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Ten Things To Know: College basketball’s wildest day of the season

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THAT WAS THE BEST DAY OF THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL SEASON!!!

We had game-winners. We had upsets. We had game-winners that landed upsets. We had upsets that earned automatic bids. We even had a game-winner that landed an upset for a team that earned an automatic bid.

What a wild and wonderful day of basketball.

I can’t imagine a better way to put a bow on the regular season and get ready for tournament hoops.

Here are the ten things you need to know from Saturday.

1. UTAH STATE IS DANCING, BABY!!! SHOUTS TO SAM MERRILL.

Sam Merrill hit this shot to beat San Diego State, win the Mountain West tournament and earn Utah State an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

He scored 83 points in three games in Las Vegas this week. That’s pretty impressive.

2. BELMONT IS TOO, SHOUTS TO LIBERTY.

Belmont beat Murray Sate to win the Ohio Valley’s automatic bid, and they did it on this beautiful backdoor play drawn up by Casey Alexander:

The play, according to the broadcast, was called Liberty.

Might it be derived from this?

3. DID WEST VIRGINIA PUT NO. 4 BAYLOR’S 1-SEED IN JEOPARDY?

For weeks, the four projected No. 1 seeds in the 2020 NCAA tournament have stayed the same. Kansas and Baylor dominated the Big 12. They’ve seemingly been ranked in the top five all season. San Diego State and Gonzaga have mostly steamrolled their respective conferences on the West Coast.

After No. 4 Baylor’s road loss at West Virginia, however, the No. 1 seed line is intriguing for the first time in months.

With three losses in the last five games –including road losses to unranked TCU and West Virginia — the Bears aren’t exactly playing their best ball over the final few weeks.

If Baylor ends up with an early exit in next week’s Big 12 tournament could they be in trouble? That remains to be seen — especially after another potential No. 1 seed in San Diego State fell to Utah State on Saturday. But there are a few teams on the current No. 2 line who are knocking on the door. And it makes for a fun storyline to follow for the final week of the season.

RELATEDBubble Watch | Bracketology | Conference Tournaments

4. WE HAVE A THREE-WAY TIE ATOP THE BIG EAST

After Seton Hall beat Marquette in Milwaukee last weekend, the Pirates were sitting two games in front of both Villanova and Creighton in the Big East regular season standings with two games left to play.

Based on the way this season has gone, it should come as no surprise that the Pirates went ahead and lost to both Villanova and Creighton this week, meaning that we will be ending this season with a three-way tie for first in the league. Tri-champions, if you will.

And honestly, after watching three months worth of Big East basketball, that seems like the right outcome. Villanova, Creighton and Seton Hall all looked like clearly the best team in the league at different stretches during the year, and I am all the way here for four days in the world’s most famous arena to try and determine the one true champion of the Big East.

5. NO. 6 KENTUCKY LANDS MIRACLE COMEBACK WIN AT FLORIDA

A crazy week for Kentucky continued with the Wildcats taking an inspired SEC road win at Florida.

Finding themselves down 18 points, Kentucky used a furious rally — without two starting guards — to knock off one of the league’s most talented teams. Playing without Ashton Hagans (personal reasons) and with guard Immanuel Quickley limited to only 21 minutes before fouling out, the Wildcats manufactured an unlikely road win with their backs against the wall.

The final nine minutes saw Kentucky will their way into the lead. Quickley was glued to the bench with his disqualification. It was big man Nick Richards who shined the final 20 minutes. Going to work with Florida center Kerry Blackshear Jr. exiting with a wrist injury, Richards scored 17 of his team-high 19 points in the second half.

A few days after blowing its own 17-point lead in an ugly home loss to Tennessee, this is one of the biggest wins of the season for Kentucky. Although the Wildcats comfortably claimed the SEC title awhile ago, Kentucky is still in the mix for a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. And if Baylor continues its recent slide, and Kentucky can mount a run in the SEC tournament, this win could be a focal point.

6. DID WISCONSIN REALLY WIN A SHARE OF THE BIG TEN TITLE?

A month ago, it was easy to picture Wisconsin missing the NCAA tournament.

A blowout loss at Minnesota on Feb. 5 put the Badgers at 13-10 and a mediocre 6-6 in the Big Ten. Greg Gard’s ballclub were losers in four out of the last six games.

Even worse, off-the-court storylines overshadowed the on-court product.

Brad Davison became a national story with a low-blow against Iowa. That play resulted in a suspension. Kobe King, one of the team’s key perimeter scoring threats and a starter, shockingly transferred from the school with a month left in the season. A Wisconsin staff member resigned over the use of a racial epithet.

Wisconsin was in a major tailspin they couldn’t seem to correct. Then, something miraculous happened. Gard and the Badgers pulled it all together and rattled off eight straight Big Ten wins.

And here we stand, on March 7, with Wisconsin claiming a share of the Big Ten regular-season title with a 60-56 road win at Indiana. Down by eight with 8:52 left, the Badgers clamped down on defense and shut down the Indiana offense. Nate Reuvers paced four double-figure Wisconsin scorers with 17 points. It wasn’t flashy, but the Badgers found a way to get it done for another tough road win.

It’s part of one of the more remarkable turnarounds in college basketball this season. Wisconsin was facing as much off-court scrutiny as any team in the country. The Badgers were sluggish in the middle of a brutal Big Ten schedule.

This group rallied around each other and figured things out once King left the program. Now at a notable 16-5 since Ohio State transfer Micah Potter joined the lineup, the Badgers are one of the hottest teams in the country. And, depending on what Maryland and Michigan State do on Sunday, Wisconsin still has an outside chance at being outright Big Ten champs.

Who could have possibly seen this coming?

7. JONAH MATHEWS ENDED UCLA’S DREAM OF A PAC-12 TITLE

UCLA has finally taken the lead at USC thanks to a pair of Cody Riley free throws when Mathews, on his senior night, did this:

Thanks to Oregon’s win over Stanford on Saturday night, the Bruins dream of winning at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title died a quick death.

8. FLORIDA STATE WON THE ACC, BUT DUKE AND VIRGINIA IMPRESSED

Duke looked as good as they have in a long time in a win over rival North Carolina on Saturday night, and Virginia won for the 10th time in their last 11 games by beating Louisville at home, but none of that mattered.

No. 7 Florida State blew out Boston College at home on Saturday, earning themselves the outright ACC regular season title, the first time they have won a regular season title since 1989. As hard as it may be to believe, Florida State, Miami, Virginia (four times) and North Carolina (five times) have won regular season ACC titles since the last time Duke won one.

9. RUTGERS IS DANCING

The biggest bubble news of the day came in West Lafayette, Indiana, when Rutgers knocked off Purdue in overtime. The Scarlet Knights got a road win they desperately needed, and it looks like they are headed for the NCAA tournament.

All of our bubble content can be found here.

10. TEXAS GETS TEXAS TECH IN A KNOCKOUT GAME IN THE BIG 12 TOURNAMENT

Texas and Texas Tech are both very much on the bubble right now. According to the latest Bracketology from our Dave Ommen, they are both sitting in a play-in game at this point.

They will play each other in the first round of the Big 12 tournament on Wednesday. That will be fun.

West Virginia takes down No. 4 Baylor

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Emmitt Matthews ended a long slump to give West Virginia a much-needed boost heading into the postseason.

For No. 4 Baylor, Matthews’ re-emergence came at the worst possible time.

Matthews scored a season-high 18 points, freshman Oscar Tshiebwe had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and West Virginia used a big second-half run to beat Baylor 76-64 on Saturday.

Baylor (26-4, 15-3 Big 12) went more than eight minutes without a field goal midway through the second half to take itself out of contention for the league championship. The title went to top-ranked Kansas, which beat Texas Tech 66-62 later Saturday.

“This really hurts,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “I don’t think another team in the Big 12 has lost a conference championship with 15 wins. We did what you normally would do when you win a conference championship and we don’t have anything to show for it. It sucks.”

Instead, it was West Virginia (21-10, 9-9) celebrating. The sellout crowd stormed the court after the Mountaineers’ second consecutive win and just the third in nine games.

Matthews had scored in double figures just once in his previous 20 games. A season-long starter, the 6-foot-7 sophomore entered Saturday’s play averaging 5.9 points per game and with twice as many turnovers as assists.

“This is really the work, putting in all of the time that I’ve put in,” Matthews said. “My slump was a little longer, it was a prolonged slump, something I had never seen before for myself. Things are clicking at the right time.”

RELATEDBubble Watch | Bracketology | Conference Tournaments

West Virginia looked as if it were headed for more disappointment against a ranked team when Matthews’ dunk attempt was blocked and Baylor’s Devonte Bandoo made a basket at the other end to put the Bears ahead 37-30 with 13:40 remaining. But Matthews kept going to the rim, dunking twice to ignite the crowd and his teammates.

“I just wanted to make the right plays. That’s all it was,” Matthews said. “I haven’t been dunking the ball lately, and I miss dunking on people. I want to get back to that, from here on to the national championship.”

Tshiebwe and Jermaine Haley scored six points apiece during the decisive 21-5 burst that put West Virginia ahead 57-46 with 3:02 remaining.

Baylor got 3-pointers from Jared Butler and Davion Mitchell to give the Bears some hope. But West Virginia, the league’s worst free-throw shooting team, made 16 of 19 from the line over the final two minutes to seal it.

Miles McBride added 12 points for West Virginia and Sean McNeal scored 11. Butler led Baylor with 21 points and Mitchell added 15.

West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said he hadn’t been as tough on his players this season as he normally would be because he likes this group so much. That changed in practice on Thursday and Huggins saw positive results from the Big 12’s youngest team.

“We had two of the best practices we’ve had in a very, very long time,” Huggins said. “They were enthusiastic. They had bounce in their step.”

That energy transferred to Saturday’s game. Just not right away.

West Virginia missed its first eight shots, and Huggins ripped into his players during an early timeout. The Mountaineers responded with a 19-2 run, with Matthews scoring eight. to put West Virginia ahead 19-11.

The momentum quickly changed after a Baylor player stepped on the end line retrieving an errant pass at the opposite end of the court outside of the referees’ view. With the sellout crowd screaming in protest, MaCio Teague then made a three-point play and another basket 40 seconds later to pull the Bears to within 24-22 at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

Baylor: Despite losing three of their last five games, the Bears finished with their best regular-season record in school history. Against the Mountaineers, Baylor was outrebounded 42-28, got into foul trouble and was outscored 24-10 at the line.

“From this game, we’ve seen some weaknesses that we have,” said Baylor’s Mark Vital. “They exposed them, Coach Drew will fix them for us. We’ll get back on the run.”

West Virginia: The Mountaineers will take some momentum into the league tournament after going 3-6 in February.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Baylor could fall out of the top five in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in 10 weeks. West Virginia could re-enter the rankings after dropping out this past week.

SENIOR PROPOSAL

A pregame ceremony marked the final home game for West Virginia seniors Haley, Chase Harler and Logan Routt. Harler then got down on his knee on the court and asked his girlfriend, Lindsey Baker, to marry him. She said yes.

UP NEXT

The league tournament starts Wednesday in Kansas City.

No. 3 Kansas outlasts No. 14 West Virginia

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The distance between No. 3 Kansas and No. 14 West Virginia isn’t much. Both have dominant defenses. Both are generally considered to be one of the 10 or 15 best teams in the country.

The space that does exist between them, though, is meaningful. It’s that space that separates what looks to be a legitimate national title contender from a very good team.

The Jayhawks flexed their defensive muscle while the Mountaineers’ offensive deficiencies were on display Wednesday as Kansas won their showdown in Morgantown, 58-49. Kansas remains just a game behind first-place Baylor in the Big 12 with two home games against the Big 12’s soft middle ahead before their clash with the No. 1 Bears in Waco on Feb. 22.

The final 6 minutes of the game was a perfect exhibit of how impactful the difference between quite good and great is.

Kansas’ defense was phenomenal. West Virginia made one of its last 12 shots from the field, including missing its last nine. The Mountaineers turned it over six times. The Jayhawks were down three on the road to a top-15 opponent, a Bob Huggins team, and closed on a 13-1 run.

The Jayhawks’ offense is good – it’s hard not to be when you’ve got Udoka Azubuike in the middle shooting 74 percent from the field and Devon Dotson, an All-American candidate, running the point – but it has its issues, namely 3-point shooting. They’re shooting shooting just 33.7 percent from distance with Isaiah Moss and Christian Braun the only two players connecting at least at a 35 percent clip. Still, they’re top-15 in offense on KenPom, and when you’ve got the top-rated defense, you can deal with just OK shooting.

On the other side of Wednesday’s ledger was West Virginia’s offense. Surely, it was made worse by the Jayhawks’ defense, but it was clear it’s going to be very hard to count on the Mountaineers getting enough buckets against good teams to bet on them going deep in March. Oscar Tshiebwe and Derek Culver are major problems for opponents inside, but it’s real work to create the type of post touches those two need consistently to turn possessions into buckets.

Huggins doesn’t have much in the way of playmaking on his roster. He couldn’t turn to anyone as the shots were clanking again and again down the stretch against Kansas and just tell them to go get a bucket. Everything has to be manufactured, not organically created. Add in the Mountaineers’ guards’ proclivity for turning it over, and it’s just not an offense you can trust.

West Virginia’s defense is excellent, but it doesn’t generate offense quite like those Press Virginia teams of year’s past. Maybe the Mountaineers’ elite offensive rebounding can buoy the offense, but there are limits to how good an offense can be that relies on missed shots to score points.

As has been discussed time and again this season, the NCAA tournament looks to be wide open, with the overall talent in the country down and none of the super teams we’ve seen recently. West Virginia absolutely has a chance to play itself to Atlanta and the Final Four. Wednesday showed, though, why their odds might not be much different than a dozen or so other teams while the Jayhawks will be where the smart money goes.

Texas Tech secures massive win over No. 12 West Virginia

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Texas Tech secured a massive win for its NCAA tournament profile on Wednesday night.

The Red Raiders helped their postseason situation immensely with an impressive 89-81 Big 12 home win over No. 12 West Virginia.

Facing the No. 1 defense in the country, Texas Tech’s offense had no issues shredding the Mountaineer defense. Shooting 54 percent from the floor and 64 percent from three-point range, the Red Raiders used a balanced offensive effort to counter the waves of bodies West Virginia throws at you on defense.

Davide Moretti (25 points), Terrence Shannon Jr. (23 points) and Jahmius Ramsey (21 points) all scored at least 20 points for Texas Tech. Although Texas Tech’s offense struggled with 22 turnovers — a common issue when facing West Virginia — they also had 17 assists and did a great job of spreading the ball around.

But for as good as this win was from a confidence-building perspective, this win is most important for Texas Tech’s NCAA tournament resume.

The national runner-ups from last season weren’t exactly in danger of missing the NCAA tournament given their current stature. The lack of Q1 wins, however, was starting to become a concern for Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders were 1-7 against Q1 opponents entering Wednesday night. And with only three total Q2/Q3 wins, the next two tiers weren’t looking promising either. That was part of the reason Texas Tech’s overtime home loss to Kentucky on Saturday was so crushing. It was a chance to gain a credible win that slipped away.

Now that Texas Tech knocked off West Virginia, they get a lot more breathing room. The Red Raiders are still lacking an ideal number of elite victories. They’ve also done a good job of avoiding landmine losses that might derail them. All seven of Texas Tech’s losses have come against Q1 teams.

With Texas Tech finally gaining a second Q1 win, with another shot at one against Kansas coming later this week, things are looking a lot more stable in Lubbock.

No. 12 West Virginia crushes TCU

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  — TCU’s undefeated start to Big 12 play is no more while West Virginia continued to assert itself at the top of the conference.

Derek Culver scored 17 points, West Virginia’s bench provided a huge lift on the offensive end and the 12th-ranked Mountaineers stomped TCU 81-49 on Tuesday night.

The Mountaineers (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) are unbeaten in eight home games and have held 10 opponents this season to 60 points or less, including five straight.

TCU (12-4, 3-1) remains winless in Morgantown since joining the Big 12 in the 2012-13 season. The Horned Frogs missed a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the league and had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Miles McBride, Oscar Tshiebwe and Jermaine Haley added 11 points apiece for West Virginia.

RJ Nembhard led TCU with 14 points and Desmond Bane added 13.

West Virginia’s bench outscored TCU’s 39-6.

The Mountaineers’ backup guards broke open a close game midway through the first half and turned the momentum in their favor for good. Reserves Brandon Knapper and Chase Harler hit back-to-back 3-pointers not long after checking into the game to start a 14-0 run. Harler had seven points during the burst. Backup guard Sean McNeil’s 3-pointer just before halftime put the Mountaineers ahead 37-23.

TCU, the Big 12’s best 3-point shooting team with 9.8 made per game, went to its outside game to try to catch up. The Horned Frogs hit four 3-pointers in the first four minutes of the second half to cut the deficit to 44-36.

But TCU couldn’t stop the inside tandem of Tshiebwe and Culver, who made the paint their personal playground after halftime. Tshiebwe scored seven unanswered points and Culver followed with four straight of his own midway through the second half.

BIG PICTURE

TCU: The Horned Frogs had no answer to a rare offensive burst for West Virginia. TCU committed 20 turnovers and was outrebounded 38-24.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers have been getting attention for their defense of late, but they shot a season-high 57.7% from the floor. Culver went 6 of 7, McBride went 5 of 7, and Tshiebwe and Haley both went 4 of 6. It was the first time in a month that West Virginia surpassed 80 points.

UP NEXT

TCU plays at Oklahoma on Saturday.

West Virginia travels to Kansas State on Saturday.

Ten Things to Know: Long road losing streaks end during wild day of college hoops

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College basketball was all about big road wins.

The Big 12 and ACC saw two huge road losing streaks end. The rest of the day saw some upsets along with an injury to keep tabs on.

BAYLOR GOT ITS FIRST-EVER WIN IN PHOG ALLEN FIELDHOUSE

Everything you need to know about the biggest game of the day can be found right here.

CLEMSON GOT ITS FIRST-EVER WIN (IN 60 TRIES!) IN CHAPEL HILL

Clemson basketball kicked off a big sports weekend for the school. The Tigers snapped their 0-59 mark in Chapel Hill with a 79-76 double-overtime win over North Carolina.

Brad Brownell’s team celebrated in euphoric fashion.

This isn’t your typical ACC road win. It was one of the premier streaks in college basketball. Clemson and North Carolina first played men’s basketball during the 1925-26 season. Both programs are founding members of the ACC.

Same conference.

Since 1953.

So for the Tigers to FINALLY earn a win in Chapel Hill, even if North Carolina happens to be down right now, is a monumental accomplishment.

For North Carolina, the recent freefall continues. The Tar Heels have lost three straight and dropped to 1-4 in ACC play. Following the loss, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams made some emotional remarks blaming himself.

Even though North Carolina is well outside of the top 25, they remain one of the most compelling teams in college hoops.

WEST VIRGINIA SHUTS DOWN TEXAS TECH

Things weren’t particularly pretty in Morgantown on Saturday night. Using seemingly its whole roster to wear down the Red Raiders, West Virginia earned an impressive Big 12 home win.

Despite only making three shots from three-point range on the night, West Virginia held a comfortable advantage thanks to one of the nation’s best defenses. The Mountaineers held Texas Tech to 28 percent shooting. The Red Raiders simply had no answer for the swarm of West Virginia defenders.

While West Virginia has continued to climb up the national rankings with an underrated array of quad one wins, this is one of the program’s best wins this season. The Mountaineers are surely a contender in the Big 12. The major question becomes if they are more than just a conference title contender. And more of a potential national title contender.

NICK RICHARDS IS THE KEY TO KENTUCKY’S SEASON

Over the course of the last four games, No. 14 Kentucky has asserted themselves as one of the best teams in college basketball once again. They’ve knocked off Louisville, Missouri, Georgia and Alabama during that run, and it should come as no coincidence that the best stretch of Kentucky’s season has come at the same time that Nick Richards has played the best basketball of his career.

In those four games, Richards is averaging 16.0 points, 10.0 boards and 2.5 blocks, but more importantly, he’s staying on the floor for more than 29 minutes per game. He’s starting to figure things out, and that, in turn, has helped build his confidence, his belief in himself.

“You can’t coach a kid’s confidence,” a source close to Kentucky said. “He needs to build it himself.”

He’s posting harder, he’s demanding the ball, he’s doing all of the things that Kentucky has been waiting for him to two do two-and-a-half years. And it hasn’t only helped Richards, the guards that feed him the rock have confidence in him as well. If you’re a point guard and you know Richards doesn’t want the ball, are you going to give him a post touch? Are you going to throw a post entry when you don’t think anything good will happen?

Saturday proved my point.

In the first half against Alabama, Richards had 11 points, six boards and four blocks, and Kentucky went into the break with a 45-35 lead. He finished with just two points in the second half, and Alabama cut the lead to one in the final two minutes.

OHIO STATE HAS NOW LOST FOUR STRAIGHT GAMES

The 12th-ranked Buckeyes dropped to 11-5 on the season and 1-4 in the Big Ten after losing their fourth straight game on Saturday, 66-54, to Indiana.

During that four game losing streak, Ohio State has shot 28-for-97 from three, a cool 28.9 percent. Prior to the start of this losing streak, after they beat Kentucky in Las Vegas and when they were sitting at No. 1 in KenPom and splitting votes with Gonzaga for No. 1 in the AP poll, the Buckeyes were shooting 41.5 percent from three as a team.

The reason why they are struggling from beyond the arc is a bigger question. Part of it is just regression — water eventually finds itself — and part of it is that as D.J. Carton has struggled, who had seven turnovers on Saturday, Ohio State’s offense has struggled. They don’t have the individual playmakers to create offense for themselves, and if Carton (and C.J. Walker) are struggling to create easy shots for their teammates, Ohio State becomes really limited offensively.

Oh, and should I mention that Ohio State’s second-leading scorer, Duane Washington, didn’t take a single shot and was benched for the final 30 minutes. He’s either hurt or Chris Holtmann is fed up with his defensive lapses.

Either way, what was clicking for the first month of the season is clearly no longer working.

AUBURN AND SAN DIEGO STATE ARE STILL UNDEFEATED

The No. 5 Tigers cruised past Georgia at home, winning 82-60, while the No. 7 Aztecs took care of business against Boise State at home, 83-65.

Auburn’s biggest tests of the season to date will come next week, as they travel to take on Alabama and Florida. SDSU heads to Fresno State on Tuesday and then will host Nevada next weekend.

OBI TOPPIN ROLLED HIS ANKLE

The star big man for No. 15 Dayton stepped on someone’s foot early in the second half of an 88-60 win over UMass and had to leave the game. He ended up leaving the game and returning to his team’s bench with a boot on his left foot.

Toppin told reporters after the game that, “it’s good.” Head coach Anthony Grant, speaking in his press conference after the game, said that he thought it was a sprained ankle and that the team would know more in the next 24 hours, but he did not sound overly concerned.

VIRGINIA DROPS SECOND STRAIGHT TO UNRANKED OPPONENT

It’s looking like defending national champion Virginia will fall out of the top 25 next week. A second consecutive loss to an unranked team on Saturday likely sealed the Cavaliers’ new fate.

After falling on the road at Boston College last game, Virginia fell to Syracuse at home.  The Orange earned an unlikely overtime win while also avenging its season-opening home loss to the ‘Hoos.

Hitting some massive three-pointers once overtime started, the Orange played completely free and with a lot of confidence once the extra session started. It also pointed to a continuing glaring issue Virginia has faced. Who is this team’s go-to player when they need a bucket?

Things don’t get easier for Virginia when they head on the road to Florida State next game. With three of their next four coming on the road, the Cavaliers have some work to do to stay with the ACC’s best.

GONZAGA AND DUKE CRUISE TO VICTORY

Easy day for No. 1 and No. 2 on Saturday.

Gonzaga made quick work of Loyola Marymount. The Bulldogs won by 25 on the road.

In the ACC, Duke ran past Wake Forest. The Blue Devils were fueled by Tre Jones in a 31-point victory.

MYLES POWELL, SETON HALL OUTDUEL MARKUS HOWARD, MARQUETTE

CBT’s Preseason All-America Team featured Myles Powell and Markus Howard both on the first team.

So Saturday’s Big East clash between Seton Hall and Marquette was must-see TV. Both stars finished an identical 8-for-22 from the field as Howard dropped 27 points and Powell delivered 23 points.

Most importantly, however, was the Pirates claiming the 69-55 Big East win. Seton Hall has six straight wins since Powell returned to the lineup from a concussion. Saturday’s win gives the Pirates a leg up on the rest of the league and Powell a leg up on Howard with one matchup to go.

Not many people seem to be talking about Seton Hall. That’s a mistake. This team is playing really well over the last several weeks and look like the possible team to beat in the Big East.