition on Dec. 30 once he repays $900 in improper benefits.

--Most of America missed one of the best games of the day as Kansas' four-point victory over Georgetown ended just before 2 a.m. ET. They also missed the show from Thomas Robinson, who got half of his 20 points via five monster dunks. That young man is a monster.

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