On a night where 11 games featured ranked teams, it seemed like a virtual certainty that – in a year like the one we’ve been experiencing – there would be some upsets.
And we got one.
A couple of others came close.
And while we did get our fair share of entertainment, the most surprising part about Tuesday was that nothing all that surprising happened.
Here are the three things you need to know from Tuesday night’s action.
1. TRAE YOUNG AND NO. 9 OKLAHOMA BEAT NO. 8 TEXAS TECH
After a sluggish start in the first half playing against his father’s alma mater, Young woke up in the second 20 minutes, finishing with 27 points, nine assists and four steals as the Sooners handed Texas Tech their first lost in Big 12 play this season.
This is precisely the kind of win that Lon Kruger’s club needs to be able to get if they are going to have a realistic shot at winning the Big 12 regular season title. The top of the league is so congested – Oklahoma is good, Texas Tech good, West Virginia is good, Kansas is good – that the league title could very well end up being determined by which of those four teams is able to win on the road against the other four.
Texas Tech already beat Kansas in Allen Fieldhouse. Beating Oklahoma in Norman would have put them in the driver’s seat to end the 13-year Jayhawk run atop the league.
West Virginia, however, remains in first place in the Big 12 after they beat Baylor at home. Kansas kept pace Oklahoma and drew even with Texas Tech, one game behind the Mountaineers, with a win over Iowa State at home.
2. NO. 13 SETON HALL TOOK A BEATING AT MARQUETTE
The only ranked team to lose to an unranked team on Tuesday night came when the Pirates traveled up to frigid Milwaukee and got whipped up on by the Golden Eagles, 84-64. Andrew Rowsey finished with 31 points to lead the way for Marquette, who landed a critical win in their fight to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.
Steve Wojciechowski’s club is 12-5 on the season and now 3-2 in the Big East, and none of their losses are bad losses: Purdue, Wichita State, Georgia, Xavier, Villanova. The problem is a lack of quality wins. Their best, to date, was either Providence on the road, Wisconsin on the road or LSU in Maui. That’s not exactly a murderer’s row.
Beating Seton Hall, however, is impressive. The Pirates are, at worst, the third-best team in the Big East. This is going to look like a very good win two months from now, and it’s exactly the kind of win that the Golden Eagles needed to put themselves into bubble contention.
3. NO. 21 KENTUCKY AND NO. 5 PURDUE WIN THANKS TO SOME CONTROVERSIAL OFFICIATING
Kentucky survived Texas A&M in Rupp Arena thanks to a n0-call on the final possession for the Aggies.
With 3.9 seconds left, P.J. Washington missed a free throw and the Aggies bombed the ball to the other end of the floor. Tyler Davis had position on Wenyen Gabriel, but as he went to receive the pass, he was held. It looked like a clear foul from where I was sitting, but that is a tough call to make in that situation.
There’s a reason they call it home court advantage.
Anyway, Kentucky won and the Aggies lost, dropping to 0-4 in the SEC.
The Boilermakers, on the other hand, got the benefit of a friendly whistle. With 5.8 seconds left, an out-of-bounds call was overturned in favor of Purdue, giving them the ball with a chance to win the game. At the other end of the floor, a foul was called on Mo Wagner for trying to steal an entry pass to Isaac Haas. From where I was sitting, that looked like the right call. Haas was fouled.
He would make one free throw and Purdue won the game.