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Top of the Arc - December 2, 2008

Dec. 2, 8:00 a.m.: Several area teams had interesting results yesterday:

Virginia Tech can’t catch a break. For the second time this season, the Hokies lost in the final seconds. Coach Seth Greenberg may look back at last night’s two-point loss to Wisconsin and shake his head come March. The Hokies figure to be on or near the bubble again, and a quality victory, even at home, could go a long way to giving them the boost they need to reach the NCAA tournament.

The problem for Virginia Tech is that it has run out of opportunities to secure a non-conference victory over a likely NCAA tournament team from a power conference. The Hokies lost to Xavier (halfcourt shot) and Wisconsin. They also fell to Seton Hall, which is not expected to make the tournament.

Virginia Tech was thisclose last season, of course. Last night, Wisconsin’s Trevon Hughes sank a floater in the lane with 0.9 seconds left to give the Badgers the victory. That came just seconds after Tech’s A.D. Vassallo made his sixth three-pointer to tie the game. Vassallo finished with 30 points, including 24 in the second half.

George Mason got a good look at the other Curry last night. Stephen’s brother, Seth, hit a jumper and made two free throws in the final 41 seconds of overtime to lift Liberty to a 69-66 victory. Curry had a game-high 22 points. Liberty made 11 three-pointers. Curry, a 170-pound freshman, is averaging 22 points per game. George Mason Coach Jim Larranaga said Seth Curry is very much like his dad, Dell Curry. Here is the story.

I watched the end of a good game between Mount St. Mary’s and American last night. The Mount won at American for the first time in 43 years, 57-52. American went on an 11-3 run and held The Mount without a field goal for more than four minutes. The Eagles had a chance to tie the game with 20 seconds remaining, but an errant inbounds pass was thrown away. Jeremy Goode (29 points) led Mount St. Mary's with 29 points. Here is our story by Steve Goff. American begins an intriguing stretch of road games: Georgetown (Saturday), followed by George Washington, then UMBC, then the rematch with Maryland.

Canisius blasted Howard, 70-46, last night at Burr Gymnasium. Howard is 1-5, with the lone victory against a power conference school. Naturally, right? When I watched Howard beat Oregon State in its opener, I figured Howard was vastly improved from last season. I still think the team is better, but how much so remains to be seen. The bad news is that the next five games are on the road. The good news is that a rematch with Oregon State looms Dec. 20.

Before the season, I eyed a Dec. 12 game between Maryland and Delaware State at Comcast Center and felt it could be interesting. A team with a methodical style against a young Terrapins team with a struggling front court might be intriguing. Well, forget that thought. Delaware State lost to Connecticut by 30 last night, dropping its record to 1-9. Delaware State has lost to Cheyney. The Terps should be okay in the Dec. 12 matchup, after all. We think.

On the national side, one of the interesting developments so far is that Southern California’s DeMar DeRozan, touted as the best freshman in the country, has yet to shine. DeRozan scored 11 points in 31 minutes last night against San Francisco. He has yet to score more than 14 points and he is averaging around 30 minutes per game. It’s still early. A strong test against Oklahoma comes Thursday.

By Eric Prisbell  |  December 2, 2008; 8:02 AM ET
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How does Seth Curry end up at Liberty? Has no one from the BCS schools been paying attention for the last two years? If Dell Curry has any more kids, they should get scholarship offers right now, no matter how old they are.

Posted by: fitzfacts | December 2, 2008 3:38 PM

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