Late Night Snacks: Villanova, Kansas, Kentucky all go down

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Marquette 74, No. 1 Villanova 72

The Golden Eagles were down by 15 at half to the nation’s top team, but closed out the game on a 19-4 run led by Duane Wilson and Katin Reinhardt. If I told you that duo was going to lead Marquette to a win over Villanova, would you have believed me? … Didn’t think so. We need to stop sleeping on this team.

In less than five days, Marquette has played its way into the NCAA Tournament field with a pair of signature wins.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 18 West Virginia 85, No. 2 Kansas 69:  After back-to-back losses, the Mountaineers responded in a big way with a double-digit win over the Jayhawks. This didn’t follow the typical ‘Press Virginia’ blueprint, but that’s what made it all the more impressive. Frank Mason III was held to a 12 points, needing a 15 shots to score his dozen.

Tennessee 82, No. 4 Kentucky 80: Tennessee snapped Kentucky’s seven-game win streak. The Wildcats were held in check in transition, while the Volunteers’ bench outscored Kentucky’s, 37-4. Robert Hubbs III and Malik Monk both led their teams with 25 points apiece.

Well this is one way to set up Saturday’s matchup with Kansas.

No. 12 Virginia 71, No. 12 Notre Dame 54: Shots didn’t fall early for Notre Dame, as the pack-line defense held the league’s best 3-point shooting team to 18 percent shooting from deep. London Perrantes scored 22 points and once again came up with timely shots.

No. 20 Purdue 84, Michigan State 73: Hot shooting couldn’t be sustained and Purdue’s frontline became too much for Michigan State’s shorthanded front court. Caleb Swanigan finished with another monster stat line: 25 points and 17 rebounds. Miles Bridges had a season-high 33 points.

STARRED

  • Katin Reinhardt, Marquette: The grad transfer scored 18 of his 19 points after halftime. Playing the role of point forward was even more important after Markus Howard struggled all night.
  • Donovan Mitchell, Louisville: The sophomore guard had 16 points at half. Pitt had 18 as a team. Mitchell’s career-best of 27 points included 6-of-8 from three.
  • Caleb Swanigan, Purdue: The 6-foot-9 sophomore recorded his 17th double-double of the season. The Boilermakers have played 21 games.

STRUGGLED

  • Pitt: Louisville throttled the Panthers, 106-51. It was the worst loss for the program in more than a century.
  • Deadspin: You made Ted Cruz likable. Enough said.

TOP 25

  • Bronson Koenig’s 20 points led No. 15 Wisconsin to an 82-55 win over Penn State. The Badgers are still the co-leaders in the Big Ten.
  • Behind 15 3-pointers, No. 23 South Carolina routed Auburn, 98-69. The Gamecocks, coming off a loss to Kentucky, is 6-1 in the SEC.
  • No. 22 Maryland was led by Melo Trimble’s 17 points in a 67-55 win over Rutgers. The Terrapins still share the top spot in the Big Ten standings with No. 15 Wisconsin.

NOTABLE

  • Akron (7-0 MAC) remained unbeaten in conference play with a 90-80 win over Western Michigan
  • The nation’s leading scorer, Marcus Keene, had 28 points in Central Michigan’s 82-76 win over Bowling Green.
  • St. Bonaventure came back from down 18 to defeat St. Joe’s, 67-63
  • Wichita State has won three in a row after an 87-45 victory over Southern Illinois
  • It’s fitting that on the day the school honored Steph Curry that Jack Gibbs recorded a 32-point outing. Davidson beat Duquesne 74-60
  • Syracuse is back to .500 in ACC play by beating Wake Forest, 81-76
  • Daryl Macon’s last second free throws capped a 15-point comeback as Arkansas topped Vanderbilt, 71-70
  • Matt Thomas hit seven 3-pointers en route to 25 points as Iowa State held off Kansas State, 70-65