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I Slept On It: Sparty Drops Third Straight; Texas Wins At WVU

It's not a good week to be a ranked team, unless you're North Carolina or Villanova apparently.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports


At the moment, No. 2 North Carolina (17-2, 6-0) seems to be the only team immune from upsets, as the Tar Heels had no trouble with Wake Forest (10-8, 1-5) at the Dean Dome, prevailing 83-68 in a game that didn't air on ESPN2 as planned until almost half of the first half was gone, thanks to technical difficulties. Brice Johnson was the only one of the 15 Tar Heels to take the floor on Wednesday night to hit double figures, scoring 27.

UNC's next opponent, Virginia Tech (12-7, 4-2) heads back to Blacksburg for Sunday's matchup after falling at Notre Dame (13-5, 4-2) 83-81, after Seth Allen's three attempt at the buzzer rimmed out. Allen scored 20 for the Hokies, while Zach LeDay led Tech with 22, the same total Zach Auguste recorded to lead the Irish. 

There was another bad result for ACC bubble team on the night, as No. 17 Louisville (15-3, 4-1) ran Florida State (12-6, 2-4) out of the KFC Yum! Center 84-65. Quentin Snider led the Cardinals with 20, but none of those points were as emphatic as this Donovan Mitchell dunk.

No. 15 Miami (14-3, 3-2) struggled a bit at Boston College (7-11, 0-5) but still managed to leave Chestnut Hill with a 67-53 victory.

Big 12

No. 6 West Virginia (15-3, 4-2) share of Big 12 lead lasted for a whopping 24 hours, as Texas (12-6, 4-2) gave Shaka Smart his biggest win as Longhorns coach, 56-49 in Morgantown. The Mountaineers were simply awful at shooting the basketball against the 'Horns, shooting 31% from the field, a woeful 14% from the perimeter, and an inexcusable 35% from the foul line. 

No. 13 Baylor (15-3, 5-1) now leads the conference by itself, though the Bears needed two overtimes to defeat snakebitten Kansas State (11-7, 1-5) 79-72. The Wildcats have now lost two double OT games in conference play. Results like that won't help K-State's fading bubble hopes.

Big East

Like North Carolina, fourth-ranked Villanova (17-2, 7-0) avoided the upset bug, it that wasn't for Seton Hall (13-5, 3-3) trying. If not for some unfortunate late game decisions, the Pirates might have done better than losing to the Wildcats 72-71. The Hall's Isaiah Whitehead led all scorers with 21, while Josh Hart recorded a double double for Nova with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

DePaul (7-12, 1-6) is winless in the Big East no more, as they stunned host Marquette (12-7, 2-5), 57-56 due to this late play.

Big Ten

Don't look now, but 11th-ranked Michigan State (16-4, 3-4) has dropped three in a row since Denzel Valentine's return, despite this amazing late effort against Nebraska (12-8, 4-3).

The Huskers defeated the Spartans for the third straight time and, more unbelievably, for the second straight time at the Breslin Center, 72-71, thanks to 28 from Shavon Shields. While Michigan State is still a safe NCAA pick, this is the type of win that will get Nebraska back in the picture.

Minnesota (6-13, 0-7) gave Michigan (14-5, 4-2) more of a game than expected in Ann Arbor, but the Wolverines prevailed 74-69 thanks to 22 from Derrick Walton Jr. and a big double double from Zak Irvin, who scored 19 and grabbed 11 boards.


Washington (13-5, 5-1) ended Colorado's (14-5, 3-3) two-game win streak with a 95-83 win in Seattle. Andrew Andrews scored 33 to help keep the Huskies in first in the Pac-12. Somewhat surprisingly, UCLA (12-7, 3-3) picked up a rare Pac-12 road win, a relatively comfortable 82-73 victory at Oregon State (11-6, 2-4). Four Bruins scored 10 or more, led by Issac Hamilton's 25.


Georgia (10-6, 3-3) survived a trip to Missouri (9-9, 1-4) 60-57, nearly blowing a 16-point lead in the final 9:43. Vanderbilt (11-7, 3-3) blew out Tennessee (9-9, 2-4) in Knoxville, 88-74. So, both teams lower in the bid pecking order avoided a potentially bad road setback.

American Athletic

UCF (10-6, 4-1) completed their sweep of USF (3-17, 0-7), 64-54 to remain a game back of SMU Mustangs in the loss column.

Atlantic 10

VCU (14-5, 6-0) keeps chugging along at the top of the league, topping Duquesne (12-7, 2-4) at the Siegel Center by a 93-71 count.

On the other hand, Davidson (11-6, 3-3) followed George Washington Colonials in picking up a dreadful loss at Saint Louis (7-11, 2-4), 96-87.

In a rarity for January, two Atlantic 10 teams played non-conference games at the same venue, as Temple (10-7, 4-2 AAC) topped La Salle (5-11, 1-4 A 10) 62-49, and Saint Joseph's (15-3, 4-1 A 10) defeated Penn (6-9, 0-1 Ivy) 75-60 in a Big Five doubleheader at the Palestra.


High Point (13-6, 6-2) topped UNC Asheville (13-7, 6-2) 73-69 to move back into a tie at the top of the Big South. Gardner-Webb (10-10, 5-3) could have joined them, but the Bulldogs lost at home to Winthrop (13-6, 5-3) 71-58 who now joins them in a tie for third.

UC Irvine (16-5, 5-0) moved a half-game up on idle Hawai'i in the Big West standings, with a 72-59 home win over Cal State Fullerton (8-9, 1-3). Long Beach State (9-11, 3-2) kept itself two games back with a 77-67 victory at UC Santa Barbara (7-10, 1-3), who has suprisingly dropped two games in a row at the Thunderdome.

Missouri Valley leader Wichita State (13-5, 7-0) got about 30 minutes worth of trouble at Northern Iowa (10-10, 2-5) before posting a 74-55 victory. Southern Illinois (17-3, 6-1) took down visiting Indiana State (10-9, 4-3) 79-66 to remain a game behind the Shockers.

Boise State (14-5, 5-1) trounced San Jose State (6-13, 1-6) 94-69 to keep within striking distance of San Diego State in the Mountain West.

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