Night Court: Texas takes down K-State at the buzzer

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer

Here's everything you need to know from college basketball's Tuesday. Warning, turn your sound down on that video ...

Game of the Night: Texas takes out K-State at the buzzer.

Jonathan Holmes bangs home a huge one as time expires to move Texas to 15-4 on the season. A 67-64 final. Rick Barnes' team failed to make last year's NCAA tournament, the first time in a decade and a half Barnes was unable to do so, but it looks like UT will be back in the Big Dance again this year. It's a team playing beyond expectations, and if you want to make the case that it's a top-four Big 12 team right now -- you'll get arguments. But you'll have one yourself, too.

Texas is 4-2 in the Big 12 and now, by nature of this win, has put everyone two games behind Kansas in the loss column. So there's that.

Javan Felix led UT with 23. The Longhorns almost blew this one at the end on two missed free throws in the final second, then on a botched play, but all's well that ends well, and this was a fancy way to take out a K-State team that remains something of an enigma. Wildcats are 14-5. Hey, let's watch that ending again.

What else we'll be talking about in the morning: Pittsburgh's beatdown of Clemson.

How do you want to discuss Pittsburgh 76, Clemson 43? It was a home game for Pitt, and Clemson was holding opponents to 54.8 points per game, tops in the country. So this is a really nice bounce-back win for Pitt, which came so close to taking out Syracuse at Syracuse over the weekend. I think it does further validate that the Panthers are top-25 good, while giving a lacing of fraud sauce to Clemson. The Tigers seem to have one of the better defense in the country, but the offense has failed them plenty. I can't see Clemson shooting its way to NCAA tournament inclusion, and to a certain extent the 13-4 start was done with some smoke and mirrors (though you can't fake defense).

That's a good win: LSU finally nabs a decent home victory, wins 77-71 over stumbling Missouri.

The Missouri Tigers are another story altogether, and I'll get to them shortly. But LSU, now 12-5, had lost three of its last five and was without a decent win since a road victory at Texas Tech on Dec. 18 -- if you even want to count that. The Bayou Bengals have the talent (freshman Jordan Mickey has flashes of straight-out, rugged awesomeness) and can backdoor into the NCAAs if they're able to rack up wins against the bottom half of the league and, say, make the SEC tournament final. No more bad losses.

Mizzou hasn't won three in a row since 10 days before Christmas. Jabari Brown had 28 and Jordan Clarkson 19, but these guys don't have nearly enough help and definitely are a disaster on the defensive glass. Vs. South Carolina and then at Arkansas before Kentucky comes to town on Feb. 1. Critical stretch ahead.

But that's a bad loss: Harvard inexplicably falls by 15 against Florida Atlantic.

Boca Raton, Fla., is the harshest of environs, fellas. The Crimson just killed off all hopes of at an-large bid due to falling here. FAU is 7-12, including the win tonight. Harvard shot 14-of-61 from the field against the 255th-best teamin defensive efficiency on KenPom. So we should've seen this coming. Harvard is now 14-3 and will continue Ivy League play on Saturday at Dartmouth.

This was a rough game: Sparty survives against pesky Indiana.

The Hoosiers are now 2-4 in the Big Ten and 12-7 overall (and will be missing this year's NCAAs, I'm afraid). Michigan State remains unbeaten in the league (7-0) after winning 71-66. The Spartans didn't have Adreian Payne due to a foot problem, but without him Gary Harris poured in 24 to give MSU its 11th straight win. This 18-1 start is the best in school history with just one loss. The Spartans didn't look good in this game. It was as ugly a home win as Tom Izzo could have expected. MSU had 14 turnovers and grabbed just eight of its 28 misses.

Yogi Ferrell had 19 for Indiana; Will Sheehey was unable to play due to a tender ankle.

Players with impact

1. DeAndre Daniels put up a career-high 31 points for UConn in the Huskies' cruise-control 90-66 win over a bad Temple team. Shabazz Napier also stepped up, getting 27 poitnts, seven rebounds and six assists. UConn is now 15-4.

2. Dantrell Thomas of Nicholls State scored 27 and grabbed 12 boards in the 87-79 OT win at McNeese State. Teammate Jeremy Smith added 25.

3. Jordan Mickey of LSU had 14 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in the Tigers' win over Mizzou.

Other outcomes of note

  • Eric Atkins' 30-footer at the buzzer was an airball, so Ian Miller hit the winner for Florida State to beat Notre Dame. The Irish are 11-8 and have lost four of five since that big win over Duke. I still say FSU finishes top four in the ACC. They're 4-2 right now.
  • Kentucky got good balance and 16 points off the bench from Alex Poythress to beat Texas A&M 68-51 without much trouble. Win easy and move on. James Young is about ready to break out, by the way. Be on watch.
  • New Mexico held at home, winning 84-75 over Boise State. The Lobos are 5-1 in the league; the Broncos 3-3. Boise State has three of its next four at home, all are must-win in terms of a desirable at-large profile.
  • Must note that SMU is 15-4 and skating to an NCAA bid. The Mustangs beat wimpy Rutgers 70-56 on Tuesday.
  • Jerran Young put up 19 points off the bench to lift Wright State over Milwaukee 73-57. The Raiders are Green Bay's best challenge in the Horizon.
  • Butler's going through some somewhat-expected tough sledding in the Big East. Bulldogs are now 1-6 after falling 65-56 at Providence. PC is now 14-5.
  • Georgia Tech 68, Boston College 60, at BC. Yep, all I got.

Notebook:

-- The Purdue-Northwestern game went to two overtimes, was a very rough watch, but the home team got another win. Drew Crawford blocked the final shot of the game to give the Wildcats a 63-60 win. Chris Collins' team is now at 10-10, and that's a big step forward in his first season. Good things brewing there. The NU students did something really touching tonight, too.

-- Adreian Payne's status for Saturday's home game against Michigan is still undetermined. Tom Izzo said after the win that his choice right now would be to sit him.

-- Very sad, and our thoughts are with Air Force assistant Drew Long, who is on leave as he battles cancer.

-- UMass encouraging its fans to show up for a Derek Kellogg look-alike session this weekend.

-- Unrelated, amazing, guy's a hero.

 
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