LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Two top 15 teams go down, but not Villanova

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 4 Villanova 72, Seton Hall 71

The ending wasn’t all that pretty or all that well-executed, but it sure was fun to watch as the Wildcats survived their trip to Newark, 72-71. Josh Hart posted another double-double with 15 points and 10 boards while Ryan Arcidiacono was, once again the hero, hitting the eventual game-winner. But let me ask you this: Villanova has now won 22 straight games against Big East foes, a stretch that has lasted more than a calendar year, so why aren’t they mentioned in the same conversation as North Carolina, Maryland, Kansas and Oklahoma? I try to answer that here.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Nebraska 72, No. 11 Michigan State 71: The Spartans lost their third consecutive game since getting Denzel Valentine back from an injury. The million-dollar question: What in the world is wrong with Sparty?

No. 13 Baylor 79, Kansas State 72 2OT: 18 days after losing by 28 points in Phog Allen Fieldhouse, the Bears moved into sole possession of first place in the Big 12 as they survived the Wildcats. The star of this one? Allerik Freeman, of all people.

Texas 56, No. 6 West Virginia 49: When West Virginia doesn’t score, they can’t force turnovers. When they can’t force turnovers, they can’t run offense because … they can’t run half court offense. Texas had eight turnovers. WVU shot 31.1 percent from the floor, 3-for-21 from three and 8-for-23 from the foul line. It was uh-guh-lee.

Wichita State 74, Northern Iowa 55: The Shockers got a combined 33 points, 12 boards and nine assists from Fred VanVleet and Rob Baker as they went to Northern Iowa and beat down the Panthers, who are now 10-10 overall. Wichita State has lost just once since VanVleet returned from injury.

STARRED

Zach Auguste, Notre Dame: Auguste had 22 points and 15 boards as the Fighting Irish came-from-behind to knock off Virginia Tech, 83-81.

Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin, Michigan: The pair did a solid job on Wednesday, scoring a combined 41 points in a win at Minnesota.

Andrew Andrews, Washington: Andrews had 33 points and five assists as the Huskies moved to 5-1 in the Pac-12 standings.

Brice Johnson, North Carolina: Johnson had 27 points and 11 boards as the Tar Heels smacked around Wake Forest, but …

STRUGGLED

Marcus Paige, North Carolina: … Paige’s struggles continued, as he missed his first seven shots and didn’t score until there were less than six minutes left. Paige finished with just two points and is 3-for-25 from the floor since popping off for 30 against Florida State.

Davidson: The Wildcats gave up 96 points to Saint Louis. 96 points! To Saint Louis!

Bryn Forbes, Michigan State: Forbes shot just 1-for-8 from the floor in the Spartans’ third-straight loss.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Sheldon McClellan had 19 points to lead No. 15 Miami to a win at Boston College, 67-53.
  • Quentin Snider scored 20 points as No. 17 Louisville blew out Florida State.