A new top team (again), a new grill for one lucky player and a number of teams that continue to roll - all that and more in this weekend's college hoops observations.
Prepare to be enlightened.
- Well that wasn't very nice. Gerald Henderson & Co. destroyed Maryland 85-44, handing Terrapins coach Gary Williams his worst loss since taking over the team in 1989. So guess what that means? Duke will be No. 1 and Mike Krzyzewski will likely whine some more about how his team doesn't get enough coverage.
- Tyler Hansbrough didn't play today. But he did get braces. No comment.
- Villanova struggled but, fortunately for the Wildcats, so did South Florida. ‘Nova's Reggie Redding scored a layup with 9:07 remaining to give the Wildcats a 49-48 lead, while Dwayne Anderson followed with a three. No. 20 Villanova held onto the lead for a 70-61 win despite Redding fouling out with a 1:34 left and Dante Cunningham in foul trouble. USF, meanwhile, shot 28 percent from the field in the second half and saw its leading scorer, Dominique Jones, foul out with 5:28 left. And because this was a Big East match-up, what was the coach's response? "Just a good old Big East game," said Jay Wright.
- Butler continues to dominate. The unbeaten Bulldogs improved to 9-0 in the Horizon League after pummeling Wisconsin-Milwaukee 78-48. This year's team has already set a school record with its l8-1 start (the Bulldogs broke the record last weekend when they reached 16-1), and if Butler beats Valparaiso on Friday, the Bulldogs will tie the conference record of 21 straight wins. Today, Butler managed to shut down the Horizon's second-highest scoring team, forcing the Panthers to shoot 24 percent from the field and turn the ball over 18 times. Butler coach Brad Stevens is still a beast.
- Marquette also jumped to a record start in conference play with a 79-70 win over DePaul. The 11th-ranked Golden Eagles (17-2 overall) are now 6-0 in the Big East, topping its 5-0 start 16 years ago. Lazar Hayward had 16 points and 17 rebounds in the win, while fellow Eagles Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews had 21 and 20 points, respectively.
- Jodie Meeks went off again: Twenty-seven points in Kentucky's 61-51 win over Alabama. What else is new?
- The double-double machine went to work. Again. Oklahoma's Blake Griffin dropped 20 points and grabbed 17 boards to lead the Sooners to a 95-76 win over Baylor. His older brother, Taylor, put on a not-too-shabby of a performance, as well, with 18 points and six rebounds. However, the game's leading scorer wasn't wearing maroon and white. Baylor's 6-foot-1 senior guard Curtis Jerrells had 26 points. He also had seven rebounds, six assists and four 3s. Yowza.
- The Memphis-Tennessee rivalry is always intense, regardless of rankings. Add frosh Tyreke Evans to the mix and you got yourself one heck of game. Such was the case in Knoxville today as Evans had 17 points and hit a free throw with just one second remaining to lead the Tigers past the Vols, 54-52. And did I mention that Evans also scored his team's last seven points and scored a clutch layup with 2:53 remaining to give Memphis a 53-50 lead? The kid is golden.
- Washington point guard Isaiah Thomas has steadily improved this season. And today was no different as the freshman scored 24 points in the Huskies' 86-75 win over UCLA. However, the key to Washington's win was Justin Dentmon, who sparked a late rally by the Huskies before finishing with 16 points. Welcome to the top of the Pac-10, Huskies.
- The 25th-ranked Fighting Illini lived up to their moniker. Illinois went on a second-half run that started behind the 3-point arc and ended at the foul line. The star of the show: Demetri McCamey, who kicked off the run with a 3-pointer and finished the game with 25 points.
Well, so much for that. Notre Dame boasted a 45-game home winning streak before its meeting with No. 3 UConn on Saturday. 'Tis no longer. The Huskies took a 69-61 win in South Bend as the No. 19 Fighting Irish struggled with their shooting (32.9 percent from the field) and failed to get it done inside (they were outrebounded 53-39). Luke Harangody put up big numbers -- 24 points, 15 rebounds -- but his teammates couldn't hold up their end. That No. 7 ranking in offensive efficiency? Not so much. Meanwhile, UConn had three players score in double-figures, one of which was forward Jeff Adrien, who posted 12 points and 19 rebounds.