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

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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.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

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.

STARRED

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.

STRUGGLED

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.

NOTABLES

  • 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.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

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

Maryland big man Michal Cekovsky out for the season

COLLEGE PARK, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Michal Cekovsky #15 of the Maryland Terrapins is defended by Zedric Sadler #2 of the Rider Broncs during the first half at Xfinity Center on November 20, 2015 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Maryland big man Michal Cekovsky will be out for the rest of the season with a fractured ankle, the school announced on Monday.

The 7-foot-1 junior went down with the injury late in the second half of Sunday’s loss to Wisconsin. He had recently rejoined the Terps’ rotation and had started to get more comfortable, scoring 10 points against the Badgers before leaving the game.

Cekovsky appeared in 17 games this season and averaged 7.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game

“I feel badly for Ceko as he has endured a number of injuries throughout the season,” Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon said in the release. “It felt like he was really starting to turn the corner and his best basketball was ahead of him. We anticipate a full recovery for next season and we will be there to support him through the rehabilitation process.”

Without Cekovsky in the lineup, more pressure will be put on Damonte Dodd to stay out of foul trouble while staying productive. Sophomore Ivan Bender also figures to see more minutes now as he has already seen double-figure minutes off the bench for the Terps the last three games.

This loss will hurt Maryland’s frontcourt depth but they should still be able to withstand this injury with the firepower they have on the perimeter. Junior Melo Trimble is still playing fantastic ball while the team’s freshmen have also been solid for most of the season.

Maryland finishes the regular season with three out of four games at home as the one road game comes at Rutgers.

VIDEO: Jim Boeheim isn’t pleased when asked by reporter if Syracuse is ‘impatient’

HOUSTON, TEXAS - APRIL 02:  Head coach Jim Boeheim of the Syracuse Orange reacts in the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at NRG Stadium on April 2, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Jim Boeheim has never been a man that’s shied away from saying what he feels, even if that results in him going after a reporter during a press conference.

On Sunday night, Boeheim did just that, when he was clearly unhappy about being asked whether or not his team was ‘impatient’:

Boeheim had reason to be upset beyond that particular line of questioning: Not only did his team lose a tough road game thanks to a pretty bad call in the final 20 seconds, but that loss might be what costs them a spot in the NCAA tournament.

With Demarcus Cousins in New Orleans, it’s time for John Calipari-to-the-NBA to heat up

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With Demarcus Cousins ending up on New Orleans – I hesitate to call that fleecing a “trade” – to join forces with another former Kentucky Wildcat, it only makes sense for the dots to get connected: John Calipari to the Pelicans!

Dan Patrick didn’t waste any time diving right in on Monday morning, opening his interview with Coach Cal with: “Can I have permission to start a rumor about you?”

Before Patrick even had a chance to define said rumor, Cal hit him with a, “Not. Happening.” He doubled down on his denials later on that morning by telling a teleconference of reporters, “that’s not going to happen.”

This is what Cal has to say. When you’re the head coach at Kentucky, an incredibly high-paying job and arguably the best in the college basketball business, you cannot be publicly campaigning for another position, even if it is an NBA gig with two of the league’s top 12 players. And while Cal isn’t exactly forthcoming when it comes to what he reveals in the media – his name gets mentioned with an NBA job roughly every six months, and he has the same answer every time – I think I believe him here.

Why?

Because I don’t think he gives up his lucrative seat as the celebrity overlord of college basketball for anything less than the perfect job: One where he can win immediately, avoiding the indignity of another NBA flameout like the one he had with the Nets 17 years ago, and one where he is given total and complete roster control. He wants to be the coach and the GM, and I’m not sure New Orleans is in a position where they would get rid of GM Dell Demps, who orchestrated The Fleecing Of Sacramento, or head coach Alvin Gentry, who was hired prior to the start of last season and could feasibly get this group back to the Playoffs this year, for a guy that last coached in the NBA in 1999 after getting fired 20 games into a season.

And all of that is before you consider that Cousins still needs to ink a long-term deal with New Orleans at some point for this theory to truly be viable, although finding a way to bring in Cal could certainly help Cousins make this decision.

I also get it.

Cal, better than anyone else since Cousins first touched a basketball, found a way to channel Cousins’ immense talents. If anyone can find a way to get Boogie to shed his baggage, it’s probably Cal. Then factor in the chance that he would find a way to be able to reel in, say, John Wall, and those are dots that are just screaming to be connected.

A Kentucky reunion in the Big Easy. Big Blue Nation would buy every ticket available at the Smoothie King Center. Who wouldn’t love that?

Maybe it happens. But at this point, I have a hard time seeing Coach Cal giving up his throne atop Lexington.

Coaches Poll: Gonzaga remains atop the top 25, Baylor and Virginia tumble

SPOKANE, WA - DECEMBER 10:  Head coach Mark Few of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts to a call in the second half of the game against the Akron Zips at McCarthey Athletic Center on December 10, 2016 in Spokane, Washington.  Gonzaga defeated Akron 61-43.  (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
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Once again, undefeated Gonzaga finds themselves sitting al alone atop the Coaches Poll. The Zags are also No. 1 in the NBC Sports top 25 and the AP Poll.

Villanova and Kansas are two and three again, while Arizona and UCLA round out the top five.

Here is the full poll:

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

AP Poll: Gonzaga remains No. 1, Baylor falls to No. 9

Baylor forward Johnathan Motley (5) reacts to a play against Texas in first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in Waco, Texas. Baylor won 74-64. (Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP)
Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune Herald via AP
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The Zags remained alone atop the AP Poll on Monday morning, amassing 59 of a possible 65 first-place votes.

Villanova remained at No. 2 and Kansas stayed steadfast at No. 3. Baylor dropped from fourth to ninth after a pair of losses, while Virginia went from 14th to 18th after losing to Duke and North Carolina in the same week.

Here is the entire poll:

1. Gonzaga (59 first-place votes)
2. Villanva (5)
3. Kansas (1)
4. Arizona
5. UCLA
6. Oregon
7. Louisville
8. North Carolina
9. Baylor
10. Duke
11. Kentucky
12. West Virginia
13. Florida
14. Purdue
15. Cincinnati
16. Wisconsin
17. SMU
18. Virginia
19. Florida State
20. Saint Mary’s
21. Notre Dame
22. Butler
23. Creighton
24. Maryland
25. Wichita State