On Monday afternoon, the Syracuse Orange were rated the number one team in both major polls. After an exhilarating weekend, they had to comeback down to earth to face a Notre Dame team that was also coming off a buzzer beating overtime win.
While Notre Dame provided some tense moments for Syracuse in the second half, this game wasn’t up to par with the Iowa State game at Oklahoma State. The two Big 12 teams have been struggling in conference with a .500 record, so it was expected that both teams would leave it on the floor.
Villanova also had a big game in the Big East when they put their #6 ranking on the line against Xavier.
It was a light day of college basketball, but here are the biggest moments of the night.
Game of the Day
Iowa State 98- Oklahoma State 97
The Iowa State Cyclones were on the verge of giving away a game in the final of three overtimes on Monday. With a three point lead and 20 seconds left, Oklahoma State drove straight to the lane from the left wing. Iowa State put up no resistance and didn’t contest the lay up.
In similar fashion to the prior 54 minutes, the drama really ensued. Oklahoma State’s pressure defense caused a turnover on the inbounds pass, and the Cowboys had a chance to steal a victory with 11 seconds remaining.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart missed the game winner, but a held ball gave Oklahoma State the possession with 1.4 seconds left. However, LeBryan Nash missed a baseline jumper as the time expired.
DeAndre Kane played a magnificent game in every facet, but no play was bigger than the offensive rebound and assist for a game tying three with 1.4 seconds left in the second OT. Kane was one assist away from the triple double. He led Iowa State with 26 points.
Game of the Day II
Syracuse 61- Notre Dame 55
Syracuse outlasted a gritty Notre Dame team, and a sluggish second half to win by six points. Trevor Cooney hit nine three’s and poured in a career high 33 points for the number one Orange. With the rest of the team having a sub-par offensive game, it was Cooney’s magical night that kept Syracuse from going down at home.
Cooney’s three point barrage has put him in a tie with three former SU players. Gerry McNamara, Andy Rautins, and James Southerland all hit nine three’s in a single game.
Notre Dame at (12-11) needed a victory like this to get them on the right side of NCAA tourney talk. Instead, they fell to (3-7) in the ACC, while Syracuse has moved to (9-0).
Villanova 81- Xavier 55
The Villanova Wildcats have bounced back nicely since their loss to Creighton. They have won four straight and demolished the Xavier Musketeers in strong second half.
James Bell led the Wildcats with 27 points and eight rebounds, but it was their defense that stymied Xavier’s offense. Semaj Christon scored 17 points on 15 shots. This was Xavier’s third straight loss and they’ve gone from a contender in the Big East to falling to the middle of the pack.
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