Office Hours: Upset Saturday Edition

By David Scott - January 20, 2008


In the course of a five Saturday afternoon minutes and one deft utilization of the "Previous Channel" button on The Professor's remote control, we witnessed college basketball's Top 5 experience its biggest shake-up of the season.

Just moments after Tyler Hansbrough's (!!!) 3-pointer went off-iron in Chapel Hill to give Maryland its biggest win of the season over No. 1 UNC, USC put the finishing touches on its upset at Pauley Pavilion of No. 5 UCLA and The Professor braced for the debate between Memphis and Kansas as the nation's new No. 1 team.

F: Roy Williams and/or Hansbrough, UNC
Why was Hansbrough taking a 3-pointer with time expiring, after a timeout where Williams drew up a play for Ellington? Hansbrough entered the Maryland game 0 for 3 from 3-point land and for his career he was 3 of 8. To have him as even the second option on a trey is questionable at best.

"Wayne (Ellington) was coming off the top and I was coming off the side," said Hansbrough. "Wayne was our first option, but it just didn't go that way."

Apparently not. And shouldn't have gone Hansbrough's way.

"Well I haven't done a very good job with this basketball team the last couple of weeks," said Williams in his post-game presser Saturday. "We've been living on the edge, and it caught up with us today." Better now than later, of course, but still eyebrow-raising.

A: Gary Williams and/or Bambale Osby, Maryland
It has not been a good year for Williams and the Terps, but the win on Saturday can go a long way to remedying what ails Maryland, now 12-7 and 2-2 in the ACC. The hairdo that is Osby got the game-winner and the Terps overcame an awful call in the final seconds as an out-of-bounds whistle that should have gone against the home team wound up being assessed against Maryland.

The Terps aren't as awful as they may have appeared at first blush and the ACC is WIDE open.

A-Plus: Dre Smith, George Mason
Smith went 10 of 10 from international waters in the (other) Patriots' 96-75 win over James Madison on Saturday to set an NCAA record for 3-point proficiency in a game. In his past two games against JMU, Smith is 17 of 18 from 3-point range. May we suggest getting a hand in his face?

A: Travis Lyons, Assistant Coach, Fordham
Lyons, one of the gentle giants of the coaching fraternity, was called into head coaching action for Fordham's game last week against George Washington after head coach Dereck Whittenburg called in sick just prior to the game. The win gets credited to Whittenburg, but we're comfortable in giving the "W" to Lyons and reminding everyone that knows him that the big fella is now undefeated.

F: Xavier
In a widely circulated item from a couple of weeks ago, the Xavier athletic department had declined an award honoring a player as a "mid-major" player of the week. The school resented the implication of being something less than a big time program, which of course was the school's prerogative. They even had some compelling arguments - until this past week when they got beaten - nay, destroyed - by sub-.500 Temple, 78-59.

You are what you are, Musketeers and in the long run you will be better off embracing your inner mid-major than running from it. Especially if you continue to get whacked by the also-rans of the Atlantic 10.

C: Shuffling
The mash up of the Top 25 and especially the new 1 and 2 configuration (which should go Memphis-Kansas in our eyes) makes college hoops seem a bit too much like dysfunctional and daffy college football. That disturbs us greatly. However, there is a certain pleasure derived from a good national debate over the merits of this team over that - it's like spring training for the real fantasy draft of March Madness.

Or so we're told.

F: Powder Blue Unis
Dayton and Marquette (both ranked teams) trotted out powder blue alternate uniforms this past week. The results? Marquette gets beaten by Louisville and Dayton falls to UMass at home. Neither opponent was ranked.

And truth be told - it felt like the San Diego Super Chargers were in their own PowdBlues against the Super Bowl-bound Patriots.

F: Fist of Fan Blocking Camera View During Miami's loss to NC State
The only replay we saw came from the Worldwide Leader (as the game was an ESPN regional production) and on the key in-bounds play at the end, all we saw was a fan's fist.

Damn you, Fist.

Good win for the Wolfpack.

Rook Look - Acie Law

A weekly check-in with a professional player who was toiling on a college campus last year at this time:
Texas A&M's recent skid is a reminder to us of just how special Law was for the Aggies. He's no slouch for the Hawks either with a solid 18 minutes a game and some stat sheet filling of note.

Information and quotes from school/conference releases, official websites and wire stories were used in this notes column.

Posted by David Scott at 11:31 PM on January 20, 2008
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