Saturday, December 13, 2003
What a day of superb marquee matchups in the world of college hoops! First, we had #25 Louisville taking down #1 Florida 73-65, the second time the Gators have lost since taking over the top spot in the polls. Impressively, for the second consecutive game, Rick Pitino's squad was led by Francisco Garcia, whose brother was shot to death on Tuesday in NYC. Oh, you want more? Then how about #18 Gonzaga toppling #4 Missouri in OT, 87-80 in the Battle in Seattle? This was an incredible game, everything you want in a contest between two high-tier teams. You could tell, just watching the game on TV, that the atmosphere was electric. But nothing compared to that at Ford Field, where a world-record crowd of over 78,000 saw #2 Kentucky beat #20 Michigan State 79-74. Obviously, this means the 'Kats will ascend to the throne in the polls... but what do you do with a 3-4 Spartan team? They've played four-count-'em-four top 25 teams in the last 3 weeks, but have lost to all four opponents. All I know is that Tom Izzo's going to have his boys ready for March, just watch. Still not enough? Well, there's #10 Georgia Tech, now 8-0 and ready to shake things up in the ACC after beating a dangerous St. Louis team (just ask Lute Olson) today, 75-62. And speaking of the 'Zona coach, his #9 Wildcats were in trouble at home in the first half, but pulled out a hard-fought win over #21 Marquette 85-75 - this coming on the heels of their big victory over #6 Texas on Tuesday. Coming up yet tonight, one more to watch, as a depleted Illinois squad, embarassed by Providence in the Jimmy V Classic this week (which has some questioning this team's "fight") hosts dangerous Memphis. It's the most wonderful time of the year... until March, at least.