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Mike Lopresti | | November 22, 2021

Breaking down the good, the bad and the ugly from a busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend in men's college basketball

More sleepers and contenders for March Madness from Andy Katz

Monday Citations for the good, bad and ugly from a busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend.

Purdue . . .

Move over Gonzaga, UCLA, Kansas . . . we’ll need another chair at the genuine national championship contender table. Consider the Boilermakers’ handiwork in dispatching of North Carolina and Villanova in the Hall of Fame Tip Off.

BOILER UP: Purdue rises in latest Power 36 rankings

Purdue made its last 11 shots against Villanova and hit 63 percent in the second half against the Wildcats and Tar Heels . . . outscored the two teams 80-36 in the paint . . . had four different players reach at least 20 points in a game . . . and combined the 59 points from the one-two post punch of Trevion Williams and Zach Edey with the outside firepower that produced 10 3-pointers each night. The Boilermakers are 5-0, haven’t shot under 50 percent yet and scored 90 points in four consecutive games for the first time since 1969. All that, while holding their five opponents to 40.1 percent shooting and outrebounding them by 14 a game. In other words, they’re for real.

St. Bonaventure . . .

The Bonnies haven’t been ranked in 50 years, and now that they are, clearly intend to stay a while. Winning the Charleston Classic, they came from 16 points down to beat Clemson Friday and then crunched Marquette 70-54 Sunday, outscoring the Golden Eagles 50-18 in the paint. “We are blessed to have five seniors who know what it takes to win.” Coach Mark Schmidt said. The all-senior lineup now has combined for 353 career starts.

Arizona . . .

Tucson must be starting to feel like Spokane for new coach — and long-time Gonzaga assistant — Tommy Lloyd. Well, except for the desert. He never lost much with the Zags, and the Wildcats are 5-0 after a raucous weekend in Las Vegas, blowing a 16-point lead against Wichita State but regrouping to win in overtime, then smacking No. 4 Michigan 80-62. Christian Koloko’s mother flew in from Cameroon to see her son play college basketball for the first time and had to love watching him score 22 points with seven rebounds and four blocked shots against the Wolverines. But goodness knows what she thought of Las Vegas. As a Gonzaga assistant and now the Arizona coach, Lloyd is 67-3 the past three seasons.

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North Carolina . . .

The Tar Heels hadn’t lost to Purdue since 1974. They hadn’t lost to Tennessee since 1949. They did both at the Hall of Fame, giving up 93 and 89 points, getting waxed in the paint 96-40. The defense might need some work.

Bob Huggins . . .

West Virginia’s win over Clemson was career victory No. 904. That puts him fourth on the all-time list, with Jim Calhoun only 14 victories ahead, and then Jim Boeheim and Mike Krzyzewski wayyy out there. Huggins has done it all. Except one thing. Of the top eight names on the list, he is the one still chasing a first national championship.

Colgate . . .

Where were you in ‘62? Colgate was beating Syracuse. The Raiders then lost their next 54 games against the Orange, but all that ended Saturday when they put 100 points on the Syracuse zone — in the Carrier Dome. The fact Colgate missed its first 12 3-point attempts and fell behind 22-5 just added to the gala occasion. This was not a one-night fluke for the Raiders. They lost late by three points at North Carolina State. Colgate hadn’t beaten a power-5 team since 1995.

DON'T MISS A THING: Live scoreboard and stats for every game

Kentucky . . .

Anyone notice the Wildcats have taken 44 free throws this season and missed only six?

Drake 73, Richmond 70 . . .

Experience required for this game. These two teams are symbols of the COVID age, bringing back so many players with extra eligibility. Drake, with eight seniors, has a team average age of 24.06 — older than the opening night rosters of the Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA. Richmond, with six graduate students, has an average age of 23.4.

Bellarmine . . .

 You have to admire the Knights’ spunk when it comes to scheduling. Last season, they decided their first game ever as a Division I team would be at Duke. This season, they have already played — and lost by a bunch — Purdue and Gonzaga. Monday night, they face UCLA. When the evening is over, Bellarmine will have faced the top three teams in the Associated Press poll. More time at the free throw line might help. Their opponents have made 75 free throws so far. The Knights have shot only 46.

Duke vs. Lafayette . . .

Medicare game of the weekend! The Blue Devils won 88-55, giving 74-year-old Mike Krzyzewski the coaching victory over 73-year-old Fran O’Hanlon.

Memphis vs. Western Kentucky . . .

No, not every game is ready for an art museum. Memphis committed 26 turnovers in its 74-62 victory. Western Kentucky had 25. Which means the two teams combined for only one more field goal — 52 — than turnovers. There were 28 assists but 34 steals. And Western Kentucky went 5-for-13 from the free throw line.

Georgia Tech . . .

So much for the five-game losing streak to Georgia. The Yellow Jackets shot 60.7 percent to end it, 88-78. Michael Devoe had 37 points.

POLL TALK: Check out the latest AP Top 25 rankings

Illinois State 105, Bucknell 100, OT . . .

The best game of the season so far that few noticed. There were 22 lead changes and 13 ties. Mark Freeman had 34 points in victory and Andrew Funk 38 in defeat. Funk had 32 points in an earlier loss to Penn. He’s a senior who came into the season with an 8.5 career scoring average.

Colorado State’s David Roddy . . .

Lots of visitors spend lovely weekends in the Virgin Islands, but how many score 30 points one night to help beat Bradley and 34 another to lead a 95-81 cruise past Creighton? In that one, the Rams were a rather impressive 20-for-34 from the 3-point line. Roddy was a state discus champion in high school.

Utah State’s Justin Bean . . .

The senior forward scored 33 points with 16 rebounds at the Myrtle Beach Invitational and that might not have even been his best game of the tournament. In Sunday’s win over Oklahoma, he had 24 points, 19 rebounds, three assists and two steals. In three tournament games he took 42 shots and missed 13.

Baylor . . .

So far, the loss of four starters from the national champions hasn’t slowed down the Bears much. They’re 4-0 by an average winning margin of 34.3. And they’re a larcenous lot with 37 steals against Central Arkansas and Stanford, outscoring those teams 52-7 in points off turnovers.

Oregon State . . .

The Beavers were a feel-good underdog saga last March, marching to the Elite Eight. But time moves on. Now they’re 1-4 after home losses to Samford and Princeton.

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