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I Slept On It: Iowa Dominates Sparty (Again)

Don't look now, but the Big Ten might have a new favorite. Elsewhere, the WCC race now has a new entrant and Arizona asserted itself in Pac-12 play.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten

No. 16 Iowa (13-3, 4-0) looks like the Big Ten's new favorite after they delivered a seismic shock to East Lansing on Thursday night. The Hawkeyes annihilated fourth-ranked Michigan State (16-2, 3-2), 76-59. The Hawkeyes are responsible for both Spartan losses, and they looked phenomenal in both. The win was the first for Iowa at the Breslin Center since 1993.

ACC

Chinanu Onuaku scored 18 and grabbed 10 rebounds to help No. 21 Louisville (14-3, 3-1) grab its first real quality win of the season, 59-41 over No. 20 Pittsburgh (14-2, 3-1), which failed to win its second consecutive road game and saw its 10-game win streak snapped. The Cardinals and Panthers are among a six-team logjam of one-loss squads that trails still unbeaten North Carolina in the ACC standings.

Pac-12

It wasn't a good night for the Evergreen State in Arizona, as Washington State (9-7, 1-3) became Arizona State's (11-6, 1-3) first conference victim of the season, 84-73, while Washington (11-5, 3-1) lost sole possession of first place in resounding fashion at No. 18 Arizona (14-3, 2-2), 99-67. What was a three-point Wildcat lead at the half became a blowout when Sean Miller's team outscored the Huskies by a 55-29 margin in the second half. All five Wildcat starters hit double figures in scoring, led by Ryan Anderson's 21.

The Pac-12 did actually have a road winner last night. Oregon (14-3, 3-1) frustrated Utah (12-4, 1-3) early and often in a 77-59 victory that will only lead to more questions about the Utes, who fell to 3-4 against the RPI Top 50. The Ducks are now ranked seventh in the metric. Oregon's win would not have been possible without the 21 points and eight rebounds Dillon Brooks contributed on the night.

California (12-6, 2-3) was not so lucky, falling 77-71 across the Bay at Stanford (10-6, 3-2), who is intent on staying in the conference race and adding its name to the list of bid hopefuls. Rosco Allen's double-double (22 and 10) helped pace the Cardinal, who have defeated the Golden Bears four consecutive times.

American Athletic

UConn's (11-5, 2-2) profile took a hit with a 60-51 loss at Tulsa (10-6, 2-2), as the Golden Hurricane closed the Huskies out with a 17-5 run.

Elsewhere

High Point (12-5, 5-1) dropped its first Big South game of the season, by 20 at Winthrop (11-6, 3-3), 86-66

In Big West play, Hawai'i (14-2, 3-0) left O'ahu for the first time since November 28th, and picked up an 80-71 victory at UC Riverside (9-10, 0-3). UC Irvine (14-5, 3-0) also burnished its league favorite credentials by leaving Long Beach State (8-10, 2-1) with a 58-54 win. Plus, UC Santa Barbara (7-8, 1-1) won an away game, topping struggling Cal Poly (6-9, 0-2), 76-73.

Two of the CAA's three co-leaders heading into Thursday night won. The exception was Northeastern (11-7, 3-2), who fell at home to James Madison (13-5, 3-2), 75-63. Hofstra (12-5, 4-1) took out Drexel (3-13, 1-4) in Hempstead by a 69-61 score, and the Pride now share the conference lead with William & Mary (12-4, 4-1) who won a 63-61 thriller at College of Charleston (10-6, 2-3).

C-USA leader UAB (14-4, 4-0) stunned Old Dominion (9-8, 2-2) in Norfolk, 72-71, on a Nick Norton shot with two seconds left in OT. The win is the 11th straight for the Blazers and snapped the Monarchs' 32-game home win streak.

Valparaiso (14-3, 4-0) saw off its third straight potential Horizon League title challenger, topping Milwaukee (12-6, 3-2) at the ARC, 68-56.

For a time, it looked like last season's OVC title rematch in Nashville would be another classic, but in the end host Belmont (12-6, 4-0) was just a bit too much for Murray State (8-9, 2-2), 81-73

Sun Belt co-leaders Little Rock (15-1, 5-0) and UT Arlington (13-2, 4-0) both won easily—the Trojans blasted Appalachian State (3-13, 1-4), 81-55, and the Mavericks won handily at Troy (5-11, 0-5), 90-63. Arkansas State, also 4-0 in the conference was idle.

Last, but certainly not least, it appears the WCC race is now a three-team one. That's because BYU (13-5, 4-1) went up to Spokane and came away with a 69-68 victory over No. 25 Gonzaga (13-4, 5-1). Despite the Bulldogs' ranking, they are not a lock for an at-large, thanks to a lack of quality wins. The Zags are only 2-4 against the Top 100 with nothing close to a Top 50 win at this point. Saint Mary's (15-2, 6-1), which handled Pacific (4-12, 3-4) by a 78-62 count in Moraga, moves back into first by a half-game over Gonzaga.

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