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Late Night Snacks: No. 11 Ohio State suffers third straight loss

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: UConn 83, No. 17 Memphis 73

Don’t be fooled by the final margin; this was an entertaining game that was tight until the Huskies made a few stops and knocked down their free throws in the final minute. DeAndre Daniels (23 points, 11 rebounds) and Shabazz Napier (17 points, ten assists) posted double-doubles to lead the way for the Huskies, who are now 2-2 in American Athletic Conference play. And there were other quality performances for the Huskies, who rose to the occasion to pick up a valuable road victory while picking up a teammate in need.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1) Minnesota 63, No. 11 Ohio State 53

Once again the Buckeyes struggled offensively, and the end result on Thursday night was a loss at Minnesota. For the Golden Gophers their big men took another step forward, and as a team Richard Pitino’s squad shot 51.1% from the floor. Elliott Eliason accounted for 12 points and 13 rebounds and Dre Mathieu scored 13 to go along with five assists to lead the way for Minnesota.

2) No. 25 UCLA 69, No. 21 Colorado 56

In their first full game without Spencer Dinwiddie the Buffaloes struggled offensively in a home loss to UCLA. CU players other than Askia Booker and Josh Scott shot 6-for-27 from the field and scored 16 points, which won’t get the job done against a team as talented as UCLA. Norman Powell scored 19 points and Jordan Adams controlled the glass with 13 rebounds (and 14 points) to lead the way for the Bruins.

3) Vanderbilt 78, Missouri 75 

Missouri dropped to 1-2 in SEC play with their loss in Nashville, as the Commodores shot 12-for-32 from beyond the arc. Rod Odom scored 24 points and Kyle Fuller added 22 for Vanderbilt, who played just seven players as a result of their depleted roster. Missouri shot just 6-for-23 from three and missed a number of attempts at the rim, with the combination resulting in defeat.

STARRED

1) Kareem Jamar (Montana) 

33 points, five assists and four rebounds in the Grizzlies’ 84-71 win over North Dakota.

2) Will Neighbour (UALR) 

32 points on 11-for-14 shooting and seven rebounds in the Trojans’ 87-83 overtime win at Western Kentucky.

3) Lucas Troutman (Elon) 

28 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots in Elon’s 87-85 overtime win at Davidson.

STRUGGLED 

1) Ohio State starters not named LaQuinton Ross

Ross scored 22 points on 8-for-17 shooting from the field. The other four starters in their 63-53 loss at Minnesota: 6-for-22, 19 points and ten turnovers.

2) Colorado outside of Askia Booker and Josh Scott

Booker and Scott combined to score 40 points on 14-for-23 shooting from the field. Their teammates in the 69-56 loss to No. 25 UCLA: 6-for-27, 16 points.

3) Tulane

In their Conference USA home opener the Green Wave shot 23.3% from the field, missed all 14 of their three-point attempts and finished with more turnovers (17) than field goals (ten) in their 73-45 loss to Louisiana Tech.

NOTABLES

  • Arizona State didn’t have Jermaine Marshall (groin) for their game against No. 1 Arizona, and it likely wouldn’t have mattered if he were able to play. In the top-ranked Wildcats’ 91-68 victory seven players scored in double figures, with Nick Johnson scoring 17 to lead the charge.
  • No. 18 Louisville had little trouble with Houston, beating the Cougars 91-52. The big development in this one for the Cardinals: Wayne Blackshear scoring 23 points on 8-for-10 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds.
  • An R.J. Hunter bucket in the final seconds gave Georgia State a 73-72 win over Arkansas State, moving the Panthers to 4-0 in Sun Belt play.
  • Michael Alvarado scored 21 points to go along with seven steals and five assists to lead Manhattan to a 90-68 win over Siena.
  • Corey Walden led four players in double figures as Eastern Kentucky beat Belmont 74-63, handing the Bruins their first loss in OVC play.
  • Bryce Cotton’s three-point play with just over eight seconds remaining in double overtime gave Providence an 84-83 win at St. John’s.
  • Elon won 87-85 in overtime at Davidson to hand the Wildcats their first loss in Southern Conference play, creating a three-way tie for third place in the league standings.
  • Clarke Rosenberg led five Chicago State players in double figures with 20 points as the Panthers knocked off WAC favorite New Mexico State, 86-81. Chicago State and Utah Valley are tied for first with matching 3-0 records.
  • Delon Wright was all over the box score in Utah’s 84-66 win over USC, tallying 22 points, six rebounds, six steals, five assists and two blocked shots.
  • Alan Williams (15 rebounds) and Mitch Brewe scored 12 points apiece and Michael Bryson added 11 in UCSB’s 62-48 win over Long Beach State.
  • Paul Egwuonwu scored 13 points to lead Montana State to a 70-55 win over Northern Colorado, moving the Bobcats into a three-way tie for first in the Big Sky. These two teams, along with Northern Arizona, all have 4-1 conference records.

Mountain West issues statement on Colorado State/New Mexico altercation

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The Mountain West issued a statement on Monday in response to the altercation that happened after New Mexico’s win at Colorado State on Saturday.
Following the Lobos’ 84-71 road victory, Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal captured an incident on video between Colorado State forward Emmanuel Omogbo and the New Mexico coaching staff.
Both sides claimed that the other was the instigator and the incident didn’t make anybody in the video look good.
For as bad as things might have looked, the Mountain West has decided not to hand down any sort of punishment. After an investigation, the conference could not truly determine the root cause of all the drama saying in the release, “A number of conflicting perspectives have emerged and, in some cases, there is no definitive proof as to the responsible party or parties.”
What has been determined is the entire incident created an undesirable athletic competition environment, and did not reflect favorably upon either basketball program, either member institution or the Conference. There were a number of errors in judgment throughout the course of the afternoon and poor decisions made by various individuals. Such conduct is unacceptable.
The Colorado State and New Mexico athletic departments have already initiated follow-up conversations with all appropriate parties to address the events of this past Saturday. Those will continue, with the institutions taking corrective measures they deem appropriate and advising the Conference office accordingly.
The Mountain West Board of Directors and Joint Council have been adamant in their emphasis on good sportsmanship and appropriate behavior. Those involved with this most recent incident will be under close scrutiny going forward – as will all Mountain West constituents.

Obviously there is a lot to sift through with this incident but hopefully these two teams don’t have any further incident when they play at New Mexico on Feb. 21st.

No. 22 Xavier’s slide continues with loss to short-handed No. 7 Creighton

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 16:  Chris Mack the head coach of the Xavier Musketeers  gives instructions to his team against the Creighton Blue Jays during the game at Cintas Center on January 16, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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It’s officially time to be concerned about No. 22 Xavier.

The Musketeers have now lost three straight games, all to the top three teams in the Big East, and currently sit at 13-5 on the year with just a single good win to their name: Clemson.

But prior to Monday’s loss to No. 7 Creighton, Xavier had lost all of their games on the road to teams that will either get a top five seed in the NCAA tournament (Villanova, Butler, Baylor) or play at altitude (Colorado). On Monday, the Musketeers not only lost 72-67 to Creighton, but they did so on a day where the Bluejays lost star point guard and all-american candidate Mo Watson to a knee injury midway through the first half and spent the majority of the game playing with star center Justin Patton saddled with fouls.

Should I mention that Creighton, who is third-nationally in three-point percentage, shot 5-for-19 from beyond the arc, or that their two best healthy guards – Marcus Foster and Khyri Thomas – shot a combined 10-for-31?

All of the stars were aligned. Coming how to an afternoon game against a top ten team on a holiday after losing back-to-back games on the road, and that top ten team lost their most important player early in the first half?

This should have been where Xavier landed that first elite win.

Instead, the Musketeers are left scratching their head again.

And it begs the question: If not now, when?

The Musketeers still play Villanova and Butler at home, visit Creighton and have the Crossroads Classic at Cincinnati. There are opportunities for them to get wins that they need.

But if they cannot get a win over a short-handed Creighton team at home, who are they actually going to be?

VIDEO: No. 7 Creighton beats No. 22 Xavier, loses all-american Mo Watson to a knee injury

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Creighton point guard Mo Watson was carried off of the Cintas Center floor on Monday afternoon after an ugly-looking injury in the first half.

Watson drove the lane and landed on his left leg. He immediately grabbed the knee in clear distress:

The Bluejays would hold on to win a thrilling, hard-fought game, 72-67, without Watson. That’s impressive, and it means that they move into a tie for first place in the Big East with Villanova, but the story of this game was Watson.

According to a reporter at the game, Watson told head coach Greg McDermott that he “heard it pop“. Losing Watson to any significant injury would be catastrophic for the No. 8 Bluejays. Watson entered Monday averaging 13.4 points and a nation’s-best 8.8 assists. He’s been in the top ten of our Player of the Year Power Rankings all season long, is a clear-cut candidate for an all-american team and is the engine for the high-powered offense that has made Creighton a Final Four contender.

The injury may be somewhat controversial as well. Two minutes before the video clip above, Watson banged knees with a Xavier defender and had to be helped off of the floor. He was tested on the sideline and allowed to return to the game, albeit with a noticeable limp.

UPDATE: Greg McDermott told FS1 after the game that Watson’s ligaments are intact, but that they are concerned about the meniscus.

College Basketball Coaches Poll: Kansas vaults to No. 1

LAWRENCE, KS - DECEMBER 03:  Devonte' Graham #4 of the Kansas Jayhawks celebrates with Frank Mason III #0 after making a three-pointer during the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Allen Fieldhouse on December 3, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
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Kansas vaulted up to the No. 1 spot in the Coaches Poll for the first time this season, receiving 23 of the 32 first place votes.

Villanova comes in at No. 2 while UCLA, Gonzaga and Kentucky finish up the top five. Bay.or, who was No. 1 in the country last week, is No. 6 while Duke fell all the way to No. 18 with a pair of losses last week.

RANKINGS: AP Poll | Coaches Poll | NBC Sports Top 25

1. Kansas (23 first-place votes)
2. Villanova (4)
3. UCLA (2)
4. Gonzaga (3)
5. Kentucky
6. Baylor
7. Creighton
8. West Virginia
9. North Carolina
10. Oregon
11. Louisville
12. Florida State
13. Arizona
14. Butler
15. Notre Dame
16. Virginia
17. Wisconsin
18. Duke
19. Xavier
20. Cincinnati
21. Florida
22. Purdue
23. Saint Mary’s
24. South Carolina
25. Maryland

College Basketball AP Top 25: Villanova is back to the top spot

VILLANOVA, PA - DECEMBER 13: Kris Jenkins #2 of the Villanova Wildcats reacts in the second half against the Temple Owls at The Pavilion on December 13, 2016 in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Temple Owls 78-57. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
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Villanova vaulted back into the No. 1 spot in the AP Poll after falling out for a week when they lost at Creighton.

Kansas comes in at No. 2 while UCLA, Gonzaga and Kentucky finish up the top five. Bay.or, who was No. 1 in the country last week, is No. 6 while Duke fell all the way to No. 18 with a pair of losses last week.

RANKINGS: AP Poll | Coaches Poll | NBC Sports Top 25

1. Villanova (28 first-place votes)
2. Kansas (32)
3. UCLA (3)
4. Gonzaga (2)
5. Kentucky
6. Baylor
t-7. Creighton
t-7. West Virginia
9. North Carolina
10. Florida State
11. Oregon
12. Louisville
13. Butler
14. Arizona
15. Notre Dame
16. Virginia
17. Wisconsin
18. Duke
19. Florida
20. Cincinnati
21. Purdue
22. Xavier
23. Saint Mary’s
24. South Carolina
25. Maryland