College Hoops Player of the Day for DAY, Month, 2010
Three of the top four-ranked teams in the country were on the courts Saturday as college basketball nears its frenzied finish. The top two - Kansas and Kentucky - found out what finishing means, while #4 Syracuse dominated Villanova at home and may end up ranked #1 when the new poll comes out on Monday.
After Tennessee beat #2 Kentucky, 74-65, denying the Wildcats from clinching at least a tie in the SEC East, the Oklahoma State Cowboys showed the rest of the Big 12 that #1 Kansas was not invincible.
James Anderson diligently poured in 27 points to lead the Cowboys to their 85-77 upset of the Jayhawks, keeping a tourney bid in sight. Anderson did it all, from everywhere on the court, hitting 9 of 19 shots, including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, adding 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
Anderson, the fifth-leading scorer in the nation at 22.6 ppg, has scored in double figures every game this season, and has helped the Cowboys to a 20-8 record, and an 8-6 mark in the conference. Combined with Texas' loss to Texas A&M, the Cowboys are now tied for 6th place in the Big 12, likely a spot good enough to earn an NCAA tournament bid. Their final two games before the conference tourney are against A&M and Nebraska.
Later in the evening, 34,616 fans who found their way through nearly two feet of snow to set an NCAA on-campus crowd record, were rewarded by their hometown Syracuse Orangemen, who dispatched Villanova, 95-77, to take control of the Big East conference at 14-2. The Orange now have a two-game lead over the Wildcats with two games to play, ensuring at least a tie for the regular season title. With just St. John's and Louisville left on their schedule, the Orange look assured of winning the conference outright.
The #3 Purdue Boilermakers will see if they can stay close to the top when they face Michigan State this afternoon. With a shot at the Big Ten title, Purdue will have to do it without their star forward, Robbie Hummel, who is out for the season with a torn ACL. Tip time is just after 4:00 pm.