Saturday’s slate of faculty hoops was affected by upsets, as 5 top-25 groups fell to unranked foes. Stealing the present was unranked Oklahoma, which marched into Wichita State and topped the third-ranked Shockers 91-83. The Sooners (Eight-1) rode the new hand of tremendous frosh Trae Young to a convincing win, and can probably see their title seem within the rankings on Monday.
The day additionally noticed two beforehand unbeaten groups fall in Florida State and Georgetown — to Oklahoma State and Syracuse, respectively. The Seminoles fell within the last seconds to the Cowboys and Syracuse topped the Hoyas in an additional time thriller to cap a sport that started with a thud and completed with a bang.
With that in thoughts, let’s kind out the winners from the losers in a wacky day of faculty hoops.
The Sooners marched into Wichita and drubbed the Shockers. Regardless of the shut last 91-83 tally, they led for 36 minutes and 11 seconds of a attainable 40 minutes, and ballooned their result in as many as 18 halfway via the second half.
Behind true freshman Trae Younger, who completed with 29 factors and 10 assists, the Sooners held off a late Shockers surge and notched a large resume booster within the course of. Earlier than Saturday, OU projected as a event staff, and a win over the third-ranked staff solely strengthens its budding resume that additionally consists of wins over Southern California and Oregon. Saturday’s end result proved that OU shouldn’t be solely a tourney staff, however one which deserves some thought as a sleeper within the Huge 12 title race, too — particularly when Younger is enjoying on the prime of his sport.
Not a lot has been made from John Calipari’s Wildcats this season given its excessive youth and lack of actually elite-level NBA prospects in comparison with years previous. However the Cats are quietly 9-1 and secured their greatest win of the season Saturday over Virginia Tech, 93-86.
Earlier this season Kentucky was on the lookout for a go-to scorer to interchange Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox, and so they appear to have developed a two-headed choice with Kevin Knox and Hamidou Diallo main the best way. Calipari’s group is hitting its stride at an ideal time, too, with a gauntlet of UCLA, Louisville and Georgia on faucet earlier than the years finish.
Loser: East Tennessee State
Credit score Xavier for clawing its method again and popping out on prime of a 68-66 last, however the Buccaneers chucked up the lead and could not seal the deal after going chilly down the stretch and giving up essential buckets at inopportune instances.
“Sadly we simply could not end it,” stated coach Steve Forbes. “We had some alternatives. Received on our heels a bit and did not play properly with the lead.”
This is not the identical ETSU staff that has been a power within the SoCon over the previous few years below Forbes, so Saturday’s result’s a disappointment given the season’s outlook and its middle-tier projection inside the league.
My colleague Caleb Swanigan to the NBA, however it’s value reiterating simply how good the Boilermakers have been.on Saturday detailing the insane consistency Matt Painter has maintained regardless of shedding all-everything large man
With a convincing 82-67 win over Butler, Purdue has six wins vs. top-60 KenPom groups — a declare no different staff in faculty hoops could make on Dec. 16.
The Boilermakers are 10-2 — their solely losses coming in a bizarre journey to the Bahamas within the Battle four Atlantis — and look once more like a horny sleeper choose to contend within the Huge Ten with Michigan State. Second-year man Carsen Edwards has developed into one of many prime gamers within the convention, too, and has taken the reins of a stellar Purdue backcourt that can give groups matches all season.
Loser: Notre Dame
It is too early to sound the alarms on the Preventing Irish, however they have been in an actual funk of late with three losses of their final 5 contests. Saturday’s 80-77 loss to Indiana in additional time on a impartial court docket is not as dangerous as its 80-77 loss to Ball State every week in the past, however it’s trigger for concern for a Notre Dame staff that started the season within the prime 15 however hasn’t been in a position to put its items collectively in December.
Maybe you possibly can chalk up the Hoosiers’ win to Juwan Morgan being on a distinct planet on Saturday (34 factors and 11 rebounds), and the Irish have ample alternative to get again on monitor earlier than ACC play. However exterior their win over Wichita State within the Maui Invitational finale, they’ve principally been unable to reside as much as their expectations, and have struggled towards KenPom top-150 staff with a document of Three-Three in these contests.
In a day that noticed each Florida and Florida State catch a case of the losses, the Hurricanes quietly got here out unscathed and cling to their still-perfect 9-Zero document. With Hawaii and Pitt looming, they have a good street forward that would see Jim Larranaga’s squad enter ACC unbeaten and one of many favorites in league play.
Most encouraging up to now has been the robust play of frosh Lonnie Walker IV, who had 13 factors, 5 rebounds, and one jaw-dropping jam towards George Washington. He was anticipated to be a giant issue this season for Miami, and he is budded right into a official X-factor over the previous Three video games, averaging 13.7 factors and 5.7 rebounds per contest.
I am not but sounding the hearth alarms on Notre Dame, however I’ve already pulled them, hit the sprinklers and exited the constructing in the case of Florida. You would possibly be a part of me, too, once you have a look at the outcomes of its final 5 video games.
- Loss vs. Duke, 87-84
- Loss vs. Florida State, 83-66
- Loss vs. Loyola Chicago, 65-59
- Win vs. Cincinnati, 66-60
- Loss vs. Clemson, 71-69
So perhaps the Gators are good. After successful over Stanford and Gonzaga and coming near topping No. 1 Duke within the PK80, Mike White was getting as a lot reward as any coach within the nation. However they’ve struggled mightily of late and are trending the improper path as SEC play nears.
Mick Cronin’s Bearcats throttled a superb UCLA staff by 14 factors in a sport it was favored by Three. It is the second consecutive spectacular win — the primary being over a beforehand unbeaten Mississippi State staff on Tuesday — and Cincy’s ninth win of the season.
Kyle Washington and Jacob Evans mixed for 35 factors within the 77-63 effort over the Bruins. Switch Cane Broome continues to pay dividends as properly, and Jarron Cumberland has emerged as a sidekick alongside him within the backcourt. They have a pleasant forged of productive gamers that continues to win at a excessive stage within the early going.
Regardless of Wichita State being the flashy choose within the American, Cincy shouldn’t be solely an NCAA Tournament squad, however one that can give the Shockers a run for his or her cash if it continues to play the best way it has via 11 video games.
If not for a Svi Mykhailiuk Three-pointer with 23 seconds left to play, Kansas would have dropped its third consecutive sport in non-conference play — one thing the Jayhawks have by no means carried out below coach Invoice Self. They prevented catastrophe narrowly by eking out a 73-72 win over Nebraska, however it’s nonetheless trigger for concern that KU is enjoying with hearth after being burned twice since final Wednesday.
The Jayhawks aren’t dominating the boards, they are not taking pictures notably properly, and so they’re enjoying sloppy ball on the entire. Self’s squad will get one last tune-up sport on Monday towards Nebraska-Omaha earlier than a grueling stretch that options Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Iowa State, Kansas State and West Virginia over the subsequent month.
Sean Miller’s Wildcats are surging. Regardless of beginning the season Three-Three with a skid within the Bahamas that noticed them drop from No. 2 within the polls to unranked, they’ve gained five-straight — together with a win at The Pit over New Mexico on Saturday night.
Most notable within the resurgence of the Cats is the return of Rawle Alkins, who started the season on the bench on account of damage. Since his return towards Alabama final week, Arizona is 2-Zero — and Alkins is placing up 16.5 factors and three.5 rebounds on common in his two contests since his return.
In its first sport towards a official opponent on Saturday, Georgetown fell — in additional time — to Syracuse, 86-79.
The Hoyas had a shot to silence their critics rightfully bemoaning their pillow smooth non-conference schedule up to now with an announcement win, and but could not fairly go the gap with their outdated Huge East nemesis. And whereas it is fairly probably they rebound with wins over their subsequent two, the unlucky a part of Georgetown’s early schedule is that it’s troublesome to get a gauge on the staff towards equal competitors, just because they’ve solely confronted one staff on the identical stage as them. With just one difficult non-conference sport earlier than Huge East play, not a lot has been discovered of Patrick Ewing’s staff.
The brilliant aspect: the Hoyas hung powerful with the Orange and did not look out of their league.
Winner: Huge 12
The Huge 12 was the one convention Saturday that noticed every of its representing members in motion go undefeated on the day. Kansas State, Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State, West Virginia and Texas all gained as favorites — and Oklahoma State and Oklahoma gained in upset style to make it an ideal Eight-Zero for the league on the day.