Night Court: Who becomes No. 1 on Monday?
Duke? Indiana? Miami? Gonzaga? Arizona? Who becomes No. 1 on Monday?
|If Duke beats Boston College on Sunday, will the Blue Devils take the top spot in the rankings? (US Presswire)|
No one wants the No. 1 spot this season in college basketball. It has cycled through four teams in the past month, with no team able to hold down the spot for more than a week.
Duke Blue Devils took it over from Indiana Hoosiers in mid-December, and had it for four weeks before losing to NC State Wolfpack . Then it was Louisville Cardinals ’s turn -- before losing to Syracuse Orange . Duke won it back, but then got steamrolled by Miami. Michigan Wolverines ascended to the top of the rankings for a week, but lost on the road at Indiana -- which then became No. 1. Of course, the Hoosiers fell at the buzzer to Illinois Fighting Illini this past week.
Normally, the polls would simply promote the No. 2 team to the top spot. But No. 2 Florida Gators was blown out by Arkansas Razorbacks . And No. 3 Michigan lost at Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday afternoon. And No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks has lost three in a row.
Which leads us to the question: Who should be No. 1 on Monday?
Duke was at No. 4 heading into the week, but the Blue Devils beat NC State and should be able to handle a road trip to Boston College on Sunday afternoon. If they beat the Eagles, it’s more than likely that will move them all the way to the top of the rankings.
But what about Indiana? The Hoosiers did lose earlier this week, but they have a marquee matchup at Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday. A really impressive performance in Columbus, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Indiana stay at No. 1.
Gonzaga Bulldogs is 23-2, but the Bulldogs probably don’t have the profile to be No. 1. Arizona Wildcats has a couple of marquee wins, but the Wildcats’ best victory in 2013 is over Colorado Buffaloes . Miami might be playing the best basketball in the country right now, and a top-five ranking could certainly be in order for the Hurricanes.
Now, if Duke and Indiana both lose on Sunday …
|Notre Dame outlasted Louisville in five overtimes -- and students still had energy to rush the court. (US Presswire)|
Here’s everything you need to know from college basketball’s Saturday night … and Matt Norlander had the afternoon session covered earlier in the day.
Game of the Night: Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Louisville play five overtimes.
Norlander has this game covered more in-depth here, but it has to be mentioned. There were so many things about this game that are memorable, perhaps none more so than Jerian Grant scoring 12 points in the final 50 seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime. There was Garrick Sherman coming out of nowhere to be a factor in the five overtimes; there was Russ Smith missing multiple game-winners; there was Rick Pitino throwing his drink in the air; Cameron Biedscheid making a game-tying 3-pointer. Might have been the most memorable game of the season.
That’s a good win: Oklahoma Sooners boosts resume with win over Kansas.
The Sooners had a decent computer profile all season, but it was mostly an empty profile outside of a win over Oklahoma State Cowboys and maybe a road win at Baylor Bears . Saturday’s win over Kansas is a true statement victory, though, and could be the type that puts the Sooners in the NCAA tournament. The Big 12 is getting crowded near the top, but Oklahoma is only two games out of first place. Speaking of that, is Kansas still the favorite?
Also, the Oklahoma bench is awesome.
But that’s a bad loss: Creighton Bluejays drops second in a row, this time to Illinois State Redbirds .
The Bluejays now have their second two-game losing streak in conference play, falling into a three-way tie for first place in the Missouri Valley. Creighton had one of its worst shooting nights of the season, knocking down just 38 percent of its shots and hitting only four 3-pointers. By the way, Illinois State has now won six of seven after starting 0-6 in MVC play. Tyler Brown scored 23 points in the second half for the Redbirds.
Players with impact
Norlander made me post this video, but South Dakota State Jackrabbits 's Nate Wolters followed up his 53-point showing with 36 points against Oakland Golden Grizzlies . He is now the school’s all-time leading scorer and assist man.
- Not to be outdone, Oakland countered with Travis Bader ’s nine 3-pointers and 31 points and Duke Mondy ’s 26 points, six rebounds and six assists.
- California Riverside Highlanders lost, but Chris Patton had 36 points and six rebounds, shooting 14-for-16 from the field.
- Twenty-eight points, five 3-pointers, seven rebounds, five assists. Not a bad night for Penn’s Miles Jackson-Cartwright .
- Memphis Tigers ’ Geron Johnson went for 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the win over Southern Miss Golden Eagles .
- In his past two games, Alabama State’s Philip Crawford has totaled 55 points and 33 rebounds.
Numbers to figure:
17: Garrick Sherman scored 17 points against Louisville -- with all of them coming in overtime. He didn’t play in regulation. (h/t @jonsol)
2: UCF Knights ’s Isaiah Sykes now has two triple-doubles this season. He had 20 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists against East Carolina Pirates .
27: Montana Grizzlies has now won 27 games in a row against Big Sky competition.
0: Grambling Tigers is still winless on the season, losing by 10 to Prairie View A&M.
Carolina has trailed by 19 or more in five of its seven losses...by 28 or more four times— Jones Angell (@JonesAngell) February 9, 2013
Other outcomes of note:
- Pittsburgh Panthers had one of the better wins of the day, going on the road and knocking off Cincinnati Bearcats . The Panthers went on a late run, holding Cincinnati without a field goal for the final 9:21.
- Saturday night saw the good version of UNLV Rebels . The Runnin’ Rebels hunkered down on the defensive end, holding New Mexico Lobos to just four 3-pointers and 34 percent shooting from the field in a 64-55 win.
- Kansas State Wildcats is now first in the Big 12 after pulling away in the second half against Iowa State, 79-70.
- Michigan State Spartans avoided a slip-up on the road against Purdue Boilermakers , cruising to an easy win and moving into first-place in the Big Ten.
- Oregon Ducks overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to snap a three-game losing streak, knocking off Utah Utes 73-64.
- Arizona State Sun Devils needed to hold serve at home in order to boost its at-large hopes, but the Sun Devils couldn’t complete a late comeback against Stanford Cardinal . They have five of their last seven games on the road, too.
- VCU Rams is back on the right track, going on the road and defeating Charlotte 49ers . The 49ers have now lost four of six since starting with a gaudy 15-2 record.
- Wichita State Shockers absolutely needed a win after dropping three in a row, and the Shockers dominated Missouri State 79-50.
- Memphis had perhaps its best performance of the season, going on the road and beating Southern Miss by 13. But it wasn’t all good news.
Pastner's saying he thinks Antonio Barton has broken his ankle and is out for season. Wow. No X-rays yet.— L. Jason Smith (@TheCAJasonSmith) February 9, 2013
-- Florida and Gonzaga both cruised to easy wins, and it will be interesting to see where each team winds up in this week’s rankings.
-- UCLA Bruins (vs. Washington State Cougars ), San Diego State Aztecs (vs. Fresno State Bulldogs ), Kentucky Wildcats (vs. Auburn Tigers ), Baylor (vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders ), Villanova Wildcats (vs. South Florida Bulls ) each won home games they couldn’t afford to lose.
-- Don’t look now, but Massachusetts Minutemen is now 16-6 overall and 6-3 in the Atlantic 10, after getting an easier-than-expected win over Saint Joseph’s.
-- Air Force Falcons has lost all the momentum it had from the five-game winning streak, as the Falcons lost their second in a row, this time to Nevada Wolf Pack .
-- On the other side, Saint Louis Billikens kept its momentum going -- with a key road win at Richmond Spiders .
-- Saint Mary’s continued stockpiling wins by beating San Diego Toreros , while Brigham Young Cougars kissed its at-large hopes goodbye by getting annihilated down the stretch by San Francisco Dons . The Cougars were up 15 in the second half, and were outscored by 27 in the final 14 minutes.
-- Remember when Wyoming Cowboys and its undefeated season were a thing? The Cowboys have now lost five straight Mountain West games and are tied for last. Meanwhile, Boise State Broncos needed that win.
-- North Carolina Central Eagles and Norfolk State Spartans are both still undefeated in the MEAC after winning on Saturday.
-- Louisiana Tech Bulldogs moved to 12-0 in the WAC with an easy win over Texas State. The Bulldogs are going to start getting some more attention.
-- Davidson Wildcats , Long Beach State 49ers , Belmont Bruins , Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks , Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders , Florida Gulf Coast Eagles , Valparaiso Crusaders and Northeastern Huskies all kept their stranglehold on first place in their respective conferences.
-- In a battle for first place in the SWAC, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions knocked off Southern 55-52.
-- Don’t forget about Murray State Racers . After beating Belmont during the week, the Racers beat Tennessee State Tigers . They’re now 9-2 in the league.
-- Princeton Tigers dropped its first Ivy game of the season, getting stunned at home by Yale Bulldogs . Harvard Crimson is now by itself atop the standings.
-- Lehigh Mountain Hawks and Bucknell Bison are still headed for a winner-take-all, head-to-head battle on Feb. 18 as each improved to 7-1.
For more college basketball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnCBB on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed and subscribe to our College Basketball Newsletter. You can follow Jeff Borzello on Twitter here: @jeffborzello
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