Tuesday featured a very busy night of college basketball, particularly for ranked teams. Six top 25 teams faced big tests, and a few of those were unexpected.
- No. 4 Purdue trailed at Iowa at the half, but pulled away in the second, winning 67-56.
- No. 5 Syracuse survived a trip to Seton Hall, 80-73, thanks to 20 points, 19 boards, and five blocks from Wes Johnson.
- Marquette gave No. 6 West Virginia a battle, but Da'Sean Butler hit a 3 with under 2 seconds left to give the Mountaineers a 63-62 win.
- No. 20 Texas Tech was no match for No. 19 New Mexico. The Lobos picked up an easy win at The Pit, 90-75.
- No. 21 Clemson barely got by South Carolina State, 70-67.
Other ranked teams picked up significantly easier wins.
- No. 1 Kansas got a big 81-51 win over Belmont.
- No. 2 Texas stopped the Runnin' Bulldogs of Gardner-Webb, 95-63.
- No. 3 Kentucky dismantled Hartford, 104-61, on a night when John Wall broke Travis Ford's UK single game assist record.
- No. 7 Duke had a far easier time with Long Beach State than the Wildcats did a few days ago, winning 84-63.
- No. 12 Kansas State also won easily, beating Cleveland State 85-56.
- No. 16 Mississippi picked up a 90-75 home win over Jacksonville State.
It was a big night for conference openers, with a second Big Ten curtain-raiser on the slate.
Plus, every team in the Missouri Valley played their first of 18 league contests.
- Wichita State, who had the Valley's auto bid in my Monday bracket, probably won't have it next time. The Shockers lost at Illinois State, 72-57.
- Southern Illinois routed Indiana State, 70-52.
- Missouri State took care of Evansville at Roberts Stadium, 74-60.
- Northern Iowa won at Creighton, 60-52.
- Bradley joined UNI and MSU in picking up a road win. The Braves won 67-59 at Drake.
But there was plenty of non-conference action too.
- LSU was outclassed at Xavier, falling 89-65.
- Louisiana Tech won at Houston, 99-94.
- A poor first half doomed Pacific to a 66-50 loss at Oklahoma State.
- Cornell pulled out a 78-75 win at La Salle.
- Siena blasted St. Joseph's, 92-75.
- Rhode Island survived a trip to Drexel, 80-79.
- Dayton had no trouble with Boston University, winning 74-60.
- Northeastern won at Santa Clara in the Cable Car Classic, 62-50. They'll face Kent State in the final. The Golden Flashes handled Wofford, 73-66.
If you don't see your team's score, click any of the score links. You'll find a rundown of the entire Tuesday schedule along the right side of the page.
After the jump, I'll take a look at what's ahead for the penultimate day of 2009.
Three Big East openers and one Big Ten game that features an unexpectedly ranked team are your Wednesday highlights. All times are p.m. Eastern.
- No. 10 Connecticut at Cincinnati (ESPN2, 7): Welcome to the Big East, Lance Stephenson.
- USF at Louisville (Big East/Full Court, 7): The Bulls have 10 wins, but a trip to Freedom Hall is their stiffest test yet.
- Providence at Notre Dame (Big East/Full Court, 9): The Irish won 11 in a relatively lackluster slate (but lost to Northwestern and Loyola Marymount), while the Friars are capable of putting on an offensive show.
- No. 25 Northwestern at Illinois (Big Ten, 9): Who would have ever guessed that the Wildcats would be the ranked team heading into this one?
There are two non-conference game on national TV that have significant bubble implications -- South Carolina at Boston College (ESPNU, 9) and Baylor at Arkansas (ESPN2, 9) The rest shouldn't provide any surprises.
- Texas Arlington at No. 11 Michigan State (Big Ten, 7)
- Albany at No. 9 North Carolina (ESPNU, 7)
- Presbyterian at Florida (SEC on CSS/Full Court, 7)
- UMKC at Missouri (FS Midwest/Full Court, 8)