By Gary Parrish
Here’s everything you need to know about Wednesday’s slate of college basketball games …
Game of the day: Gary Williams walked out, gave his usual fistpump and sent the Comcast Center crowd into a frenzy before tipoff, and it really did feel just like old times. But then Williams had the court dedicated in his honor and exited, and the average team he left behind was left to deal with Mike Krzyzewski's eighth-ranked Duke Blue Devils. The game was close for a while and mostly interesting. But Mason Plumlee's 23 points and 12 rebounds were enough to lift Duke to a 74-61 victory. (Somewhere, Greivis Vasquez wept.)
Win to brag about: Notre Dame backed its huge win over Syracuse with a 55-42 victory at Seton Hall. The Irish are now a surprising 5-3 in the Big East heading into Sunday's game at Connecticut. Meantime, Seton Hall has dropped three straight since entering the national rankings.
Loss to hide from: Marshall is in Jerry Palm's latest Predicting the Field. But I bet the Thundering Herd are out after their 56-49 loss at home to UAB considering the Blazers entered with a 6-12 record that included a 1-4 mark in C-USA. This is not a loss Tom Herrion wanted to take heading into Saturday's showdown at Memphis. Or anytime, really.
Player who deserves improper benefits: Arnett Moultrie got 28 points and 12 rebounds -- and recorded his 12th double-double -- in No. 18 Mississippi State's 76-71 win over LSU. His reward will be his addition to the CBSSports.com National Player of the Year Watch that'll be updated Thursday.
Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Marcus Denmon took 16 shots and missed 12 in No. 2 Missouri's 79-72 loss at Oklahoma State. His punishment will be his removal from the CBSSports.com National Player of the Year Watch that'll be updated Thursday.
Numbers don’t lie:
- 2: That's the number of Louisville starters that fouled out during the Cards' 84-74 victory over Villanova. Russ Smith fouled out first, then Chane Behanan. But Rick Pitino's team still escaped and improved to 16-5 overall, 4-4 in the Big East.
- 5: That's the number of freshmen St. John's started in a 78-62 win over West Virginia. It was reportedly the first time St. John's had started five freshmen since the 1927-28 season.
- 37: That's the number of consecutive home games fourth-ranked Ohio State has now won. Their 78-54 victory over Penn State -- in which Jared Sullinger got 20 points and 13 rebounds -- kept the streak alive.
Three other notable results:
- Pittsburgh beat Providence 86-74. It was the Panthers' first Big East victory. They opened with seven straight league losses.
- Doug McDermott's 30 points were enough to lift No. 15 Creighton to a 77-69 win at Drake. It was the Bluejays sixth consecutive road victory.
- BYU went to Blacksburg and handed Virginia Tech a 70-68 loss.The Hokies are now 12-8 overall, 1-4 in the ACC. They might not even get to make the bubble of the NCAA tournament this season.
- Will Barton and Tarik Black were both ejected during Memphis' 73-51 win over Rice for leaving the bench after teammate Joe Jackson was fouled on a dunk attempt. Barton and Black did not participate in a fight. Therefore, will not be suspended for Saturday's game against Marshall.
- Saint Louis' 73-68 win at Xavier snapped the Musketeers' 43-game home winning streak in Atlantic 10 games. Xavier's last A-10 home loss (before this) came in 2006.
- Michigan State's 68-52 win over Minnesota represented Tom Izzo's 400th career victory. The future Hall of Famer was reportedly wiping celebratory tears from his face in the final minutes of the game.
- Pittsburgh wasn't the lone power-conference school to get its first league win on this night. South Carolina got its first in the SEC courtesy of a 56-54 victory over Alabama in which Bruce Ellington scored the game-winner with 1.4 seconds remaining.