Tuesday’s Things to Know: Buffalo knocks off Syracuse, Duke wins big, Ja Morant’s big night

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Although the holidays are approaching and many schools are taking exams or already on winter break, there was a lot of college basketball happening on Tuesday night. Not many games went down between high-major opponents, but there was still some stuff to learn — including another big win for No. 14 Buffalo on the road.

Buffalo takes down Syracuse for big road win

One of college basketball’s surprise teams this season has been undefeated No. 14 Buffalo. Although I predicted this preseason that the Bulls would be a team to watch from the mid-major ranks, not even I envisioned that would be this good.

Buffalo picked up another quality win with a double-digit road win at Syracuse. After winning on the road at West Virginia and now against the Orange, the Bulls are now in position for a strong potential at-large bid even if they fall short in the MAC Tournament.

Syracuse, meanwhile, has dropped two straight to mid-major opponents at home after dropping one to Old Dominion on Saturday. The Orange need to fix a lot of things heading into ACC season.

No. 2 Duke cruises to victory against Princeton

Duke won its tune-up before a matchup against No. 12 Texas Tech later this week by dispatching Princeton for an easy home win.

R.J. Barrett played ultra-aggressive and finished with 27 points while Zion Williamson had 17 points and 10 rebounds and almost knocked himself out with a vicious block against the backboard.

Williamson remains No. 1 in the latest NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings while Barrett checks in at No. 3 on that same list.

Murray State’s Ja Morant just misses triple-double in win over Evansville

Speaking of the Player of the Year Power Rankings, Murray State’s Ja Morant made sure to elevate his case with a monster game on Tuesday night. In a tight game with Evansville, the sophomore lead guard played all 40 minutes as he had 27 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.

Morant already has a triple-double against a Missouri Valley opponent this season as the nation’s leader in assists is putting up huge numbers all over the stat sheet. While he doesn’t play for a major program that will get seen by a huge national audience, Morant is a potential lottery pick and a darkhorse in this Player of the Year race.