Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Sunday …
Game of the Day: Ohio State now has some proving to do.
For the Iowa take, you can read here on the Hawkeyes winning over a top-five team for the first time since December of 2001.
The Buckeyes? They have dropped two in a row and are looking more like top-15 good than top-five good. L It's a matter of fact that Ohio State will lose games -- and eventually its season will end -- because of its limits with the ball. It's not a team that will outscore the best teams if the games get into the mid-70s or above. OSU is so, so good on defense. That's enough to win most games, but no team can win with a one-sided personality.
The Buckeyes have beaten Marquette, Ohio, Notre Dame and Maryland -- none of which anyone can comfortably claim will be an NCAA tournament team. OSU will easily, though. Now the dirty work has to be done in the league, and by losing two straight -- one at home -- Thad Matta's team is behind the pack already. Good team, not a great one, though.
What else we'll be talking about in the morning: Colorado's future with (or without) its best player.
The Buffaloes got spanked by Washington, in Washington, 71-54. The loss hurts, but right now we're wondering what the status of Spencer Dinwiddie will be. Dinwiddie is the mustachioed PG MVP for the Buffs who left the game in the first half with an apparent knee injury. Here's the latest, from head coach Tad Boyle.
"My gut says it's not good, but we'll see," Boyle told reporters after the game. "If he's out, he's out. I feel so bad for the kid because he's worked so hard, but we'll have to wait and see."
Washington beat Colorado 49-29 after Dinwiddie left the game. His ability to be on the court is the difference between Colorado as a Sweet 16 team or not. Combine that injury with the fact Askia Booker didn't net one point, and Colorado can't win any league games when that's the case. The Buffaloes are now 14-3.
As for U-Dub, senior guard C.J. Wilcox had a personal-best 31 points of seven 3s. It was UW's first win against a ranked team in two and a half seasons. The Huskies are now 11-6, but 3-1 in a Pac-12 that can get very crowded at the top.
That's a good win: Creighton holds serve at home and beats Xavier in a high-scoring affair.
The Bluejays are now 14-2 after shooting 55 percent from the field and sinking 14 of 28 3-pointers against a Xavier team that will get its own share of nice wins like this one in the next two months. Doug McDermott was rumored to be injured but showed little signs of it. And remember Creighton did this without starting senior point guard Grant Gibbs.
X got 27 points from Semaj Christon. The 13-4 Musketeers started strong but the barrage of 3s as the game wore on from CU made it too tough for Xavier to fight back, though it did cut the lead to three points in the final two minutes.
Another good win: UCLA cruises past Arizona State -- and the Sun Devils could be in trouble.
Arizona State off to a quick start against the Bruins, but that didn't last, as Steve Alford went to a smaller lineup, jumpstarting a 35-9 first-half run and a 50-27 halftime lead. The Sun Devils made a couple of runs in the second half, but it wasn't nearly enough, as UCLA moved to 13-3 with an 87-72 win over Arizona State. Kyle Anderson was fabulous, finishing with 17 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists, while Zach LaVine showed why many consider him a first-round pick with 19 points. Jahii Carson was just 4-for-17 from the field for Arizona State. The Sun Devils are in a tough spot going forward, too, as eight of their 14 remaining games come against Arizona, California, Colorado and Oregon. Herb Sendek's crew has a fight on its hands just to get to .500 in the Pac-12. Quick side note: this is easily UCLA's best win of the season. Prior to this, the Bruins had defeated Alabama, UC Santa Barbara and that's about it.
A big win and a questionable loss all in one: Stanford takes down Oregon on the road.
Both Stanford and Oregon came into Sunday with two Pac-12 losses, with the lone win between the two coming on Damyean Dotson's steal-and-dunk against Utah. Needless to say, both teams could have used a win. Stanford emerged on top, 82-80, as the elite backcourt group of Oregon was outplayed by the Cardinal's duo of Anthony Brown and Chasson Randle, who combined for 47 points and 12 rebounds. The Ducks shot the ball well, but committed 15 turnovers. That's now three straight losses for Oregon, which started the season 13-0 before the slump. Meanwhile, that was a game Stanford absolutely needed to win -- and home games this week against Washington State and Washington could give the Cardinal some momentum.
That's another (not quite as) good win: Louisville gets right at home against SMU.
The Ponies didn't provide a GREAT win for Louisville, but considering how thin this team's NCAA tournament resume is right now, and how the Cards need some momentum, sometimes this kind of victory suffices in the short-term. It was a close 71-63 win, as you know how those kind of "close" eight-point margins can be. Russ Smith added 23 and Montrezl Harrell got 12 and 13 (rebounds).
The Cardinals now have a road game at UConn on Saturday that's actually become fairly important for both teams. The loser of that game will have a lot of work to do to overcome a reputation as a team that can't win big games, fair or not. But there's gotta be a loser, and so plenty of intrigue surrounds that one.
But that's a bad loss: This wasn't a good week for Illinois.
The Fighting Illini are in that second-tier of Big Ten teams vying for the fifth spot in the league standings, along with squads like Indiana, Minnesota and Michigan. But they were romped by 25 against Wisconsin on Wednesday -- and then looked completely inept offensively in a 49-43 loss to Northwestern on Sunday. Entering the weekend, the Wildcats had lost four in a row and were 7-9 on the season. Their best win was a home victory over Western Michigan. And now Illinois enters a crucial six-game stretch in which it faces Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa, as well as a road game at Indiana (and a home meeting with Purdue). They might need a 3-3 split.
Another bad loss: Southern Miss damages its thin NCAA tournament resume.
Losing at 7-9 Tulsa is not going to do the Golden Eagles any favors. Donnie Tyndall's team is one of the best in Conference USA, now 14-3, and probably can only afford one more loss overall to warrant at-large consideration due to how weak the league schedule is in general. James Woodard led Tulsa with 18, including big free throws that was made in the final minute.
Players with impact
- I'm sorry, did Doug McDermott have a sprained left shoulder? Didn't look like it as he put up 35 points and grabbed seven rebounds. He is your current leader to win Player of the Year.
- Keifer Sykes had 34 points, eight rebounds and five assists for Green Bay. He's the best scorer in the nation you don't know about.
- Manhattan's Michael Alvarado picked up some of the scoring slack left behind by George Beamon, going for 33 points against Marist.
- Ronnie Johnson of Purdue is a name you might not know, but two years from today he'll probably have a fairly good shot to be a First Team Big Ten player. Johnson is the third player in school history with 500 points and 200 assists in his first two seasons, and the first Purdue player to achieve this in 38 years.
- Nice all-around line from Canisius' Billy Baron: 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists, five 3-pointers.
Numbers to figure:
29: La Salle has won 29 straight games when leading with five minutes to play.
10: Tyreek Duren is now the 10th player in Big 5 history to have at least 1,400 points, 400 assists and 200 steals.
12: The number of consecutive losses for Washington against ranked teams. That streak was snapped Sunday.
17: Rick Pitino and Larry Brown coached against each other 17 times in the NBA. Sunday was their first time meeting in college.
This is crazy:
NC Weekend Sports Apocalypse Final Update. Wins: 0 Losses: 8 (Panthers, Duke, UNC, State, Wake, Canes, Bobcats twice) #Carolinamageddon— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) January 12, 2014
Other outcomes of note:
- No. 1 Arizona will remain No. 1 Arizona, as the Wildcats pulled away in the second half for a 73-53 win at USC. T.J. McConnell and Brandon Ashley each had 19 points. Arizona hosts Arizona State on Thursday.
- San Diego State is still a one-loss team after winning at Air Force 79-72.
- After going 11-1 in the non-league, Utah is now 1-3 in the Pac-12 and 12-4 overall after falling to Washington State on Sunday. The Utes shot below 30 percent from the field.
- When teams makes 16 3-pointers and shoot 67 percent from behind the arc, it's pretty likely they are going to win. That's exactly what Florida State did Sunday night, rolling past Maryland, 85-61. The Terrapins drop to 10-7 on the season.
- La Salle (9-6) had a tough time in non-conference play, and it'll need to nab all the wins it should over the weaker Atlantic 10 teams in order to have a chance come A-10 tourney time. It accomplished that feat by winning at Duquesne 75-56 Sunday.
- Without its best player -- who is out for at least three weeks -- MAAC favorite Manhattan needed overtime to beat 5-11 Marist, 86-79.
- In a nice Horizon League battle, Green Bay went into Milwaukee and won 83-86 to improve to 13-3. The Phoenix are one of the more dangerous mid-majors in the nation.
- Nebraska lost at Purdue, 70-64, in large part because the Cornhuskers went more than six minutes without a point. Neither team is headed to the NCAA tournament this year, but it's good for Purdue that it could come away with a win here. Nebraska is now 8-8 and Purdue is 11-5.
-- Not J.T. Terrell's smartest decision. Not dunking over Aaron Gordon from there.
-- Pittsburgh lost redshirt sophomore forward Durand Johnson for the rest of thes eason due to a torn ACL and torn meniscus in his right knee. The injury came during Pitt's win Saturday over Wake Forest.
-- SMU was playing without center Yanick Moreira, who is out at least two weeks due to a sprained right medial collateral ligament.
-- DeAndre Kane injured his ankle Saturday, and his status for Monday's home game against Kansas remains unknown.
Matt Norlander and Jeff Borzello contributed to this post.