Notre Dame vs. Duke, 79-77
NCAA – This weekend’s action was highlighted by a few upsets. One of the more notable upsets that transpired was pulled off by the Notre Dame Irish, who came away with an amazing win over the seventh-ranked Duke 79-77. Notre Dame successfully deployed a smaller lineup that allowed them to chase down Duke’s shooters and contest their shots.
The Irish easily dismissed a 10-point lead that Duke set up at the half, thanks to a 20-4 run which was capped off by a vicious dunk by Pat Connaughton over Jabari Parker. That highlight painted the picture of Parker’s night who finished the game who finished the game with just seven points, shooting just 2-10 from the field.
“We’re just motivated by focusing one game at a time and really accepting the challenge of being in the ACC and showing everybody, look, you’re not going to forget about us come the end of the season,” Connaughton said.
Oklahoma State vs. Kansas State, 71-74
Duke was not the only team to stumble in an upset loss over the weekend. Number 6 Oklahoma State capped off a bad week with a tough loss to Kansas State, 71-74. They lost Michael Cobbins for the season to a torn Achilles tendon and freshman guard Stevie Clark was arrested for Marijuana possession.
The Cowboys’ Marcus Smart tried to step up despite their adverse week and delivered 15 points while grabbing six boards. Unfortunately for him, he was outdone by Marcus Foster who put up 17 points and eight rebounds of his own. Even though they clearly struggled without both key players, the Cowboys were still expected to come away with the win. They will get a chance to regroup in their next game where they will face Texas in West Virginia on January 11.
SMU vs. UConn, 74-65
Some are now questioning whether UConn can live up to it early-season success. They dropped a few key games and were even recently upset by SMU, 65-74. The Huskies’ Shabazz Napier had an off game and his team could not get things going in the interior. He finished with just 12 points off two successfully converted field goals. The loss takes UConn to 0-2 in conference play.
The SMU Mustangs executed coach Larry Brown’s plays well and simply played solid basketball, outplaying the game favorites.
“There’s nobody for us to look at besides ourselves,” UConn coach Kevin Ollie said after the game. ”And that’s me included — first and foremost, that’s me included. There will be some changes; we can’t keep doing the same things.”
UConn now needs to play with more urgency and get their act together after this loss and find the groove they had back when the season began.