By Gary Parrish
Here’s everything you need to know about Sunday’s slate of games …
Game of the day: Remember when Notre Dame lost Tim Abromaitis for the season and we all assumed the Irish were likewise done? That seems silly now that Mike Brey's team just won 50-48 at Connecticut and improved to 6-3 in the Big East. And this was UConn with Ryan Boatright as opposed to without Ryan Boatright. The freshman guard played for the first time since missing three games while the NCAA further investigated claims that he received improper benefits before enrolling at UConn. He only scored six points in the loss. And because of the loss, we had to drop the Huskies out of the Top 25 (and one).
Win to brag about: That Ohio State easily handled Michigan despite Jared Sullinger being saddled by foul trouble and mostly average -- and despite the team shooting just 20 percent from 3-point range in the 64-49 win -- was really impressive. The Buckeyes got 17 points and 12 rebounds from Lenzelle Smith. They've now won four straight. They look like a possible national championship team.
Loss to hide from: Nobody likes to have their four-game winning streak snapped. But it's especially unfortunate when the winning streak is snapped at home by a rival that entered with a 3-5 record in the worst of all the power-conference leagues. So, yeah, Oregon had a bad day. The Ducks lost 76-71 to Oregon State while missing 21 3-point attempts.
Player who deserves improper benefits: Cody Zeller rebounded from a poor effort against Wisconsin with a 26-point effort in Indiana's 103-89 win over Iowa. The freshman forward made 11 of the 12 shots he attempted. He dunked a lot. He looked good.
Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Whomever was in charge of preventing Zeller from dunking a lot and recording a career-high in points does not deserve even 10 percent of the improper benefits Ryan Boatright received. Because that guy did not do his job very well.
Numbers don’t lie
- 12: That's the number of assists Kendall Marshall had in North Carolina's 93-81 victory over Georgia Tech. The performance marked the sixth time this season that Marshall has dished at least 12 assists. His season-high is 16 against Long Beach State.
- 14: That's the number of consecutive points Miami scored to break a 49-49 tie and pull away from Boston College in an eventual 76-54 victory that pushed the Hurricanes to 3-3 in the ACC. They're now tied for sixth in the league standings.
- 17: That's the number of turnovers St. Peter's committed in its 64-40 loss to Iona. The Peacocks only had seven assists. That ratio is why they lost by 24.
- Michael Alvarado scored 20 points in Manhattan's 87-70 win over Niagara. The Jaspers are 9-2 in the MAAC and tied atop the league standings with Iona and Loyola.
- Anthony Collins got 15 points in USF's 81-78 win over Providence. The Bulls are 6-3 in the Big East. But it should be noted that every Big East victory has come over a school with a losing record in the league.
- Allen Crabbe scored 18 points in California's 69-59 win over Stanford. The Bears are 7-2 in the Pac-12 and tied atop the league standings with Washington.
- Kentucky remained No. 1 in the latest Top 25 (and one). The rest of the top five (in order) is Syracuse, Ohio State, Missouri and Baylor.
- Arizona announced early Sunday that Kevin Parrom will miss the rest of the season with a broken foot. He was averaging five points and three rebounds per game.
- Three of the top five teams in the updated KenPom.com rankings are from the Big Ten. They are Ohio State (No. 1), Wisconsin (No. 2) and Michigan State (No. 5).
On tap: Missouri and West Virginia are the only teams in the Top 25 (and one) scheduled to play Monday. The Tigers are at Texas. The Mountaineers host Pittsburgh.