* With just over four minutes on the clock last night in Philly, LSU‘s 6-11 game-changing big man Anthony Randolph (12 points, 6 rebs, 4 blocks) fouled out of his team’s game against Villanova. Randolph had been killing the ‘Cats, putting his Tigers up by more than 20 points. But once he went out of the game, the flood gates opened as ‘Nova scored a deluge of points and mounted a 19-6 run to close out the game for a 68-67 win on a Dante Cunningham put-back with 5.9 seconds to play. ‘Nova guard Malcolm Grant went berserk over that four-minute span, scoring 14 of his 18 points on a four-point play (foul on Marcus Thornton), another triple, two free throws, two more free throws, and on another foul while shooting a trey (on Garrett Temple). Grant went 8-8 from the line over that span. “The coaches tell us everyday in practice to put pressure on yourself when you shoot free throws and try to think of a game situation,” said Grant. “That is what I try to do, just put myself in a pressure situation when I am shooting. I did that tonight and just made them.”
While Grant was spectacular, LSU truly did blow this game. They dominated the Wildcats at the outset, holding Villanova to a 2-12 start from the floor, which progressed to 5-20 as LSU built a 24-12 lead midway through the first period. Villanova legitimately could not score inside the paint â€“ it seemed like LSU got at least a finger on every attempt in the lane. The Tigers blocked 14 shots, but couldn’t get a hand on Cunningham’s putback on Grant’s miss with less than 10 seconds left.
* Butler advanced to 8-0 last night with a 53-46 win over Detroit, despite getting only 17 total points from sharpshooters A.J. Graves (16.6 ppg) and Mike Green (14.6 ppg). Freshman Matt Howard boosted the Bulldogs with 20 points and 11 boards.
* After UConn‘s 69-60 win over Northeastern, Jimmy Calhoun wasn’t quite pleased with his team’s performance. “As far as we’re concerned, I would give us an “F” on offense and probably a “C+” [overall].” He also had some harsh words about the official who T’d him up for a second time when Calhoun was simply laughing. “I guess we’re going to now [call a foul] for what we’re thinking,” Calhoun said to the AP. “I could have been laughing, I could have had gas.”