College basketball’s a volatile market, but it’s time to buy the five teams, players or coaches highlighted here after what they did this weekend.
A vote of confidence here doesn’t mean they can’t struggle later or won’t be replaced even quicker. But before you hit the rest of the week, watch out for these players and teams on the hardwood after how they worked the weekend.
Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame
The junior guard was largely responsible for cleaning house with UConn’s streaks on Saturday. The Irish’s 74-67 win in South Bend was their first over the Huskies at home since 2004, and also ended the Huskies’ 57-game Big East win streak.
Key to it all was Diggins, whose relentless offseason workouts Dime brought you a sneak peek of in the fall. She dropped 22 points, including 16 in the second half and overtime when she scored five straight, then added a three to cut UConn’s lead to one late in regulation. She topped it by grabbing a steal at midcourt that led to the game-tying bucket at the end of regulation for Notre Dame. And don’t forget the hundreds of new Twitter followers her 134,000-plus account gained on Saturday.
Mike Brey, Notre Dame
It was a good day to be a Golden Domer. It’s still uneasy to bet on the Irish after their only star, Tim Abromaitis, was lost for the season with a torn ACL in November, but Saturday showed their coach is working wonders again. We’re not saying the Irish can win it all, but knocking off Rick Pitino‘s Cardinals has us buying in the ND futures market. The Irish men knocked off Louisville, 67-64 in two overtimes on the road, adding another nice win after beating Pitt.
They’re an average plus-6.1 in scoring margin, 10th in the Big East, and are 12th with a .437 shooting percentage. They shot worse and were outrebounded by Louisville, but still managed a way to win. It’s not pretty in South Bend, but it’s turning heads because of its effect.
Isaiah Canaan, Murray State
We told you in December the Racers’ point guard was in elite eight company among collegians this season. Saturday’s win over Austin Peay helped solidify it â€” and hey, it’s not just us. Tweeted Sports Illustrated‘s Seth Davis: “Canaan drills a long two at the halftime buzzer. Has 27 points. That may be the best half of basketball I’ve ever seen a college kid play.”
That first half included making seven of his first eight three-point attempts, en route to finishing with 35 points, two rebounds, five dimes and a steal to keep Murray State 16-0.