Missouri Claims CBE Classic Title And The Season Gets Its First Buzzer-Beater
Tuesday saw Missouri win the CBE Classic in style, Duke stay perfect in Maui and the season get its first true buzzer-beater. Mike Rutherford breaks down everything else about the day that was in college basketball.
No. 21 Missouri 92, No 18 California 53 (Championship) Georgia 61, Notre Dame 57 (Third Place)
TEAM OF THE DAY: Missouri
I hate to go with the same squad two days in a row, but Mizzou's complete destruction of Cal in the CBE Classic title game really leaves your boy (yes I am) with no other choice. A night after a similar throttling of Notre Dame, the Tigers again looked undeniably bigger, faster and more athletic than a seemingly worthy opponent.
Mizzou used relentless man-to-man pressure to force a bevy of early Bear turnovers, and the game was never really in doubt from about eight-minute mark of the first half on. Six Tigers scored in double figures, led by Kim English's 19 points. Marcus Denmon added 18 and was named tournament MVP.
When Laurence Bowers went down with a torn ACL in early October, the big question was whether or not Missouri could still be a top tier team in the Big 12. After three weeks of play, not only do the Tigers look like the class of the conference, but they look like a legitimate top ten squad that could play deep into March.
A holiday tip of the cap to Frank Haith and company.
GAME OF THE DAY: No. 8 Memphis 99, Tennessee 97 (2 OT)
When they meet for a second time on Jan. 4, it's going to be awfully tough for the Tigers and Volunteers to top the show they put on Tuesday afternoon. The win was huge for a Memphis team that came to Maui with a top ten national ranking, but was in danger of leaving the island with nothing more to show than a win over Chaminade.
The story for most of the game was how well the Tigers were able to bounce back from a tough loss to Michigan the day before. Memphis built a 40-24 lead in the first half and appeared to be in complete control before getting careless down the stretch and allowing their in-state rivals to push the game into overtime.
Neither team could hit last-second shots in the first extra fram, and fans were treated to an additional five minutes of basketball. Memphis went up 99-97 in the second OT on Antonio Barton's jumper with 1:15 to play. After the teams traded misses, Tennessee's Trae Golden had the ball stripped on a drive with 3 seconds left and Memphis stole the inbound pass, but Wesley Witherspoon celebrated with 0.8 seconds still left on the clock and was whistled for traveling. The Vols got the ball in to Jeronne Maymon for a good look, but his potential game-tying jumper fell well short.
It's difficult to say just how good either team is at this point, as each went through impressive offensive stretches but neither appeared especially interested in defending. The one thing that is certain: Tennessee's Maymon is an absolute monster. More on that in a bit.
UPSET OF THE DAY: Coastal Carolina 60, Clemson 59
Break up the Chanticleers.
Chris Gradnigo tipped in his own miss as the buzzer as Coastal Carolina shocked Clemson to move to 5-0 and give head coach Cliff Ellis a sweet victory over the program he commanded for five seasons. The victory came exactly one week after the Chants upset LSU, 71-63.
"There's never been anything like this at Coastal Carolina," Ellis said. "LSU and Clemson in [a week], it doesn't get any better than that. It puts you on the national map. We've still got a lot of basketball to be played, but we can be proud of what's been accomplished here."
Coastal is coming off back-to-back 28-win seasons, but hasn't reached the NCAA Tournament since 1993.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Jeronne Maymon, Tennessee
Memphis basketball has always been known for its athletes, but the 6-foot-7, 260-pound Maymon made the Tigers look like high-schoolers on his way to a 32-point, 20-rebound performance. The transfer from Marquette dominated the post and set a new Maui Invitational single-game rebounding record.
The past three BCS conference players to put up 30 points and 20 rebounds in a game (according to ESPN)? Blake Griffin, Michael Beasley and Kevin Durant.
Jim Mower, Lafayette - Hit a remarkable 10-of-13 three-point attempts on his way to scoring 37 points in an 11-point win over Fairleigh Dickinson.
Will Barton, Memphis - Maymon may have given the headline performance, but his team was still sent to the 7th place game with a defeat. Much of the reason for that was Barton, who led Memphis with 25 points in 46 minutes of logged court time.
Jason Clark, Georgetown - Scored a game-high 28 points for the Hoyas, who bounced back from a hard-fought loss to Kansas by taking care of business against Chaminade.
Kevin Jones, West Virginia - Scored 23 points and snatched ten rebounds as the Mountaineers blew out Morehead State in a game played at the Charleston Center.
Kevin Giltner, Wofford - Dropped 29 in a four-point win over Bradley.
PICTURE OF THE DAY:
Coastal Carolina's Chris Gradnigo celebrates after his game-winning tip-in to shock Clemson, 60-59. The Tiger employee on the bottom right in the purple polo looks pretty broken up about the loss.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY:
Beating it into the ground a little bit, but it is the season's first buzzer-beater:
You have to love the YouTube description for that video: "Not the outcome I was looking for, but what can you do sometimes? Go Tigers!"
Those Clemson fans live and die with their basketball team.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It's been a while since I've seen that." --Louisville's Kyle Kuric on visiting Arkansas State's 27-point output Tuesday night.
TEN TO END:
1. Duke may have played its best overall game of the season on Tuesday in an 82-75 victory over No. 15 Michigan. The win moved the Blue Devils to 14-0 all-time at the Maui Invitational. Coach K will go for his fifth Maui crown Wednesday night against Kansas.
2. In one of the bigger mid-major clashes this season is likely to see, Cleveland State remained unbeaten by handing Kent State its first loss of the season, 57-53. The visiting Vikings raced out to a 14-2 advantage and never relinquished the lead. The crowd was the largest for a non-conference game at KSU since 1971.
3. That 27-point performance by Arkansas State was the lowest by a Louisville opponent since Georgetown College could muster just 13 against the Cardinals in 1947.
4. St. John's head coach Steve Lavin, who returned to the bench two weeks ago for the first time since undergoing prostate cancer surgery, missed last night's 63-48 victory over Saint Francis (NY).
"At this point in the recovery process, I am pleased to be cancer-free," Lavin said in a statement. "With my recuperation process in mind, I am continuing on a modified schedule in an effort to enhance my stamina and energy level."
5. No. 11 Wisconsin connected on 48.1% of its three-point attempts in a 77-31 win over UMKC.
6. Led by Kendall Marshall's 15 assists and Reggie Bullock's 23 points, top-ranked North Carolina cruised past Tennessee State, 102-69. The Heels get South Carolina on Friday night before their huge back-to-back showdowns with No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 2 Kentucky next week.
7. Western Michigan's Matt Stainbrook is shooting 70% from inside the three-point line this season. Has to be the glasses.