Late Night Snacks: Kentucky, Wisconsin, Louisville all win

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 21 Oklahoma 71, No. 15 West Virginia 52

The best game of the night on paper ended up being a dud when it played out. Oklahoma jumped out to a 27-11 leaded early in the first half, cruising to the 19-point win behind 21 points from Buddy Hield. West Virginia was never able to get their press going, and when they struggle to force turnovers, they’re really going to struggle to win games. The Sooners committed just 13 turnovers and ended the evening shooting 61.4 percent from the floor.

We’re going to find out just how ‘real’ West Virginia is in their next nine games. They’re now just 2-3 against Big 12 teams not named TCU or Texas Tech, and their next nine games are all against potential tournament teams. Bob Huggins is going to have to find a way to get his teams to play more consistently on the road; they lost by 27 at Texas earlier this year.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. No. 5 Wisconsin 92, Indiana 78

All five starters scored in double-figures — led by 23 points and nine boards from Frank Kaminsky — as the Badgers steamrolled Indiana in the Kohl Center. The Hoosiers were down by as much as 31 points in the second half. More on this below.

2. No. 22 Butler 85, St. John’s 62

In a game that the Johnnies really needed to win, they were run out of Hinkle Fieldhouse. Kellen Dunham led four players in double figures with 21 points as the Bulldogs improved to 17-6 overall and 7-3 in the Big East. There is still a long way to go this season, but Chris Holtmann has to be on the short list for National Coach of the Year for the job that he has been able to do with this team after Brandon Miller left the program in October. As far as St. John’s is concerned, this is just another troubling loss for a team that looked so promising entering league play. They’re 3-6 in the league and in danger of ending up on the wrong side of the bubble.

3. Vanderbilt 67, Florida 61

Florida’s already-slim NCAA tournament hopes took a major hit with a loss at Vanderbilt.

STARRED

1. Andrew Harrison, Kentucky

Harrison played his best game of the season on Tuesday night, finishing with 23 points and seven assists — with just one turnover — and the Wildcats needed every last play. Kentucky was up 63-58 on Georgia with two minutes left.

2. Michael Gbinije, Syracuse

Gbinije finished with 18 points and seven assists in a come-from-behind win over Virginia Tech, hitting the game-tying free throws and this game-winning jumper:

3. Terran Petteway, Nebraska

Petteway had 28 points, seven boards and four assists in a 76-60 win over Northwestern that the Huskers desperately needed.

4. Craig Sword, Mississippi State

Sword scored 28 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the floor as the Bulldogs handed Tennessee a deflating, 71-66 lose in Knoxville.

5. Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina

The head coach for the Chanticleers won his 150th game at the school, becoming the first coach to win 150 games at four different programs. He accomplished the feat at Auburn, Clemson and South Alabama as well.

STRUGGLED

1. Indiana’s defense

Want to know just how bad Indiana’s defense was on Tuesday night? Indiana shot 49.2 percent from the floor and 13-for-24 from three and needed to make an impressive second half run just to avoid losing by more than 20. That’s hard to do.

2. Louisville’s supporting cast

Terry Rozier, Chris Jones and Montrezl Harrell combined for 56 points in a 63-55 win at Miami. The rest of the Cards took just eight shots, and Wayne Blackshear scored the other seven points.

NOTABLES

  • DePaul completed the sweep of Seton Hall this season, knocking off the Pirates in Chicago.
  • No. 14 Northern Iowa avoided a letdown game at Indiana State as Seth Tuttle led the way with 15 points, eight boards and five assists in a 61-51 win.
  • Wake Forest got 23 points from Codi Miller-McIntyre as they handed N.C. State an 88-84 loss, a brutal outcome for the Wolfpack’s NCAA tournament resume.
  • Bobby Portis had 18 points, 13 boards, three blocks, two steals and two assists in a win over South Carolina.