You thought you had a good weekend, but these five had it better. From an unstoppable Lithuanian in Tallahassee to a game-winning layup in San Diego, we bring you the top five college basketball performances of the weekend.
Deividas Dulkys, Florida State
Meet the demolition man behind the Seminoles’ 90-57 beatdown of No. 3 North Carolina. In a win so big for the home fans that FSU coach Leonard Hamilton requested Roy Williams get off the court for his own safety with 14 seconds left, Dulkys was the hero. The native of Lithuania drilled 8-of-10 from three-point range for 32 points, 10 more than his previous career high. The Tar Heels had been averaging a national-best 87.8 points per game coming into Saturday, but it was the Seminoles who dictated pace all night. Dulkys, for one, saw it coming, telling reporters he made 28 straight threes before the game. Student managers witnessed that barrage; North Carolina would watch its own undoing later.
The No. 1 Orange ran out to a 19-0 start for just the second time in school history, after the 1999-00 team, by using its Orange press to turn Providence into pulp on Saturday, 78-55. Six straight turnovers by the Friars led to a 15-0 Syracuse run in the first half to turn the inevitable victory into a blowout even earlier. Forcing 16 turnovers in the first half alone, Syracuse bolstered its defensive credentials even after entering with the best turnover margin in the country (plus-7.4). “Let’s face it: That is clearly the best team in America. I don’t think there’s a close second,” said Providence coach Ed Cooley. “Clearly the best team in America. I’m proud of them. Seriously. From a coaching standpoint and how they play – they play with a purpose. They’re terrific.”
Arsalan Kazemi, Rice
The Rice forward recorded his national-best 14th double-double on Saturday with 12 points and 14 rebounds to beat Tulane. Now, if you’ve kept up with Dime over the summer, you’ll know we highlighted the 6-7 Iranian as a breakout player to watch in Dime #66, but he’s lived up to the hype. He entered the weekend fourth nationally in rebounding at 11.9 and is shooting 64.5 percent from the field. And you have to like this – when his streak of eight straight double-doubles came to an end on Jan. 7, Kazemi started another with his next two games.
Wisconsin-Green Bay’s women
Just another ho-hum weekend for the Horizon League power, who won their school-record, 35th straight regular-season game by beating Detroit on the road, 68-59. The No. 14 Phoenix are now 15-0 this season and join Baylor as the only unbeaten women’s programs. Complain about their schedule all you want, but they’ve beaten every team they’ve played in a place that’s more Cheesehead than hoopshead. Held under their season averages of 77 points and three-point, free-throw and overall field-goal percentages, the Phoenix showed they can grind out a win if needed, as well, against Detroit.
Jamaal Franklin, San Diego State
The sophomore dropped 24 points and 10 rebounds, including the game-winning layup with 0.3 seconds left, to beat No. 12 UNLV, 69-67. After coming off the bench last season to spell Kawhi Leonard, Franklin’s big moment for the No. 22 Aztecs came a minute after spraining an ankle going out of bounds. He sat a possession before setting a screen for Xavier Thames, who kicked the ball back to the driving Franklin for the finisher. The pain wasn’t a problem, said the guard afterward. “We’re a family. If my ankle’s broke, if they want me out there, I’m out there,” he said. “It was a big tweak, but it didn’t really hurt. The adrenaline was going.” Franklin, known for huge dunks, now has a game-winner to add to his resume.
Who’d we leave out from this weekend of college games?
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