Late Night Snacks: No. 1 Syracuse falls on most entertaining weeknight of the season

Leave a comment

GAME OF THE NIGHT: Boston College 62, No. 1 Syracuse 59 (OT)

With a game at No. 5 Duke on Saturday night, many expected No. 1 Syracuse to take care of a struggling Boston College squad and move to 26-0. But the Eagles had other ideas, shooting 11-for-22 from three on their way to a stunning win at the Carrier Dome. The issue for Syracuse was their shooting, as they shot just 32% from the field for the game. Also of note is the fact that Syracuse and Virginia are tied in the loss column atop the ACC as result of the Orange’s first loss.


1) No. 4 Arizona 67, Utah 63 (OT)

Utah needed a resume-building victory but they were unable to get it, losing by four in overtime with foul shooting and turnovers being the biggest reasons why. Utah shot 13-for-22 from the foul line and committed 16 turnovers, which were converted into 16 second-chance points by the Wildcats. Add in Jordan Loveridge shooting 1-for-12 and Delon Wright turning the ball over six times, and the end result is Arizona bouncing back from its loss at Arizona State on Friday night.

2) No. 3 Wichita State 88, Loyola (Ill.) 74

With Syracuse losing there’s just one remaining undefeated team in college basketball: Wichita State. The Shockers moved to 28-0 with Fred Van Vleet accounting for 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Wichita State plays two of its final three regular season games at home, with Missouri State being the strongest of the three.

3) No. 2 Florida 71, Auburn 66

Like Syracuse the Gators struggled at home against a team they were expected to beat. Unlike the Orange, Florida took care of business in the end with a little help from the visiting Tigers. Auburn committed a critical turnover late in regulation, and those mistakes cost Tony Barbee a win that would have done wonders for his program. Patric Young led the Gators with 17 points, nine rebounds and three assists.


1) D.J. Covington (VMI)

Covington scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the Keydets’ 84-81 win over Campbell.

2) Jordan Adams (UCLA) 

28 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals in the 23rd-ranked Bruins’ 86-66 wins at California.

3) Javon McCrea (Buffalo) 

McCrea finished the Bulls’ 96-90 home win over Akron two assists short of a triple-double, finishing the game with 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.


1) Jordan Loveridge (Utah)

Shot 1-for-12 from the field in the Utes’ 67-63 overtime loss to No. 4 Arizona.

2) Tyrone Wallace (California) 

Five points on 1-for-9 shooting in Cal’s 86-66 loss to UCLA.

3) Malik Smith (Minnesota) 

Went scoreless in Minnesota’s 62-49 loss to Illinois, shooting 0-for-7 from the field.


  • No. 11 Creighton retained sole possession of first place in the Big East, beating Marquette 85-70. Doug McDermott scored 25 points and Ethan Wragge added 22 for the Bluejays.
  • Boston University extended its lead in the Patriot League to two games with a 71-62 win over American in Boston.
  • Davon Usher and Devon Saddler combined to score 51 points in Delaware’s 81-77 win at Hofstra, moving the Blue Hens to 12-1 in the CAA.
  • Langston Galloway shot 2-for-12 from the field but Ronald Roberts Jr. scored 17 points to lead Saint Joseph’s to a 57-54 win at Rhode Island.
  • Jordan Clarkson led Missouri to a 67-64 win over Vanderbilt with 21 points and five assists.
  • Kendall Williams scored 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds in New Mexico’s 68-56 win at UNLV, avenging a loss to the Runnin’ Rebels last month.
  • Jordair Jett scored 25 points to lead five players in double figures as No. 10 Saint Louis beat George Mason in overtime, 89-85.


  • No. 7 Cincinnati 77, UCF 49
  • No. 23 UCLA 86, California 66
  • No. 24 Ohio State 76, Northwestern 60

VIDEO: Kris Dunn wills Providence to win over No. 11 Arizona

Kris Dunn, Elliott Pitts
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Leave a comment

Kris Dunn spent the first 35 minutes of Friday night’s game against No. 11 Arizona in foul trouble, splitting his time between sitting on the bench and trying to avoid finding himself, again, on the wrong side the whistle.

With 11 minutes left in the game, and with Dunn yet to find a rhythm, the all-american point guard was whistled for his fourth foul as he battled for a rebound with Arizona’s Mark Tollefsen. Head coach Ed Cooley say his superstar beside his for six game minutes, time enough for Arizona to turn a 49-47 deficit into a 58-54 lead.

There were just over five minutes left when Dunn reentered the second semifinal of the Wooden Legacy, and he proceeded to show everyone in the country why he was named the NBCSports.com Preseason Player of the Year. Providence had nine possessions after he reentered the game. Dunn scored 11 points and had a pair of assists on those eight possessions, and if Ben Bentil had stuck a wide-open three — that was setup by Dunn — the Friars would have scored on all nine.

In total, Dunn was responsible for all 15 Friar points in a game-changing, 15-7 run in the final 4:30. It was capped off by this Kobe-in-his-prime-esque game-winner:

The win for Providence is huge for a couple of reasons:

  • Dunn showed a killer instinct against a marquee opponent, something that we didn’t necessarily see out of him a season ago. He wasn’t going to let his team lose, and given that Providence doesn’t have anyone else that can consistently create good shots, they are going to need that from him a lot this year.
  • It makes a statement for the Friars. Arizona is overrated at No. 11 in the country, yes, but going out on national television against an elite program and getting this kind of performance from Dunn is a confidence-booster and a tone-setter. Providence hasn’t been accustomed to winning in recent years. This is a way to set a trend.
  • Ben Bentil continues to play like a star. Dunn had 19 points and eight assists on Friday, but Bentil followed up a 24-point performance in the win over Evansville with 21 critical points on Friday.

This win sets up a matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence on Sunday night, which means that Denzel Valentine and Kris Dunn — the two best players in the country, sorry Ben Simmons — will be going head-to-head.

Oh. Hell. Yes.

No. 14 Cal goes 0-2 in Las Vegas Invitational

Jaylen Brown
AP Photo/Ben Margot
Leave a comment

After midnight on the east coast on Thanksgiving, No. 14 Cal blew a 15 point second half lead against San Diego State, allowing the Aztecs to use a 30-6 run to put away the game and advance to the final of the Las Vegas Invitational. That’s the same San Diego State team had scored 43 points in a loss to Arkansas-Little Rock last week.

Not 24 hours later, the Golden Bears were shredded defensively by the Richmond Spiders, losing 94-90 in the consolation game of a four-team tournament they were considered to be the heavy favorite in.

It’s a disappointing two-game stretch for Cal, who entered the season as a Pac-12 favorite and had looked the part for the first four games of the season.

And the issue appears to be on the defensive end of the floor.

Richmond is a good Atlantic 10 team. Terry Allen and Marshall Wood are high-major big men, Shawn’Dre Jones is a jitterbug at the point and Chris Mooney runs a Princeton-esque system that is very difficult to prepare for without a day in-between games. So it’s not really surprising that the Spiders gave Cal a fight.

But 94 points?

On the heels of giving up 44 points in the second half against the offensively-challenged Aztecs?

That’s a problem, one that I’m sure that Cuonzo Martin is going to address this week in practice. Martin has managed to put together a roster that is build for small-ball, with four talented perimeter players surrounding a first round pick in the post. But that’s not the style that he’s known for. Martin played his college ball at Purdue in the Gene Keady days. He cut his teeth as a head coach at Missouri State in the Missouri Valley. His team’s at Tennessee were known for being tough and physical defensively.

That’s how Martin coaches, which is part of the reason Cal had such hype entering the year.

The talents of Tyrone Wallace, Jaylen Brown, Ivan Rabb, Jabari Bird and Jordan Mathews on a team with a coach that gets teams to defend the way Martin does? It’s no surprise that pundits would be optimistic.

But as of now, they have some work to do defensively if they want to live up to that hype.