Tuesday’s Shootaround: Yes, we were awake for the entire Marathon. Were you?

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UNLV 71, Nevada 67: A disturbing trend is starting to emerge with UNLV. After building up leads against teams they are more talented than, the Rebels struggled late and allowed their opponent to keep things closer than they should be. It happened when they played Grand Canyon during the weekend, and it happened on Monday night when they hosted Nevada. UNLV built a lead that grew to as big as 16, but they couldn’t close out. Nevada went on a 19-4 run that turned a 64-48 advantage into a 68-67 lead. But Anthony Marshall hit three of four free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

The balance and the depth of this UNLV roster is impressive. They have a number of guys on their bench that probably deserve to start at this point in their career — Justin Hawkins, Quintrell Thomas, Carlos Lopez. They also have a number of play-making defenders with Anthony Marshall and Mike Moser on the roster. The issue that I see is on the offensive end of the floor, as UNLV doesn’t really have a go-to scorer. They don’t have that guy that you can isolate and trust to get someone an open look. On the other hand, a very talented Nevada team is still struggling to find an identity and learn how to play together. If they continue to play like they did on Monday night, there is no chance they can win the WAC.

Notre Dame 59, Detroit 53: Ray McCallum started off the game playing like a guy that deserved to be mentioned amongst the top 15 point guards in the country. He hit four threes in the first seven minutes off the game, adding a pair of assists during that stretch as the Titans controlled the game early. A McCallum layup with 14 minutes left in the game gave Detroit a 41-33 lead, but that would end up being the last point that the Titans scored for nearly eight minutes. By the time that Detroit was able to get another bucket, Notre Dame had gone on a 14-0 run and opened up a 47-41 lead. Detroit never got closer than four the rest of the way.

This was an impressive win for Notre Dame. The Titans are a good team even with Eli Holman suspended, they have some talented pieces on their roster. The Irish, who are a team usually known for their offensive prowess, dug deep defensively and managed to get some stops. This took Detroit out of their rhythm and allowed the Irish to make that big run. An even better sign? Notre Dame won a tough game despite not having Tim Abromaitis in the lineup. Pat Cannaughton and Jerian Grant both made some big shots down the stretch.

Providence 80, Fairfield 72: Its not often that a Big East team knocking off a MAAC opponent is surprising, but in this case it was. Providence is a team everyone expects to compete for the bottom of the Big East, while Fairfield is one of the best mid-major programs in the country. The x-factor here? Ed Cooley. The new Providence coach can also be tabbed the old Fairfield coach, meaning that he knows the players, their tendencies and their strengths and weaknesses. And while a scrappy Stag team was able to make a couple of comebacks from double-digit deficits, Providence proved to be too much. Vincent Council had 26 points and seven assists to lead the way while Bryce Cotton added 24 points.

This is a big loss for Fairfield’s NCAA Tournament hopes. Providence is going to finish near the bottom of the Big East, and they went to Fairfield and earned a pretty solid victory. Fairfield still has games left against Old Dominion, Drexel, UConn and the Old Spice Classic, but they aren’t going to win all of those. Fairfield was a long shot to earn an at-large bid as it was, and this won’t make their road any easier.

No. 23 Gonzaga 89, Washington State 81: Kevin Pangos was a star in his first appearance on national television, going for 33 points, hitting nine threes and dishing out six assists. But for the second straight game, the Zags allowed a team they had beaten (they were up by 20 at one point) to crawl back into the game. Wazzu’s back court got hot late, but the run started too late, as Wazzu ran out of time.

Florida International 79, George Mason 76 OT: George Mason fans better get used to results like this with Paul Hewitt now heading up their program. FIU jumped on GMU early and managed to hold on to control of the game thoughout much of the first 40 minutes. But Mason went on a late run to tie the game with seven seconds left. But the play Paul Hewitt drew up earned the Patriots a contested, fadeaway 15 footer from Ryan Pearson. GMU dug themselves another hole in the overtime, but a couple threes and a turnover form FIU earned them the ball back with 11 seconds on the clock but, again, the Patriots couldn’t muster anything better than a challenged three by Pearson. Sounds like a Paul Hewitt team. The loss is a big hit for George Mason’s at-large profile, and no, its not too early to start thinking about that.

Nebraska 64, USC 61 2OT: Nebraska picked up a pretty big road win at the Galen Center on Monday night, taking down the Trojans in one of the ugliest games you will ever see. It was sloppy, the offensive execution was atrocious and neither team able to throw the ball in the ocean. When things were all said and done, the Huskers pulled out a double-overtime win with 64 points. Think about that. Bo Spencer led all scorers with 22 points and, during a couple short stretches, looked like he might be capable of carrying Nebraska at times this season. Maurice Jones had 18 points for USC, but the guy that everyone wanted to see — Dewayne Dedmon — finished with just four points and nine boards while battling through foul trouble much of the game.

St. Mary’s 57, Northern Iowa 41: Northern Iowa looked flat out terrible offensively, but its tough to blame them. The Panthers played in Virginia on Saturday, flew across the country and then at a tip that was at 1:00 am central time. Their defense showed up, however, giving St. Mary’s fits for the first 25 or so minutes, until Matthew Dellavedova sparked a spurt that pushed the lead up to 20. Dellavedova finished with 11 points and seven assists (along with seven turnovers).

Temple 73, Penn 67 OT: Temple is supposed to be a team that will compete with Xavier for the A-10 title, so on the surface, being taken to overtime by Penn is a bit worrisome. But dig a bit deeper, and its not a surprise this happened. Not only is this a Big 5 game — rivalries are always closer than you expect — but Penn matches up fairly well with the Owls. The Quakers have a quality back court, and it showed with Zack Rosen going for 27 points, six boards and six assists. In the end, however, Temple was the better team and got the benefit of a late technical foul on the Penn head coach that allowed them to put the game out of reach.

Purdue 67, High Point 65: Purdue got 26 points from Ryne Smith, who tied the Purdue record by hitting eight three pointers, but the Boilermakers allowed High Point to keep things close by shooting 6-19 from the foul line and jacking up 32 three pointers. Robbie Hummel added 18 points in the win. High Point at a shot to win in the closing seconds, but Nick Barbour missed a good look at a three.

No. 24 Florida State 73, Central Florida 50: Bernard James had 18 points, 11 boards and three blocks to lead a balanced attack for the Seminoles, who, at times, looked dominating defensively. Its worth noting that Michael Snaer is averaged 15.5 ppg through two games for the Seminoles.

The rest of the top 25:

No. 4 UConn 78, Wagner 66: Jeremy Lamb had 20 points and Shabazz Napier went for 21, but the Huskies struggled against Wagner’s pressure — 19 turnovers, six from Napier — which allowed the Seahawks to hang around.

No. 5 Syracuse 92, Manhattan 56: Dion Waiters has been the best guard for the Cuse early in the season. He had 17 points and five assists against the Jaspers. Fab Melo added 11 points, nine boards (eight offensive) and four blocks as well.

No. 15 Alabama 74, Oakland 57: JaMychal Green had 18 points and Tony Mitchell added 12 points and nine boards as the Crimson Tide rolled past an Oakland team many expected to provide a tough, early test.

No. 17 Michigan 64, Towson 47: Tim Hardaway Jr. had 15 points and Trey Burke and Evan Smotrycz added 13 apiece as Michigan put it in cruise control early. The Wolverines were up 21-0 midway through the first half.

No. 23 Marquette 99, Norfolk State 68: Jae Crowder went for 25 points, 10 boards, four assists and three steals while Darius Johnson-Odom had 24 points and six assists in another Marquette rout. Kyle O’Quinn finished with just four points in a foul-plagued 20 minutes.

No. 25 Missouri 81, Mercer 63: Phil Pressey led four Tigers in double figures with 22 points, five steals and four assists as Mizzou rolled.

Other notable scores:

– Georgetown 86, UNC Greensboro 45
– Boston College 67, New Hampshire 64
– Georgia Tech 70, Delaware State 52
– Virginia Tech 91, Monmouth 46
– Old Dominion 77, Long Island 69
– Ole Miss 69, Grambling 39
– Minnesota 71, South Dakota State 55
– Kansas State 74, Loyola (IL) 61
– Iowa 95, North Carolina A&T 79
– Davidson 74, Richmond 61
– Illinois 66, SIU-Edwardsville 46
– Washington 93, Portland 63

Top Performers:

Kyle Vinales, Central Connecticut State: The freshman went for 39 points in an overtime loss to Niagara. More impressive? Vinales fouled out with eight minutes left in regulation.

Jae Crowder, Marquette: Crowder showcased his versatility, going for 25 points, 10 boards, four assists and three steals in Marquette’s 99-68 win over Norfolk State.

Gerardo Suero, Albany: Suero had 29 points, nine boards, three assists and three steals in a 77-68 win over Brown.

Kevin Pangos, Gonzaga: The freshman had quite a national debut. He went for 33 points and six assists, putting on a show as he knocked down nine threes for the Zags. More impressive? At one point in the second half, Pangos was trending nationally on twitter.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.

No. 16 Xavier beats No. 17 Providence 85-83 in OT thriller

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Kareem Elgazzar/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CINCINNATI — Jack Nunge had 23 points and 14 rebounds as No. 16 Xavier held off No. 17 Providence 85-83 in an overtime thriller Wednesday night.

Colby Jones and Souley Boum each scored 20 for the Musketeers, who won a first-place showdown in the Big East without injured forward Zach Freemantle.

Noah Locke had 22 points and Ed Croswell added 21 for Providence (17-6, 9-3), which had beaten Xavier three straight times.

A layup by Boum put the Musketeers (18-5, 10-2) ahead 82-79 with 51 seconds remaining in overtime. A turnover by the Musketeers led to a layup by Devin Carter that cut Xavier’s lead to one with 24 seconds left.

Boum hit one of two free throws, and Jared Bynum’s 3-point attempt from the left corner rimmed out at the buzzer as the Musketeers held on.

Xavier played its first game without Freemantle, the team’s leading rebounder and second-leading scorer. He is expected to miss four weeks with a left foot injury, the same foot that required surgery in 2021.

Jerome Hunter, who has excelled off the bench for the Musketeers, made his first start of the season and scored nine points with eight rebounds. Xavier had used the same starting lineup in each of its previous 11 Big East games.

Things started well for the Musketeers. who went on a 12-1 run to build a 25-11 lead.

With Boum on the bench with two fouls, the Musketeers didn’t have a field goal in the final 4:18 of the first half and the Friars pulled to 39-35 at halftime.

Providence outscored Xavier 8-2 to start the second half and took its first lead, 43-41, with 17:41 left.

There was a frantic finish to the second half, with Adam Kunkel’s 3-pointer putting Xavier ahead 76-73 with 55 seconds left. But then Bynum banked in a tying 3 and Boum missed two long shots to send the game to overtime.

BIG PICTURE

Providence: The Friars, who won their first Big East regular-season title last year, entered the night tied atop the conference standings with Xavier and No. 14 Marquette, which hosted Villanova later. Providence was picked fifth in the preseason.

Xavier: Hunter, who averages 14 minutes, left with three minutes remaining in OT with an apparent cramp in his right leg. With Freemantle out, Hunter played 36 minutes.

UP NEXT

Providence: Hosts last-place Georgetown on Wednesday.

Xavier: Will host St. John’s on Saturday.

Florida upends No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 behind Colin Castleton

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Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Colin Castleton had 20 points and nine rebounds, Kyle Lofton added 14 points and Florida used a 13-0 run late in the second half to upend No. 2 Tennessee 67-54 on Wednesday night.

The Volunteers, playing with their highest ranking in four years, lost for the first time in five games. They had won nine of 10.

Tennessee (18-4, 7-2 Southeastern Conference) looked like it had taken control midway through the second half. They outscored Florida by 10 points in the early going to take a six-point lead.

But the Gators (13-9, 6-3) stormed back behind Castleton, who scored 11 of 14 points as Florida rallied. The senior had a dunk, two free throws, a three-point play, a layup and a short jumper – essentially putting the team on his back down the stretch.

Myreon Jones and Will Richard chipped in nine points apiece for the Gators.

Zakai Ziegler led the Vols with 15 points on 6-of-19 shooting. Olivier Nkamhoua added 11 points and nine rebounds for the vistors, who also got 11 points and eight boards from Vescovi Santiago.

Florida led 27-21 at halftime, just the fifth time the Volunteers has trailed at the break this season. Tennessee rallied to win three of the previous four.

The Gators were red hot to start, making six of their first eight shots – including all three from 3-point range – while building a 17-4 advantage. But they quickly cooled against the nation’s best defense, missing nine of their next 11 as Tennessee made cut it to 22-21.

The Vols had it going coming out of the locker room, with Ziegler getting into the paint and making things happen. But it was short-lived – thanks mostly to Castleton.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Tennessee surely will drop a few spots in next week’s AP Top 25 college basketball poll.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: The Volunteers gave up 10 points in the opening four minutes of the games, a rare sluggish start for the nation’s best defense. Tennessee had held four of its first eight SEC opponents scoreless at the first media timeout, roughly the first four minutes of games. It was a sign of things to come.

Florida: The Gators have been resilient much of the season, and this was arguably the most impressive comeback of the season for coach Todd Golden’s team. The Gators squandered a 13-point lead early and a six-point advantage in the second half. But they rallied when it mattered.

IN THE HOUSE

Football coach Billy Napier watched the game from a few rows behind Florida’s bench alongside his two sons and receiver Ricky Pearsall. Former Florida tennis star Ben Shelton, the NCAA singles champion in 2022, also was in attendance. So was former Gators and NFL quarterback Doug Johnson.

UP NEXT

Tennessee hosts No. 25 Auburn and former coach Bruce Pearl on Saturday.

Florida plays at Kentucky on Saturday. The Gators have lost seven of eight in the series.

No. 8 Kansas avenges earlier loss to No. 7 Kansas State, 90-78

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LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jalen Wilson had 20 points, Kevin McCullar Jr. added 16 points and 13 rebounds, and No. 8 Kansas avenged a loss to Kansas State just a couple of weeks ago with a 90-78 victory over the seventh-ranked Wildcats.

Dajuan Harris Jr. scored 18 for the Jayhawks (18-4, 6-3 Big 12), who built a 12-point halftime lead before coasting to their 17th straight home win over the Wildcats in the 10th matchup of top-10 teams in series history.

Kansas has rebounded nicely from a rare three-game skid that included the overtime loss to Kansas State, and made sure to avoid taking back-to-back losses in its storied home for the first time since the 1988-89 season.

Markquis Nowell scored 23 points and Keyontae Johnson had 22 to lead the Wildcats (18-4, 6-3), who were trying for their first regular-season sweep of their biggest rival in four decades. Nae’Qwan Tomlin added 11 points and David N’Guessan had 10.

In their first meeting on Jan. 17, the Wildcats raced to a big early lead and controlled the game until late in the second half, when the Jayhawks forced overtime — only for Kansas State to win on Johnson’s alley-oop dunk.

It was the Jayhawks who controlled the rematch.

They used a 16-7 run in the first half that included a technical foul on Kansas State coach Jerome Tang to build a 32-19 lead. And when Johnson answered with eight straight points for the Wildcats, and the lead was eventually trimmed to four, the reigning national champs pulled away again down the stretch.

It was 37-32 when Wilson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Zach Clemence added one of his own. And by the time Wilson made two foul shots with about 10 seconds left, Kansas had built a 49-37 lead that it took to the break.

The Wildcats briefly got within six in the second half before the Jayhawks stretched their lead to as many as 16.

OFFICIATING OOPS

Johnson had to sit with two fouls just 2 1/2 minutes into the game. Only problem? The crew of John Higgins, Kip Kissinger and Marques Pettigrew gave one to the wrong player. By the time they corrected their mistake, the Wildcats’ leading scorer had unnecessarily ridden the bench for several minutes.

SELLOUT … AND THEN SOME

For the first time in more than 15 years, more Kansas students redeemed tickets than there was space available inside Allen Fieldhouse. The overflow had to watch the game on screens in the adjacent Horejsi Family Athletics Center, where the Jayhawks play volleyball games. Those students also got refunds and concessions vouchers.

BIG PICTURE

Kansas State’s three losses in league play have been to ranked teams on the road: TCU, Iowa State and Kansas. And with a more forgiving second half to the Big 12 schedule, the Wildcats remain firmly in the conference title hunt.

Kansas got its mojo back with its win over Kentucky last weekend. This victory over another bunch of Wildcats was crucial because the road doesn’t get any easier for the Jayhawks, who are in the midst of three straight games against teams ranked 13th or better.

UP NEXT

Kansas State returns home for another top-10 showdown Saturday against No. 10 Texas.

Kansas hits the road for the third time in four games against No. 13 Iowa State on Saturday.

BC beats No. 20 Clemson 62-54; Tigers fall into ACC tie

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
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BOSTON — Makai Ashton-Langford had two key driving baskets in the closing two minutes and finished with 15 points to help Boston College beat No. 20 Clemson 62-54 on Tuesday night.

Jaeden Zackery added 13 points for the Eagles (11-12, 5-7 Atlantic Coast Conference). BC held Clemson to one field goal — and that came with 18 seconds left — in the final 13:16.

Hunter Tyson led Clemson (18-5, 10-2) with 22 points and Chase Hunter had 12. The Tigers fell into a first-place tie atop the ACC with No. 6 Virginia.

The Eagles used a 5-0 spurt — with T.J. Bickerstaff hitting a free throw and getting a driving layup — to pull ahead 50-45 with just over five minutes to play.

Clemson sliced it to 50-47 before Aston-Langford made his two big baskets. He followed that by making two free throws with 32 seconds left.

Trailing by 10 midway into the second half, the Tigers went on a 10-0 spree, tying it at 45 when RJ Godfrey hit both ends of a 1-and-1.

The Eagles had opened a double-digit lead twice in the opening six minutes of the second half, the later 45-35 on Prince Aligbe’s foul-line jumper with 14:12 to play.

BIG PICTURE

Clemson: Off to a solid start in conference play, the Tigers were tested on the road for the second straight game after edging Florida State by a point on Saturday. It hasn’t been easy for them away from home with a 4-3 record and with three away matchups against North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia to go, they’ll need to get it straightened out of they’re going to won the ACC regular-season title.

Boston College: The Eagles proved when they play defense that they’re a tough out in coach Earl Grant’s second season. A little more offense could make them very dangerous for top ACC teams to play.

ARRIVING LATE

In the first half, Clemson’s man-to-man defense smothered the Eagles’ offense for the opening 10 minutes, holding them in single digits in scoring until just about the same time the student section finished filling up late, bringing some energy to a very quiet building.

BC’s players then responded, closing the half with a 22-4 spree that turned an 11-point deficit to a 30-23 halftime edge.

SIDELINED

Both teams were missing key players. Guard Brevin Galloway, Clemson’s fourth leading scorer at 10.6 points per game, was sidelined with an abdominal injury. For BC, guard DeMarr Langford Jr., who logs big minutes at the point, was out with a knee injury.

UP NEXT

Clemson: Hosts No. 23 Miami on Saturday.

Boston College: Hosts Syracuse on Saturday.

South Carolina tops women’s AP Top 25; Ohio State tumbles

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
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It was a rough week for Ohio State, which lost all three of its games and tumbled down the AP Top 25 as a result.

The previously unbeaten Buckeyes fell from second to 10th in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll released Monday after losing to Iowa and Indiana, two top 10 teams, as well as Purdue. Ohio State fell two games back in the Big Ten Conference standings.

South Carolina remained No. 1 for the 32nd consecutive week. The Gamecocks, who were again a unanimous choice from the 28-member national media panel, have the fourth-longest streak ever atop the poll. Only UConn (51 and 34 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36) have had longer runs at No. 1.

Stanford moved back up to No. 2 in the poll and the Cardinal were followed by LSU, Indiana and UConn in the top five. LSU is the only other undefeated team in women’s basketball besides South Carolina, which visits UConn for a top-five showdown on Sunday.

Iowa jumped out four spots to sixth with Utah, Maryland and Notre Dame coming in ahead of Ohio State. The Hawkeyes started the season No. 4 in the poll.

The Fighting Irish split a pair of games last week against ranked opponents, routing Florida State before falling to N.C. State.

“There’s a lot of parity right now, which is great, great for the game,” Notre Dame coach Niele Ivey said. “The game is growing, which is what you want. But yeah, I mean, every night, especially the ACC, the ACC is the strongest league and, you know, we have just a tough stretch every night.”

One week after falling out of the rankings, Texas re-entered the poll at No. 24. The Longhorns routed then-No. 14 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State last week. South Florida also came in at No. 25. Colorado and Illinois fell out of the poll.

RISING BULLS

No. 25 South Florida continued its streak of being ranked for at least one week every season since the Bulls entered the poll for the first time in 2015.

“For us not being in a so-called football five conference, that’s a huge accomplishment,” South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said. His team has won 10 consecutive games and has 20 victories this season. The team’s four losses have all come against ranked opponents (Michigan, Villanova, Ohio State and N.C. State).

“This group has been fun to coach. We always play a great non(equals)conference schedule,” Fernandez said. “We won on the road at Texas, beat Alabama, beat Arkansas. We challenged ourselves in November and December.”

RECORD PERFORMANCES

Cameron Brink carried Stanford to a win over Oregon with a triple-double that included 10 blocks. It was the first triple-double in NCAA Division I women’s basketball featuring double-digit blocks since Tamari Key did it for Tennessee in an overtime win against Texas on Nov. 21, 2021.

No. 20 Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson set the all-time NCAA women’s career record for 3-pointers when she hit her 498th in a loss to Iowa State on Saturday. Robertson has 503 entering this week. The all-time NCAA record, men or women, is held by Antoine Davis of Detroit Mercy, who has 534 and counting.