|Possibly the best player in the country, yet only diehards know his name.|
That said, this game was closer than the final score. Villanova relies heavily on threes, and they shot an atrocious 4-for-32 here, while Oklahoma was a white hot 14-for-26. Villanova actually had a 30-to-20 advantage in points in the paint, as well as an advantage at the free throw line. Outside shooting has been a problem for Villanova this season. They take 50.4% of their shots from behind the arc and are hitting an atrocious 28.6% of them so far, down from 38.9% last season. How real is that decline? Almost across the board, guys are shooting threes worse than last season. Josh Hart is down from 46% to 31%, Phil Booth is down from 49% to 28%, Kris Jenkins is down from 37% to 29%. In other words, Villanova's shooting will probably improve. Maybe not back to where it was last season, but it should be good enough for them to be a legitimate Top 5 team in the nation.
As for Oklahoma, this win pushed them past Villanova for the #1 overall spot in the Pomeroy ratings. They are 6-0 with blowout wins over Villanova and Wisconsin, so it's hard to really argue with that too much. They will open up Big 12 play with a flurry: Playing at home against Iowa State and then on the road at Kansas. Sweep those two games and they'll be the Big 12 favorites.
Howard Wins On A Buzzer Beater North Carolina Central had won 38 straight home games and 32 straight regular season MEAC games, so it was going to take a mighty effort for Howard to steal this game. They got fluky 12-for-19 three-point shooting, but even that was only enough to tie the game up in the closing seconds, when James Daniel did this:
#HowardMBB G James Daniel and The Nations Leading Scorer BANKS in another game winner tonight vs NCCU @JayBilas pic.twitter.com/BTR0TXwLJy— Howard Athletics (@HUBisonSports) December 8, 2015