Buzz Williams

Late Afternoon Snacks: Marquette stays atop Big East; Cowboys claim Big 12 lead

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Game of the Day

No. 18 Marquette 79, N0. 16 Pittsburgh 69: Vander Blue has really been asserting himself in Big East play, and today he helped the Golden Eagles protect the Batcave Bradley Center, a place where Marquette hasn’t lost in 23 straight games. That’s important, because Buzz Williams and company play four of their last six games at home. The Golden Eagles are currently 9-3 and tied with Georgetown for the league lead.

Meaningful Results

Tennessee 88, No. 25 Kentucky 58: We knew Nerlens Noel was important to the Wildcats, but holy moley. This is a Tennessee team that, in general, does not shoot well at all. In this game? Fifty-eight percent from the floor, which can be somewhat attributed to the absence of Kentucky’s star center, though the Vols have lost to nine other teams this season who didn’t have Noel on their rosters. But Kentucky’s problems start with guard play, and the perimeter defense in this game was execrable. Tennessee was 5-5 for a perfect 100 percent from deep, and held UK’s nominal point guards – Jarrod Polson and Ryan Harrow – without a single assist. This could be the last time this season we see John Calipari’s defending champions with a number next to the team name.

Providence 71, No. 21 Notre Dame 54: Is there a team in the nation more evocative of multiple personality disorder than the Irish? This week they were all heart and guts in a quintuple-OT win over Louisville. They followed that big win with a single overtime in which they struggled to beat a mediocre DePaul team in South Bend, and now this lopsided loss on the road. It’s not going to get any easier, either – three road games against ranked foes await. Providence, on the other hand, is on a roll.

North Carolina 93, Virginia 81: The distance between Miami, Duke, NC State and the rest of the ACC just seems to get wider every day. Virginia seemed poised to get into the at-large conversation once and for all with an upset of the Wolfpack, then slid back to the pack with this loss. UNC, also struggling to build a tourney-worthy resume, got a plus mark on their ledger.

No. 17 Oklahoma State 84, Oklahoma 79: Bedlam is always a great show, and the Cowboys came out shooting in this renewal of the rivalry.  Marcus Smart and Le’Bryan Nash combined for 54 points as they downed their in-state rival and firmed up their standing in the Big 12 race, where they’re currently a half game ahead of both Kansas and Kansas State.

Games of the Night

6:00 Duke at Maryland (ESPN)
6:00 Detroit at Valparaiso (ESPN2)
7:00 Baylor at Kansas State (ESPNU)
7:00 Oregon at Washington (Pac-12 Network)
7:00 Princeton at Harvard (NBCSports)
8:00  Michigan State at Nebraska (BigTen)
8:00 Memphis at Marshall (CBSSports)
8:00 Georgia at Ole Miss (ESPN2)
9:00 Texas at Kansas (ESPN)
9:00 Arizona State at Colorado (ESPNU)
9:00 San Diego State at UNLV (NBCSports)

WATCH LIVE: James Madison battles UNC-Wilmington on NBCSN

James Madison guard Shakir Brown, left, drives past Hofstra forward Denton Koon (12) during the first half of an NCAA basketball game in Harrisonburg, Va., Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
(Daniel Lin/Daily News-Record via AP)
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Two of the top teams in the CAA battle on Saturday afternoon as James Madison travels to UNC-Wilmington. You can catch this matchup live on NBCSN at 3 p.m. EST.

UNC-Wilmington (19-5, 11-2) is currently the class of the conference as they hold a two-game lead over James Madison, William & Mary and Hofstra. The Seahawks have won 10 consecutive games and they’re led by guard Chris Flemmings, who is averaging 16.6 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game.

James Madison (19-7, 9-4) has won three consecutive games as they try to make up ground on UNC-Wilmington. Guard Ron Curry leads the Dukes in points (16.8 ppg) and assists (3.9 apg) as he’s having a very solid season.

These two teams played on Jan. 28 with UNC-Wilmington winning 78-73 on the road.

CLICK HERE to watch these games on NBC Sports Live Extra Saturday afternoon.

VIDEO: Winthrop’s Keon Johnson goes coast-to-coast for buzzer-beater

Winthrop's Keon Johnson (5) shoots a layup while defended by Coastal Carolina's Warren Gillis during the first half of the Big South Conference Championship college basketball game Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Conway, S.C. Coastal Carolina won 81-70. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
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Winthop earned a Big South road win at Radford on Saturday afternoon as junior guard Keon Johnson raced coast-to-coast and buried the game-winner at the buzzer.

The 5-foot-7 Johnson erupted for 32 points in the win and he’s been one of the most potent mid-major scorers in the country this season. The win moves Winthrop to 18-7 on the season and their 10-4 mark in the Big South ties them with UNC Asheville atop the conference standings.

(H/T: LiveonASN)