|Wake Forest snapped a two-game losing streak with an impressive victory over NC State. (US Presswire)|
Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Tuesday …
|Not to be outdone, Villanova knocked off No. 5 Louisville for the Cardinals' second loss in a row. (US Presswire)|
Louisville has now dropped two in a row since becoming No. 1 team in the country, as the Cardinals fell at Villanova. The Wildcats jumped out to an early lead, but Louisville (as expected) didn't go away, meaning Villanova needed a late run to get the 73-64 win. What's wrong with Louisville? Simply, the Cardinals are having trouble scoring when they can't get out in transition and dominate. They also missed 12 free throws, and Villanova made shots.
Since beating Duke, this is what North Carolina State has done: lost to Maryland, beat Clemson by four -- and lost to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons had one of their best offensive performances in a long time, scoring 86 points in the two-point victory. They matched NC State on the glass, and C.J. Leslie missing free throws (and complaining to the referee) helped the Demon Deacons seal the deal. NC State just needs to defend better; the Wolfpack can't outscore teams all year.
Kentucky is officially in trouble. The Wildcats dropped to 12-6 (3-2 in the SEC) with a 59-55 loss to Alabama. John Calipari's boys were up nine at the half and looked like they were going to win their third in a row. However, some questionable decisions and shots down the stretch did them in. The backcourt duo of Ryan Harrow and Archie Goodwin shot a combined 5-for-24, including several ill-advised attempts late. This team needs leadership and toughness. Will they find it in time to make the NCAA tournament?
Game of the Night: Um, take your pick. It's hard to take just one.
Let's start with Michigan State and Wisconsin. Neither team was able to pull away at all. And while it wasn't the prettiest offensive action of the year, it came down to the final possessions. Wisconsin's Ryan Evans hit a 3-pointer to cut Michigan State's lead to one, but George Marshall missed two free throws with three seconds left let the Spartans escape with a road victory.
That's a good win: Kansas going into Manhattan and winning the Sunflower Showdown.
Kansas State had plenty of momentum heading into the game, hoping to knock off the Big 12 favorites. But they could never get over the hump against the Jayhawks, despite keeping it close throughout the game. Two free throws from Naadir Tharpe with 23 seconds left iced the game for Kansas, which improved to 17-1 overall. Will it lose at all in Big 12 play? Kansas State had the edge in most statistical categories -- but Kansas got to the free-throw line 21 times. Travis Releford led the way with 12 points.
That was almost a bad loss: Missouri continues to look nothing like an SEC contender.
There was the news about Frank Haith on Monday, as CBSSports.com's Jeff Goodman reported that the NCAA could be coming down pretty hard on him. Was he distracted on Tuesday? The Tigers needed to overcome a 13-point deficit -- at home -- to beat South Carolina 71-65. They needed 3-pointers in the final 71 seconds from Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown to escape against the Gamecocks. They need Laurence Bowers back. Soon.
Players with impact
Alex Oriakhi had a solid 18 points and 11 rebounds for Missouri, but this was the cool part: 4-for-4 from the field, 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. The last person to do that? Aric Brooks of Morgan State did it last season -- with the same exact offensive numbers.
Numbers to figure:
1951: Tuesday's 49 points were Michigan State's fewest points in a Big Ten win since it scored 43 on Feb. 17, 1951 in a win over Michigan. That was the Spartans' first season in the conference.
50: Louisville shot just 12-for-24 from the free-throw line, the lowest they had shot (minimum: 24 attempts) since going 12-for-25 against Drexel on Dec. 14, 2010.
3: Of the 14 games on Tuesday, only three were decided by double digits.
Other outcomes of note:
- Ohio State jumped out to a 24-point lead on Iowa but needed to hold off a late Hawkeyes rally to get the 72-63 win. DeShaun Thomas had 16 points as Ohio State improved to 4-2 in the Big Ten.
- Two James Robinson free throws in the final 10 seconds helped Pittsburgh get a 68-64 win over Providence. The Panthers led the entire game, but Providence didn't make it easy down the stretch.
- Illinois snapped a three-game losing streak, going into Nebraska and cruising by 20. The Cornhuskers went nearly nine minutes without a field goal in the first half, and they couldn't recover.
- Alex Len had 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead Maryland past Boston College, 64-59. It's the Terrapins' second win in their last five games.
- It wasn't easy, but Memphis overcame a 15-point deficit to get an 11-point win over Tulane. Geron Johnson had 18 points and five assists.
-- Tarik Black sat out the first half of Memphis' win for disciplinary reasons. He did play in the second half, though, going for 10 points and three boards in 16 minutes.
-- Nebraska coach Tim Miles wasn't happy with his team's performance in the first half against Illinois. And he made it clear on Twitter.
We played with zero pride.— Tim Miles (@CoachMiles) January 23, 2013
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