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I Slept On It: No. 1 And No. 2 Fall On The Road

Monday should see a new team at the top of the polls, as there were plenty of upsets on the first Saturday of February.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports


No. 2 North Carolina (18-4, 8-2) will drop in the polls after picking up its second straight road loss, falling Notre Dame (16-7, 7-4) 80-76. Marcus Paige finally got going from the perimeter for the Tar Heels, as he hit on five of eight attempts from beyond the arc on a 21-point night. However, the Irish's balance (all five starters scored at least 10) and discipline (Notre Dame turned the ball over twice, UNC did so 13 times on the night) won the evening.

Might ninth-ranked No. 9 Virginia (19-4, 8-3) be peaking at the right time? For the second consecutive Saturday afternoon, the Cavaliers rolled on the road, pasting Pitt (17-5, 6-4) 64-50 behind 21 from Malcolm Brogdon. UVa has won six in a row, and since stealing a win at Wake on January 26 have run off three wins with a combined margin of 44 points.

Boston College (7-16, 0-10) was no match for Damion Lee -less Louisville (19-4, 8-2) in its first game since self-imposing a postseason ban. The 19th-ranked Cardinals obliterated the Eagles 79-47. Trey Lewis led the way in Lee's absence with 16 points. 

Florida State (16-7, 6-5) picked up a dominant 91-71 road victory at Wake Forest (10-13, 1-10). All five Seminole starters scored 11 or more. Clemson (14-9, 7-4) was not so lucky, as they dropped a game at Virginia Tech (13-11, 5-6) 60-57. That's not an ideal loss for a Tiger team that still has a marginal profile.

North Carolina State (12-12, 2-9) played Duke (17-6, 6-4) closer in Durham than in Raleigh two weeks ago, but the Blue Devils were still too much, holding on for an 88-80 win at Cameron Indoor. Grayson Allen led the hosts with 28, while Cat Barber scored 26 for the Wolfpack, though he did suffer a hand injury late.

Big 12

No. 1 Oklahoma (19-3, 7-3) won't hold that title for much longer, as the Sooners fell for the fourth straight time at Kansas State (14-9, 3-7), 80-69. The victory was also the Wildcats' first win over the top-ranked team in the AP poll since a 2011 win over Kansas. Wesley Iwundu scored 22 for K-State, which still has time to make a late run at a bid.

A week ago, TCU (10-13, 1-9) claimed a surprising Big 12/SEC Challenge home win over Tennessee, but there was no repeat performance when seventh-ranked Kansas (19-4, 7-3) visited Schollmaier Arena. The Jayhawks put the Horned Frogs away early, en route to a 75-56 victory. Perry Ellis once again led KU with 23 points and 10 rebounds.

It's No. 14 West Virginia (19-4, 8-2) that leads the Big 12 after 10 games, as the Mountaineers handled No. 15 Baylor (17-6, 6-4) in Morgantown in an 80-69 game that wasn't quite as close as the final score indicated. The Mountaineers topped the Bears by hitting timely threes (7 of 14 on the night), something they couldn't do in Gainesville a week ago.

No. 13 Iowa State (17-6, 6-4) struggled in Stillwater without the suspended Jameel McKay, but the Cyclones eventually bested Oklahoma State (11-12, 2-8) 64-59, thanks in large part to a clean game from Monte Morris, who scored 16 and dished out eight assists (without a turnover).

Texas (16-7, 7-3) split its season series with Texas Tech (13-9, 3-7), whose NCAA chances are now on life support, 69-59, with Javan Felix scoring 20 for the Longhorns.

Big East

No. 3 Villanova (20-3, 10-1) could potentially move into the top spot in the polls on Monday. The Wildcats avenged their only Big East loss of the season by topping No. 11 Providence (18-6, 6-5) 72-60. Darryl Reynolds led the Wildcats with 19, while Ben Bentil scored 20 in 34 minutes for the Friars, despite looking gimpy early.

Marquette (15-9, 4-7) played its collective heart out at sixth-ranked Xavier (21-2, 9-2), but 20 Golden Eagle turnovers were the difference in turned into a 90-82 Musketeer win. Henry Ellenson led the visitors with 22 and 7 boards, while Haanif Cheatham scored 21, but Trevon Bluett led the three Xavier players who scored at least 20 on the afternoon, with 23.

DePaul (8-15, 2-9) couldn't repeat its Tuesday performance in Omaha on Saturday, as Creighton (15-9, 6-5) blew past the Blue Demons 88-66, thanks to 28 from Cole Huff. Likewise, Butler (16-7, 5-6) had a relatively easy day, this time on the road at St. John's (7-17, 0-11), where the Bulldogs prevailed 89-56. In the final game of the day, Seton Hall (17-6, 7-4) bettered its bubble position slightly by topping Georgetown (13-11, 6-5) in Newark 69-61 to notch its fourth win in a row, moving them into third place in the conference. The Hoyas have dropped three in a row.

Big Ten

Iowa will enter today's game at Illinois all alone in first, as No. 22 Indiana (19-5, 9-2) surprisingly fell at Penn State (12-12, 3-8) 68-63. It will be interesting to see how the Hoosiers do against the Hawkeyes in Bloomington on Thursday and at Michigan State next Sunday.

No. 4 Maryland (21-3, 10-2) did its usual thing, play a close game at home, as the margin of the Terps' 72-61 victory over No. 18 Purdue (19-5, 7-4) is slightly flattering, as the Boilermakers couldn't buy a bucket in the final minute or so. Rasheed Sulaimon led all scorers with 21 for the winners.

No. 10 Michigan State (20-4, 7-4) handed Michigan (17-7, 7-4) its second consecutive embarrassing home loss, 89-73. Bryn Forbes powered the Spartans with 29, including eight made threes on just 10 attempts, while Denzel Valentine had his typical night (21 points, 9 boards, 8 assists). The Wolverines look to be headed toward the bubble, at least if these performances continue through the rest of their difficult homestretch.

Rutgers (6-18, 0-11) remains winless in conference, as the Scarlet Knights fell by an 87-63 count at Nebraska (13-11, 5-6)


No. 23 Arizona (19-5, 7-4) got Allonzo Trier (16 minutes, 7 points) back from injury at Washington (15-8, 7-4), but it was Ryan Anderson (22 points) and Gabe York (18 points) who pushed the Wildcats past the Huskies 77-72. Arizona and Washington are now tied for third in the league, behind Oregon (who plays another four-loss team, Utah, tomorrow) and idle USC.

California (15-8, 5-5) had no trouble with archrival Stanford (11-10, 4-6) at Haas Pavilion, claiming a 76-61 victory that wasn't really that close to win the Pete Newell Classic and split the season series with the Cardinal, who look to be fading out of the bid picture. 

Oregon State (14-8, 5-6) completed a needed home sweep of the Rocky Mountain schools, surviving Colorado (17-7, 6-5) 60-56, thanks in large part to Gary Payton II who had 17 points and a half-dozen boards, including a crucial offensive one when surrounded by four Colorado players with about 11 seconds left.

Arizona State (13-11, 3-8) won 67-55 at Washington State (9-14, 1-10) in a matchup of two teams out of the NCAA hunt.


No. 25 South Carolina (20-3, 7-3) proved that it will be a factor in the SEC title race, as the Gamecocks held off a late Aggie rally to win their first road game over a ranked team in a decade—shocking No. 8 Texas A&M (18-5, 7-3) 81-78. Sindarius Thornwell scored 25 on the afternoon for Frank Martin's squad, which picked up its first RPI Top 50 win of the season. The Aggies' loss is LSU's (15-6, 8-2) gain. The Tigers moved into first in the conference thanks to A&M loss and their own 88-77 home win over Mississippi State (9-13, 2-8). The Tigers were led by ... Antonio Blakeney (31 on an 11-17 performance from the floor) and Keith Hornsby (25, hitting on 5 of 10 three-point attempts).

No. 20 Kentucky (17-6, 7-3) put away Florida (15-8, 6-4) early at Rupp Arena to avoid its first three game losing streak under John Calipari. Jamal Murray led the Wildcats with 35, as he was scorching from beyond the arc (8-of-10). Dorian Finney-Smith led the Gators with 24.

Vanderbilt's (13-10, 5-5) late charge at a bid hit a roadblock in Oxford. That's where the Commodores fell by an 85-78 count to Ole Miss (15-8, 5-5). The Rebels might not be out of the picture yet, as they next visit UF on Tuesday night.

Alabama (13-9, 4-6) entered Saturday in the RPI Top 50, and the Crimson Tide should stay there with an 80-71 win over woeful Missouri (8-15, 1-9). Georgia (13-8, 6-4) defeated Auburn (9-13, 3-7), who was without suspended point guard Kareem Canty, 65-55, and Arkansas (12-11, 5-5) drubbed visiting Tennessee (11-12, 4-6) 85-67.

American Athletic

Temple (14-8, 8-3) now leads the race for the top seed in the AAC Tournament, as the Owls survived their trip to UCF (11-10, 5-5) 62-60. With the victory, Temple coach Fran Dunphy became the all-time winningest coach in the illustrious history of the Philadelphia Big 5. Cincinnati (17-7, 7-4) now sits a game back of the Owls, as the Bearcats lost at Memphis (14-9, 5-5) 63-59, a great result for the Tigers following their collapse against UConn on Thursday night.

Atlantic 10

George Washington (18-5, 7-3) picked up an absolutely vital road win at VCU (17-6, 9-1) 72-69, snapping the Rams' 12-game win streak and dropping them into a first place tie with Dayton (19-3, 9-1), who demolished George Mason (8-15, 2-8) 98-64. Davidson (13-8, 5-5) kept its faint at-large hopes alive with a 93-82 win at Duquesne (15-8, 5-5). Saint Joseph's (19-4, 8-2), on the outside looking in at the moment (but still in better position than the Wildcats) completed a sweep of Fordham (12-9, 3-7) 82-60.


North Florida (18-8, 7-2) dropped its second A-Sun game in a row, 81-65 at Florida Gulf Coast (14-11, 5-4), a squad the Ospreys defeated in Jacksonville one week earlier.

Hawai'i (18-3, 7-1) now shares first in the Big West with UC Irvine thanks to a 75-60 victory over Cal Poly (8-14, 2-7).

Yale (15-5, 6-0) is now the clear favorite in the Ivy. The Bulldogs dominated Cornell (9-11, 2-4) 83-52 in New Haven. Harvard (9-13, 1-5), the league's rep in the last four NCAAs, is now tied for last, thanks to a 67-57 loss at Penn (8-11, 2-3).

No. 21 Wichita State (17-6, 11-1) saw its 12-game win streak snapped by Illinois State (14-11, 8-4) 58-53 in Normal, though the Shockers still lead the Missouri Valley by three games.

San Diego State (17-6, 11-0) needed OT to do it, but the Aztecs remained perfect in the Mountain West, topping second-place New Mexico (14-9, 7-3) 78-71. Boise State (16-8, 7-4) will almost assuredly need to claim the Mountain West auto bid, thanks to its 61-53 loss at Air Force (12-12, 3-8)

Wagner (15-8, 8-4) defeated Mount St. Mary's (10-15, 7-5) for the second Saturday in a row 72-51. The Seahawks are now tied for first in the NEC with both Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis (Pa.).

Chattanooga (21-3, 10-1) now leads the SoCon by two full games following its 62-54 home win over Furman (14-11, 8-4).

The Mocs saw off Wofford on Thursday, but tonight's they'll welcome the Terriers' regional rivals, who currently sit two games behind Chattanooga in the SoCon race. The Paladins won the first meeting of the season in Greenville, 70-55.

Stephen F. Austin (16-5, 9-0) remained perfect in the Southland, thanks to a 72-66 victory at Houston Baptist (14-9, 8-2)

South Dakota State (19-5, 8-2) pounded upstart IUPUI (11-15, 7-4) 80-58 in Brookings and took back first place in the Summit thanks to IPFW Mastodons 's (19-7, 8-3) 62-46 defeat at North Dakota State Bison (16-8, 6-4).

Gonzaga (19-5, 11-2) struggled at Pepperdine (14-10, 7-6), winning by just three, 69-66. The Bulldogs lead the WCC by a half-game as second-place Saint Mary's (19-3, 10-2) shut down host San Diego (8-15, 3-9) 60-43. BYU (17-8, 8-4) picked up a horrible loss, falling to Pacific Tigers (7-15, 5-7) in Provo by five, 77-72. The Cougars will now almost need to win out in Las Vegas to make the field.

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