Our quick thoughts on Monday's results:
It certainly wasn't pretty, but Villanova came back to beat Louisville in the first Big Monday game of the season. The game dragged on for 2 hours and 40 minutes and included 44 turnovers, 66 fouls, and 94 free throws. There had to be some sort of records set with those numbers. The Big East motto of "no blood, no foul" did not apply to this game. Amazingly, with that many fouls, only three players fouled out. Scottie Reynolds once again led the 'Nova effort with 36 points on 9-of-10 shooting in bringing his team back from an early 17-point deficit.
Louisville really blew a great opportunity in this one. Had they won they would have moved to 4-0 in conference and into next week's bracket. Their schedule doesn't get any easier from here with their next five being at Pitt, at Seton Hall, home against Cinci, at WVU, and home against UConn. Villanova, on the other hand, has a relatively easy few weeks ahead of them before a brutal February schedule. Over the past few weeks the Big East has dominated the 2 line in our brackets, but soon enough they will have a team back on the 1 line. The conference is too strong this year to not get a 1 seed when all is said and done.
Oklahoma State was looking good at Oklahoma - until leading scorer James Anderson cracked his head open. The Cowboys then blew their lead and ended up losing in overtime, even after the Sooners failed to hit free throws that would have closed out the game in regulation. We had held off putting Oklahoma State in this week's bracket even after their blowout win over Texas Tech because of their tough upcoming road schedule, and also because they have a brutal Big 12 schedule in general. They only get to face the three worst Big 12 teams once (Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa State) and two of those three are at home. They will surely have plenty of opportunities to prove themselves tourney-worthy in the loaded Big XII, but right now it's tough to see them going above .500 in conference play.
Of note: Siena beat Canisius at home; Cornell beat Clarkson at home; Louisiana Tech won at Boise State; Murray State beat Eastern Illinois at home; Morgan State won at Hampton.