The second-to-last day of the decade was a busy one with yet more conference openers and some intriguing non-conference battles on the slate. Let's get right to the rundown of the night's action.
Three ranked teams fell, two in their league openers.
- No. 10 Connecticut fell at Cincinnati, 71-69, after a controversial call sent Lance Stephenson to the line. Kemba Walker had hit a three just seconds before to give the Huskies the lead.
- No. 24 UAB was upset by Virginia, 72-63.
- No. 25 Northwestern's visit to the AP poll should be short one. The Wildcats fell to Illinois, 89-83, in an overtime thriller.
The other three ranked teams in action picked up fairly easy wins.
- No. 9 North Carolina led Albany by 17 at the half and won by the same margin, 87-70.
- Texas Arlington gave No. 11 Michigan State a fight before the Spartans pulled away, 87-68.
- No. 18 Temple topped Northern Illinois, 70-60.
There were two other Big East openers on the Wednesday slate.
- Louisville had no trouble with USF in their Big East opener, winning 73-52.
- Notre Dame hammered Providence in their first conference game, 93-78.
In other non-conference action
- South Carolina came from way down to make their game with Boston College competitive, but the Eagles prevailed, 85-76.
- Baylor blew out Arkansas, 70-47, in North Little Rock.
- Florida more than doubled up Presbyterian, 79-38.
- Georgia beat Pepperdine in a battle of former Jim Harrick schools, 64-47.
- Northern Colorado picked up a 64-53 win at TCU.
It was a pretty good night for the CAA.
- William and Mary won at Maryland, 83-77, though the Tribe led by more for much of the second half.
- Old Dominion topped Duquesne, 63-54.
- Northeastern captured the Cable Car Classic with a 61-58 win over Kent State.
- There was one big letdown for the league; however, as Radford blew out George Mason, 80-53.
If you don't see your team's score, click any of the score links. You'll find a rundown of all of the night's scores on the right side of the page.
After the jump, I'll take a look at New Year's Eve, which features a mini-marathon over on ESPN and the start of Pac 10 play.
ESPN2's New Year's Eve marathon is highlighted by a doubleheader of Big Ten openers and an intriguing Big East curtain-raiser. All times are p.m. Eastern.
- Michigan at Indiana (ESPN2, 12): It's the Hoosiers' first game without the injured Maurice Creek.
- No. 15 Ohio State at Wisconsin (ESPN2, 2): The Badgers will be a stiff challenge for the Evan Turner-less Buckeyes. Stop by and welcome our new Buckeye blog, The Buckeye Battle Cry!
- St. John's at No. 13 Georgetown (ESPN2, 8): A win in Washington would be a big one for Norm Roberts' side.
Pac 10 play opens up Thursday, and three of the games will be available to at least part of the country.
- Arizona State at UCLA (FSN/Comcast SportsNet, 4:30): The Sun Devils have been a bit of a surprise so far this season, while the Bruins have been one of the most disappointing teams in the land.
- Arizona at USC (Select FSN outlets/FCS Pacific, 7): Speaking of surprises, the Trojans have been on a roll since Mike Gerrity arrived. They look to carry that into conference play against an Arizona team that's got a lot of growing to do.
- Oregon State at No. 17 Washington (FS Northwest/FCS Pacific, 10): Craig Robinson's Beavers haven't lived up to the high expectations certain writers had for them. (Kind of runs in the family...) A win in Seattle against the closest thing this league has to a Tournament lock would do wonders for them.
You can also find some Sun Belt and Horizon League action on your TV or computer this evening.
- Louisiana-Lafayette at Western Kentucky (FCS Central, 6)
- Green Bay at Butler (Horizon League Network, 7): The Phoenix had the Horizon's auto bid in my Monday bracket. The Bulldogs can steal it back tonight.
- Milwaukee at Valparaiso (Full Court, 8)
There are a few intriguing non-conference games to close out the year too.
- No. 14 Tennessee at Memphis (ESPN2, 4): Even with John Calipari in Lexington, there should be plenty of fire in this one.
- Penn at No. 7 Duke (ESPN2, 6): This game pits the team rated second in StatSheet's RPI against the team rated third from bottom. My advice: go to a bar, eat some dinner, watch some Pac 10.
- Richmond at Wake Forest (ESPNU, 7): The Demon Deacons have already lost to a CAA team (William & Mary) and face another tough A-10 foe, Xavier, Sunday in the inaugural Skip Prosser Classic. The Spiders have already claimed their share of BCS-level scalps: Missouri, Mississippi State, Florida.
- Oklahoma at Gonzaga (ESPN2, 10): The mini-marathon closes with the struggling Sooners making the trip to Spokane.
- NC State visits UNC Greensboro in another game for the Spartans at the Greensboro Coliseum (FS South/Full Court, 6).