Saturday, January 22, 2011

Today's late-afternoon men's basketball play saw a real streak-breaker, with Texas winning at Kansas, 74-63. The game:

*Ends the Jayhawks' 69-game home winning streak (KU's last loss in Lawrence coming to Texas A&M in 2007).

*Ends KU's heretofore undefeated season after 18 straight wins.

*Is the first time the Longhorns have ever won in Allen Fieldhouse in eight attempts.

*Saw Kansas fail to take advantage of a quick start that yielded an 18-3 lead. A good part of the reason was a roughly 21-minute stretch (spanning approximately the final 5:00 of the first half and the first 16:00 of the second half) in which the Jayhawks hit on only 5-of-28 field-goal attempts (play-by-play sheet).

Elsewhere today in men's action...

No. 1 Ohio State moved to 20-0 on the season, with a 73-68 win at Illinois. The Buckeyes used a 14-0 second-half run -- which converted a 50-42 deficit to a 56-50 lead -- to take command. The Illini never went away, however, and the game came down to the final minute. The Buckeyes made nearly 90% of their free-throw attempts (24-of-27, 88.9%), including 13-of-15 by frosh sensation Jared Sullinger (box score).  A big guy (6-9, 280) who frequently gets the ball under the hoop, Sullinger is bound to get a lot of free-throw attempts, and his proficiency from the stripe will likely be a big factor as Ohio State goes for the national title.

Texas A&M put together a 13-0 run midway through the second half in knocking off Kansas State, 64-56. The Aggies also made 13 of 14 free throws down the stretch (see play-by-play sheet).

ADDENDUM: My radar screen missed a big streak-laden game last Monday night, in which Pittsburgh handed the Syracuse men their first loss of the season after 18 wins, 74-66. Pitt got off to an amazing 19-0 lead, only to have Syracuse score the next 17 to make it a two-point game (play-by-play). The Panthers and Orange continued neck-and-neck until a point where Pitt led 46-44 after a Syracuse free-throw with about 12:00 left in the game. The Panthers then went on a 7-0 run and then a later 8-0 spurt (after the 'Cuse had closed to 57-53) and that was it.

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