A busy January Wednesday was another night full of challenges and pitfalls for ranked teams.
- It was a night of upsets in the ACC. No. 12 North Carolina wasn't playing No. 24 Clemson in Chapel Hill, which meant the Tigers had a chance. Clemson won 83-64 and the fans stormed the floor. No. 20 Georgia Tech also fell on the road. Virginia defeated them 82-75. Virginia Tech also knocked off a ranked opponent, as they cruised past No. 23 Miami, 81-66, in Blacksburg. Boston College looked to have No. 8 Duke on the ropes at halftime, but theydidn't show up in the second half. The Eagles were down 3 at halftime in Durham, but the Blue Devils prevailed, 79-59.
- No. 16 Pittsburgh won at 15th-ranked Connecticut, 67-57, giving the Panthers' their first sweep of a three-game Big East road swing ever. The two other ranked teams in action both won conference games. No. 10 West Virginia pulled away from USF, 69-50; and No. 5 Syracuse won at Rutgers, 81-65. In other action, Cincinnati fell to St. John's at MSG, 52-50.
- The two ranked Big Ten teams in action Wednesday both won. No. 7 Michigan State held off Minnesota, 60-53, in a (shock) defensive struggle, while No. 13 Wisconsin won at Northwestern, 60-50. That's yet another loss that pushes the Wildcats' further from their first-ever NCAA bid.
- In their first ever game as No. 1, Texas got a fight from Iowa State in Big 12 play. The Longhorns ended up winning, 90-83. No. 3 Kansas won their conference opener at Nebraska, 84-72. Missouri, meanwhile, needed overtime to win at Texas Tech, 94-89.
- There were three Mountain West games Wednesday, and all of them featured Tourney contenders. No. 18 BYU routed Air Force, 67-49. UNLV came from behind to beat San Diego State, 76-66, in Vegas. That's a breakthrough win for the Rebels, as they lost to the Aztecs three times last year, twice at home. New Mexico finally won a conference game, topping Utah, 74-57.
- In the SEC, No. 21 Ole Miss held off rapidly improving Georgia in Oxford, 80-76; South Carolina got a 67-58 win over LSU; and Vanderbilt won at Alabama, 65-64, in a game that featured a major free throw discrepancy the Commodores didn't exactly take advantage of.
After the jump, I'll run through what else happened around the country and look ahead to Thursday.
In other Wednesday games...
- New Hampshire defeated Albany, 67-59, in the lone America East game of the night.
- It was a busy night in the A-10. Rhode Island took out St. Joseph's, 101-74; Richmond needed overtime to beat UMass, 70-63; La Salle handed George Washington their second straight loss, 65-64: St. Louis won at Duquesne, 79-75; Xavier defeated Charlotte, 86-74; and Dayton crushed Fordham, 74-58, at Madison Square Garden. In a Big 5 game at the Palestra, No. 19 Temple upended Penn, 60-45.
- Old Dominion picked up a big CAA road win, defeating UNC Wilmington, 70-52. Drexel also won away from home, grabbing a 52-49 decision at Towson. Elsewhere, Northeastern slipped past Delaware, 59-55; and George Mason held off Georgia State, 52-49
- IMarshall is still unbeaten in C-USA, as they won at UCF, 81-75. Memphis is as well, as they cruised past East Carolina, 77-57. You can add Tulsa to the group too, as they won at SMU, 63-56. Elsewhere, Houston defeated UTEP, 75-65, to further dent the Miners' tourney hopes, and Tulane beat Rice, 72-58.
- Akron won at Ohio, 67-62, in the MAC game of the night, while Northern Illinois stunned Western Michigan in DeKalb, 87-77. In other games, Central Michigan knocked off Ball State, 53-38; and Eastern Michigan defeated Toledo, 74-59.
- Wichita State knocked off Indiana State, 84-73, in a battle of one-loss Missouri Valley teams. Elsewhere, Illinois State defeated Evansville, 70-56; and Creighton pulled off a 71-69 win over Southern Illinois,
- Army won their first Patriot League contest of the season, 67-64 over Holy Cross in Worcester. In the other two Pat League games Wednesday, Bucknell defeated American, 72-68; and Lafayette won at Colgate, 95-82.
- In Wednesday SoCon action, Appalachian State crushed Elon, 89-65, and Davidson won at Furman, 86-81.
- Southland favorite Texas-San Antonio held off Nicholls State, 64-59, while defending champion Stephen F. Austin defeated Central Arkansas, 64-49. In other action, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi won 68-59 at Texas State; Southeastern Louisiana also won on the road, defeating Northwestern State, 70-64; and Lamar defeated UT-Arlington, 71-68.
- There was one WAC game on the night. Utah State won at Nevada, 79-72, meaning the Aggies are in better position to challenge early leaders Louisiana Tech and Fresno State.
The two biggest games of the night are the late tips in the WAC and WCC, both of which will be for the conference lead. All times are p.m. Eastern.
Seton Hall at No. 11 Georgetown, 7 (ESPN): The Hoyas hope they won't need a second straight comeback, but the Pirates' have been known to play (and more often than not, lose) thrillers this season.
Auburn at No. 9 Tennessee, 7 (ESPN2): Will there be a letdown for the Vols in their SEC opener? Probably not, as this one is at home and the Tigers simply aren't very good.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 7 (ESPNU): The Bulldogs look to knock off their second straight SEC West rival to start conference play.
- Lehigh at Navy, 7 (CBS College): The winner will move to 2-0 in the Patriot League and keep pace with Lafayette for the early conference lead.
- Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky, 8 (FCS Central): The Hilltoppers will look to rebound at home after their close loss at Denver on Sunday.
Indiana at Michigan, 9 (ESPN): The Wolverines will look to avenge their loss at Assembly Hall on New Year's Eve.
- Providence at DePaul, 9 (ESPN2): This one isn't really worth watching.
- Tennessee Tech at UT-Martin, 9 (ESPNU): These two are a combined 1-9 in the OVC.
- Fresno State at Louisiana Tech, 9 (ESPN Plus/Full Court): This is a huge game in the WAC as both are currently unbeaten in the league.
- Stanford at Washington, 10:30 (FSN/Comcast SportsNet): The Huskies look to snap out of a three-game Pac-10 losing streak.
- No. 17 Gonzaga at St. Mary's, 11 (ESPN2): This is the first of two West Coast Conference games of the year. The other will be the meeting in Spokane on February 11.
- Santa Clara at Pepperdine, 11 (ESPNU): For WCC action, I recommend Bulldogs at Gaels.
For information about games that will only be telecast regionally, like James Madison at William & Mary, Detroit at Milwaukee, Wright State at Green Bay, Arizona State at Oregon, and College of Charleston at Samford, visit Matt Sarz' College Sports on TV site.