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Sully's Court: More blame on fan than Marcus Smart

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  February 10, 2014 10:16 AM

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I feel for Marcus Smart. He gives an all-out effort to stop the opposition from scoring, even though the game is probably over for all intents and purposes, but he won’t give up. He stumbles into the stands and ends up face-to-face with Mr. Texas Tech. That dopey guy calls him a crappy player. OK, he should have just walked away.

However, we’re also hearing from other Texas Tech opponents that this guy has done it before. He actually apologized today to Smart and said he won't be attending any more games this season. I'm stunned because it's so rare to see people do the correct thing.

Five rising:

Davidson: The always well-coached Wildcats were roughed up in the non-conference part of the schedule, but they’ve asserted themselves in the Southern Conference, winning 10 of their last 11 and are solidly in first place.

North Carolina: Don’t look now, but the Tar Heels might be finally figuring it out. After beating Notre Dame 73-62 Saturday they’ve won five straight, all by double digits. The Tar Heels are 16-7 overall and 6-4 in the ACC after starting 0-3. Next up? Duke on Wednesday.

Saint Louis: The Billikens completed a Philly sweep by beating Saint Joe’s and LaSalle and have now won 16 in a row. They are 22-2 overall and undefeated in the A10. Without question, they are one of the best defensive teams in the country. The two losses were to Wisconsin on a neutral banquet hall in Mexico and Wichita State (a home game).

Stephen F. Austin: The Lumberjacks keep chopping away. They are 22-2, have won 19 straight overall and 30 straight at home. The two losses were to Texas and East Tennessee. The Lumberjacks don’t have any quality wins, so they’ll need to win the Southland Conference tournament and if they do I think they’ll be a dangerous NCAA opponent.

Weber State: The Wildcats are firmly in control in the Big Sky Conference with a three-game lead after beating Northern Colorado. They’re especially in control at home, where they’ve won 26 straight conference games and 48 of their last 49.

Five falling:

American: The Eagles looked like they were going to roll right through the Patriot League when they won their first 10, but they lost to Loyola of Maryland and then inexcusably dropped a home game to Colgate.

Cal: This is what frustrates Cal fans (like the long-suffering Gary Washburn of the Globe). The Bears manage to upset the best team in the country in Arizona, then they turn around and lose to arch-rival Stanford at home. On top of that, they’ve lost four of five.

Kent State: Once the best of the MAC, the Flashes have been extinguished. They lost a Michigan swing to Eastern and Central (it was Central’s first MAC win of the season) and have now dropped six of the last seven.

Oklahoma State: It has all fallen apart for the Cowboys, who not only have lost four in a row and five of their last six but now will lose All-American Marcus Smart for three games after he shoved a fan at the end of a loss to Texas Tech. This was a Final Four team that now has to be seriously doubted.

Sacred Heart: It has been a disastrous first year for coach Anthony Latinia, who replaced Dave Bike after Bike spent 35 years as the head man before retiring. The Hearts have lost eight straight and are 4-21.

This week’s George Mason (best mid-major): Wichita State. The Shockers successfully cleared the hurdle of winning at Indiana State. The Thresher is plowing its way to an undefeated season.

This week’s Final Four: Arizona, Syracuse, Wichita State, Florida.

This week’s national champion: Arizona

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