College basketball's undefeated list is down to four.
Iowa State fell 87-82 at Oklahoma Saturday afternoon in a game that saw the Sooners snag 43 rebounds and shoot 86 percent from the foul line.
The biggest news? It's not the loss for Iowa State -- it's the loss of its best player. Guard DeAndre Kane -- a player we estimate has been one of the five best in the country through the first two months of the season -- went down with an apparent left ankle injury in the final minute of the game and had to be lifted off the court by teammates. And to the locker room afterward.
DeAndre Kane carried the entire way from team bench to locker room after the game. Bad sign for Iowa State, which suffered first loss to #OU— Eric Prisbell (@EricPrisbell) January 11, 2014
Prisbell, who was at the game, is also reporting Kane immediately had an X-Ray at the arena, and those results showed no break in the ankle. Travis Hines of the Ames Tribune tweeted this photo afterward, and reports Kane does not appear to have a high-ankle sprain, which would normally mean a multi-week absence.
Kane on crutches pic.twitter.com/QPEd90TgKL— Travis Hines (@TravisHines21) January 11, 2014
We will update his status as we learn more, but the injury itself does not bode well in the short-term. Because while Iowa State has a lot of talent around Kane, he's the engine of the team. He entered Saturday averaging 16.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists, only one of two players in the country (along with UCLA's Kyle Anderson) averaging at least 16/7/6.
The Cyclones are now 14-1. The 14 straight wins to start the season were the best in school history. But a road loss and an injury can change things very quickly in college basketball once conference season is underway. So this is life in the Big 12. Coming off this loss, and with the possibility that Kane will be out at least 48 hours, Iowa State gets Kansas on Monday night at Hilton Coliseum. A very big game and the start of a rough slate ahead for this program.
By the way, Kansas has knocked off Iowa State on the road many times before -- last year brought a lot of controversy -- so now ISU fans are probably gripping just a little.
Oklahoma -- a team looking like it can make the NCAA tournament this season -- is now 13-3 with wins over Alabama and Texas in addition to this one. Guard Buddy Hield drained six 3-pointers and had 22 points. The big-time player was Ryan Spangler, a former Gonzaga Bulldog, who had 16 points and a career-best 15 rebounds. The Sooners might be the best team in the country no one's talking about. (California would be the other contender. Or Saint Louis?)
No doubt it's going to take more high-profile wins for OU, but watching the team play, and win, the way it did Saturday, it only adds to the argument that the Big 12 is the best league in the country.