Nine top-25 teams lost on Saturday, including two in the top 10. Here’s a round-up of a wild Saturday that saw three Big East teams lose at home to unranked opponents.
There were 20 games between a ranked team and an unranked opponent. Top-25 teams went just 12-8 in those games.
Xavier hands No. 10 Seton Hall first Big East loss
Seton Hall went a month and a half without losing, which included an 8-0 start in Big East play, as the Pirates established themselves as the team to beat in the conference. Xavier brought that streak to an end with a 74-62 win at Seton Hall.
The Musketeers held National Player of the Year candidate Myles Powell to just nine points on 3-of-14 shooting. During Seton Hall’s 8-0 start in conference play, Powell had scored at least 14 points in every game, including six games with at least 23. Athletic Xavier forward Naji Marshall’s length and defensive prowess gave Powell fits.
Marshall, who finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, was one of two Xavier starters to record a double-double. Center Tyrique Jones had a monster game with 19 points and 18 rebounds as the Musketeers absolutely dominated the glass 45 rebounds to 18. Freshman KyKy Tandy added 14 points off the bench.
Seton Hall wasn’t going to run the table in Big East play – the conference is too deep with NCAA tournament hopefuls – but most college basketball fans probably wouldn’t have guessed that Xavier, which had lost five of its previous six games, would be the team to bring down the Pirates.
Xavier entered the day ranked No. 61 in the NET rankings and the Musketeers are now 2-7 in Quadrant 1 after Saturday, which gave them a marquee win to hang their hat on.
The loss, which goes down under Quadrant 2, was Seton Hall’s first loss outside of Quadrant 1.
While it’s much easier said than done, Xavier may have shown Seton Hall’s future opponents how to defend Powell, which is obviously much easier said than done.
Moving forward, keep an eye on the health of Seton Hall guard Quincy McKnight, who left the game late in the second half with an injury, after scoring a team-high 15 points against Xavier.
Can Xavier turn its best win of the season into a run to the NCAA tournament? Can Seton Hall regroup and contend to win the Big East with an impressive conference record like 16-2 or 15-3?
These are some of the questions that remain after Xavier’s improbable upset.
No. 8 Villanova falls in battle of top offenses
While Seton Hall entered Saturday first in the Big East standings, Villanova is the conference’s highest-ranked team and the Wildcats could’ve found themselves tied for first in the Big East on Sunday after the Pirates’ loss.
But the Wildcats also lost, 76-61, at home to Creighton. It was their first home loss in conference play in almost two years to the day (Feb. 7, 2018 – St. John’s). The Bluejays, whose offense was ranked eighth nationally in terms of efficiency on Saturday night, shot 51 percent inside the arc and 50 percent behind it.
Four players scored in double figures, led by Denzel Mahoney’s 21 points off the bench. Mitch Ballock and Ty-Shon Alexander combined for nine 3-pointers. Creighton had lost three in a row against Villanova, including a five-point loss earlier this season and an overtime loss on the road last season, but the Bluejays finally got the job done.
With the win, Creighton (6-3 Big East) is just one game behind Villanova in the Big East standings and two games behind first-place Seton Hall.
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Providence upsets No. 16 Butler on the road
Like Seton Hall and Villanova, No. 16 Butler fell victim to an upset at home. The Bulldogs were just 1-of-14 from behind the arc, making their 65-61 loss all the more painful. It potentially only took one more made 3-pointer for the game to be different in the final minutes.
It was the 98th time this season a DI men’s basketball team has made zero or one three in a game. You might be surprised to find out those teams are 36-62 in those 98 games. But Butler wasn’t one of the 36 that won.
Providence only had one player score more than 10 points in the win and it was reserve guard Luwane Pipkins, who had 22 points on 10 shots, thanks to a perfect 10-for-10 day from the free throw line.
Stanford knocks off No. 11 Oregon
USC can thank Stanford for allowing the Trojans to claim sole possession of first place in the Pac-12. Oregon dropped to 7-3 in the conference, while Stanford improved to 5-3 after the Cardinal held the Ducks to just 32.8 percent shooting (21-of-64). Oregon’s backcourt duo of Payton Pritchard and Chris Duarte were both 5-of-21 shooting, while Stanford forward Oscar da Silva finished with 27 points and 15 rebounds.
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Wisconsin wins by one with limited backcourt
Despite playing without two starters, Wisconsin beat No. 14 Michigan State 64-63 – the final score was only that close because of Cassius Winston’s three with one second left – after taking a 43-27 lead into halftime.
The Badgers rode a balanced scoring attack with four players who scored between 10 and 15 points, led by Nate Reuvers’ 15. Michigan State actually made 25 shots to Wisconsin’s 22, including 10 3-pointers to the Badgers’ eight, but Wisconsin was 12-of-15 at the free throw line, while Michigan State got to the stripe just four times in the game.
Wisconsin improved to one game above .500 in Big Ten play, 6-5, while Michigan State dropped to 8-3 – half a game behind first-place Illinois.
Tulsa’s buzzer beater powers Hurricane over Shockers
Want to see a game-winner to beat a top-25 team? Well, here’s a game-winner (from Tulsa) to beat a top-25 team (Wichita State).
— Tulsa Basketball (@TUMBasketball) February 2, 2020
(A few) top teams avoid upset
An entertaining Saturday slate of college basketball could’ve been downright tumultuous had No. 2 Gonzaga not come back to beat San Francisco 83-79 and if No. 3 Kansas hadn’t made a stand to beat Texas Tech 78-75.
The ‘Zags found themselves trailing by eight, 43-35, at halftime, and they didn’t take the lead for good until Corey Kispert’s free throws with 1:33 left in the game. Gonzaga committed 15 turnovers and San Francisco grabbed 12 offensive rebounds, which kept the Dons in the game even though the Bulldogs shot 54 percent from the field.
Gonzaga hadn’t lost to San Francisco since Feb. 18, 2012.
Kansas took a nine-point lead into the break against Texas Tech but the Red Raiders had the ball in the final seconds in a one-possession game. Texas Tech freshman guard Jahmi’us Ramsey’s final layup was blocked by Marcus Garrett as the Red Raiders tried to go for a quick two to cut the deficit to one point.
Ramsey had a game-high 26 points but his team came up just short.