GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 6 Wisconsin 68, Cal 56
Nigel Hayes had 17 points and 13 boards and Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker both chipped in with 14 as the Badgers went into Berkeley and dominated a 10-1 Cal team. The Bears made two runs at Wisconsin, once in the first half to erase a 17-8 lead and once in the second half when the Badgers saw their lead grow to 17, and both times Wisconsin’s answer was the same: deliberate offense, quality shots and an end to the threat.
That’s what makes this Wisconsin team so effective. They don’t get sped up. They execute their offense. They don’t force tough shots. They don’t get rattled in a big moment. Cal’s not a bad basketball team. In fact, if Ty Wallace continues to play the way that he has this season, Jabari Bird comes back healthy and Jordan Mathews and David Kravish actually show up, they should be able to make the NCAA tournament. They’re tough to matchup with given all those guards, and there are fewer coaches that demand more toughness from their team than Cuonzo Martin.
And that team, playing at home in front of a packed house, was systematically taken apart by the Badgers. I’m still not ready to say that the Badgers are in the same conversation as Kentucky and Duke, but it is important to remember that the Blue Devils needed to shoot 65 percent from the floor to beat the Badgers.
1. Temple 77, No. 10 Kansas 52: This was a total and complete embarrassment for the Jayhawks. They lost by almost as much to Temple, a team that is, at best, the fourth-best team in the American, as they did to Kentucky, the best teams in college basketball. We wrote more about it right here.
2. No. 17 St. John’s 66, Long Beach State 49: Playing without Rysheed Jordan (stomach bug), the Johnnies got 16 points, eight boards, six blocks and two steals from Chris Obekpa as they survived a scrappy LBSU team that led during the second half. I can’t figure this St. John’s team out. I want to like them — they press, they have a ton of athletes, and they use Obekpa as a shot-blocker in the middle, making them wildly entertaining, both good and bad — but I’m not sure they’re consistent enough or make good enough decision.
They play hard as hell, though, and are in line to make the NCAA tournament this season.
3. Providence 76, Miami 62: The Hurricanes are in a rut right now. After getting drubbed at home by Eastern Kentucky, they went up to the Barclays Center and lost by 14 to a Providence team that has had their own ups-and-downs this season. Kris Dunn led the Friars with 15 points and 13 assists.
1. Askia Booker, Colorado: Ski finished with 27 points, six boards and six assists as Colorado smacked around DePaul in their Diamond Head Classic opener in Hawaii.
2. Joseph Young, Oregon: Oregon and UC Santa Barbara needed additional time to sort things out but Young helped lead the Ducks to victory with 25 points, 11 assists and four rebounds.
3. Jerome Hill, Gardner-Webb: Hill finished with 31 points and nine boards as GWU went into West Lafayette and knocked off Purdue, 89-84.
1. Kansas Jayhawks not named Frank Mason: Mason had 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting on Tuesday. The rest of his team was 10-for-41 from the floor with 32 points in a 77-52 loss. Yeah, it was bad.
2. Wofford Terriers: Wofford, who beat N.C. State last week, ran into a buzzsaw in Morgantown, shooting 11-for-41 from the floor and committing 21 turnovers in a 77-44 loss to No. 18 West Virginia. Wofford’s a good, veteran team, mind you, and this was never close. Impressive stuff from the Mountaineers.
3. Luke Fischer, Marquette: Struggled may be the wrong word — Came back down to earth? — but he had six points and three boards as Marquette was given a fight by North Dakota, winning 67-54 in a game that was closer than the final score.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 11 Wichita State made easy work of Loyola Marymount in the Diamond Head Classic with an 80-53 win.
- No. 13 Washington was locked in a tight battle with Tulane before the Huskies pulled away in he final minutes of a 66-57 win.
- No. 16 Notre Dame rolled past Northern Illinois, 91-66, as Pat Connaughton had a big second half on his way to 21 points and 10 rebounds.
- No. 19 Oklahoma jumped out to a 42-4 lead on Weber State on Monday night. It wasn’t pretty. They set a record with a 39-0 run.
- No. 21 Ohio State put five players in double-figures as the Buckeyes blew out Miami OH.
- No. 22 Baylor got 19 points, five boards and six blocks from Jonathan Motley and Rico Gathers added a double-double, but Baylor struggled to hold on against Southern, winning 70-66.
- No. 24 Colorado State ran over a pretty good Charleston Southern team, putting five players in double-figures.
- No. 25 TCU blew out Grambling. Wake me up when they land a win better than at Ole Miss.
- San Diego State easily dispatched UC Riverside, but the real story is that senior foward Dwayne Polee II collapsed in the first half and was taken to the hospital. Hopefully everything turns out okay and Polee will be back on the floor soon.
- Michigan earning a home win over Coppin State doesn’t mean much, but freshman Austin Hatch scoring his first career college point means everything. Cool moment in Ann Arbor.
- Ryan Boatright had 20 points and eight assists and Rodney Purvis added 21 as UConn survived Columbia, 80-65, in a game that was much, much closer than the final score.
- Indiana followed up their win over Butler by blowing out New Orleans. Yogi Ferrell led the way with 17.
- VCU smocked East Tennessee State, jumping out to a big first half lead and
- Trevor Cooney had 20 points and four assists, hitting four threes with no turnovers, in a 78-43 win for Syracuse over Colgate.
- Denzel Valentine had 18 points, six boards and six assists as Michigan State bounced back from their loss to Texas Southern with a 26-point win over The Citadel.
- Aaron White had 23 points, nine boards and five steals as Iowa beat North Florida, 80-70.
- Kevin Larsen struggled early on this season, but he had 19 points and 15 boards on Monday as George Washington blew out Ohio in Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic.
- D.J. Newbill’s great start to the season continues as he goes for 17 in a win over Dartmouth.
- Butler bounced back from a loss to Indiana by blowing out UT-Martin.
- UC-Irvine pulled off a mid-major upset with a 72-70 win over Green Bay. A loss like this means Green Bay likely has zero chance at an at-large bid if they fail to win the Horizon League conference tournament.
- It came against a non-DI opponent in Lewis & Clark State, but Eastern Washington sophomore scorer Tyler Harvey was still an impressive 8-for-10 from three-point range as he finished with 34 points in a big win for the Eagles.
- Vince Hunter went for 18 points and 16 rebounds as UTEP earned a home win over Kent State.
- Trey Freeman had 24 points and six boards as Old Dominion won an intrastate battle, knocking off William & Mary.
- St. Mary’s earned an overtime win over Northeastern as Aaron Bright scored seven of his 16 points in the extra frame.