Only two ranked teams played on Wednesday night, neither of them coming from one of the top six conferences, but there were a couple of games that were worth monitoring.
Here are the things you need to know from college basketball’s New Year’s Day action:
1. WE CAUGHT A GLIMPSE OF JUST HOW DANGEROUS CREIGHTON CAN BE
The Bluejays absolutely tore apart Marquette on Wednesday night. The final score was 92-75, but Creighton led by as much as 25. They got 78 of their 92 points from the four guards in the starting lineup — 24 points came from Mitchell Ballock. 21 points came from Ty-Shon Alexander. Damien Jefferson chipped in with 17 points. And Marcus Zegarowski added 16 points and six assists.
Marquette simply could not guard that quartet, and there are not going to be many teams out there that can. On their day, the Jays are among the most lethal teams in the country. They space the floor, they have shooting everywhere and there are few coaches that excel at using that shooting and that spacing to create hard-to-guard actions better than McDermott.
It doesn’t always go like this (San Diego State beat Creighton 83-52), but on the nights that it does, Creighton is going to be tough to beat.
2. SAN DIEGO STATE IS STILL UNDEFEATED
San Diego State won their 14th straight game on Wednesday night, taking care of Fresno State despite the fact that they were missing a couple of injured players, including starting center Nathan Mensah.
The Aztecs are one of just two undefeated teams left in the country, which is perfect because on Saturday, the 14th-ranked Aztecs head to Logan to take on Utah State in a battle of the preseason Mountain West favorite and the current Mountain West favorite.
3. WAS CINCINNATI’S BEATDOWN OF UCONN MORE ABOUT UCONN OR CINCINNATI?
It was weird watching Cincinnati dismantle UConn in Fifth-Third Arena on Wednesday night.
Cincinnati has struggled this season relative to what their expectations were. They lost three of their last four games prior to tonight, with the one win coming at home against a Tennessee team that was just starting their descent off of the cliff that night.
UConn, on the other hand, seemed like they were, at the very least, a team with a level of toughness and swagger that embody Danny Hurley’s teams.
Which is why it was mildly surprising to see the Bearcats simply grind UConn down into a pulp.
Now, there was definitely a matchup element to this game. UConn is at their best when they are getting up and down the floor, forcing turnovers and playing in transition. Cincinnati never let them play that way, and UConn never had an answer for their zone.
But this also seemed a little bit like a turning point for the Bearcats, who got one of Jarron Cumberland’s better games of the season. He’s been better since the disaster against Colgate, when he tossed up a three from beyond halfcourt with five seconds left, costing his team a win. Only time will tell on that front, but manhandling a team that they should manhandle is a good sign for this group.