Duke Wins Another Maui Title; NBA Basketball Back For Christmas?

By: 11.24.11  •  19 Comments
Mason Plumlee

Mason Plumlee (photo. Jon Gardiner, Duke Photography)

We sort of called this. Duke lives and dies by the three. They did again last night. Tyler Thornton, the last guy you might expect to take a big shot – maybe the last guy you’d even expect to be in the game – hit not one but two huge threes in the final moments against Kansas. The second one was an end-of-the-shot-clock heave from nearly out of bounds that you just knew was going in the moment he released it. Combine those shots with a three from Andre Dawkins, and Kansas – who played them even all the way – couldn’t finish it off and lost 68-61. But for once, it wasn’t the guards who carried the Dukies. Ryan Kelly (17 points) – the tourney MVP – and Mason Plumlee (17 points, 12 rebounds) were beasts the whole way through, and did just enough to offset Thomas Robinson (16 points, 15 rebounds), who looked like a future lottery pick all night long … The No. 2 Kentucky Wildcats blew out Radford 88-40 with a balanced scoring attack. Calipari‘s cats had five players in double figures with sophomore Terrence Jones leading the way with 17. Freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 15 along with Marquis Teaque‘s 13 and Anthony Davis‘ 12. Kentucky is now 5-0 and looking stronger each week. Of course some of that has to do with the competition. Superior talent is always going to overwhelm a few of these teams they play, but when they face off with a real opponent, things could change. Can you believe we’re going to get to see these guys play No. 1-ranked North Carolina on December 3rd? Talk about Christmas coming early … Ohio State took on Virginia Military, winning 107-74 at home. Jared Sullinger scored 17 points in only 20 minutes while senior William Buford led the team with 23. 10 different Buckeyes scored in this game as Ohio State moved ahead to 5-0. They will take on Duke on November 29th in what should be one hell of a match-up … Georgetown outlasted No. 8 Memphis in the Maui Invitational, beating the Tiger 91-88 in overtime. Jason Clark lead Georgetown with 26 while sophomore Will Barton scored 22 for Memphis, his second straight big game. Joe Jackson scored 20 in the loss as Memphis leaves Maui with two Ls and a more-than-likely drop in the polls … Syracuse, Baylor, Alabama and Michigan all won, but Arizona (you know that team we haven’t been sold on all season?) lost by four to San Diego State. They trailed wire-to-wire and lost for the first time in 22 games at home … Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted that the owners and players have taken up negotiations again. The goal of the secret meetings was to save the ever-popular Christmas day games, something David Stern is ready to kill in order to do: Representatives for NBA owners and players have started settlement talks in a last-ditch effort to prevent the cancellation of the league’s Christmas games. The negotiations started Tuesday and were expected to continue Wednesday and though the Thanksgiving holiday. Interesting stuff if you ask us – just be happy there’s a sense of urgency right now. Hopefully Santa can come through with some Christmas day games. An opening day on Dec. 25 would be epic … DeShawn Stevenson told Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports that Billy Hunter is doing a horrible job. Stevenson stated the owners and media basically know the players hand now and have all the power, that all this decertification talk should’ve gone down back in the summer. Stevenson went on to say that the owners have been slow to recognize how much the players have already conceded in negotiations, but also said he points blame at Billy Hunter. Is it just us or is Billy Hunter slowly losing more and more power over his players? … According to the Chicago Tribune, Derrick Rose has taken first round pick Jimmy Butler under his wing, spending lots of time with him during the lockout. Butler told the Tribune Rose has been someone who has really, really helped his game. “I’ve spent time with him off the court during this lockout. We’re getting to know each other. And he’s teaching me the basics. That’s big for me. You have to start somewhere. And if you get the bottom line down, you build from there.” … We’re out like the players’ respect for Billy Hunter.

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