On Saturday when the college basketball day was done, 10 top 25 teams lost. Included in those losses were five top 10 teams. The damage was so bad, Syracuse went from a projected #1 seed down to a #2 seed. However, Kansas’ loss to Oklahoma State flipped the projections one more time.
VCU earned a much needed win over St. Louis and now the Billikens have dropped two games in a row. Before this week, St. Louis had two losses total.
Xavier beat also received a much need win over Creighton. The Musketeers protected their home court, and used a nine point halftime lead to hold off Doug McDermott and the Blue Jays.
To start the day, Connecticut out muscled Cincinnati in a defensive struggle. To make things more interesting in the AAC, Memphis beat Louisville. While all of that was going on, SMU knocked off UCF behind Marcus Kennedy’s 18 points and eight rebounds.
The Shockers took care of business in grand fashion on Saturday. With the win, Wichita State moved to (31-0), and now they set their sights on Arch Madness in St. Louis. Cleanthony Early led Wichita State with 19 points. If you’re one of these so called basketball fans that have disdain for Wichita State, you are really missing out on something great. As they say, “don’t Hate, congratulate” the efforts by the whole Wichita State program.
Game of the Day II
Oklahoma State 72- Kansas 65
The Jayhawks were sitting pretty with a 10 point lead, and it looked like Oklahoma State was going to let a major opportunity get away. However, gritty play by Marcus Smart led the Cowboys back for the improbable victory. Smart scored 20 points in the second half, and none were bigger than the 3-point shot right after he missed two foul shots.
It’s not so much that Kansas lost, but it’s how they loss. Joel Embiid was hampered down the stretch with what looked like a back injury. He finished with a double-double, but was not a factor late in the game. The Jayhawks need Embiid to be in peak condition for the final four run.
Still, losses by Iowa State and Texas gave Kansas the outright Big 12 title. Oklahoma State moved to (19-10) while Kansas fell to (22-7).
Game of the Day III
Virginia 75- Syracuse 56
The Virginia Cavaliers used another decisive second half run to blitz the Syracuse Orange. After trailing by one at halftime, Virginia outscored Syracuse by 20 points. Malcolm Brogdon led the way with 19 points. Whether or not the ACC acknowledges the regular season champ, Virginia deserves credit for winning the league.
For Syracuse, it’s their third loss in four games. In similar fashion to Kansas, the Orange need to get healthy if they plan to make a run in the postseason. Jerami Grant missed his second straight second half with a bad back, and there’s no certainty that it will get better anytime soon.
Virginia moved to (25-5) and Syracuse sits at (26-3).
The Florida Gators dominated LSU from start to finish in a blowout victory. The Gators are now (27-2) and they have run away with the SEC conference race. Florida had four double figure scorers, including Dorian Finney-Smith with 16 points off the bench.
Kentucky just took a bad loss when they decided to coast against South Carolina. It took a John Calipari ejection to finally spark the young Wildcats. Aaron Harrison led Kentucky with 21 points, but only hit 4-16 shots. The disjointed game produced 51 foul calls. Kentucky’s second straight loss dropped the Wildcats to (21-8).
Michigan State took another loss. This time Illinois outscored the Spartans by seven in the second for the win. Michigan State only scored 46 points for the entire game. Michigan State is now (22-7, 11-5). Illinois had two big wins and they sit at (17-12, 6-10) in the Big 10.
Michigan was one of the few teams to avoid the upset when they beat Minnesota by 10. The win gave the Wolverines a share of the Big 10 title. They need one more win for the outright championship. Michigan is (21-7, 13-3). Minnesota fell to (18-12, 7-10) in the Big 10.
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