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SATURDAY’S SNACKS: Six top ten teams lose in a wild day

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Things got wild in the Big 12 on Saturday as the top three teams in the conference leaders all lost at home to unranked, bubble-bound teams.

It started when Iowa State earned one of the most important wins of the season by beating No. 3 Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. The Cyclones snapped the Jayhawks’ 54-game winning streak. I have more on this one here.

After Kansas fell, No. 2 Baylor had a chance to make a move in the Big 12 standings but they lost that opportunity by losing at home to Kansas State. The Wildcats nearly blew a 15-point halftime lead by held on as Kamau Stokes had 15 points. Rob Dauster has more on why this win is so important for Kansas State.

Then to cap it all off, No. 7 West Virginia lost at home to Oklahoma State, 82-75. It is the fifth straight win for the Cowboys, who have played their way off the bubble and into the NCAA tournament.

The afternoon started with an important game in the Big Ten as No. 23 Purdue traveled to No. 17 Maryland. Sophomore Caleb Swanigan had a solid outing and overcame some poor play from Purdue’s other interior options as the Boilers earned a huge road win. I have more on why this one was critical to the rest of Purdue’s season.

The biggest statement of the day was made by No. 13 Oregon, who pounded No. 5 Arizona into submission with an 85-58 win.

Speaking of statements, No. 24 Florida landed their first marquee win of the season as No. 8 Kentucky came to town and caught a backhand from the Gators. It was the best performance of Kasey Hill’s college career.

Keeping with the theme of unranked teams beating ranked teams on the road, Xavier pulled off a win at No. 22 Creighton without Edmond Sumner as the Musketeers had a balanced effort. I have more on why this one helps Xavier so much.

It was also a big afternoon for Syracuse as the Orange beat No. 9 Virginia and head coach Jim Boeheim coached in his 1,000th win with the program (although the NCAA vacated 101 wins, leaving him officially at 899 wins). CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on why this one mattered so much for the Orange and Boeheim and what it means for Syracuse’s NCAA tournament outlook.

Coach K returned to the sidelines for No. 21 Duke as they took down Pitt for a home ACC win. Junior Grayson Allen had 21 points to lead the Blue Devils and CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on the lineup changes that Duke could be using the rest of the season.


Jaaron Simmons, Ohio: Facing Akron, the MAC’s only unbeaten team in conference play, the junior guard had a monster outing as Simmons finished with 38 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in an Ohio win. Simmons went 10-for-16 from the field and he was perfect from the three-point line (5-for-5) and 13-for-16 from the free-throw line.

Angel Delgado, Seton Hall: Maybe the best big man nobody in college basketball is talking about, Delgado had 26 points and 17 rebounds in an overtime road win over Georgetown. The Pirates are fighting to stay in the NCAA tournament picture and Delgado is putting up 15.4 points and 14.7 rebounds per game in 10 Big East games. He’s playing at an All-American level.

Keon Johnson, Winthrop: If Winthrop makes the NCAA tournament, don’t forget about this guy. Johnson went for 39 points in a win over Campbell. The Big South leaders have come to expect big performances like this from Johnson as this tops his previous season high of 38 in a win over Illinois.

RELATED: Get caught up on all of today’s bubble action


  • No. 1 Gonzaga remained undefeated, although their streak of 267 minutes without trailing came to an end in the first half.
  • Easy win for No. 6 Louisville as they ran past Boston College for an ACC road win. Deng Adel and Donovan Mitchell both finished with 19 points each.
  • No. 11 UCLA avoided getting upset by Washington.
  • No. 14 Cincinnati handled UConn without much trouble behind 27 points from Kyle Washington.
  • San Diego scored nine first half points and 27 total points as they got mollywhopped by No. 18 Saint Mary’s.
  • Tight win for No. 19 South Carolina over Georgia to stay among the SEC’s elite as P.J. Dozier had 21 points and Sindarius Thornwell had 18.


  • In the ACC, Miami earned a solid road win at N.C. State as Davon Reed had 26 points. Freshman Dennis Smith Jr. had 31 points and nine assists in the loss for the Wolfpack.
  • Staying in the ACC, Wake Forest pulled off a home win over Georgia Tech as big man John Collins had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
  • TCU earned a Big 12 home win over Texas to keep its NCAA tournament credibility intact. The Horned Frogs had 18 points from Vladimir Brodziansky.
  • The Horizon League race got interesting with Green Bay beating Valparaiso by double digits at home. Kareem Kanter had 17 points and nine rebounds as the win snapped the Crusaders’ eight-game win streak. One game separates first-place Valpo and Green Bay in the conference now.

Late run sparks Villanova past West Virginia, into Elite Eight

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BOSTON — It is always just a matter of time before the avalanche comes.

And when it does, you better hope that lead you have is big enough to withstand what’s coming.

For No. 5-seed West Virginia, it was not. With 11 minutes left on Friday night in Boston’s TD Garden, the Mountaineers led 60-54 and had seemingly wrestled control of the game from the No. 1-seed in the East Region. Less than five minutes later, after the Wildcats hit four of their next five threes, Villanova had taken a 76-66 lead by going on a 22-6 run, and West Virginia was never able to recover.

Jalen Brunson led the way for the top-seeded Wildcats with 27 points and four assists while Omari Spellman finished with 18 points, eight boards and three blocks and Mikal Bridges chipped in with 16 points despite playing relatively poorly — by his standards — on Friday.

With a 90-78 win, Villanova advanced to the Elite Eight and a date with the winner of tonight’s game No. 2 Purdue-No. 3 Texas Tech.

That’s the way that it works with this Villanova team. Armed with the most potent, high-volume three-point shooting attack in college basketball — maybe in the history of college basketball — fans of their opponents are just waiting for the inevitable.

On Friday night, Villanova shot 13-for-24 from three, which is damned-impressive and exactly what we expect at the same time, but the game was won during that five-minute surge when West Virginia just didn’t have an answer.

VIDEO: Omari Spellman, Eric Paschall with mammoth dunks for Villanova

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Villanova took the lead on West Virginia and turned the tide of momentum with a pair of emphatic dunks in transition.

It started with Omari Spellman, who had an unbelievable sequence, spiking a shot into the floor before throwing down a put-back dunk all over a defender:

A couple of possessions later, Eric Paschall finally did the impossible.

He dunked on Sagaba Konate:

I am having way too much fun at this game.

No. 1 Kansas into Elite Eight with win over No. 5 Clemson

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OMAHA, Neb. — Once Kansas found its stride, Clemson had little chance of keeping pace – even after a late stumble.

The No. 1 Jayhawks ran away from the No. 5 Tigers with a second-half flurry that powered them to a 80-76 victory Friday night at CenturyLink Center to put them in the Elite Eight on Sunday against either Duke or Syracuse.

Kansas moves on to the Midwest Region final on the back of a second-half offense that Clemson had nearly no success in slowing until the final minutes, when the Tigers turned a 20-point laugher into  a six-point nail-biter.

Malik Newman paced Kansas with 17 points while Devonte Graham 16 and Udoka Azubuike 14 and 11 rebounds.

Clemson got 31 points from senior Gabe DeVoe, but there just wasn’t enough help around him for the Tigers to keep things competitive after the Jayhawks hit them with three-consecutive 3s in the opening minutes of the second half to open up a 20-point lead.

Clemson was already hanging on by a threat after it shot just 35.7 percent from the floor and committed eight turnovers. DeVoe’s 12 first-half points kept the Tigers afloat, but they never enjoyed a lead before halftime.

The Jayhawks, meanwhile, had five players  score at least six points in the first half, including 10 from Azubuike, Their usual strengths – 3-point shooting (4 of 13) and Devonte Graham (1 of 7) – were absent in the first half, but Clemson was unable to take advantage as Kansas continued to get quality looks inside and stops on defense.

The Jayhawks previously played Syracuse in December, beating the Orange by 16 on a neutral floor in Miami. They haven’t faced the Blue Devils, though they have already shared a building with them once this year in the Champion’s Classic. Kansas topped Kentucky, 65-61, while Duke defeated Michigan State, 88-81, that November night in Chicago.

VIDEO: Mikal Bridges tries to dunk on Sagaba Konate, gets denied

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There really is nothing better in this world than seeing someone who is typically a great dunker take flight to try and dunk on Sagaba Konate of West Virginia, because it never, EVER ends well for the dunker.

See: Bridges, Mikal:

Auburn AD Greene gives Bruce Pearl a vote of confidence

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Speaking publicly for the first time about head coach Bruce Pearl, new Auburn athletic director gave his embattled head coach a vote of confidence.

Greene was on an in-house podcast produced with the voice of Auburn sports, and was asked about Pearl’s standing in a pod that lasted less than five minutes and felt more like a press release than anything else.

“He’s been a tremendous blessing for the Auburn family,” Greene said. “The FBI investigation is a long process. We’re going through that process to make sure that we, as a university, are doing what it is that we’re supposed to do to comply. Coach Pearl has been excellent in that regard and I look forward to continuing to work with him as we continue to do the very best to support he, his staff and the student athletes of Auburn University.”

This is the first time since former assistant coach Chuck Person was arrested that a member of the Auburn athletic department had spoken so positively about Pearl. In the fall, Auburn’s president Steven Leath lamented Pearl’s lack of cooperation in the investigation, but just last week released a statement saying Pearl is “working with university officials as part of our due diligence.” Pearl said after his team’s 84-53 loss to Clemson in the second round of the NCAA tournament that he would like to return.

There has been speculation that Pearl’s job was in jeopardy ever since Auburn was mixed up in the FBI’s complaint. Two players were forced to sit out this entire season after the FBI alleged they had received money funneled through Person from a runner for an agent and a financial advisor.

“One of the challenges that we have facing the industry is college basketball,” Greene said. “We want to make sure we work incredibly hard to clean up the game, to make it as pure as it can possibly be so that our student-athletes can enjoy the intercollegiate athletic experience. one of the things that we have to keep in mind is that the state of college basketball is not in a good place right now and I’m a little bit disappointed that auburn is involved in that, but that doesn’t take away from the excellent job that Coach Pearl has done.”