SATURDAY’S THINGS TO KNOW
Two of the best teams in the nation locked horns on Saturday afternoon as No. 3 Kansas held off No. 4 Baylor to create a three-game lead in the Big 12. The Jayhawks closed this game on an 8-0 run as their defense looked much better. CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on this one.
No. 10 North Carolina made a statement on Saturday night, blowing out No. 14 Virginia. But the question is whether the statement had to do with the Tar Heels or with the Wahoos, who have now lost five out seven.
Michigan State lost yet another important piece this season, as Eron Harris went down with a gruesome-looking knee injury. His status is yet undetermined, but the Spartans were not able to overcome his absence, losing emphatically at No. 16 Purdue.
Pitt worked over No. 17 Florida State, who fell even further from the top of the ACC. The Seminoles were a No. 2 seed when the bracket reveal happened last weekend, but after back-to-back losses, it’s hard to see that remaining true.
No. 13 Kentucky landed a come-from-behind win at Georgia on Saturday, but it’s not the kind of win that is going to make Big Blue Nation happy. The Wildcats played very poorly and barely beat a Georgia team that lost leading scorer Yante Maten early to a knee injury.
No. 8 West Virginia survived Texas Tech in a double-overtime battle. The Red Raiders really needed to get this win, but a late comeback wasn’t enough.
In a result that surprised absolutely no one, No. 1 Gonzaga remained undefeated with a blowout win over Pacific. They’ve now won 20 straight games by double-figures.
Army took on arch-rival Navy and won on the road despite trailing by 25 points with 11:42 left.
J.J. Frazier, Georgia: The Bulldogs lost to Kentucky, but Frazier very nearly won a game by himself. He had 36 points in a game where Georgia lost Yante Maten in the first two minutes.
Mike Daum, South Dakota State: Daum went for 51 points and 15 boards, hitting seven threes for the Jackrabbits in a road win at Fort Wayne.
Jalen Brunson and Kris Jenkins, Villanova: Player of the Year candidate Josh Hart gets a lot of the love for the defending champion Wildcats but Brunson and Jenkins were cooking on Saturday. Brunson was 7-for-7 from the field and Jenkins was 8-for-10 from the floor as they duo combined for 44 points on 7-for-8 three-point shooting.
Caleb Swanigan, Purdue: Biggie had a big line on Saturday, going for 24 points, 15 boards and five assists as the Boilermakers moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Sheldon Jeter, Pitt: Jeter went for 29 points and eight boards as Pitt smoked No. 17 Florida State at home.
REST OF THE TOP 25
- The offense came alive for No. 2 Villanova in an easy road win at Seton Hall in the Big East. Jalen Brunson and Kris Jenkins both had 22 points each while Josh Hart added 19 points.
- No. 5 Arizona got 26 points from Lauri Markkanen in a win at Washington despite being down two starters.
- Finding themselves trailing at halftime, No. 8 Louisville rallied to beat Virginia Tech at home in the ACC. Donovan Mitchell finished with 26 points to pace the Cardinals.
- Defense was optional in this one but No. 12 Duke had enough late to outlast Wake Forest for an ACC home win. Luke Kennard finished with 23 points.
- Tough road win for No. 15 Florida but they were able to hold on for the win over Mississippi State in the SEC. Chris Chiozza had 14 points in the road win to lead the Gators.
- Five players finished in double figures for No. 18 Cincinnati as they rolled by Tulsa in the American. The Bearcats were led by Kyle Washington with 18 points.
- For the second time in a week, No. 19 SMU landed a come-from-behind win over a team they shouldn’t need to come-from-behind against, beating Houston on the road.
- No. 21 South Carolina lost their third straight game, this one on the road against Vanderbilt.
- No. 25 Notre Dame went into Raleigh and took care of business in an ACC road win over N.C. State. Senior V.J. Beachem went for 27 points.
- In a matchup of two ACC teams trying to make the NCAA tournament, Miami outlasted Clemson for a home win as Kamari Murphy had 15 points.
- Avoiding a bubble disaster was Kansas State as the Wildcats were able to outlast Texas on the road in the Big 12. Wesley Iwundu led the Wildcats with 16 points.
- Wichita State is doing everything they can to make a statement to the committee by running past Northern Iowa, 73-44, as Landry Shamet had 14 points.
- An amazing comeback went down in the Army and Navy game. The Black Knights were down by 25 points with 12:51 left but came roaring back to win on the road. Jordan Fox scored 22 to lead Army.