|Hugh Greenwood's jumper in the final seconds kept New Mexico atop the Mountain West. (US Presswire)|
Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Wednesday …
Heading into Wednesday, Florida had defeated its six SEC opponents by an average of 26.5 points per game. That apparently wasn't enough for the Gators. They dominated South Carolina 75-36 holding the Gamecocks to 10 first-half points in the blowout victory. Florida is just simply on a different level than the rest of the SEC this season. The Gators have yet to play Ole Miss or Kentucky (among others), but I honestly don't see a team finishing within two or three games of them in the conference standings. They haven't let anyone score above 52 points in league play, with five opponents scoring 47 or fewer. Billy Donovan combines that stingy defense with a balanced offense with plenty of weapons. Who will stop them?
In the Big Ten, both Michigan and Indiana made statements. The Wolverines cruised to a 68-46 win over Northwestern, committing just two turnovers and shooting 51 percent from the field. The No. 1 ranking hasn't been kind to many teams, but it didn't bother Michigan. Meanwhile, Indiana went into Purdue and came out with a 97-60 victory. This sets up an epic tilt on Saturday night between the Hoosiers and Wolverines.
Another night, another great finish in the Mountain West. With plenty of contenders nipping at its heels, New Mexico needed a jumper from Hugh Greenwood with 7.3 seconds left to beat Wyoming 63-59. On the ensuing play, the Cowboys inexplicably threw a home-run pass that sailed out of bounds, essentially sealing the Lobos' victory. New Mexico is 18-3 this season and continues to boost its resume. On the other hand, Wyoming is falling -- fast. Second-leading scorer Luke Martinez is still injured and/or suspended, and the Cowboys have lost three in a row and five of seven. The feel-good 13-0 start feels like ages ago.
By now, everyone knows not to leave Snaer open when Florida State needs a last-second 3. He hit a 3-pointer to beat Clemson last week and also knocked down two game-winners last season. Maryland didn't get the memo. The senior guard hit a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left to give the Seminoles a 73-71 win. Maryland drops to 3-5 in the ACC and, without much non-conference heft, the Terrapins are in NCAA trouble. Meanwhile, the Seminoles improved to 4-3 in the league -- with a monster game coming up on Saturday against Duke.
The Big 12 pecking order saw some movement on Wednesday. Oklahoma went into Baylor and made a statement against the Bears, while Iowa State fell just short yet again on the road. The Sooners got 20 points from Amath M'Baye, led by 12 at halftime, but needed to hold off a late Baylor charge to preserve the victory. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State almost blew its game against Iowa State -- committing an offensive foul with one second left -- but the Cowboys picked up a much-needed victory. No one is going to catch Kansas in the league, but the logjam of five teams at 5-2 and 4-3 is entertaining.
Since Laurence Bowers went down with a knee injury, Missouri had lost two games -- blowout defeats at Mississippi and Georgia. The Tigers were OK at home, but Bowers was what they were missing. Right? Well, not so much. In Bowers' first game back, Missouri was knocked off on the road by LSU 73-70. Missouri is 0-4 on the road, a number that does not look good when it comes time to talk NCAA tournament seeding. The Tigers need to start winning away from home -- and getting some quality victories.
The Bruins had all the momentum in the world last week. They had just beaten Arizona on the road, their 11th win in 12 games -- and looked like a legitimate contender for the Pac-12 crown. A loss on Arizona State on Saturday was disappointing but acceptable. But this? A loss at home to USC? The Bruins were down by as many as 15 points in the second half before storming back to tie it up on a Jordan Adams jumper in the final minute. In overtime, though, USC finished the game on a 5-0 run to get the 75-71 victory. UCLA is supremely talented, yes, but the Bruins need to be more consistent if they want to be a threat come March. Going 2-for-19 from 3-point range isn't going to cut it with the way that they play defense.
Much like Ole Miss on Tuesday, Oregon wasn't as good as its ranking indicated. But also like Ole Miss, the Ducks aren't as bad as Wednesday's shellacking showed. With starting point guard Dominic Artis still out with a foot injury, Oregon just couldn't get anything going against host Stanford. They turned it over 21 times and shot below 35 percent from the field. On the other side, it showed Stanford has the potential to be much better than it has performed this season. The Cardinal have some pieces, and now they are .500 in the Pac-12. This is still Oregon's race to lose -- as long as Artis comes back soon.
Players with impact
- Duke didn't expect to get 32 points and nine rebounds from Mason Plumlee, but the Blue Devils needed every bit of his production to beat Wake Forest 75-70.
- Maybe it's time to start giving Isaiah Austin serious consideration for top-five Freshman of the Year honors. He had 17 points and 21 boards against Oklahoma.
- It was only against Fisher College, but NJIT's Chris Flores went 11-for-11 from the field -- including seven 3-pointers -- for 32 points.
- Youngstown State has won four in a row, and Kendrick Perry was the major reason on Wednesday. He had 28 points and 11 rebounds against Valparaiso.
- I know it was in a losing effort (a really bad losing effort), but Purdue freshman big man A.J. Hammons did have 30 points and five blocks against Indiana.
Numbers to figure:
36: The 36 points by the Gamecocks against Florida were the lowest in school history for a conference game.
37: Indiana smacked Purdue around on Wednesday with a dominant 97-60 win. The 37-point margin was the worst loss by Purdue in Mackey Arena history. (h/t @GoldandBlackcom)
1: The number of road wins that Duke has this season after winning at Wake Forest.
Other outcomes of note:
- Villanova couldn't keep its hot streak alive, falling to Notre Dame on the road 65-60. The Irish have now won two in a row after a rough patch.
- Cincinnati went down by as many as 10 points at home to Rutgers, but the Bearcats outscored the Scarlet Knights by 16 in the second half for the win.
- Doug McDermott had 29 points and 10 rebounds in Creighton's win over Missouri State -- and that was a far cry from his performance in the first meeting, when he dropped 39 points. Oh, the life of an All-American.
- The ACC continues to be Miami's to lose. The No. 14-ranked Hurricanes went into Virginia Tech and came back for a 73-64 win. They are now 7-0 in the league.
- Colorado State isn't getting the same attention as some of its conference brethren, but the Rams are legit. They destroyed Boise State by 20 on Wednesday. (Look below for a sweet dunk.)
- Rams vs. Rams. VCU snapped its two-game losing streak by beating Rhode Island. It wasn't an easy win, though. VCU needed a run midway through the second half to hold off URI.
- Can't completely buy stock in La Salle just yet. After beating Butler and VCU last week, the Explorers dropped one at home to Massachusetts when Chaz Williams hit a bucket with 8.1 seconds left.
- Texas continues its debacle of a season, as No. 18 Kansas State dominated from the get-go and easily won 83-57.
- Saint Mary's padded its gaudy record with a 67-63 win at San Francisco. The Gaels are 18-4 overall, 7-1 in the WCC. They need to keep compiling victories.
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