As much as I'd like to think that you spent all day furiously auto-refreshing the college hoops scoreboard, I know the deal. You were spending Thanksgiving like a normal person. You caught up with friends and family. You broke bread and got tired of turkey. You watched Ndamukong Suh try to twist a Green Bay offensive lineman's head off his body.
In other words, you didn't see much college basketball. That's OK. Frankly, with a couple of rare exceptions -- Minnesota's one-point win against DePaul comes to mind -- you didn't miss all that much. But just so we're all on the same page, let's spend a brief moment catching up on some of the more notable results from Thanksgiving day. (At the very least, it's something to read on your phone while you stand in line regretting your decision to go shopping on Black Friday. I mean really, what were you thinking?)
Battle 4 Atlantis
Connecticut 73, UNC-Asheville 63: A tip of the cap is owed to the UNC-Asheville Bulldogs after this performance, and Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun agreed: "Overall, a win is a win, but no one's played us even near that hard since we played Butler last year," Calhoun said after the game, and he's right. UConn's 2011-12 season has kicked off with a coterie of cupcakes. Asheville appeared to be another easy win. Connecticut started as expected, opening up a 16-3 lead by the 16:11 mark. But over the last 35 minutes, the Bulldogs actually beat Calhoun's team 60-57. Alas, basketball doesn't work that way, and that initial gap was always too much for the Bulldogs to overcome. Jeremy Lamb and Shabazz Napier were again excellent here -- they each contributed 23 points -- while freshman forward Andre Drummond, who has struggled thus far in his heralded first season, didn't find a rhythm and finished with nine points and five rebounds in 22 minutes.
Florida State 73, Massachusetts 53: The transitive property has no place in college hoops analysis, but just for the fun of it, let's apply it to Florida State, UMass and Boston College. Four days ago, the Minutemen won at Boston College 82-46. Thursday, Florida State beat UMass 73-53. If my math is correct, Florida State is exactly 56 points better than conference foe BC. Either Florida State is really good, or Boston College is really bad. (I'll go with a combination of both.) In any case, this is what the Noles do. They defend. On Thursday, they held UMass to just 53 points in 80 possessions; the seemingly high-flying Minutemen were reduced to .66 points per possession and a eyebrow-raising 29.4 effective field goal percentage. After leading the nation in defensive efficiency for two straight seasons, Leonard Hamilton's outfit appears ready to tack on a third.
Other results in the Bahamas: Keith Clanton dropped 28, Marcus Jordan had 17, and UCF was able to seal a 74-63 win against Charleston with a timely second-half run. ... Utah isn't a very good team -- that much we know for sure -- but it's hard to be unimpressed by the comprehensive beating the Utes received from Harvard on Thursday. With 3:54 left in the first half, the Crimson's lead ballooned to 45-16. Final score: 75-47.
Old Spice Classic
Minnesota 86, DePaul 85: I'm not sure what to make of this one. Is Minnesota just not very good? Is DePaul better than most think? Is one game on a neutral court this early in the season too small a sample size on which to base sweeping conclusions? Of course. One thing worth keeping an eye on is Minnesota's turnovers, which the Gophers have made a habit of producing in the early goings this season: The Gophers committed 17 turnovers in 73 possessions Thursday. We know Tubby Smith's front line is going to be good; Trevor Mbakwe submitted another excellent performance (16 points on 6-of-7 from the field, 12 rebounds, two steals, one block). And Minnesota's offense was good in general (1.17 points per possession). But if Smith's team can't cut down on the turnovers, it could shoot itself in the foot quite often this season.
In the meantime, let's keep an eye on this DePaul team. Reigning Big East Freshman of the Year Cleveland Melvin and guard Brandon Young combined for 43 points; together, they represent the most talent the Blue Demons have had on the floor in years. It's still too early to tell, but this team might just make some noise.
Fairfield 55, Arizona State 44: Be glad you didn't see this one. It was every bit as unwatchable as the scoreline suggests. I note it specifically only to briefly reflect on the early struggles at Arizona State, which coughed up the ball on 36.1 percent of its possessions Thursday. After four games, the Sun Devils are 1-3 with losses to Pepperdine, New Mexico and now Fairfield. That's not quite as bad as UCLA's track record, but it isn't much better. The Bruins aren't the only Pac-12 program flirting with the word "crisis."
Other results from Lake Buena Vista, Fla.: Dayton's 80-76 win against Wake Forest was hardly the prettiest affair, but the biggest lead of the night was five points, and in the end, first-year Dayton coach Archie Miller got to tack a November nonconference win on his budding resumé. ... And don't look now, but Indiana State, last season's surprise Missouri Valley tournament representative, is 5-0 to start the season after a nice little win against Billy Gillispie's Texas Tech rebuilding project.
Santa Clara 79, New Mexico 76 (OT): It's a little too early to start worrying about the NCAA tournament selection process and the bad losses and marquee wins that punctuate that discussion in February and March, but -- ah, the all-important "but" -- it must be said: If New Mexico was planning on grabbing an at-large NCAA tournament bid this season, it might have to adjust its plans. The Lobos are already 2-2 with losses to Santa Clara and New Mexico State, and they don't have a ton left on their nonconference schedule (at USC? vs. Oklahoma State? vs. Saint Louis?) that will catch the eye of the committee at any point down the road. And let's give it up for Santa Clara, too. The Broncos looked like something of a pushover Nov. 15 in an 89-56 loss at UC-Santa Barbara, but they played well Thursday, especially down the stretch, to grab this win away from New Mexico.
St. Louis 62, Boston College 51: If you read the Florida State-UMass portion of this post, you're well aware Boston College is playing dreadful basketball at this point in the season, so beating the Eagles by 11 doesn't seem like much of an accomplishment. And it really isn't. But if you told Rick Majerus in July that his team would be 4-0 on Nov. 25 -- with wins against power-conference teams Washington and BC -- he surely would have been thrilled. Now, SLU advances in the 76 Classic to face Villanova, which promises to be its stiffest test yet.
Other results from Anaheim, Calif.: Villanova easily handled UC Riverside, a good sign for a Wildcats team that struggled to dispatch La Salle in an overtime win two weeks ago. ... and Oklahoma looked improved in a still-very-sloppy 74-59 win against Washington State.