Michigan- A Stu Douglass layup with 38 seconds left gave the Wolverines a 60-59 win over rival Michigan State, their fourth straight win over the Spartans. It was not just a big win for this Big 10 season, but a victory that shows Jon Beilein’s team is going to be relevant in the state for a long time.
Florida State- The Seminoles followed their blowout upset win over North Carolina with a 14-point home win over Maryland to prove that Saturday’s result was no fluke.
Purdue- Robbie Hummel, 17 points and 11 rebounds, is finally healthy and the Boilermakers are among the top teams in the Big 10 standings after a win over the overachieving Iowa Hawkeyes.
UNC Ashville- The Bulldogs defeated main conference contender Coastal Carolina at home to go to 8-0 in Big South play and make a huge stride towards the regular season title.
Michigan State- A win on the road over Michigan in Ann Arbor would have given the Spartans the outright Big 10 lead and a huge resume builder. Now Tom Izzo’s team is tied with a bunch of teams at 4-2 with a need for an immediate bounce-back win.
Texas Tech- Any possibility for success fell by the wayside after falling at Oklahoma to go to 0-5 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders clearly need to rebuild their program because what they’re doing is not working even a little.
Iowa- The Hawkeyes had a big chance for another huge statement win after shocking Michigan at home over the weekend, but couldn’t win at Purdue and fell to 3-4 in the Big 10.
Wednesday’s Five Games To Watch
Cincinnati @ UConn, 7 p.m. ESPN2- The Bearcats won at Georgetown last week and are currently second in the Big East behind Syracuse. Can Andre Drummond and the Huskies muscle Yancy Gates and Cincy inside and earn the huge win?
San Diego State @ New Mexico, 10 p.m. CBS Sports- The Aztecs defeated UNLV at home on Saturday to gain the early upper hand in Mountain West play, but SDSU has to finish the job at The Pit against a well coached Lobos team under Steve Alford.
Texas @ Kansas State, 9 p.m. ESPN2- It’s a game both teams really need to get back into the upper crust of the Big 12. The Wildcats’ only Big 12 win was at home against Missouri, but they’ve disappointed of late. The Longhorns have been overlooked this season, but a win here would change that.
Mississippi State @ Ole Miss, 9 p.m. ESPN3- It’s a road rivalry game for the Bulldogs, so it’ll be tough even though State is more talented. Watch out for 6’11 junior Arnett Moultrie, who’s a legit SEC Player of the Year candidate averaging 16.5 points and 10.9 boards per game.
Marshall @ West Virginia, 7 p.m. ESPN3- This is another in-state rivalry between two very talented teams. Kevin Jones and Truck Bryant lead the dangerous Mountaineers against the first place team in Conference USA. Marshall played Syracuse very tough earlier this season, so this game will be tight throughout.
Just four weeks into this shortened season, a few teams have already separated themselves from the pack as the league’s elite teams in this new post-lockout era. Let’s check out the other clubs rounding out the Dirty Dozen.
The Dirty Dozen
1) Oklahoma City Thunder- OKC manhandled Boston on Monday for its seventh straight win and there will be no looking back for Scott Brooks’ team. Kevin Durant is fourth in the league in scoring and the Thunder leads the NBA in free throw percentage.
2) Chicago Bulls- Tom Thibodeau’s coaching has led to the top scoring defense in the league, tied with Philadelphia, and the Bulls are still thriving even with Derrick Rose in and out of the lineup.
3) Philadelphia 76ers- They may not have the best players, but they’re playing the best team ball in the league under Doug Collins. They have the highest per game margin of victory in the league, the best field goal percentage on defense and commit the fewest turnovers in the game. That’s a recipe for success.
4) Orlando Magic- The more the Magic win, perhaps the more Dwight Howard will actually want to stay. Ryan Anderson has been tremendous for Orlando, winners of five straight, who are second in the league in three-point field goal percentage at over 41 percent.
5) Indiana Pacers- Frank Vogel’s team may not score much, but they’re fourth in rebounding and points allowed per game thanks to Roy Hibbert and David West on the interior. They’re also fifth in three-point shooting percentage.
6) Atlanta Hawks- The Hawks would be fifth if not for a recent loss to the Pacers, but their stay in the Dirty Dozen could be short with Al Horford out three to four months. Josh Smith has stepped up in a huge way since the injury.
7) Utah Jazz- Utah no longer has Jerry Sloan or Deron Williams, but they’ve won eight of 10 under Tyron Corbin. Their margin of victory and vital stats say they’re due for a drop, but a 19-point win over the Clippers was pretty convincing.
8) Miami Heat- We all know the Heat would be higher up if not for injuries to LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, but the team is still holding their own. They have the highest overall offensive field goal percentage and force the most turnovers per game, edging out Denver in both categories.
9) Los Angeles Lakers- Despite the loss to the Clippers, the Lakers are still improving and jelling as a team under Mike Brown. Kobe Bryant is putting up NBA Live numbers and Andrew Bynum is asserting himself as an elite big man. They have the third best field goal percentage defense in the NBA.
10) Denver Nuggets- Denver is using its depth and energy to beat opponents along with the second best field goal percentage. They’re oddly doing the same things Miami is to win, except with a more balanced scoring layout. George Karl has done a fabulous job.
11) San Antonio Spurs- The injury to Manu Ginobili has hurt along with the condensed schedule that leads to reduced minutes for the Spurs’ vets. Slowly but surely, the Spurs will rise up into contention. They’re staying the course and hanging around, unlike their veteran counterparts from Boston.
12) Los Angeles Clippers- The Clips have the big names and a recent win over the Lakers, but they’re only outscoring opponents by 0.6 points per game and have played seven of their 11 games at home. They’re stay in the Dozen is tenuous at best.
In Tuesday’s MLS Supplemental Draft, the New York Red Bulls selected the University of Pennsylvania’s Christian Barreiro with the 12th pick in the third round. Not only was Barreiro a two-time All-Ivy League midfielder, the 5’7 Baltimore native was named first-team academic All-Ivy League in 2011 and is set to graduate the prestigious Wharton School of Business in May. SprungOnSports had the opportunity to contact Barreiro on such an important day in his young life.
SprungOnSports- Where were you when you found out the Red Bulls drafted you and what was going through your head?
Christian Barreiro- I was in my Finance class at Penn and I got a call by my agent. I had been tracking the Draft on my computer during class, but he called me before my name had popped up on the draft tracker. It was pure excitement when he told me that I had been selected by NYRB.
SOS- How have you been able to play soccer at such a high level while also attending such a demanding school like Wharton? Do you intend to pursue an MLS career while going forward with such a prestigious degree?
CB- For me, the key to balancing the two has been to have the utmost focus on the task at hand. When it’s class time, I am keen to focus on the concepts being conveyed. When it’s game time, all that I am concerned about is the match at hand. I am fully invested in my pursuit of an MLS career.
SOS- What was it like playing at the Combine last week with some of the most talented collegiate players in the country? Did you feel you held your own?
CB- It was a terrific experience to have been selected to attend the MLS Combine. It was great to play at such a high pace, and I know that the MLS will be even faster.
SOS- Have the Red Bulls reached out to you, and if so what did they anticipate your role would be going forward?
CB- I have talked to the team administrator already, but it was only about logistical things. I’m sure that we will discuss more soccer-related issues in the near future.
SOS- Who were your inspirations growing up in Baltimore that led you to a possible career at the MLS levels? Favorite players growing up?
CB- Having grown up in Baltimore, I was always exposed to the players of DC United like Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno, Raul Diaz Arce, and Ben Olsen. However, I have also been fond of numerous Metrostars/NYRB players like Henry, Djorkaeff, Tab Ramos, Clint Mathis, etc. Internationally, my favorite player growing up had to be Xavi. The way that he conducts the midfield is unrivaled.
SOS- What would it be like playing with guys like Thierry Henry, Joel Lindpere and Juan Agudelo?
CB- It would be a tremendous experience to play with such big name players like Lindpere, Henry, and Agudelo. I watch the NYRB frequently and always admire their styles of play. It will be important to take any piece of advice that they may have and apply it, for they are such experienced professionals.
SOS- Where do you see yourself five years from now?
CB- I see myself hopefully in good health with years of MLS experience under my belt.