Previewing your college hoops weekend: Will Ohio State lose?

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UPSET SPECIAL

Sat. 2:00 pm: No. 1 Ohio State @ No. 14 Wisconsin: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.

A Wisconsin win on their home court may not even be qualified to be considered an upset, even if the opponent is the undefeated and No. 1 Ohio State Buckeyes. But since Wisconsin is ranked 14th and Ohio State is ranked 1st, we are calling it an upset to justify the use of this space to preview what is the marquee game of a pretty good slate of games.

The Badgers don’t score a lot of points, but don’t let that fool you — Wisconsin is the most potent offensive team in the country. The reason for that? They don’t turn the ball over and they make their free throws. Its that simple. They maximize the number of possessions that end in a shot which counteracts the fact that they are just an above average team shooting the ball, and they capitalize on their freebies.

Jon Leuer is the star of this team, but Jordan Taylor is their most important player. He controls their offense and thus the pace of the game, he doesn’t turn the ball over, he scores and he creates shots for his teammates, and the ball is in his hands at the end of a clock. It will be interesting to see who ends up guarding him; Aaron Craft and David Lighty are both terrific defenders.

By now, you surely know the way that Ohio State’s offense runs. They play off of their massive freshman Jared Sullinger, getting the ball into the post and allowing him to essentially be the playmaker. With shooters like Jon Diebler, David Lighty, and Williams Buford around him, Sullinger has plenty of options if an opponent doubles him. Wisconsin will probably have to, has their big men will be at a severe mismatch.

But they create a mismatch for the Buckeyes to deal with. Both Leuer and Nankivil are terrific shooters. Sullinger is going to have to guard one of them on the perimeter, and for everything he does well, the big fella is not built for defending 20 feet from the rim. That matchup is a big reason this game is so interesting. Now consider this — Wisconsin is the best team in the country at knocking down free throws and keeping possession of the ball, but Ohio State is the best in the country at keeping opponents from getting to the foul line and are the tenth best team when it comes to forcing turnovers.

This won’t be a high-scoring game, but if you appreciate quality, fundamental basketball, you’ll love this game.

UPSET ALERT

Sat. 1:00 pm: No. 21 North Carolina @ Clemson: This is not meant as a diss to the Tar Heels. If you read what I wrote off of Wednesday’s Duke-UNC game, you’ll understand that. This is meant more as a complement to the Tigers. Clemson looks like they may have the parts to play their way into that fourth spot in the ACC standings. They also seem to matchup pretty well with UNC. They are a solid defensive team with a couple of veteran guards that will like nothing more than to shut down Kendall Marshall. Clemson wants to play at a more deliberate pace than the Heels, so is Demontez Stitt can control the tempo and Clemson can limit their turnovers, the Tigers have a shot at home.

Sat. 1:00 pm: Temple @ Dayton: I know Dayton has been bad this season, but I still like the talent and athleticism that the Flyers have on their roster. Chris Wright and Chris Johnson are both quality basketball players while Juwan Staten has been one of the better freshman this season. Temple, however, is a terrific defensive team, which is an issue for a team like Dayton that really struggles to score at times. Dayton needs to play like they did against La Salle, when they scored 85 points, and not the way they did down the stretch against Rhode Island, scoring just 26 points in the last 25 minutes.

Sat. 4:00 pm: Baylor @ No. 3 Texas: I know this seems silly, but the Bears look like they are slowly turning into the team we expected in the preseason. They aren’t quite there yet, and may never get there with AJ Walton running the point, but Perry Jones has played so well of late that there is discussion he could be the No. 1 overall pick next season. Quincy Acy, who was moved to the bench, continues to rebound and block shots while Anthony Jones has made some big plays in the past couple of games. And, of course, they still have LaceDarius Dunn, who can explode for 30 points on a given night. I know how good Texas has been of late as well, but Baylor needs this win more than Texas. Hopefully, the Bears come out hard and make this a game.

Sat. 8:00 pm: No. 6 San Diego State @ UNLV: The Rebels have played well below expectations this season, but the Rebels certainly have the talent to be competitive against SDSU. UNLV can get out and defend, in the full court if necessary, and they have a number of players that can hit threes. Combine that with a Thomas & Mack Center that will be packed, and UNLV should have no problem getting fired up for this one.

Sat. 9:00 pm: Tennessee @ No. 19 Florida: The Vols are a perplexing team. They win games they shouldn’t win and they lose games they shouldn’t lose. They are talented, and when they decide to play and decide they are going to give effort, well, just as Pitt and Villanova what happens. The Vols match up well with Florida, especially Chandler Parsons, as both Tobias Harris and Scotty Hopson will likely see minutes guarding him. Parsons has been sensational of late and is a huge reason why the Gators have jumped out to a two game lead in the SEC.

Sun. 1:00 pm: No. 12 Purdue @ Illinois: Did a Thursday win at Minnesota turn things around for the Illini? Demetri McCamey and Mike Tisdale both came off the bench, and while neither played their best game, its a good sign that Illinois was able to pull out a victory on the road despite being dominated in the paint and shooting just 4-16 from deep. It will be interesting to see if Bruce Weber brings his two seniors off the bench again on Sunday.

BEST MATCHUPS

Sat. 12:00 pm: No. 13 Syracuse @ No. 15 Louisville: The battle of the 2-3 zone. Believe it or not, Syracuse has actually won two straight games on the road while losing their last three in the Carrier Dome. Maybe getting down to the KFC Yum! Center is exactly what they need. The Cardinals have now lost two of their last three games, with the win being a way-too-close four point victory against DePaul. Against Georgetown and Villanova, the Orange struggled getting out to shooters, and if they do that against Louisville, they will get blown out, as the Cards have a number of back court players that are streaky shooters, capable of getting 25 on a given night. Right now, Louisville is tied with Villanova for the all-important fourth spot in the Big East standings. Syracuse sits a game behind both of them.

Sat. 1:00 pm: No. 18 Kentucky @ No. 24 Vanderbilt: You’ll see this written 1,000 times before this game on Saturday, but Kentucky needs to prove that they are capable of winning on the road. They are 1-4 in SEC play on the road and have struggled dealing with a lack of leadership in those games. Each of the four losses have been close games that the Wildcats failed to execute down the stretch. Vandy, on the other hand, is coming off of a win over Alabama that allowed Florida to take over the overall lead in the SEC standings. Kentucky, Vandy, Tennessee, and Georgia are all sitting at 5-4 in the SEC, two games behind Florida in the loss column. Who makes themselves stand out in that group?

Sat. 2:00 pm: Old Dominion @ VCU: George Mason has been playing as well as anyone in the country over the past month, climbing into a first place tie with VCU in the CAA standings. In that run, however, the Patriots dominated ODU at home. VCU will be looking to do the same thing this weekend, as the Monarchs head to Richmond in a game that they have to win if they want any chance at winning the regular season title. The contrast of these two teams will make this fun to watch. ODU is a gritty, physical team known for hitting the glass. The Rams spread the floor and look to get up a lot of threes. Of note — Joey Rodriguez reinjured his ankle on Wednesday night.

Sat. 6:00 pm: Utah @ No. 8 BYU
: This was once one of the fiercest rivalries in the country, but with Utah’s fall from grace over the past few seasons, the importance of the game has been diminished. With both schools leaving the Mountain West next season, it will be quite interesting to see if the rivalry continues. If it doesn’t, which I doubt will happen but is certainly a possibility, than this is the last time the two schools will play. Oh yeah, when BYU played at Utah this year, The Jimmer had 47 points.

Sat. 9:00 pm: No. 4 Pitt @ No. 10 Villanova: This is the biggest game of the weekend for the east coasters. The Panthers are getting ready to run away with the Big East. They are two games up on Notre Dame, three games up on Georgetown, Villanova, and Louisville, and four games up on the rest of the pack. And while they will be playing without Ashton Gibbs in this one, the Panthers are a program that is built to withstand the loss of a key player. Ask West Virginia, who lost to the Gibb-less Panthers on Monday. If Villanova stands a chance in this game, they are going to need to get on the defensive glass. Mouph Yarou and Antonio Pena have to rebound the ball.

Sat. 9:00 pm: New Mexico @ Colorado State: Believe it or not, this has become one of the more important games in the MWC schedule this season. Right now, it appears as if the league will be getting two bids, not the four that we all expected coming into the season. These two teams, however, are right their on the bubble. Its almost to the point that, for both of these teams, every game is a must-win. To top it off, Colorado State’s terrific front line of Travis Franklin and Andy Ogide will be going against Drew Gordon, Philip McDonald, and company.

Sun. 1:00 pm: Marquette @ No. 11 Georgetown: This should be a very entertaining game. Both of these teams are (very) guard heavy, utilize bigger small forwards to play four, sometimes five, perimeter players at the same time, and both have no problem pushing the ball in transition. Darius Johnson-Odom and Austin Freeman are two of my favorite players to watch in the conference. The x-factor in this game will be Jae Crowder. He’s not putting up the numbers that Lazar Hayward did, but he has more than filled Hayward’s role.

Sun. 2:00 pm: Xavier @ Duquesne: The biggest game of the year to date in the Atlantic 10. The Dukes and the Muskies are both tied for first place in the standings, a game in front of Temple and Richmond. But not only are they fighting for a regular season title and seeding in the A-10 tournament, they are both still fighting for a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Xavier took a big step in that direction by winning at Georgia, but they would probably feel more comfortable about their chances if they took over first in the league. Of note — Duquesne beat Temple soundly in Pittsburgh back in January.

BEST STORYLINES

Friday

  • 7:00 pm: Yale @ Harvard: Harvard is a game behind Princeton in the Ivy standings, but Yale is sitting in third at 4-2 in the league.
  • 7:00 pm: Jacksonville @ East Tennessee State: Belmont has a comfortable lead in first place of the Atlantic Sun standings, but these two teams will be scrapping it out for second.

Saturday

  • 12:00 pm: No. 7 Notre Dame @ South Florida: South Florida nearly knocked off Marquette on Wednesday, and Notre Dame has struggled at times on the road.
  • 12:00 pm: St. Louis @ Richmond: The Spiders still have a chance to win the A-10, but they need to win games like this.
  • 12:00 pm: IPFW @ Oakland: The Grizzlies are no longer undefeated in the Summit League, but they are still the overwhelming favorite to win the league.
  • 1:00 pm: Maryland @ Boston College: All kinds of bubble implications in this one. Right now, these two teams are probably competing for fourth in the ACC.
  • 1:30 pm: Oklahoma @ No. 20 Missouri: Missouri needs a bounce back win as bad as anyone in the country. After that, they can work on winning on the road.
  • 1:30 pm: No. 22 Texas A&M @ Texas Tech: The Aggies have been trending the wrong way of late, especially on the road. They aren’t in danger of losing a bid to the tournament, but they are hurting their seeding.
  • 2:00 pm: Hofstra @ Delaware: Charles Jenkins is the one of the best guards in the country, but Jawan Carter of Delaware is pretty good himself.
  • 3:00 pm: Florida State @ Virginia: The Seminoles looked impressive early against Georgia Tech, but they had trouble closing out the game. Typical FSU, right?
  • 4:00 pm: Iowa State @ No. 2 Kansas: The Jayhawks have been absolutely running over their opponents since Thomas Robinson rejoined the team.
  • 4:00 pm: Ole Miss @ Alabama: After losing to Vanderbilt, the Crimson Tide cannot afford a loss here.
  • 4:00 pm: Georgia @ South Carolina: The Bulldogs need to start padding their resume if they why to feel comfortable about their at-large chances. Road wins in the SEC East are a good way to start.
  • 5:00 pm: James Madison @ George Mason: The Dukes are as talented as any team in the CAA, but GMU is currently in first place in the conference and playing as well as any team in the country right now.
  • 6:00 pm: Southern Miss @ Memphis: This is an incredibly important game at the top of Conference USA. The Tigers beat the Golden Eagles in their first meeting this season.
  • 6:30 pm: Texas Southern @ Jackson State: First place in the SWAC is on the line.
  • 7:00 pm: Rutgers @ Seton Hall: The battle of the Dirty Jerz.
  • 8:00 pm: Detroit @ Butler: Ignoring the implications in the Horizon League standings, the matchup between Ray McCallum and Shelvin Mack should be a fun one to watch.
  • 8:05 pm: Wright State @ Valpo: We can talk about the Horizon League implications in this game — first place is on the line.
  • 9:00 pm: Fresno State @ No. 17 Utah State: The Aggies cannot afford another loss before the conference tournament if they want a shot at earning an at-large bid.
  • 9:00 pm: Kansas State @ Colorado: Its tough to say whether which side either of these teams are still on the bubble, but a win in this game will help start getting them onto right side.
  • 9:00 pm: Northern Colorado @ Montana: First place in the Big Sky is on the line.
  • 10:00 pm: Wichita State @ Northern Iowa: This matchup would have been a lot more intriguing had these two teams not lost the past three games they played.
  • 10:30 pm: No. 23 St. Mary’s @ San Francisco: The Dons are always tough at home. Road games in conference are always tough.

Sunday

  • 12:00 pm: St. John’s @ Cincinnati: Like so many games this weekend, all kinds of bubble implications in this one.
  • 6:00 pm: No. 25 Minnesota @ Iowa: The Gophers have had a disastrous finish to their season after a terrific start.
  • 6:45 pm: No. 5 Duke @ Miami: How will the Blue Devils respond after knocking off UNC?
  • 7:00 pm: Providence @ No. 9 UConn: UConn has been in a tailspin of late. Last year, they were in a tailspin and Providence sent them crashing to the ground. Can UConn bounce back against the Friars?
  • 9:00 pm: No. 16 Arizona @ Arizona State: Rivalry games on the road are always tough to win. That said, the Sun Devils are 1-10 in a bad Pac-10.

Ten Things You Need To Know: Catch up on all of Saturday’s college hoops action

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College basketball went insane on Saturday.

Well, it was insane all week.

But Saturday was really nuts.

Here’s everything you need to know.

1. NO. 3 DUKE LOST THEIR SECOND GAME THIS WEEK

David Johnson exploded on to the scene with 19 points, seven assists, four boards, three steals and two blocks.

Louisville exorcised some demons.

Duke looked like a team that is banged up, can’t guard the four and lacks a go-to scorer.

A full breakdown of this game can be found here.

2. NO. 4 AUBURN LOST THEIR SECOND GAME THIS WEEK, TOO

Auburn entered this seek as one of just two undefeated teams left in college basketball, but there were question marks.

The Tigers don’t have a single win over a team ranked in the top 40 on KenPom. They have only played three Quad 1 games this season. Their only Quad 1 win is barely a Quad 1 win: It came at Mississippi State, who currently ranks 70th in the NET; the cutoff for Quad 1 road wins is top 75.

The other two Quad 1 games that Auburn has played this season?

They were both this week.

And they were both ugly losses.

On Tuesday, it was Alabama that ran over Auburn in the basketball version of the Iron Bowl, 83-64. On Saturday, it was Florida doing the damage, as they held Auburn to 25.5 percent shooting from the field, 4-for-23 shooting from three (17.4%) and to just a single point during an eight-minute stretch late in the second half that saw the Gators push their lead from 47-43 to 69-44. They won 69-47.

Suddenly, those concerns look prescient.

The truth is this: Auburn is dangerous. They are a team that can make a lot of threes, that can force turnovers and play in transition and has the ability to play big (with Austin Wiley) or small (without Austin Wiley). They have a lottery pick in Isaac Okoro and they have a couple of guards on their roster capable of taking games over in J’Von McCormick and Samir Doughty.

But they haven’t consistently played up to the level of a top five team, and their 15-0 record was inflated by feasting on teams that are just good enough to make us believe.

Auburn is still good.

They’re just not a top five team.

3. OH, AND NO. 5 BUTLER LOST THEIR SECOND GAME THIS WEEK AS WELL!

But this game said a whole lot more about DePaul than it did about Butler.

I explained why right here.

4. PAYTON PRITCHARD REALLY WANTS TO BE NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

The reason Payton Pritchard is one of the frontrunners for National Player of the Year is the fact that he is putting up terrific numbers this season for a top ten team and doing so while putting together some incredibly impressive performances in crunchtime.

Saturday might have been his statement game.

Oregon erased a 13-point second half deficit thanks in large part to Pritchard, who hit a huge three with a minute left to tie the game. In overtime, he hit a floater to give the Ducks the lead before burying this insane three to win the game with 3.2 seconds left:

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Payton Pritchard called game!!!!!!

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No. 8 Oregon avoided going 0-2 on the Washington road trip with a 64-61 win. Pritchard finished with 22 points. The Ducks are now 3-0 in overtime games this season largely due to the fact that Pritchard is arguably the most clutch player in college basketball.

Is there anyone that you would want taking a big shot in a big game more than him?

5. BUT SO DOES MYLES POWELL

Seton Hall capped off an absolutely stellar week by going into Madison Square Garden and knocking off their biggest regional rival, St. John’s, on the road despite trailing by 13 points at the half.

That’s a big time win.

And Powell was, as you might expect, once again a big time player.

He scored 23 of his 29 points in the second half and made big shot after big shot down the stretch. This came just three days after he went for 29 points as Seton Hall erased a 10 point halftime deficit on the road against No. 5 Butler.

In fact, the Pirates are currently sitting at 6-0 in the Big East after a slow start to their season, and they already have won at DePaul, at Xavier, at Butler and at St. John’s.

And now they get three straight home games.

Kevin Willard’s club has put themselves in a great position to make a run at the 2020 Big East regular season title.

6. KENTUCKY RALLIES AFTER COACH CAL GETS TOSSED

This was awesome.

Coach Cal was ejected on Saturday in the most mild-mannered way I’ve ever seen.

He was arguing with the refs about the way they were implementing the flop rule against his team, and — I think — he was given two technicals for being out of the coach’s box and staying out of the coach’s box to curse at the refs. Look at this:

The best part?

Kentucky was up 11 early in the first half, but they blew that lead. After going 3-for-4 on technical free throws, Arkansas held a 47-44 lead on a coach-less Kentucky team.

And how did the Cats respond?

A cool 17-2 run to put the game to bed in a 73-66 win.

7. HOUSTON BLEW OUT WICHITA STATE TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE AMERICAN

The Houston we expected to see all season long showed up in Wichita on Saturday night.

The Cougars beat the No. 16 Shockers in their own building, 65-54, and it wasn’t really that close. Wichita State was down 49-27 at one point, allowing just one player to crack double-figures.

The Shockers lost two games this week and now sit a game off the pace in the American, behind Houston and Tulsa, who are tied for first.

8. WEST VIRGINIA SOMEHOW GAVE UP 84 POINTS TO KANSAS FREAKIN’ STATE

Kansas State entered Saturday ranked 198th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency metric. James Madison, the 275th-best team in college basketball, and VMI, the 291st-best team in college basketball, ranked directly behind them. The only “high-major” players worse than Kansas State offensively this season?

Temple, South Florida, Virginia, East Carolina and Boston College.

West Virginia, on the other hand, entered Saturday ranked as the single-best defensive team in the entire sport. They were playing defense at a level that would rank among the very-best defensive teams that we have ever seen. Their four Big 12 opponents were averaging 51 points against them.

Kansas State had 42 points at halftime. They scored 84 points on the night. They won 84-68 to drop the Mountaineers two games out of first place in the Big 12 title race, because …

9. … BAYLOR ERASED A 12 POINT DEFICIT ON THE ROAD

The Bears looked like they were going to be the top five team to blow a win they should not be blowing on Saturday.

Oklahoma State threw a 2-3 zone on the Bears, doing the exact same thing that Washington did to Baylor late in the only game that they lost thus far this season, and Baylor was lost for the first half. They trailed 36-24 at one point late in the half before slotting MAtthew Mayer at the high post and thwarting all of Oklahoma State’s plans.

In the end, however, the Cowboys still had a shot to win late, but that was until Devonte Bandoo banged home three threes in the final eight minutes, including two in a one minute span after the final TV timeout, to secure a 75-68 win.

Bandoo scored 14 points off the bench. He is the fourth-best guard on this Baylor roster.

Put another way, this team is deep, they are loaded, and the guys all the way down their bench can make the shots that beat you.

That’s scary.

10. SAN DIEGO STATE IS STILL UNDEFEATED

The Aztecs trailed at the half but ran Nevada off the court after halftime, taking home a 68-55 win.

David Johnson shines as No. 11 Louisville beats No. 3 Duke, 79-73

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David Johnson scored all 19 of his points in the first half and added seven assists, four boards, three steals and a pair of blocks off the bench as No. 11 Louisville went into Cameron Indoor Stadium and knocked off No. 3 Duke, 79-73.

The Cards jumped out to a 25-10 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game as Duke struggled to protect the ball. The Blue Devils slowly chipped away at the lead and got within one point with three minutes left before Louisville put the game away.

Jordan Nwora finished with just six points on 3-for-12 shooting as he dealt with Duke’s best defender in Stanley, while Dwayne Sutton took advantage of a mismatch at the four and chipped in with 13 points.

Stanley led the way for the Blue Devils with 24 points and 11 boards. Tre Jones was 5-for-16 from the floor and Vernon Carey struggled with fouls, finishing with just 12 points and six boards to go along with six turnovers.

Here are three things that we learned in Louisville’s win:

1. DAVID JOHNSON HAS ARRIVED, BUT IS HE HEALTHY?

First things first: Johnson says he’s OK. He told reporters after the game that the injury he suffered to his surgically-repaired left shoulder is nothing more than a bump or a bruise. Chris Mack was not worried about he while speaking at his postgame press conference. For those that missed it, Johnson took an awkward fall on his left shoulder with three minutes left in the game. He stayed on the ground behind the play, went to the bench with his left arm dangling by his side and headed back to the locker room before returning to Louisville’s bench for the final minutes. He did not return to the game.

So it sounds like he is going to be OK.

And that is incredibly important news for a Louisville team that has desperately been searching for a guy to do all of the things that Johnson did on Saturday night.

He finished with 19 points, but the way he scored those points is the most significant part of the equation. He broke down defenses. He dribbled right past Jordan Goldwire and drove the lane for a dunk. He created out of ball-screens. He handled Duke’s ball-pressure like he was playing against high school opponents.

This is what the Cardinals have been waiting for. It’s been a talking point all season long, and every time I have mentioned it, I have also mentioned that Louisville was just waiting to see if Johnson would ever get healthy. That staff believed he was a pro after getting him on campus, and anyone that watched him play on Saturday night would be inclined to agree.

If he can remain healthy and play somewhere close to this level for the rest of the season, then this Louisville team is much, much more dangerous.

2. THIS FELT LIKE A TURNING POINT FOR LOUISVILLE

I try to avoid the content in this space to be entirely narrative-based, but I’m not going to be able to avoid it here.

So indulge me for a minute, OK?

This game really felt like a turning point in Louisville’s season. It felt like they rid themselves of quite a few demons by going into Cameron Indoor Stadium and winning the way that they won, and the biggest reason that I say that is because of what happened last year. I’m sure every Duke and Louisville fan will remember this quite clearly: The Cardinals blew a 23 point lead at home in the final 10 minutes and lost to the Blue Devils.

This year, the game was starting to look like it might play out the same way. Louisville led by 15 points in the first half, by 10 at halftime and had a cushion of at least three possessions for what felt like the entire second half before Matthew Hurt capped off a 9-0 run by hitting three free throws to tie the game at 58. What happened? Fresh Kimble immediately answered with an and-one bucket to take the lead back. Duke tied things up against at 63, and on the next possession Kimble hit a three to, against, take the lead back. Duke made multiple runs in front of the Crazies, and Louisville had an answer every single time.

And on the road, no less.

Louisville has not been great playing away from the Yum! Center, and they have not played tough against elite competition all that often this season. It sometimes felt like they didn’t realize just how good they can be when they actually play with some heart.

That it happened in a game where they blew a lead and still won against Duke while getting elite play out of the point guard spot just feels like everything coming together.

The Cards head home to face Georgia Tech and Clemson next week.

We’ll see if that take ends up being true.

3. DUKE’S TWO MAJOR FLAWS WERE ON DISPLAY ON SATURDAY

The two biggest issues that there are on this Duke roster are that they lack someone that can truly lock up at the four, and they don’t have a go-to scorer in crunch-time if teams are going to collapse on Vernon Carey.

Hurt is who Louisville went after on Saturday night. It wasn’t Jordan Nwora, who was being guarded by Cassius Stanley for much of the night, but instead the likes of Dwayne Sutton, or Samuell Williamson, or whoever Hurt ended up guarding on a switch. The three that I mentioned Fresh Kimble hitting in that last section? That came against Matthew Hurt.

And Hurt was really good on the offensive end tonight. He finished with 16 points. He hit three threes. He had a tip-dunk. He also didn’t get a single defensive rebound, steal or block. If he added 16 points, how many was he responsible for giving up?

The other issue is one that we knew Duke was going to face this season. Tre Jones has definitely gotten better this season, and he definitely is still not a guy that you want being the player you’re calling up a play for in crunch time. Neither is Cassius Stanley, who is elite in transition and has proven himself a capable floor-spacer that can make things happen with his athleticism, but you’re not drawing up a play to get him the ball when you need a bucket against a set defense.

Carey is the answer, but between the foul trouble and the size that Louisville had inside, he was never able to get it going. And that could be a problem considering how many good teams around the country have plenty of size inside.

In a vacuum, I don’t think a road loss to Clemson and a home loss to Louisville is the kind of thing that should scare you off of thinking that the Blue Devils are the best team in the country. But a vacuum doesn’t take into account the matchup issues that those teams — who play two different styles — both exposed in Duke.

I’m worried.

If you’re a Duke fan, getting Wendell Moore healthy and Tre Jones back to 100 percent should be your biggest priority.

Diarra, Gordon lift Kansas State over No. 12 West Virginia

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) Cartier Diarra tied a career high with 25 points, Xavier Sneed added 16, Dujuan Gordon had a career high 15, and Kansas State held off No. 12 West Virginia 84-68 for their first win in Big 12 play this season on Saturday.

Kansas State (8-9, 1-4 Big 12) went up by as many as 23, but a 15-0 run by the Mountaineers cut the lead to eight in the second half, thanks in part to seven turnovers in four minutes by the Wildcats.

West Virginia (14-3, 3-2) would get as close as six, but the Wildcats held on and won by 16.

Miles McBride and Chase Harler paced the Mountaineers with 11 points each, Gabe Osabuohein had 10 as West Virginia lost their first game when the trailed at halftime.

Turnovers proved costly for West Virginia as they committed 18 and Kansas State scored 28 off those mistakes.

Kansas State shot 59% from the field and held the Mountaineers to 45%. The Wildcats hit nine 3’s while West Virginia had 41 bench points.

With two minutes left in the first half, it was a fastbreak dunk by Antonio Gordon assisted by Dujuan Gordon that got the crowd on their feet pushing the Wildcat lead to 11.

Kansas State held a 17-point lead at halftime and shot 58% in the first 20 minutes of play.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State: This was the best game played by the Wildcats all season. They needed a win like this one before taking on their in-state rival up next.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers had way too many turnovers and didn’t shoot the ball very well.

UP NEXT

Kansas State travels to Kansas on Tuesday.

West Virginia hosts Texas on Monday.

—–

For more AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Payton Pritchard three caps come-from-behind win for No. 8 Oregon at Washington (VIDEO)

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Oregon point guard Payton Pritchard hit one of the shots of the year on Saturday, as he buried this ridiculous, step-back three with the game tied in overtime to deliver a 64-61 win over Washington:

“They can put the blame on me. I can take all the criticism, but I will be right there to take that last shot, take that pass, make that play whether it goes good or bad,” Pritchard said.

Pritchard hit his sixth 3-pointer of the game with 3.4 seconds left in overtime and Oregon rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to stun Washington 64-61 on Saturday.

The Ducks (15-4, 4-2 Pac-12) avoided being swept on their trip north by overcoming a 48-32 deficit with 10:22 remaining in the second half and handed Washington (12-7, 2-4) its third loss in four games.

Pritchard was the extent of Oregon’s offense, finishing with 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting. He hit a floater with 1:08 left to give Oregon the lead and provided the winning 3-pointer despite tough defense from Washington’s Jamal Bey. Pritchard was able to get just enough space to get the shot clear before the shot clock expired.

The Ducks rallied from 19 down to beat Seton Hall earlier this season. But this one felt a bit sweeter getting the better of one of their rivals.

“I don’t think the length really bothers me. If you don’t have a hand up I’m going to let it fly,” Pritchard said.

Chandler Lawson added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Ducks, who rebounded from an ugly loss to Washington State on Thursday. Lawson had not scored more than eight points in a game this season and played just seven minutes in the loss to Washington State.

“If you don’t get started right, you’ve got to keep battling,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “I was really disappointed Thursday night. We didn’t compete. We got outworked. … I thought we played a lot harder. We didn’t play well, but we did play a lot harder.”

Isaiah Stewart led Washington with 25 points and 19 rebounds. The freshman was dominant on the interior but didn’t get the help he needed from others. Marcus Tsohonis had 12 of his 14 points in the first half, but the Huskies were 0 of 11 on 3-pointers in the second half and overtime, and 14 of 23 at the foul line.

Washington scored just 24 points in the second half and overtime combined.

“It was like he was going to will us to the game,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said of Stewart. “He’s just special. … I wish we could have got that one for him today.”

Stewart opened overtime with a baseline reverse, but it turned out to be Washington’s only basket of the extra period.

Lawson scored in the lane with 2:10 left and Pritchard followed with a runner to give Oregon a 61-59 lead, its first since it was 9-7 in the opening minutes. Stewart hit a pair of free throws to tie the game with 49 seconds left. Pritchard forced another deep 3-pointer and missed, but Chris Duarte got the offensive rebound and Pritchard didn’t miss given a second opportunity.

THE COMEBACK

Washington led by 12 at halftime after perhaps its best first half of the season. The Huskies led 48-32 with 10:22 remaining in regulation after a pair of free throws by Stewart. Oregon then went on a 15-2 run to get back into the game, triggered by a change in its defense. The Ducks went to a full-court press and it flustered the Huskies. Washington scored just eight points the rest of regulation.

Meanwhile, Pritchard was the catalyst at the offensive end. He hit Oregon’s first 3-pointer of the second half to get the Ducks within 50-45 and then left a perfect pass for Lawson’s dunk to pull them within 50-47 with 4:26 left.

Pritchard later hit a 3 from about 35 feet with 1:08 left to pull Oregon even at 54. Stewart hit a pair of free throws, but Shakur Juiston scored underneath for the Ducks with 17.8 left to tie the game at 56.

Washington’s final possession was rushed and Jamal Bey’s 3-pointer at the buzzer hit the back rim.

“The press changed the tempo of the game. … Got them on their heels a little bit,” Altman said.

STEWART’S DAY

Stewart is the third player this season to have at least 25 points and at least 19 rebounds in a game, joining Purdue’s Trevion Williams (36 points, 20 rebounds) and Rider’s Tyere Marshall (28 points, 20 rebounds). All three performances ended up coming in losses.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon: The Ducks changed the starting lineup with Will Richardson getting his first start of the season and Anthony Mathis coming off the bench for the first time. The switch didn’t work and Oregon lacked the scoring punch Richardson had provided coming off the bench. Richardson had one point. Mathis scored just two.

Washington: The Huskies got Jaden McDaniels back in the lineup after missing Thursday’s win over Oregon State with an ankle injury. McDaniels struggled with his shot, hitting 1 of 9 from the field, and finished with five points.

UP NEXT

Oregon: The Ducks return home to host USC next Thursday.

Washington: The Huskies travel to Utah next Thursday.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Dotson and Azubuike lead No. 6 Kansas over Texas 66-57

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Devon Dotson’s left hip looks fine. And that’s good news for No. 6 Kansas.

Dotson returned to the lineup after sitting out a game with a hip pointer injury and gave the Jayhawks a big late 3-pointer and free throws down the stretch to lead Kansas over Texas 66-57 on Saturday.

Dotson scored 21 points, including the final seven of the game for the Jayhawks. His long 3-pointer with 2:49 put Kansas ahead by eight and four straight free throws in the final 39 seconds closed out the win.

“If we played without him today, we would not have won,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.

Dotson played nearly 39 minutes and afterward said he felt good.

“It felt great,” Dotson said. “Coming in, there were no restrictions. When I’m out there playing, I have no excuses. I’m getting treatment. It’s gonna be fine.”

Udoka Azubuike scored 17 points and a burst from him early in the second half allowed Kansas (14-3, 4-1 Big 12) to take the lead.

Kansas closed the game with a 12-3 run that started with consecutive baskets from Marcus Garrett. The Jayhawks got a big break when Garrett was initially called for a charge, but the foul was quickly reversed. The layup counted, Garrett made the free throw and Jayhawks led 59-54 before Dotson closed it out.

Garrett had a scary moment earlier when he landed hard after an off-balance shot attempt. He stayed on the floor for several minutes and then briefly went to the Kansas locker room. He returned a few minutes later and made the big plays.

“That was a remarkable recovery,” Self said. “I think (the fall) scared him more than anything else.”

Dotson’s 3-pointer was just the second of the game for Kansas, the best-shooting team in the Big 12 from long range. Kansas attempted only 10, opting instead for Dotson and Garrett to drive or to push the ball inside to Azubuike, who was locked in a battle under the basket with Texas’ Jericho Sims.

Sims scored a career-high 20 points for the Longhorns (12-5, 2-3) and tied the game at 54-all. Texas gave him little help from the outside. After averaging 12.5 3-pointers in their previous two games, the Longhorns were just 6 of 20 on Saturday.

“Those two (Sims and Azubuike) canceled each other out,” Texas coach Shaka Smart said. “”Their guards were the biggest difference in the game.”

BIG PICTURE

Kansas: Saturday was the eighth time the Jayhawks made four or fewer 3-pointers and the third time in Big 12 play. Isaiah Moss, who started in Dotson’s place against Oklahoma and made six, took and made only one in 32 minutes against the Longhorns.

“Its going to catch up to us,” Self said. “We were fortunate today. We’ve got to be a team that knock (them) down. We’re not going to shoot as many at most.”

Texas: The Longhorns let what would’ve been a big upset get away. A win could have changed a lot for the Longhorns going forward, but instead Texas now has two home losses in its first five Big 12 games. The inconsistency of the 3-point shooting continues to be baffling. In all three Big 12 losses, Texas has made six or fewer from long range.

“This a game you’ve got to seize, that you’ve got to grab,” Smart said.

DEFENSIVE CLAMPDOWN

Texas guard Andrew Jones scored eight consecutive points for Texas in the first half in a 13-1 run that opened an eight-point lead. Jones didn’t score again and missed all four of his shots in the second half.

Smart lamented that Texas didn’t build a bigger lead. The Jayhawks pulled the game back within six by halftime.

“For it to be six at halftime, that’s a good half, but the way that we defended,” Smart said. “But if that lead is 10 or 12, that’s a big difference.”

FAN SCARE

The game had an extended break in the second half when a fan collapsed behind the Texas bench during a timeout. Emergency officials had to move several chairs off the Texas bench to take her out of the arena across the court on a stretcher.

Texas officials didn’t release any further information on the incident or the women’s condition.

UP NEXT

Kansas hosts Kansas State on Tuesday.

Texas plays at No. 12 West Virginia on Monday.

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25