Basketball notebook: Smart’s shove steals national headlines
Texas Tech vs. No. 19 Oklahoma State
Texas Tech was on the way to a 65-61 upset victory versus a then-No. 19-ranked opponent, but with seconds left, an off-the-court scuffle stole the headlines. After a turnover, Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart went for a block and ended up in the crowd. Texas Tech superfan Jeff Orr said something that made Smart shove him. Smart was hit with a technical foul and was put on the bench. The Big 12 acted quickly and decided to suspend Smart from the next three games. Oklahoma State has lost 5 of the last 6 games and 4 straight.
“This is not how I (conduct) myself. This is not how this program is run. This is not how I was raised. I let my emotions get the best of me,” Smart said when addressing the media about his suspension.
Oklahoma State dropped out of the Associated Press top 25 after the loss.
No. 10 Cincinnati vs. No. 23 SMU
Cincinnati came into the game with a 15-game winning streak and undefeated in conference play — and that all came to an end Saturday night when SMU routed Cincinnati 76-55 to burst into the AP top 25. Second-year head coach Larry Brown has turned this program around fast. SMU improved to 19-5 and is projected as a No. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament, according to ESPN.
“I didn’t imagine it would be like this this quickly. But I was hopeful that we could get it — that people wanted to see our team play and appreciate the fact that we’re playing hard and playing the right way,” Brown said after the game, according to the Washington Post.
No. 8 Duke vs. Boston College
Duke went on the road and got a conference win on the back of freshman forward Jabari Parker’s career-day 29 points and 16 rebounds. Duke improved to 19-5 with the 89-68 win. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski has his team playing at a high level at the right time. Parker is projected as a top pick on several NBA drafts.
No. 19 Texas vs. Kansas State
Texas had come into the game with a season-high seven-game winning streak. Kansas State lost to Texas in Austin earlier this year by a buzzer-beater shot by Texas junior forward Jonathan Holmes. Kansas State pulled off the upset at home by winning 74-57.
“They beat us any way you can be beat,” said Texas head coach Rick Barnes.
Kansas State was led by Marcus Foster with a career-high 34 points, shooting 13-16 from the field. Although the Longhorns lost, they have surprised the nation. After a horrible season last year, Barnes was on the hot seat, but now the Longhorns are playing well and could make the NCAA tournament.