Thursday’s Three Things To Know: Arizona State, Wichita State both lose

Christian Petersen/Getty Images
1 Comment

1. NO. 25 ARIZONA STATE LOSES ANOTHER ONE

College basketball’s last remaining unbeaten team will drop out of the top 25 come Monday morning.

Arizona State, at one point in the season, was No. 3 in the country with wins over Xavier on a neutral floor and Kansas in Lawrence. They still have those wins, but as of today, Arizona State is now just 4-6 in the Pac-12, sitting in eighth place in the league standings, after falling at Washington, 68-64.

The fall that we all knew was inevitable happened.

The truth is this: Arizona State is a team that doesn’t really defend with a roster full of talented-but-little guards that love to shooting tough shots. When those tough shots go in, they look great. When they don’t, they look … well, they look the way they’ve looked over the course of the last month.

Perhaps the better story here is actually Washington. A team that lost the No. 1 pick in the draft and was so dead in the water that they fired the guy that was going to bring in Michael Porter Jr. is now sitting at 16-6 on the season with a 6-3 record in the league. The Huskies, as of today, are an NCAA tournament team.

Who saw that coming?

2. TEMPLE TOPPLES THE SHOCKERS

The Owls forced 16 turnovers, held Wichita State to 41.2 percent shooting and pulled off an 81-79 upset at home.

A win is a big deal for Temple, which began AAC play with four-straight losses to negate a nice non-con that featured wins over Clemson, Auburn and Wisconsin, but the biggest news is that the 16th-ranked Shockers already have three conference losses in their inaugural AAC season.

Basically, Wichita State’s loss to the Owl handed Cincinnati, which is 9-0 in AAC play, the regular season crown with about 5 weeks still on the schedule and robbed college basketball of two really juicy matchups in the season’s last month, as is explained here.

The other big news is game provided us with this GIF of a Temple player getting laid out while celebrating, which is very important.

3. WISCONSIN’S SLIDE CONTINUES

The list of programs that have been as consistently good as Wisconsin in the 21st is a very short one. The Badgers have been in every NCAA tournament since 1999, never finish worse than fourth in the Big Ten and went to back-to-back Final Fours in 2014 and 2015.

It’s been the steady achiever plugging along for nearly two decades.

The wheels have fallen off this season, though.

Wisconsin fell to 10-14 overall and 3-8 in the Big Ten with 60-52 loss to Northwestern at the Kohl Center in Madison.

It was clear the Badgers were due for drawback this season with the roster looking very much like Ethan Happ and everybody else, but just how bad things have gotten for Wisconsin are rather startling. They’ve already lost five games at home and have looked thoroughly overmatched against so-so competition like Northwestern, Nebraska and Iowa. Against the league’s best, they’ve been throttled, losing to Michigan State by 15 and Purdue by 38.

Greg Gard took Wisconsin to back-to-back Sweet 16s after taking over for Bo Ryan, but he and the Badger faithful are experiencing a season like one they are wholly unaccustomed to. To put it into perspective, most underclassmen on campus in Madison right now have never known a year without Wisconsin in their lifetimes.