The game of the night MORE than lived up to expectations, going an extra 15 minutes. No. 1 Kansas (13-1, 2-0) prevailed, handing No. 2 Oklahoma (12-1, 1-1) its first loss of the season, 109-106. The Sooners' Buddy Hield, who has to be in at the front of the National Player of the Year race, especially in Denzel Valentine's temporary absence for Michigan State, scored 46 (the most an opposition player has ever scored at Kansas), while Jordan Woodard scored 26 for Oklahoma. The victorious Jayhawks were led by Perry Ellis, who scored 27 and grabbed 12 boards, Devonte' Graham, who contributed 22, and Wayne Selden Jr., who added 21. The two will meet again in Norman on February 13th. You'd better tune in, especially if you missed this one.
No. 17 West Virginia (13-1, 2-0) got an extended challenge from their hosts in the 7 p.m. Eastern window, but the Mountaineers pulled away from TCU (8-6, 0-2) over the final five or so minutes, picking up a 95-87 triumph. That contest featured an astounding 40 turnovers and 59 team fouls. Jaysean Paige led the victors with 20âhe was one of a half-dozen Mountaineers who managed double-figure point totals.
Fourth-ranked Virginia (11-2, 1-1) has to be happy that thing went BANANAS in Lawerence. That's because while one of the best games in college basketball history was unfolding, the Cavaliers were busy losing to archrival Virginia Tech (10-5, 2-0). The Hokies claimed an 70-68 upset triumph after the Cavaliers failed to get a bucket or a whistle on their final possession in Blacksburg. It's the biggest win in Buzz Williams' short tenure at Cassell Coliseum. Zach LeDay scored 22 for the Hokies, while London Perrantes registered the same total in a losing effort.
For a time, it looked like the star of the night would undoubtedly be North Carolina's (14-2, 3-0) Brice Johnson, who had an astounding 39 points and 23 rebounds, the first ever 30/20 game in the storied history of the Tar Heel program. The nation's sixth-ranked team got a game for 31 minutes from host Florida State (10-4, 0-2), but the Seminoles couldn't keep up with UNC over the final nine, falling by a 106-90 score. Johnson wasn't the only 30-point scorer on the night, as both teammate Marcus Paige and the Noles' Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored that many.
Other Key Results
Valparaiso (11-3, 1-0) took the night off in the Horizon League, but the other title contenders were all in action. Detroit (8-5, 2-0) and Green Bay (9-5, 2-0) now own a half-game lead on the Crusaders following their wins over Cleveland State (5-10, 0-2) and Wright State (7-8, 1-1), respectively. Oakland (9-6, 1-1) was unable to join the duo, however, as the Golden Grizzlies dropped 100-98 decision to Youngstown State (6-9, 1-1) at home. Milwaukee (10-5, 1-1) got itself to .500 in the league with a 76-67 home victory over newcomer Northern Kentucky (4-9, 0-2).
Iona (7-6, 4-0) maintained its half-game lead on St. Peter's (5-7, 3-0) in the MAAC. The Gaels had no trouble with visiting Niagara (3-12, 1-3), prevailing 66-52, while the Peacocks left Marist (4-9, 1-3) with a 68-60 win. Monmouth (10-4, 2-1) is a game back in the loss column after its dominant 81-66 win over Canisius (7-7, 2-2). But the game of the night was in the Bronx, where Manhattan (5-8, 2-2) won a triple-overtime thriller over Siena (9-6, 2-2), 92-87.
In the SWAC, both previously-winless Prairie View (71-65 over Southern) and Mississippi Valley State (66-60 over Arkansas-Pine Bluff) won, while Grambling State defeated Alabama State, who won at Virginia Tech earlier this season, 82-81 after OT, to give the Tigers their first two-game winning streak since winning four in a row in March of 2011. The MEAC's Delaware State also claimed its first victory, over non-Division I Summit, so all 351 Division I teams will end the season with a win.