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Late Night Snacks: Top 25 upsets rule the night in college basketball

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Game of the Day: La Salle 54, No. 9 Butler 53

La Salle’s Ramon Galloway, who had been struggling much of the night, drove down the left side of the lane and hit a layup with 2.7 seconds remaining to give the Explorers the lead. The Bulldogs had one more shot to win it with a half-court heave, but Butler magic came up short Wednesday. Roosevelt Jones’ prayer was off the mark and La Salle secured a huge win against a Top 10 team.

Could the result have been different if Butler had its leading scorer, Rotnei Clarke, who was sitting with a neck injury? Of course. But, regardless, the Explorers got a big conference victory.

Important Outcomes 

1. No. 25 Miami 90, No. 1 Duke 63

Miami dominated Duke nearly from the opening tip. Durand Scott, Shane Larkin, and Kenny Kadji were all too much, spreading out the Duke defense and beating them on the perimeter. The earlier-than-expected return of center Reggie Johnson gave the Hurricanes an emotional boost, though he is still working his way back to full game form.

2. Northwestern 55, No. 13 Minnesota 48

The Northwestern zone defense disrupted Minnesota all night and, despite a massive +19 advantage on the backboards and 17 offensive rebounds, Minnesota could not get a road win. Trevor Mbakwe had an impressive double-double (see below) but did not get enough touches to help the Gophers down the stretch.

3. Drake 74, No. 17 Creighton 69

Drake had a 17-point lead at halftime, but Creighton clawed all the way back to take the lead late in the second half. Doug McDermott was suffering from flu-like symptoms, which contributed to him scoring just two points in the second half. Richard Carter had an important 20 points for Drake.

Starred

1. Durand Scott, Miami (25 points, 9-of-11 FG, 6 rebounds, 4 assists)

Scott scored 15 of his 25 points in the first half to help Miami get off to a strong start in its eventual 27-point trouncing of No. 1 Duke. At one point in the first half, he pulled from three-point range out near the signature “U” logo near mid-court and knocked the shot down. He was too much for Duke to handle Wednesday night.

2. Tony Snell, New Mexico (23 points, 3-of-5 3pt FG)

Center Alex Kirk had just three points in 21 minutes for the Lobos, meaning that Snell was even more key for New Mexico against a tough Colorado State team. He delivered with 23 big points Wednesday night in a UNM win.

3. Trevor Mbakwe (14 points, 6-of-7 FG, 16 rebounds)

Mbakwe was one of the few bright spots for Minnesota in its loss to Northwestern. With how efficient he was, the Gophers likely should have tried to get him more touches.

Struggled 

1. Seth Curry, Quinn Cook, Tyler Thornton for Duke (Combined 1-of-29 FG, 6 points)

With Ryan Kelly out of the lineup, it’s even more important that this trio steps up. Against Miami, it simply did not happen. Cook was just 1-of-12 from the floor and Curry never found his shooting stroke, going 0-of-10. Off the bench, Thornton struggled with his 0-of-7 mark.

2. Austin Hollins, Minnesota (6 points, 1-of-5 FG, Fouled Out)

Hollins struggled to find his stroke and picked up his fourth foul with 12:01 remaining in the second half. Coach Tubby Smith kept him in the game and he picked up his fifth and final foul just 13 seconds later.

3. Doug McDermott in the 2nd half, Creighton (2 points)

McDermott reportedly vomited at half time due to flu-like symptoms he had been playing with, so it’s not entirely his fault. Without him at full strength, the Bluejays were able to erase a 17-point halftime deficit, but unable to come away with the win.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.