College basketball scores, winners & losers: Georgia upsets Memphis; frustration grows for UNC's Roy Williams
The right call the Bulldogs made down the stretch to win at Memphis highlights our look at a busy Saturday
College basketball this season has been a hamster wheel of upsets, so why would the brand new calendar year bring us anything else? In the first full slate of conference games on Saturday to ring in 2020, three top-10 teams took losses, with two coming to unranked teams. And so that hamster wheel? It keeps on churning, baby.
No. 7 Louisville was the highest-ranked team to take a loss, falling 78-65 to No. 18 Florida State. No. 9 Memphis is next on that list after unranked Georgia came to FedExForum and upset the Tigers 65-62. Marquette is the third team to top a top-10 club, doing so 71-60 over No. 10 Villanova.
With Saturday's bustling slate leaving endless results but little clarity, we're here to make sense of the noise with all the day's big winners and losers.
Winner: The "foul up three" crowd
Georgia led No. 9 Memphis by three in the final 10 seconds and with the Tigers in possession of the ball they had a chance to potentially tie the game. The Bulldogs fouled with four seconds left. and turned out, it was the right call. Tigers freshman Boogie Ellis missed the front end of a 1-and-1 that gave UGA the ball back. Anthony Edwards went to the line on the opposite end of the floor and missed, but it left Memphis with no choice but to heave a full-court prayer at the buzzer. It missed and the Bulldogs won 65-62.
Even with UGA failing to knock down the game-icing free throw, this remains a win for the "foul up three" crowd. UGA never gave Memphis a chance to send it to OT until it was too late -- and it escaped with its first win over a top-10 team since 2011.
Winner: The legend of Anthony Edwards
Anthony Edwards, Georgia's star freshman, had an off game in UGA's takedown of No. 9 Memphis, hitting just 4-of-17 from the field. Still, the swagger he exudes showed in the second half as he shook off the slump to hit a few big shots late -- and then showed the crowd the exit.
After the game, Edwards said the message was simple: "Bye. Bye. Go home."
What a cold, legendary way to win one on the road.
Loser: Roy Williams' general well-being
North Carolina lost at home to Georgia Tech on Saturday, a 96-83 defeat that dropped UNC to 8-6. The game was over just after it started, as the Yellow Jackets raced out to a 28-4 lead. Carolina missed its first 15 field goal attempts. The Tar Heels trailed Georgia Tech by 20 points at the half. It's the largest halftime deficit for UNC in the 34-year history of the Dean Smith Center. Insane, and this is nearly official: Roy Williams has never had a worse team in his life. UNC is so bad and without direction, here's what Williams told reporters afterward.
Williams also stormed away from a huddle during a media timeout as well. Without Cole Anthony, the Tar Heels are lost. They are not even in the discussion to be an NIT team at the moment. It's uncommon when we see one of the blueblood schools have a dismal season, but we're in the midst of watching it in back-to-back years with UCLA, Indiana and UNC. The former two were bad a season ago, while UCLA and UNC are twisting in 2019-20. Next up is Pitt at home on Wednesday.
Loser: Tennessee struggles again
You'd be hard-pressed to find any power conference team that's had a more challenging go at it the last month than Tennessee. It has lost four of its last five over the last month after a 7-1 start to the season, and in between there, star guard Lamonte Turner's college career came to an end. Saturday it went from bad to worse as the Vols lost their second-straight at home and second in a row, this one 78-64 to LSU.
"I still think we have a chance to be good basketball team, but we don't have a lot of room for error," said the endlessly optimistic Rick Barnes, via the Knoxville News-Sentinel, after the game.
Things could be looking up for the Vols. They welcomed mid-year enrollee Santiago Vescovi to the lineup for the first time Saturday, and not only did he start, he scored 18 points and made six 3-pointers on nine attempts. If he can limit the turnovers and grow quickly (nine turnovers in 34 minutes), Tennessee has a chance to meet Barnes' optimistic expectations of salvaging the season.
Winner: Marquette's resolve leads to upset of Villanova
Marquette opened the new year -- and Big East play -- with a 92-75 loss to Creighton on Wednesday. After that loss, coach Steve Wojciechowski showed frustration with Marquette's defense and with his coaching staff's preparation, vowing to do a better job coaching.
Three days after that loss, Marquette managed a 71-60 Saturday win over No. 10 Villanova at home. And that defense?
"I thought the defense bounced back incredibly well," Wojciechowski said after the game. "We knew to win the game we were gonna have to sustain a lead and match their runs, and the way you do that is through defense. I thought our guys played an outstanding defensive game against one of the top offenses in the United States. We did a really nice job against a terrific team."
Winner: Texas Tech has turned it around
Since Chris Beard's arrival in 2016, Texas Tech has been knocking down program milestones like whack-a-mole. In 2018, it went to its first Elite Eight. In 2019, it made its first Final Four and national title game appearances. And in 2020, Beard and Co. are aiming to set the Big 12 on fire. The Red Raiders won their conference opener over Oklahoma State 85-50. The 35-point margin set a school record for the largest margin of victory in a Big 12 game.
Tech started the season 5-3 but has won five-straight -- including a win over No. 1 Louisville mixed in -- to get right back on track just in time to defend its regular-season conference crown.
Last season, Beard's squad nearly went the distance by riding an elite defense and a lottery talent in Jarrett Culver, the 2018-19 Big 12 Player of the Year. In this game, it limited OSU to 20 second-half points on 6-of-24 shooting while riding the hot hand of rising freshman Jahmi'us Ramsey, who scored 18. He's scored 15 or more in his last three games.
Loser: Virginia Tech struggles vs. Virginia
Don't fret, Virginia Tech -- almost everyone comes out looking like losers after playing Virginia. You're just the lucky ones who played them Saturday.
The Cavaliers held their cross-state rival Hokies to a measly 39 points of offense in a 65-39 win, which is gross. So are these statistics from Va. Tech: 27.1% shooting, 16.0% from 3-point range, outrebounded 38-25. Virginia Tech's best scoring half (22 points) was still eight fewer points than Virginia's worst (30 points). Mike Young's team has seen better days!
Winner: Duke's case as the best team in the sport
Miami's been off the radar the entire season, but with a five-game winning streak and a home opportunity against the Blue Devils, maybe there could be an upset? Yeah ... no. Not even close. Duke trounced the Canes to the tune of 95-62. Duke is now 13-1 (3-0), No. 1 in KenPom and looking dominant. If not for that pesky November home loss to Stephen F. Austin (oh by the way: The Lumberjacks are 13-2 and damn good), Duke would be undefeated and would have held the No. 1 ranking more than six weeks running. It would be discussed as the only great team in the sport, even in this down season. But the SFA loss has prevented that. It's about time we drop that thinking, though. Duke looks great. It's not without flaws, but it's as strong as any team in hoops right now.
Winner: Butler's Kamar Baldwin battles back
"Better late than never" may as well be Kamar Baldwin's temporarily-adopted mantra. Baldwin, Butler's all-everything star, couldn't drop a penny in a landfill in the first half against Creighton. Then in the second half he couldn't miss. He scored all 20 of his points in the final 17 minutes, rising up like The Undertaker, to close out Butler's 71-57 win.
Loser: This poor official
Gotta keep your head on a swivel around those 3-point lines!
Winner: Providence's Nate Watson keeps his cool
If you were hitting less than 40% of your free-throw attempts on the season, how might you feel about going to the free-throw line to win the game for your team? Nervous, right? Yeah, nervous. That's exactly how Providence's Nate Watson felt going to the charity stripe with his team tied with DePaul with one second left in the game.
Nerves, smerves. Watson missed the first free throw but drained the second to ice the Friars' 66-65 win over DePaul.
Winner: Florida's NCAA tourney case
The Gators came back from a 21-point home deficit against Alabama to win 104-98 in double overtime. That was a catastrophe averted, as UF is now 9-4 instead of 8-5. It's 1-0 in the SEC instead of 0-1 with a home loss to a team that will struggle to reach the NIT. Florida's comeback was the second-largest halftime comeback at home in school history. Mike White's got good pieces and is still obviously trying to figure it all out. Turning point? The Gators next have road games against South Carolina and Missouri. Things will be on track if they can win both those.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
Ionescu incredibly hit the mark on the same day she helped eulogize Kobe and Gianna Bryant...
The Seminoles sit alone (for now) atop the ACC standings after an impressive come-from-behind...
SportsLine's advanced computer model simulated Monday's Louisville vs. Florida State matchup...
The WCC, Mountain West and several other leagues enter their last week of the regular season
College basketball coaches voted to make Kansas the new No. 1 team in the country
There's a new No. 1 in the sport following Saturday's big shakeup