GAME OF THE NIGHT: North Carolina 74, No. 5 Duke 66
North Carolina used the strategy of changing defenses in the second half to confuse Duke, and sure enough it worked. The Tar Heels used both 1-3-1 and 3-2 zones in addition to their man-to-man defense, and the Blue Devils went more than eight minutes without scoring a basket as a result. Add to that Marcus Paige scoring 13 second-half points and Leslie McDonald scoring 21, and North Carolina had its eighth straight victory. As for Duke, their inability to crack those different looks could be a concern for them moving forward.
1) No. 13 Michigan State 94, Purdue 79
After putting forth their worst showing of the season on Sunday the Spartans bounced back in a big way, hitting a school-record 17 three-pointers in West Lafayette. Gary Harris scored 25 points and Adreian Payne 23 to lead the Spartans, who remain in a tie in the loss column for first place in the Big Ten with Michigan. The two in-state rivals meet on Sunday in Ann Arbor.
2) BYU 73, No. 25 Gonzaga 65
BYU picked up a valuable result for its resume, beating the Bulldogs by eight in Provo. Anson Winder made all ten of his free throws and scored a team-best 17 points for the Cougars, who had four players score in double figures. Neither team shot particularly well from three, but the difference was the play of BYU’s bench. Cougar reserves outscored Gonzaga’s bench 34-21 on the night. As for Gonzaga, they’ll have to wait to clinch the WCC outright after shooting 40.7% from the field.
3) Seton Hall 82, Georgetown 67
Being a bubble team in February is as much about avoiding losses that will hurt the resume as it is picking up quality wins. Georgetown’s 15-point loss in Newark qualifies as a result that will not help their cause, with Fuquan Edwin pacing Seton Hall with 21 points. As a team Seton Hall shot 55% from the field and assisted on 20 of its 27 made baskets, proving to be too much for the Hoyas to handle.
1) Kendrick Perry (Youngstown State)
Perry scored 35 points on 11-for-17 shooting from the field to go along with nine rebounds, five assists and four steals in the Penguins’ 88-83 overtime win over Milwaukee.
2) Jarvis Haywood (Jacksonville)
Accounted for 28 points on 11-for-14 shooting, eight rebounds and five assists in the Dolphins’ 91-86 win over East Tennessee State.
3) Stacy Davis (Pepperdine)
27 points and 12 rebounds in the Waves’ 72-69 win at Loyola Marymount.
1) Jordan Sims (UTSA)
Sims shot 1-for-10 from beyond the arc in the Roadrunners’ 85-56 loss at Southern Miss.
2) LaVonte Dority (Valparaiso)
Dority made just three of his 13 shots from the field, scoring nine points in the Crusaders’ 67-53 loss at Green Bay.
3) Myles Mack (Rutgers)
Mack did account for seven assists, five rebounds and three steals in the Scarlet Knights’ 64-59 loss to Memphis, but he also shot 4-for-17 from the field.
- Terran Petteway scored 26 points to lead Nebraska to an 80-67 win over Penn State, building on the momentum gained in their win at Michigan State on Sunday.
- East Carolina led by as much as 13 in the second half before holding on for a 75-68 win over Louisiana Tech. As a result of the loss the Bulldogs are now a game behind Middle Tennessee and UTEP for first place in Conference USA.
- Robert Morris came back from a 10-point second half deficit to beat LIU Brooklyn, 73-64, moving to 12-1 in NEC play. Andy Toole’s Colonials are now 12-1 in league play.
- Quinnipiac beat Canisius 88-81 in Buffalo to move into a second-place tie with Manhattan in the MAAC. And with the Bobcats having swept the season series, they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker should those two teams finish the season tied.
- Green Bay clinched the Horizon League regular season title with a 67-53 win over Valparaiso. As a result Brian Wardle’s team will host the quarterfinals and semifinals of the conference tournament, and should they advance to the title game they’ll host that as well.
- Kareem Jamar scored 25 points to lead Montana to a 68-57 win over Weber State, shrinking the Wildcats’ lead in the Big Sky to a single game over Northern Colorado.
- Josh Huestis became Stanford’s all-time leader in blocked shots while also accounting for 11 points and 18 rebounds in the Cardinal’s 80-59 win over USC.
- UC Irvine picked up a 60-56 overtime win at Hawai’i, winning in spite of a 5-for-17 night from Luke Nelson. The win keeps the Anteaters on top of the Big West standings, one game ahead of UCSB and two ahead of Long Beach State.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 21 UConn 68, Temple 55
- No. 22 Memphis 64, Rutgers 59