After rising into the head 5 of the AP Top 25 ballotfor the first time since November 2019 this week, No. 5 Kentucky validated its lofty score against one in all college basketball’s enormous slayers on Saturday. The Wildcats escaped Alabama with a 66-55 victory correct per week after the Crimson Tide beat then-No. 4 Baylor on the same flooring.
Even though unranked, Alabama (14-8, 4-5 SEC) also owns victories over No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 6 Houston this season, and it develop into clear the Wildcats (19-4, 8-2) were willing for a combat. Five avid gamers reached double figures for UK, led by freshman TyTy Washington’s 15 and Oscar Tshiebwe’s 10-level, 15-rebound double-double. But it indisputably develop into defense that saved the Wildcats forward for the whole 2d half of.
Alabama hit correct 3 of 30 attempts from 3-level vary and shot most efficient 28% total whereas posting a brand unusual season-low in parts by 10. After closing inner 41-37 at the 14: 15 label, Alabama didn’t score for practically about 5 minutes as UK rattled off a 9-0 slip. The Crimson Tide never obtained their deficit decrease than 9 the remainder of the system.
Kentucky’s showdown at Alabama develop into correct one in all Saturday’s enormous tilts. Listed below are some of the expansive winners and losers from the day.
Arizona Negate fans stormed the court late Saturday night after the Solar Devils knocked off No. 3 UCLA 87-84 in triple additional time. The result left the Bruins winless on their two-game day shuttle to Arizona this week after they fell at No. 7 Arizona on Thursday night. With Arizona’s recall over USC and the Bruins’ gruesome loss against ASU, the Pac-12 slip is Arizona’s to lose. The Wildcats now possess a two-game lead on UCLA after selecting up victories over both the league’s other ranked teams this week.
Winner: Gonzaga throttles BYU
Undergo in solutions when BYU develop into ranked No. 12 earlier this season and thought about a crew that would possibly perhaps perhaps potentially upset Gonzaga all the diagram through WCC play? The No. 2 Bulldogs equipped a reminder of correct how some distance-off that memory is on Saturday night as they crushed the Cougars 90-57 to brush the neatly-liked-season sequence. Gonzaga (19-2, 8-0 WCC) led by as mighty as 38 at one level and held BYU critical person Alex Barcello to correct 9 parts because the Cougars (17-8, 5-5) dropped their fourth straight. Freshman phenom Chet Holmgren led the system for the Zags with 20 parts, 17 rebounds and six blocks.
Winner: Rutgers crushes Michigan Negate
Rutgers reached the NCAA Tournament final season for the first time since 1991 after also having a occasion-mighty crew in 2020 amid the occasion’s cancelation all the diagram through the foundation of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, it is safe to instruct this has been among the correct eras in program history. That’s the reason it develop into disappointing to explore the Scarlet Knights combat early this season with losses against the likes of DePaul, Lafayette and Massachusetts. But as soon as you thought Rutgers develop into going to depart encourage into oblivion, mediate again.
The Scarlet Knights crushed No. 13 Michigan Negate 84-63 on Saturday as six avid gamers reached double figures in a 61.5% taking pictures performance for the crew. The victory improved Rutgers to 13-9 (7-5 Colossal Ten), which system this membership has a mountainous shot to originate .500 or better for a third consecutive season in Colossal Ten play. While Rutgers’ No. 111 NET score entering the day system it probably composed has a ways to sprint earlier than entering the NCAA Tournament conversation, it is fun to explore the sort of long-struggling program proving its legitimacy again after it also picked up a recall over then-No. 1 Purdue earlier this season. The loss by Michigan Negate (17-5, 8-3) left Illinois as essentially the most efficient two-loss crew in Colossal Ten play.
Winner: Kansas cruises by Baylor
Appropriate per week after getting crushed at home by a school basketball vitality, Kansas replied with a resounding victory against one other on Saturday in one in all essentially the most impressive performance of a busy Saturday within the game. The No. 10 Jayhawks shredded No. 8 Baylor 83-59 to reassure someone who would possibly perhaps perhaps bask in doubted them after their 80-62 loss to Kentucky on the same court correct seven days earlier than. Kansas (19-3, 8-1 Colossal 12) held Baylor (19-4, 7-3) to correct 29.6% taking pictures and held James Akinjo, the Bears’ main scorer, and not utilizing a level on 11 attempts from the realm. Akinjo has been going through a encourage ruin, and guard Adam Flagler and LJ Cryer were every questionable for the game. Flagler played and led Baylor with 16 parts, but Cryer develop into held out.
Even though they’d had Cryer, who is Baylor’s most energetic 3-level shooter and 2d-main scorer, the Bears were in for a tough afternoon. Baylor scored the game’s first basket, but Kansas scored the next 12 parts and never relinquished the lead. The recall gives the Jayhawks a two-game lead within the Colossal 12 standings on Baylor and Texas Tech.
Winner: Duke appears to be mountainous
Neglect about the whole Coach Okay stuff. We have obtained protection of the coach right here and right here. No. 9 Duke’s 87-67 recall over North Carolina reveals how impressive the avid gamers are for the Blue Devils. Now that AJ Griffin has morphed into an absolute offensive firecracker, it is clear the Blue Devils are impressive sufficient to recall a national championship. It is no longer going to be easy — no longer by any system with three correct newcomers taking half in key roles. But for a young crew to enter the sort of adverse ambiance at the Dean Dome and ship a commanding wire-to-wire recall, it suggests there is no longer mighty of a ceiling. Griffin has turned in some gemstones no longer too long within the past, but his 27 parts against the Tar Heels on 11 of 17 taking pictures develop into a occupation-excessive. Paolo Banchero wasn’t even at his most energetic and composed accomplished with a double-double. That develop into a expansive-time ambiance, and a Duke crew that’s youthful than many of the other national title contenders delivered a expansive-time performance.
Loser: LSU‘s spiral continues
No. 25 LSU mounted a livid 2d half of comeback after trailing by 18 at halftime against Vanderbilt. But the Tigers came up short, losing 75-66 and bask in now dropped six of their final seven. For a crew that develop into one 15-1 (3-1 SEC), it quantities to comparatively a downward spiral. Level guard Xavier Pinson develop into lacking again against the Commodores (12-10, 4-6) as he continues to grapple with a knee ruin, but the Tigers’ points appear to slip deeper than his absence. LSU’s is gigantic, but it entered Saturday’s game ranked 13th within the SEC in scoring and Pinson on my own cannot solve that mutter.
Winner: Wholesome Illinois routs Indiana
No. 18 Illinois outscored Indiana 32-11 over the game’s closing 12: 43 to grab up a formidable 74-57 recall at Indiana that reveals how this Illini crew would possibly perhaps perhaps straight away be rounding into kind. Pondering this week also incorporated an 80-67 recall at No. 11 Wisconsin on Wednesday, it is safe to instruct no person is taking half in better within the Colossal Ten. Now 17-5 (10-2 Colossal Ten), Illinois is in sole possession of first-jam within the league standings with a huge showdown at Purdue looming Tuesday. As level guard Andre Curbelo continues discovering his system amid a return from ruin, Illinois would possibly perhaps perhaps most efficient get better from right here.
Loser: Oklahoma’s trajectory
Oklahoma entered its game against rival Oklahoma Negate clinging to a projected No. 11 seed for the NCAA Tournament in Jerry Palm’s Bracketology. But after a 64-55 loss against the Cowboys, it is glorious to wonder if the Sooners can also very neatly be out of gasoline. An overhauled roster beneath first-year coach Porter Moser has had some nice moments, similar to a 20-level goal-jam recall over Arkansas in December. But OU (13-10, 3-7 Colossal 12) has now misplaced seven of its final eight with games against Texas Tech and Kansas coming next week. In the period in-between, the Cowboys (11-11, 4-6) continue to embody their spoiler role amid a postseason ban.
Winner: Villanova’s Eric Dixon bounces encourage
Villanova expansive man Eric Dixon didn’t bask in his most energetic game on Wednesday, as he went correct 2 of 7 from the realm in a loss at No. 24 Marquette. The redshirt sophomore made up for it Saturday within the Wildcats’ 85-74 recall against No. 17 UConn. Dixon topped his old occupation-excessive by 9 parts whereas ending with 24 parts and 12 rebounds to handbook the system for Villanova. His dominance inner keyed the Wildcats (17-6, 10-3 Colossal East) to a 46-30 edge in paint parts against UConn (15-6, 6-4), which has now misplaced consecutive games for the first time this season. His performance develop into especially necessary since Villanova develop into without 2d-main scorer Justin Moore attributable to an ankle ruin.
Loser: Villanova’s ankles
While the pricetag of offensive dominance from Dixon develop into mountainous for Villanova, seeing redshirt senior guard Collin Gillespie exit attributable to an apparent ankle ruin late within the 2d half of develop into no longer. Gillespie didn’t return after exiting at the 6: 53 label. Pondering that Moore develop into also out, the Wildcats did neatly to discontinuance without him. But after Gillespie suffered a season-ending knee ruin round this time final season, no person desires to look a repeat of those conditions.
Winner: Arizona takes care of business
Appropriate two days away from a expansive recall over No. 3 UCLA, Arizona didn’t bask in its most energetic stuff early on Saturday against No. 19 USC. But the No. 7 Wildcats turned it on late for a 72-63 recall to establish on my own atop the Pac-12 standings. Arizona (19-2, 9-1 Pac-12) closed on an 18-3 slip and held the Trojans (19-4, 9-4) and not utilizing a area aim within the game’s closing 3: 58. Azuolas Tubelis persevered his resurgence for Arizona with 18 parts and 11 rebounds after going through an ankle sprain suffered on Jan. 22 at Stanford.
Winner: DePaul upsets No. 21 Xavier
DePaul had correct seven scholarship avid gamers for its game at No. 21 Xavier, but that did no longer pause the Blue Demons from pulling off a 69-65 upset. Courvoisier McCauley led the system 21 parts as DePaul picked up its 2d victory over a ranked crew this season beneath first-year coach Tony Stubblefield. The Blue Demons are correct 11-10 (2-9 Colossal East), but Saturday’s recall and final month’s recall over then-No. 20 Seton Hall are enormous for a program that’s correct 7-37 within the Colossal East over the past three seasons.
Loser: Florida Negate retains plummeting
Must you rewind correct three weeks, Florida Negate develop into in a particular universe than the one it now inhabits after losing 68-60 at home against Wake Wooded space. When FSU won at Miami on Jan. 22, it improved to 13-5, had won eight of its final 9 games and develop into 6-2 in ACC play. Since then, the Seminoles bask in misplaced four straight and are now 13-9 (6-6 ACC). Injuries to key front court avid gamers Malik Osborne and Naheem McLeod and redshirt senior guard Anthony Smartly mannered imply that a turnaround is no clear wager. FSU entered Saturday’s defeat among the “First 4 Out” in Palm’s Bracketology. If it manages to salvage an NCAA Tournament order after yet one other loss and amid the whole ruin points, this can sprint down as one in all essentially the most underrated teaching jobs in coach Leonard Hamilton’s legendary tenure.
Winner: Wake Wooded space’s Jake LaRavia
Wake Wooded space has won six of its final seven and is now 19-5 (9-4 ACC), and Jake LaRavia is a necessary reason. The 6-9 Indiana Negate transfer accomplished with 18 parts on 7 of 10 taking pictures and added 13 rebounds to sprint along with 9 assists. The Demon Deacons would possibly perhaps perhaps bask in stumbled on the come by of the year within the transfer portal in LaRavia, who develop into unranked as a excessive school prospect within the class of 2019.
Loser: Auburn struggles earlier than escaping
The Tigers won, to be clear. But they did no longer look esteem the nation’s No. 1 crew in blowing a 15-level first half of and desiring late heroics to outlast Georgia 74-72. The Bulldogs (6-17, 1-9 SEC) bask in been one in all the worst excessive-vital teams in class basketball this season. Auburn develop into lacking starting level guard Zep Jasper attributable to sickness, but that’s a no longer a loss that must bask in introduced the Tigers to the brink of struggling what would probably bask in been school basketball’s glorious upset of the season.
Winner: Texas Tech rallies
No. 14 Texas Tech trailed by 9 late within the first half of at West Virginia but rallied for a 60-53 recall dumb a truly stifling defense. The Mountaineers (13-9, 2-7 Colossal 12) made correct 12.5% of their shot attempts within the 2d half of — 4 of 32 — and went six and a half of minutes and not utilizing a area aim all the diagram through a key stretch late within the 2d half of. Texas Tech (18-5, 7-3) outscored WVU by 13 within the 2d half of, despite hitting correct 1 of 8 attempts from 3-level vary. The Red Raiders are going to be a nightmare for whoever they face within the NCAA Tournament.
Loser: Purdue’s defense
No. 4 Purdue and Michigan entered their meeting because the Colossal Ten’s top scoring teams in league play and played those roles to perfection within the Boilermakers’ 82-76 home recall. Michigan shot 68.2% from the flooring within the 2d half of, but Purdue shot 60.9% within the half of and held on for a wire-to-wire victory after main 39-33 at halftime. There just isn’t always any disgrace in a recall, and Purdue stars Jaden Ivey and Trevion Williams were mountainous again on Saturday. But defense remains a supply of mutter for Purdue (20-3, 9-3 Colossal Ten), and if the Boilermakers don’t get an answer, their truly elite offense will deserve to be most energetic. Tuesday’s rematch with Illinois must composed be one other thriller after Purdue won the first meeting 96-88 in double-additional time on Jan. 17.
Winner: Texas‘ defense
One defense that did no longer combat on Saturday develop into that of the Texas Longhorns, who held Iowa Negate to correct 18 parts within the 2d half of of a 63-41 victory. The Cyclones (16-7, 3-7) hit correct 2 of 15 attempts from 3-level vary and committed 18 turnovers, which Texas transformed correct into a 24-2 edge in parts off turnovers. It develop into a pleasant jump-encourage for the Longhorns (17-6, 6-4) after an emotional 77-64 loss at Texas Tech on Tuesday. It develop into also a little bit of revenge for Texas, which misplaced 79-70 at Iowa Negate on Jan. 15. Right here is a UT crew with some apparent offensive barriers, but the defense is getting more consistent and must composed give first-year coach Chris Beard’s squad a gamble to make noise in March.
Loser: Louisville goes beneath .500
In its first two games after the pause of Chris Mack’s teaching tenure final month, Louisville establish up a formidable combat, first in a 74-65 loss to Duke after which in a 90-83 additional time loss against North Carolina on Tuesday that featured some questionable officiating. But there develop into nothing impressive about the Cardinals’ 92-69 loss at Syracuse on Saturday. All 5 of Syracuse’s starters reached double figures, and the Orange knocked down eight 3-pointers within the first half of to hand Louisville its fifth straight loss. The Cardinals (11-12, 5-8 ACC) now face an uphill climb to handbook clear of ending with a losing report for the first time since the 2000-01 season.
Loser: Florida and Ole Lunge away out
Florida won 62-57, so correct for the Gators. But the game itself receives loser designation since the score upon the completion of regulation develop into 48-48. Possibly an optimist would possibly perhaps perhaps look at that and be encouraged by the relative offensive explosion of Florida scoring 14 parts in additional time. In all seriousness, the recall develop into necessary for the Gators (15-8, 5-5 SEC), who entered the day as one in all Palm’s “Final 4 Out.” But Saturday develop into the most contemporary evidence of the fact that it is never peaceable — or seriously fun — with Florida.
Loser: Penn Negate and Wisconsin
Wisconsin and Penn Negate living the game of basketball encourage roughly a century within the first half of by scoring a mixed 31 parts within the first half of. The Badgers took an 18-13 lead into the damage, despite taking pictures 25.8% from the flooring. That is because Penn Negate’s 5 of 30 label (16.7%) develop into even worse. Collectively, the two teams made 2 of 22 attempts from 3-level vary. Fortuitously, the 2d half of develop into vastly less horrific because the Badgers squeaked out a 51-49 victory. Soundless, it develop into a game to put out of your mind — especially for Wisconsin critical person Johnny Davis, who accomplished 2 of 13 with a season-low four parts. Appropriate look at the score on this dunk that came midway through the first half of.