College basketball has been a rollercoaster for highly ranked teams this season, and Saturday was no different. No. 3 Duke lost to No. 11 Louisville; No. 4 Auburn lost to unranked Florida; No. 5 Butler lost to unranked DePaul; No. 12 West Virginia and No. 20 Colorado lost to Kansas State and Arizona, respectively.
Those are just a few of the many surprising results that poured in on Saturday -- and all four were decided by double digits. In a wild season full of wacky outcomes, it'd be a shocker if Saturday had played out any other way.
Of those, the. The Tigers were undefeated entering the week, and after falling 69-47 to Florida, they have now taken two consecutive losses. Butler's loss to DePaul finishes was, with the Blue Demons leading by double digits for the entire second half to claim a 79-66 win. It's their first win over an AP top-five team in more than a decade.
That makes DePaul one of our biggest winners in the sport on the day -- and Auburn one of our biggest losers. To sum up the rest of the noise, we've broken down the rest of the day's winners and losers all in one spot for your reading pleasure. First up: those Blue Demons.
Winner: DePaul does it again
DePaul opened the season 12-1, then slumped its way to four consecutive losses to open Big East play. So naturally it defeated No. 5 Butler 79-66 on Saturday to claim its first conference win and get back in the win column. It's DePaul's first win over a top-five team since beating No. 5 Kansas in 2006.
Loser: Ohio State keeps tumbling
Less than a month ago, Ohio State was poised to be ranked as the No. 1 team in the country. And now the Buckeyes don't even look like the best team in their own state. They dropped their fifth game in their last six tries Saturday on the road against Penn State, and in lopsided fashion: 90-74.
Things are quickly slipping for OSU and between suspensions and injuries, this team hasn't quite clicked in the way it was when it opened the season 9-0. The result: a second-to-last place standing in the Big Ten.
Winner: Seton Hall is on a roll
TRIVIA TIME: When was the last time Seton Hall opened Big East play 6-0? Think on it -- I'll give you a second to mull this over. Scroll down when you're ready.
OK, it was a trick question: the answer is never. Seton Hall has never opened Big East play 6-0 -- that is, until Saturday, when the Pirates stole a road win over St. John's 82-79 to get to 6-0 in the league and improve to 14-4 on the season. Their lead in the Big East standings will be a tough one for lurkers like Villanova, Providence, Butler and Marquette to overcome, and the upcoming schedule only gets better for them.
Winner: Calipari's techs spark UK
Did Kentucky coach John Calipari purposely get two quick technicals and subsequent ejection just to rile up his lifeless team? I'm skeptical. Highly skeptical. Nonetheless .... it worked!
Calipari went bananas on the officiating crew after a foul called on UK's EJ Montgomery, was ejected with Kentucky tied 44-all on the road against Arkansas, then all the Wildcats did was reel off a 17-2 run over the next few minutes. That spurred a momentum shift as they eventually cruised to a 73-66 win.
Loser: North Carolina's slide continues
I've written North Carolina's obituary multiple times this season in different ways, but there's no better way to illustrate its woes than these two stats:
After losing to Pitt 66-52, UNC is below .500 (8-9) for the first time since 2004.
UNC last finished a full season below .500 in 2001-2002 (8-20) -- Matt Doherty's second season.
Here's an optimists' outlook: the last time UNC dipped below .500 in a season -- in 2004, when it opened the season 0-1 -- it won the national championship. But here's the cold, hard reality: this team is reeling and there's no Cole Anthony-sized Band-Aid that can cover up this team's deficiencies. An 8-20 finish like 2001-2002 seems pretty unlikely for this team, especially with Anthony insisting on social media he intends to return, but at 8-9, KenPom currently projects it will only win three more games this season. Frustration levels in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, continue to rise.
"It's pretty high, there's no question about that," Roy Williams said after losing to the Panthers. "I've lived a charmed life. Having a losing record right now is not something we're very familiar with."
Winner: Buddy Boeheim red hot for Orange
Virginia Tech learned one lesson the hard way Saturday: do not mess with Buddy Boeheim. I repeat: DO NOT MESS WITH BUDDY BOEHEIM.
The silky scorer and son of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim unleashed on the Hokies and tied a career-high with 26 points. And the way in which he got there was Stone Cold. Capital S and C. Here's more from the AP recap:
Virginia Tech fans were having a great time giving Syracuse's Buddy Boeheim a hard time after one of his first shots hit nothing on Saturday.
"Airball! Airball!" the crowd jeered the next few times he touched the ball.
Boeheim silenced them quickly, scoring 18 consecutive Syracuse points in a personal 18-5 first-half run that turned a 14-10 deficit into a 28-19 lead, sending the Orange on the way to their third straight victory, 71-69.
Twenty-six points was huge for Boeheim, but scoring 18-straight after hearing it from the away crowd is just cruel and unusual punishment to Hokies fans who, from my point of view, asked for this. He just went up a couple levels in my book.
Loser: Oklahoma State blows lead vs. Baylor
This was Oklahoma State on Saturday reaching for a win over No. 2 Baylor and thinking it had it.
The Cowboys led the Bears by 12 in the second half (!), then crumbled, surrendering a second-half 21-6 run that allowed Scott Drew's team to close the gap. Baylor took advantage and eventually won 75-68.
Oklahoma State's been struggling, but this is the pits. After opening Big 12 play 0-4, a win over a top-two team could've been momentum on steroids. Instead, it goes back to the drawing board still winless with three of its next four on the road. The Cowboys are in real danger of opening conference play 0-6 (or worse) -- which would match Brad Underwood's 0-6 start in his first (and only) season coaching the Cowboys in 2016-17.
Winner: Scottie Lewis' hops
Florida bashed No. 4 Auburn, 69-47, to improve to 4-1 in SEC play on the year. It was an impressive beatdown. Even more impressive: Scottie Lewis using no hands and no help to get from off his back to on his feet:
Oh, to be young again.
Loser: Miami folds in loss to FSU
Miami almost had it. It was so close. With 5:15 left in the second half, it took a 65-56 lead on No. 9 Florida State. Then ... a total collapse. FSU closed the second half on a 13-4 run to force overtime, then scooted to a win by outscoring the Hurricanes 14-10 in the extra frame to claim an 83-79 win. Miami coach Jim Larrañaga summed up the meltdown perfectly after the game: "I thought we did everything it took to win the game except win."
Winner: Maryland bettors
How's this for a beat: No. 17 Maryland, a 6.5-point favorite over Purdue, led 55-50 with 15 seconds left in the game. It appeared Purdue was going for the steal but was content in letting Maryland run out the clock. Then, a stunner: the officials called a foul that sent Anthony Cowan Jr. to the free-throw line for a 1-and-1. He made both, and voila: a 57-50 Maryland win -- and a cover for Terps backers everywhere.
Loser: West Virginia falls to Kansas State
West Virginia's been so close to winning the Big 12 in recent years under Bob Huggins. But road losses have dashed the No. 12 Mountaineers hopes -- and may do so again. They took their second Big 12 loss Saturday on the road to K-State, which up until today was winless in league play, and in stunning fashion: 84-68. Despite a 14-3 start to its season, West Virginia looked like a pretender more so than a contender. That's a really bad loss compounded by the fact that the Mountaineers were 12 of 22 from the free-throw line.
Winner: Klay Thompson's jersey retired by WSU
Washington State retired Klay Thompson's jersey and eaied it to the rafters on Saturday. Thompson's alma mater welcomed both he and Warriors teammate Stephen Curry into town to take part in the ceremony. Here's a look at the ceremony that took place before Washington State's 89-76 win over Oregon State:
Loser: Vanderbilt's 3-point shooting
Vanderbilt went 0-fer from the 3-point line (0-of-25) in a 66-45 loss to Tennessee, setting a NCAA Division I record for most attempts without making a 3-pointer in a game. It also ended Vanderbilt's 1,080-game streak in which it had made at least one 3-pointer in a game. Only UNLV and Princeton have made a 3-pointer in every game since the 3-point line was adopted by the NCAA in 1986-87. UNLV holds the record with a 3-pointer made in 1,090 consecutive games All of that set us up for this very important, not-at-all subtle tweet that should be adopted immediately into the Twitter Hall of Fame.
Winner: Louisville's resolve
After chucking up a 23-point lead to Duke last season, Louisville could have surrendered a double digit lead on the road to Duke on Saturday.
But it didn't.
Instead, the 11th-ranked Cardinals withstood Duke's second-half run and went toe-to-toe with No. 3 Duke in one of the most challenging environments in all of college basketball, winning 79-73. That's a huge win. Louisville of last year could not have done that. Louisville of this year did it -- and this team is just getting started.
Loser: Coach K critical of refs
No shame in losing at home to a top-15 team. None. But doing so, then afterwards complaining about the officiating? Shame. Shame. Shame. Not a great look from one of the greatest in the game. Take the L with grace and move on.
Krzyzewski unhappy with the level of physicality allowed: “Freedom of movement was not alive and well tonight. I hope the rest of the conference isn’t like that.” Compared it to early 90s Bulls-Pistons. Probably not enough for a fine, but dancing on that line.— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) January 19, 2020
Winner: Oregon's Pritchard come up clutch
No words needed. Payton Pritchard is an assassin.