The Four-Point Play comes at you after another fun Saturday. Me likey those noon Gator home games and the rooftop at the Social.
* Canyon Barry’s free throw streak has been pretty amazing. His goal is to get to 90 percent and by making 39 straight he is now at 89.7 percent. If he makes his next three, he’ll be 90-of-100, which I believe is 90 percent. He also broke Taurean Green’s 11-year old record for consecutive free throws Saturday and Green responded with this Tweet — “Congrats young fella, keep it going.” It’s hard to think about Green or any of the Oh-Fours referring to anyone as a young fella.
* The SEC has gone to great lengths to get better in basketball. In a conference filled with excellence in almost every sport, basketball has been dragging behind. The league has pushed for better scheduling, hired NCAA Tournament experts and efforted to get the word out that the league is improving. And make no mistake about it, the SEC is better. It’s much improved over last year and its 5-5 record (despite Kentucky losing) in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge. Still, with six regular season games remaining, the league is sitting here in a familiar place. Right now, it appears that only three teams — Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina — are headed for the NCAA Tournament. Because there is one thing the league can’t do — fix games. As a result, the middle of the pack keeps getting squished together with no team presenting a tourney-worthy resume. Tennessee looked like it might be that team but suffered a crippling home loss against Georgia. Arkansas was a lock until it lost to Missouri and was hammered at home by Vanderbilt. The league has six teams in the top 50 of RPI, which is commendable. But Tennessee (42), Arkansas (44) and Georgia (50) just aren’t cutting it.
* My reaction to the big unveiling of the top 16 seeds if the season ended right now? It’s hard to get too fired up when there are games being played as they revealed it. Still, it was interesting even if Butler landed in the top 16 and then was knocked out quickly with a loss to Providence. Gonzaga got very little respect as the last No. 1 seed despite its unbeaten record, then went out and beat the only other legitimate team in its conference by 10. Missouri transfer Johnathan Williams had 17 points and nine rebounds. And the Big 10 received a slap in the face with no teams in the top 16. It’s going to be an interesting March.
* Games worth watching in the early part of the week:
Monday — West Virginia at Kansas.
Tuesday — Tennessee at Kentucky.
Wednesday — Duke at Virginia.
I’m still not sure about Duke, the team I thought was the best in the land in December. That two-point win at home against Clemson was less than impressive but it does appear to be a tired team. That can happen in the middle of February. That game against Virginia will be interesting because of the Virginia defense.