Vitale: Parity reigns as mid-majors pull upsets

Vitale's Sensational 16: 2003-04

Vitale's Best of the Week: Jan. 19

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Gomes, Dixon, Sutton nab weekly awards


It's hard to believe that junior forward Ryan Gomes wasn't picked on the preseason All-Big East first team. But he should make the postseason all-conference team!

He had 27 points and eight rebounds in a win over Villanova, including 5-of-6 trifectas. Then he enjoyed a monster game in a 10-point upset of Connecticut, scoring 26 points (11-of-18 field goals) while grabbing 12 boards. That was especially sweet because Gomes is from Waterbury, Connecticut.

Coach Rick Stansbury's team made its case as the top team in the SEC with wins at Florida and at home against Georgia.

Mississippi State posted its first win in Gainesville since its Final Four season (1995-96) and handed Florida (11-4, 2-2) its first double-digit loss at home since 1999. Against Georgia, the Bulldogs raced out to a 19-0 lead en route to an easy win.

Baylor transfer Lawrence Roberts continues to dominate for the Bulldogs, while Timmy Bowers is a factor in the backcourt.

Meanwhile, Florida State had a pair of important ACC home wins, rallying from 24 points down to beat North Carolina and staging another comeback late against Wake Forest. Coach Leonard Hamilton has done a super job, and Tim Pickett was clutch against the Tar Heels, finishing with 30 points.

Nothing like seeing games at Connecticut and Syracuse to test your team's abilities!

Pittsburgh showed a lot by battling Connecticut to the wire before falling. Then the rookie coach enjoyed a great win (66-45) on the road against Syracuse, the defending national champion. The Panthers dominated on the glass (41-28 rebounding edge) en route to the W!

Oklahoma State had a couple of key Big 12 wins, beating Colorado at home and winning at Texas. Sutton's team is on the rise in the conference.

The Jayhawks saw their 52-game home winning streak against unranked teams go by the board. Coach Jerry Wainwright's team hung in at Lawrence and then prevailed 69-68 on Tony Dobbins' game-winning shot in the final moments.

The Spiders came into the game with a 9-8 record, but that didn't stop them from a major upset. Mike Skrocki scored 23 points to lead Richmond.

Freshman forward Sean Banks helped coach John Calipari's team get to the winner's circle twice. Banks tallied 19 vs. Tulane and 18 vs. Houston.

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