Following a slow Monday, college basketball saw plenty of ranked teams playing intriguing games on Tuesday night as multiple conferences had surprising results. A top-five team needed a buzzer-beater to outlast an unranked opponent at home while ranked teams in the Big 12, MAC and SEC lost on the road.
Charles Matthews buzzer-beater lifts No. 5 Michigan over Minnesota
Even though the Wolverines struggled to a 3-for-22 night from three-point range, they were able to claw back in the second half thanks to their defense.
It’s still concerning that Michigan is playing a bit sluggish at this point in the season, but a conference win is something you’ll take in any way possible.
South Carolina, Alabama knock off No. 16 Auburn, No. 20 Ole Miss for SEC upsets
Things got crazy in the SEC as two ranked teams lost on the road to unranked opponents. Starting off the evening with a win in the early game was suddenly hot South Carolina taking down No. 16 Auburn. The Gamecocks didn’t show many signs of life during the non-conference portion of the season. Chris Silva had a monster outing with 32 points and 14 rebounds to pace the South Carolina offense.
The Gamecocks likely need a giant winning streak to get back in the NCAA tournament conversation, but the start in the SEC is something to keep track of. Suddenly, they’re 5-1 in the league and looking like a very dangerous team.
In the other SEC upset, Alabama made it look relatively easy at home against No. 20 Ole Miss. John Petty led a balanced Crimson Tide effort with 15 points while Donta Hall had 11 points and 10 rebounds. As a team that needs quality wins to get in the NCAA tournament, this win definitely doesn’t hurt for Alabama.
After the Big 12/SEC Challenge, the Crimson Tide get back-to-back games against tough teams with Mississippi State and Auburn. If Alabama can get one or two wins during that stretch, they’ll maintain a decent profile heading into a far easier stretch over the next several weeks.
Kansas State shuts down No. 14 Texas Tech for Big 12 win
The always tough Big 12 stayed that way with Kansas State winning an ugly game over the Red Raiders. Balanced scoring from Barry Brown Jr. and Dean Wade helped the Wildcat offense, while their defense shut down everyone besides Jarrett Culver.
This is the type of win that could help Kansas State get back in the top 25 as their defense looked like last year’s postseason form. The Wildcat winning streak is up to five games now — with three of those coming against teams who were ranked at the time.
With back-to-back winnable games on the road against Texas A&M and Oklahoma State coming next, suddenly Kansas State is an intriguing Big 12 contender.
Northern Illinois upsets No. 14 Buffalo in the MAC
For only the second time this season, Buffalo lost a game as the Bulls dropped one to Northern Illinois, 77-75.
Struggling to knock down perimeter jumpers (9-for-30 three-pointers) and turning the ball over (17 times) the Bulls couldn’t overcome a second-half deficit. This loss probably shouldn’t hurt Buffalo’s NCAA tournament credibility too much, but they won’t have much room for error from here on out.
The toughest game Buffalo has left on the schedule will be Toledo on Saturday, Feb. 16, as the Bulls will be expected to win most of their games for the rest of this season.