Three notes on the new AP college basketball poll

Three notes on the new Associated Press college basketball poll.

1. Although the unanimous choice for No. 1 in the coaches’ poll, Kentucky missed out on being the unanimous choice in the AP poll by just one vote. That vote belongs to John Feinstein, who kept Virginia on his top line.

2. After dropping out after Week 6, Butler is back in the poll at No. 25. Chris Holtmann’s Bulldogs have won four of their past five, including a 77-57 spanking of then No. 24-ranked Seton Hall on Sunday.

3. Despite seven losses, Oklahoma is No. 24. The Sooners have lost four of their past five games, including a 69-58 loss on Saturday at Baylor. Lon Kruger’s club did rally from a 20-point first-half deficit (33-13) to lead Kansas 69-65 with 4:56 to go. But OU ended up losing to the Jayhawks, 85-78.

Related link: AP college basketball poll week to week in Excel

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College basketball on television: Jan. 26

College basketball games on television Monday:

  • 7:00 – Army at American (CBS Sports)
  • 7:00 – Syracuse at North Carolina (ESPN)
  • 7:00 – Delaware State at North Carolina Central (ESPNU)
  • 9:00 – Texas at Iowa State (ESPN)
  • 9:00 – Prairie View A&M at Akansas-Pine Bluff (ESPNU)
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Virginia gets a scare but matches Kentucky at 19-0

For a good bit of Sunday it appeared Kentucky would end up being the only unbeaten major college basketball team.

Virginia trailed Virginia Tech 43-33 in the second half before rallying to nip the crestfallen Hokies 50-47 in a sold-out Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg.

Justin Anderson scored 12 points to pace the Cavs. The 6-foot-6 junior from Montross, Va., threw down an important lob dunk with 3:28 left as Tony Bennett’s club matched Kentucky at 19-0 despite going nine minutes and 14 agonizing seconds of the second half without a point.

The Cavs shot 34.7 percent from the floor, but they did the little things to win. They made 10 of 12 free throws. And they kept the hosts off the offensive boards. Virginia Tech managed just one offensive rebound — one — compared to 21 defensive rebounds for Virginia, which won the glass 33-21 overall.

Kent Babb of the Washington Post reports that Tech coach Buzz Williams was so frustrated by game’s end he had removed his tie before he even left the floor Sunday.

Virginia now has six days to prepare for Saturday’s College GameDay showdown with Duke, which rallied to beat St. John’s on Sunday for Mike Krzyzewski’s 1,000th victory.

Virginia is 7-0 in the ACC, a half-game in front of Notre Dame, which pulled out an 81-78 overtime win at tough-luck North Carolina State on Sunday. Streaking North Carolina has won five straight to climb to 6-1 in ACC play. Syracuse is 5-2. Then come Duke, Louisville and Miami, all at 4-2.

Even with Sunday’s win, however, Virginia slipped back into the No. 2 spot in the Ken Pomeroy ratings behind Kentucky. UK is still No. 1 in adjusted defensive efficiency at 80.4. Virginia is no. 2 at 83.8.

John Calipari’s Cats are at Missouri on Thursday night before coming home to play Alabama on Saturday.

If Kentucky makes history, chemistry might be the reason

Kentucky basketball results and schedule in Excel

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Big Blue Links with a New Zealand touch for Monday

Big Blue Links for Monday:

Tai Wynyard, a basketball prospect from New Zeland, commits to Kentucky for 2016, reports Ben Roberts of Herald-Leader. The 6-foot-9 Wynyard has an athletic background. “His parents, Jason and Karmyn Wynyard, are internationally successful athletes in the sport of woodchopping.”

Javon Provitt has committed to UK football, reports Roberts. The three-star defensive tackle is out of Youngstown, Ohio. “Kentucky now has 18 commitments for the class of 2015, and eight of those prospects are from the state of Ohio. The two Nebraska transfers who enrolled at UK earlier this month — tight end Greg Hart and linebacker Courtney Love — are also Ohio natives.”

Kentucky’s women beat Missouri 83-69 on Sunday, reports Jennifer Smith of Herald-Leader. “When the Tigers tied it at 50 a few minutes into the second half, Mitchell turned to his team and said, ‘We’re not backing up, we’re not falling back, we’re not retreating. We’re going to charge here in the second half and see what we can do.'”

Devin Booker takes aim at another SEC honor, reports Rick Bozich of WDRB. “I will argue that Booker’s 50 percent season average from distance is misleading. This is why: Booker missed 10 of his first 11 three-pointers in November. After going 1 for 6 against Kansas, Booker has made 35 of his last 61 threes. That’s 57.4 percent. That number would make Klay Thompson blush. Well, almost.”

A UK football target committed to Michigan, reports Roberts. “Class of 2015 offensive lineman Nolan Ulizio announced his commitment to Michigan on Sunday. Ulizio had emerged as the Kentucky’s top remaining target on the offensive line for the 2015 class, and he attends the same high school as UK players George Asafo-Adjei, Mikel Horton and Kyle Meadows.”

Mike Krzyzweski became Coach 1K on Sunday, writes Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News and Observer. Duke rallied to beat St. John’s and give the Duke coach his 1,000th career win, the first college basketball coach to do so.

Chris Jones put on a fiery show in Louisville’s win at Pittsburgh, writes Tim Sullivan of the C-J. Louisville’s “Big 3″ of Jones, Terry Rozier and Montrezl Harrell helped the Cards get a road win their first game since losing to Duke.

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College basketball on television: Jan. 25

In its first game since last weekend’s home loss to Duke, Louisville returns to the floor Sunday with a game at Pittsburgh, 4 p.m. on CBS.

The Cards have had an interesting week. Head coach Rick Pitino announced that Montrezl Harrell had been stripped of his status as captain of the team. The next day, Pitino said that Harrell had stripped himself of the captaincy.

Pittsburgh is 13-6 overall and 3-3 in the ACC. The Panthers lost at Duke 79-65 on Monday. That snapped a two-game win streak for Jamie Dixon’s team.

College basketball games on television Sunday:

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Big Blue Links for Sunday

As you would expect, Sunday’s links have much to do with Kentucky’s 58-43 win at South Carolina on Saturday. The Cats are now 19-0, equaling the start of John Calipari’s first UK team back in 2009-10.

There’s also some news from Randall Cobb, a preview of the UK-Missouri women’s game Sunday, some swimming and track and field news.

Big Blue Links for Sunday:

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SEC links for Sunday

Texas A&M won its fourth straight game with a win at Tennessee on Saturday. The Aggies haven’t lost since Jalen Jones returned to the lineup after injury. Jones’ returned after A&M’s double overtime loss to Kentucky.

LSU, Georgia and Arkansas also improved to 4-2 in league play with wins on Saturday. LSU needed overtime and Arkansas needed some missed Georgia free throws.

SEC links for Sunday:

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Three more things about UK’s win at South Carolina


COLUMBIA, S.C. — In addition to my column on UK’s chemistry, here are three more things from Kentucky’s 58-43 win at South Carolina.

1. Kentucky’s OPR was just 12.0. OPR is offensive rebound percentage and Kentucky entered Saturday leading the nation in that category at 44.2 percent. (Add your team’s offensive rebounds to the opponent’s defensive rebounds, then divide by your offensive rebounds.) In other words, Kentucky has been getting 44.2 percent of its offensive rebound opportunities.

Saturday at South Carolina, Kentucky got three offensive rebounds. THREE. South Carolina got 22 defensive rebounds. So UK got 12 percent of its offensive boards. Its previous was 14.7 on Jan. 29, 2011, against Georgia.

UK beat the Bulldogs that day, and the Cats beat South Carolina on Saturday. Never mind that Carolina outrebounded UK 40-28. Never mind that the book said that to beat UK, you have to beat the Cats on the boards.

2. Devin Booker isn’t Klay Thompson — not yet. Booker loves Thompson, the Golden State guard who went flat-out ridiculous on Friday night, scoring 37 points in the third quarter and 52 for the night, in a win over Sacramento.

Booker even does a “reload” gesture after making a three-pointer because that’s what Thompson does when he makes a three-pointer. And lately, Booker has made a lot of those celebration gestures.

Fan in Kentucky blue stands strong in South Carolina student section

On Saturday, Booker scored a game-high 18 points. He was six of nine from the floor, including two of four from three-point land. Over his past nine games, Booker has made 22 of 33 three-point shots. That’s 66.7 percent.

On Thursday, John Calipari tried to throw some humble pie at his freshman by saying that some guys say they can shoot in the ocean (Booker said that after UK’s win at Alabama) and then the same guy shoots an air ball (Booker did against Vanderbilt). Or did he?

“That ball got tipped,” Booker said Saturday with a smile. He said that he wanted to set the record straight but that he knows Calipari is trying to motivate him.

Whatever it is, it’s working.

3. South Carolina shot 22.6 percent. The Gamecocks shouldn’t feel too bad. They’re the 10th team this year that failed to shoot 30 percent against Kentucky this year.

Here’s the list: Kansas 19.6; Montana State 19.7; UT-Arlington 27.0; Providence 28.2; Texas 29.8; Eastern Kentucky 26.1; UCLA 26.8; Louisville 25.9; Missouri 27.1 and South Carolina 22.6.

Kentucky-South Carolina box score

South Carolina averaged .755 points per possession, the eighth team to fall below .8. The others: Grand Canyon, .666; Buffalo, .788; Kansas .669; Montana State, .400; UT-Arlington, .636; Providence, .697; Texas, .764; Eastern Kentucky, .683; UCLA, .648; Missouri, .599 and now South Carolina at .755.

Kentucky averaged a good-but-not-great 1.021 points per possession, which was below the Cats’ average of 1.150.

We should also mention that the Cats turned it over just eight times, which was two fewer than Calipari said he would have liked. Yes, fewer. Cal doesn’t mind turnovers if they occur when guys are trying to make plays. The only reason Kentucky didn’t have more, he said, is because it became more of a grind-it-out game.


Herald-Leader photo gallery from Kentucky-South Carolina

Kentucky individual game-by-game stats in Excel

Kentucky 2014-15 results and schedule in Excel

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Post-game videos from Kentucky-South Carolina

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Post-game press conference videos after Kentucky’s 58-43 win at South Carolina. We have UK coach John Calipari, UK players Tyler Ulis and Devin Booker, South Carolina coach Frank Martin and South Carolina players Michael Carerra and Sindarius Thornwell.

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Liveblog: Kentucky-South Carolina basketball

Live Blog Liveblog: Kentucky-South Carolina basketball

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