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SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Duke gets huge road win; three ACC ranked teams fall to unranked teams

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SATURDAY’S THINGS TO KNOW

The biggest game of the day featured No. 2 Kansas going into Rupp Arena and taking on No. 4 Kentucky, and thanks to 20 points and ten boards from Josh Jackson, the Jayhawks left Lexington with a 79-73 win.

Pulling off one of its biggest wins of the season was No. 17 Duke as the Blue Devils rallied from double-digits with under five minutes left to win on the road at Wake Forest. Sophomore Luke Kennard put himself back in the Player of the Year discussion with an outrageous effort as he had 30 points in the second half alone.

It was the kind of win that can ignite a struggling Duke team and give them confidence going forward. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on this one.

The ACC had an insane day to kick things off in the afternoon as three ranked teams suffered upsets to unranked opponents on the road.

It began with Georgia Tech winning another ACC home game against a ranked opponent as the Yellow Jackets stung No. 14 Notre Dame with a buzzer-beating layup from freshman Josh Okogie. Tadric Jackson (25 points) had a monster outing for Georgia Tech and I wrote about how the Yellow Jackets are now in the NCAA tournament hunt.

Shortly after Georgia Tech’s win, Syracuse held off No. 6 Florida State for a very important conference win of their own. Andrew White led the Orange with 24 points — while continuing to look more comfortable on both ends of the floor — while guard John Gillon added 21 points and 11 assists. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on how this affects the Seminoles and Syracuse from here. Florida State has dropped two straight games.

Miami wanted to also partake in the ranked team takedown in the ACC as they thoroughly outplayed No. 9 North Carolina for a home win. The Hurricanes had a great game from freshman Bruce Brown while the Tar Heels had another sluggish outing from point guard Joel Berry. I wrote more on what both individual performances mean for each team’s season going forward while also discussing Miami’s NCAA tournament chances here.

Those weren’t the only teams to get upset on Saturday, as No. 10 Oregon fell at Colorado and No. 11 Butler lost at home to Georgetown. All told, eight of the top 11 teams in college basketball have lost this week, and No. 12 Virginia plays at No. 1 Villanova on Sunday.

No. 3 Gonzaga didn’t lose. They haven’t lost all season long, and look like they’re headed to No. 1 in the country on Monday morning.

STARRED

Luke Kennard, Duke: Desperately needing a win on the road, the sophomore scored 30 points in the second half to lift No. 17 Duke past Wake Forest. Kennard finished with 34 points as he was 11-for-14 from the field and 6-for-6 from three-point range. He was 10-for-10 in the second half and made all five of his threes. He might have jumpstarted the Blue Devils and changed their fortunes with his efforts.

Marcus Keene, Central Michigan: Another Saturday and another gargantuan effort from the nation’s leading scorer. After putting up 50 last Saturday, Keene poured in 41 points in an overtime MAC road win over Kent State. Keene was 13-for-26 from the field and also added 10 rebounds and four assists on the afternoon.

Ethan HappWisconsin: Bailing out the struggling Badgers on Saturday as the sophomore forward as Happ accounted for over half of the team’s points (32 overall) in an overtime road win over Rutgers. Also adding six rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocks, Happ was 12-for-18 from the field. He could have done even more damage but was only 8-for-16 from the free-throw line.

RELATED: The return of Bubble Banter 

Peyton Aldridge and Jack Gibbs, Davidson: Both Aldridge and Gibbs had 28 points each as the Wildcats ran past Fordham for an A-10 road win. The duo combined to go 17-for-28 from the field and 11-for-15 from three-point range as Gibbs also had seven assists.

Nisre Zouzoua, Bryant: The Bulldogs pulled off an overtime win over Fairleigh Dickinson as Zouzoua hit the game-winning jumper with four second left. Zouzoua also added a game-high 25 points.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 5 Baylor overcame a 13-point first half deficit to beat Ole Miss in Oxford. Manu Lecomte buried a huge three with 20 seconds left to seal the win.
  • Georgetown went into Indianapolis and picked off No. 11 Butler, who has not looked like the same team they were early on in the season since league play started.
  • This one wasn’t pretty but No. 15 Wisconsin needed overtime to outlast Rutgers for a Big Ten road win. The Badgers needed a huge performance from forward Ethan Happ as they were 3-for-25 from three-point range.
  • Needing a win in the worst way, No. 16 Creighton rolled past DePaul for a Big East home win behind a balanced effort. Khyri Thomas had 18 points to pace the Bluejays.
  • Pressure defense was the key for No. 18 West Virginia in a home win over Texas A&M. The Mountaineers forced 23 turnovers as junior guard Jevon Carter had 19 points and nine rebounds.
  • Winning in Minnesota is never easy but No. 22 Maryland made a late push to escape with a solid Big Ten road win. Freshman Justin Jackson had 28 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Terps while freshman Kevin Huerter (19 points) and junior Melo Trimble (13 points) also finished in double-figures.
  • Another blowout win for No. 22 Florida as they destroyed Oklahoma in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Kevarrius Hayes led four Gator double-figure scorers with 20 points.
  • No. 23 South Carolina didn’t get an invite to the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, but they did pick off Missouri on the road to keep pace with Kentucky in the SEC standings.
  • No. 25 Florida beat the breaks off of Oklahoma, winning by 32 in Norman.

NOTABLE

  • Clemson hadn’t won since the football team captured the national championship so they picked up a desperately-needed ACC road win at Pitt. The Tigers still have NCAA tournament hopes as senior Jaron Blossomgame led with 25 points.
  • The Big 12/SEC Challenge had some dud games as Texas Tech beat LSU by double-digits and Tennessee smoked Kansas State by jumping out to a 17-point halftime lead. It did give us this legendary LSU highlight though.
  • Major letdown game for Marquette as they fell at home to Providence after back-to-back top-10 wins over Creighton and Villanova. Kyron Cartwright had 18 for the Friars.

VIDEO: West Virginia honored Andrew Jones before game vs. Texas

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The West Virginia basketball team donned burnt orange ‘Big 12 Strong’ warmup shirts with the No. 1 on the back in honor of Texas point guard Andrew Jones.

Jones was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this month.

Texas Tech also honored Jones before a game this week, and Texas has raised more than $100,000 for his medical expenses.

Saturday College Basketball Recap: No. 7 Wichita State, No. 8 Texas Tech lose

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PLAYER OF THE DAY

It’s hard to argue with the performance that J.P. Macura had on Saturday. No. 11 Xavier went into Newark and knocked off No. 19 Seton Hall, 73-64, behind 27 points, five boards and three assists from Macura.

This win was particularly important for Xavier, who remain just a game out of first place in the Big East and in great position to make a run at getting a top three seed, which would mean they likely won’t have to play Villanova until the Big East title game. The loss is the second in a row for Seton Hall and the their third loss in four games.

THE REST OF SATURDAY’S STARS

  • CARSEN EDWARDS, Purdue: Edwards finished with 22 points, eight assists, two steals and no turnovers as the No. 3 Boilermakers blew out Iowa on the road.
  • MALIK NEWMAN, Kansas: Newman finished with 24 points and seven boards, including a personal 7-0 run with three minutes left to help No. 10 Kansas remain in sole possession of first place in the Big 12 with a 70-67 win over Baylor.
  • BRYCE BROWN, Auburn: Brown finished with 28 points as Auburn erased a 14-point halftime deficit to knock off Georgia 79-65 and remain within a game of first-place in the SEC.
  • DEAN WADE, Kansas State: In a win over No. 24 Kansas State, TCU’s second-straight win over a ranked team, Wade went for 20 pints, six boards, six assists, two blocks and two steals.

TEAM OF THE DAY

Houston landed themselves their first marquee win of the season as they pounded No. 7 Wichita State in Houston, 73-59. Rob Gray led the way with 24 points and four assists, putting the Cougars in a position where earning an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament is feasible. There is still plenty of work left to do, but this is the start they needed.

The bigger question mark, however, is Wichita State, who also lost at home to SMU this week. The Shockers are nowhere near as good as many expected them to be. Their offense isn’t good enough to make up for the fact that they aren’t guarding anyone.

GAME OF THE DAY

Trae Young went for 48 points, 34 of which came after halftime as the Sooners erased a 19-point deficit, but thanks to a Kendall Smith three at the end of regulation, this game went into overtime. Young had shots at the buzzer in regulation and in overtime to win the game and missed both, as the Pokes escaped with an 83-81 win.

Young needed 39 shots to get those 48 points. We went through whether or not that is too many shots for him here.

WTF???? OF THE DAY

Iowa State, who can’t guard anyone and is probably the worst team in the Big 12 this season, knocked off No. 8 Texas Tech, 70-52. The Red Raiders have now lost three of their last four games – all of which came on the road – after winning at Kansas. Texas Tech is also now just 1-3 in the four games since Zach Smith broke his foot, but they also beat Baylor by 24 points and won at Kansas when Smith played 10 total minutes.

So you explain Texas Tech to me. Because I don’t get it.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

The Florida Gators moved into sole possession of first place in the SEC thanks to a 66-64 win at No. 18 Kentucky on Saturday. It was hardly a pretty game – Florida shot 33 percent from the floor and 6-for-30 from three – but the Gators were able to hang on thanks to a questionable no-call in the final seconds.

No. 20 Clemson held on to beat Notre Dame at home on Saturday, 67-58, but missing out on a commitment from Zion Williamson wasn’t the only bad news of the day. Star forward Donte Grantham went down with a knee injury midway through the second half. He averages 14.3 points and 7.1 boards. Losing him would be disastrous for the Tigers.

No. 14 Arizona had to rally down the stretch, but the Wildcats did. Trailing by as many as 11 points late in the second half at Stanford, the Wildcats survived as Dorian Pickens missed a three at the buzzer. The win puts Arizona all alone in first place in the Pac-12.

Jalen Brunson scored 23 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 17 points off the bench as No. 1 Villanova blew out UConn in Hartford, 81-61.

No. 13 Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s both won, meaning that the Gaels still hold a one game lead over the Zags in the WCC. Nevada knocked off Boise State, giving the Wolf Pack a two-game lead in the Mountain West.

At this point, Pitt barely counts as ACC competition. But they are and No. 5 Duke beat them 81-54 tonight.

Jevon Carter went for 22 points and eight assists as No. 6 West Virginia knocked off Texas, 86-51. The game was closer than the final score indicates, as the Mountaineers pulled away late.

The star of the day for No. 12 Cincinnati was Gary Clark, who finished with 14 points, 14 boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks, in an 86-60 win over East Carolina.

Luke Maye went for 17 points and 11 boards to lead four players in double figures as No. 15 North Carolina held on to beat Josh Pastner and Georgia Tech, 80-66.

It ended up not being much of a game when the Big Ten invaded Madison Square Garden as No. 22 Ohio State put a beating on Minnesota, 67-49. Minnesota lost Jordan Murphy to an ankle injury in the game as well.

You Make The Call: Did Kentucky’s P.J. Washington get fouled?

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There was a controversial finish to Florida’s 66-64 win over No. 18 Kentucky in Rupp Arena on Saturday night.

Florida had taken a 45-37 lead on the Wildcats before Kentucky fought back, eventually pulling ahead before the Gators surged back in front. A pair of threes and a missed front-end set up a situation where the Wildcats had the ball, down 66-64, on the final possession of the game, leading to this play:

P.J. Washington drives to the rim and appears to get hit in the head by Jalen Hudson. Hudson initially gets his hand on top of the ball, but as Washington’s momentum carries him, Hudson rakes Washington across the face and pushes his head back with his elbow.

It’s not intentional, but the contact is clearly there.

Did the referees blow this call?

If they did, the call could end up determining the SEC regular season champion. Entering Saturday, both Kentucky and Florida were tied for the league lead at 5-1 in the conference. They play again on the season’s final weekend in Gainesville.

Norvell helps No. 13 Gonzaga bounce back to beat Santa Clara

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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Zach Norvell Jr. scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, and No. 13 Gonzaga bounced back from its first conference loss of the season to beat Santa Clara 75-60 on Saturday night.

Josh Perkins added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, Rui Hachimura scored 16 points and Killian Tillie had 12. Johnathan Williams had nine points and eight boards for Gonzaga (17-4, 7-1 West Coast Conference), including his 400th career rebound.

Two days after a 74-71 home loss to Saint Mary’s that ended Gonzaga’s six-game winning streak, the Bulldogs had trouble shaking the pesky Broncos (7-13, 4-4) until Norvell found his stroke after halftime.

Norvell made pair of 3s, a short jumper and a layup in the first 7 ½ minutes of the second half, scored on an offensive rebound as part of a 12-0 run, and then made a fast-break one-handed dunk to put the Bulldogs up 75-41.

It was Gonzaga’s 17th consecutive win over the Broncos and improved coach Mark Few’s record to 40-4 against Santa Clara.

KJ Feagin scored 21 points for the Broncos.

Unlike the first game between the teams this season, when Gonzaga built 27-point lead by halftime on the way to a win in Spokane, Santa Clara kept it close early despite struggling from beyond the arc.

The Broncos missed eight of their first nine 3-point attempts but were tied with 8 ½ minutes left in the first half following Josip Vrankic’s driving layup that had the crowd at Leavey Center roaring.

Part of the problem for Gonzaga was the Bulldogs’ inability to keep Feagin from getting to the basket. He had 12 points in the first 20 minutes, made three layups and tipped in his own miss to help Santa Clara close within seven at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs have not lost back-to-back games this season and looked good after a somewhat slow start. Norvell provided a huge boost but the Zags also got another big game from Hachimura, who has scored in double figures in nine consecutive games.

Santa Clara: Coming off a win at San Francisco, the Broncos made a splash in the first half at home to keep things interesting. They never had the Bulldogs on their heels, but it was a much better effort than their first meeting.

No. 10 Kansas rallies late to beat Baylor, 70-67

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas coach Bill Self has relied on a four-guard lineup all season, one that is designed to attack the basket aggressively, draw fouls and get to the free throw line.

He was fortunate one of those four guards stepped up Saturday night.

Malik Newman scored seven of his game-high 24 points in the final minutes, bailing out the rest of his sluggish teammates, and Baylor turned the ball over on the last inbounds play as the No. 10 Jayhawks escaped with a 70-67 victory that kept them atop the Big 12.

“We were lucky,” Self said, “to have one guy out there putting defense on its heels.”

The Jayhawks (16-3, 6-1 Big 12) trailed 67-61 with 2:05 to go before Newman went on his scoring binge, giving them the slimmest of leads again. The Bears (12-7, 2-5) had a couple of chances after that, but Manu Lecomte missed a 3-pointer and a layup attempt high off the glass with three seconds left.

Devonte Graham added a pair of free throws before Baylor squandered a chance at the final shot.

“(Newman) put us on his back and all we needed was to get those stops,” Graham said, “and we did.”

It was the Jayhawks’ 11th consecutive win over the Bears, who have never won in 16 tries in Lawrence. It was also the closest Baylor has come during any of those games.

Graham finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Udoka Azubuike had 14 points and seven boards, but he was just 4 of 11 from the foul line and missed two crucial ones late.

Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had 14 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out for Baylor. Nuni Omot added 14 points and Lecomte had 10, though he was 3 of 12 from the floor and 1 of 8 from the 3-point arc.

“Very frustrating. We’re as good a team as them. We know we can beat them,” Lecomte said. “They’re a really good team. They never give up. Next time we have to make sure we keep that lead.”

Allen Fieldhouse has been Baylor coach Scott Drew’s personal house of horrors — the closest he had come to winning had been the Bears’ 73-68 loss last season. And when the Jayhawks opened the game by making their first seven shots and taking an 18-5 lead, it looked as if this one would be no different.

It took Drew burning through nearly all his timeouts to settle Baylor down.

Shots eventually stopped falling for Kansas as the Bears picked up their defensive pressure, and their deficit dwindled to 32-26 before a late flurry left them in a 38-27 halftime hole.

Kansas began the second half determined to get Azubuike the ball in the paint, and he made good on his first couple of chances. But when he failed to execute a few times in a row, Self greeted him during a timeout with, “Are you kidding me?” — spiced up with an extra word.

The Jayhawks still led 52-47 midway through the second half when Baylor went on a 16-4 run.

Omot started it with a bucket in the paint, but it was seven free throws by the senior forward that did the real damage. Lual-Acuil’s basket with 4:39 left gave Baylor a 61-56 advantage.

The Bears scored on nine consecutive possessions down the stretch.

Newman finally turned the momentum, though. He converted a three-point play and a nifty drive on a run-out, then knocked down another basket to give Kansas a 68-67 lead with a minute left.

“When the game is on the line, Coach always says that players make plays,” he said. “I was just trying to be aggressive and we came out with a win.”

HONORING JO JO

Kansas honored two-time All-American Jo Jo White with a video tribute before tipoff. The seven-time NBA All-Star, whose jersey hangs from the Allen Fieldhouse rafters, died Tuesday at the age of 71.

BYE, BYE BILLY

Kansas freshman Billy Preston signed with a pro team in Bosnia on Friday, ending any chance the five-star prospect will play for the Jayhawks. Preston had been held out all season while the school looked into the finances of the car he was driving during a November accident.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor has lost its last five games to the Jayhawks by a combined 20 points, no doubt adding to Drew’s frustration. Six of the Bears’ seven losses this season have come against ranked teams.

Kansas has won five straight to grab ahold of the Big 12 race, though none of them have been very comfortable. The Jayhawks’ winning streak has been by a combined 18 points.