Night Court: Ohio State flailing, loses 4th straight with L at Nebraska
Ranked No. 3 only a couple of weeks ago, Ohio State suddenly looks vulnerable with a fourth consecutive loss -- including a stumble Monday at unranked Nebraska.
Here’s everything you need to know from college basketball’s light Monday slate that turned into a nice night of hoops …
Game of the Night: Creighton drops 21 3-pointers and leaves the place soaking wet.
A quick graph here, as I already put up a standalone post on the nuttiness that was Creighton-Villanova. Our own Jon Rothstein was at the Wells-Fargo Center and wrote a little somethin'-somethin' too. Doug McDermott passed David Robinson on the all-time D-I scoring list. He's now at No. 22. By the time we get to the NCAA tournament, I think we'll look back on this game as one of the 10 most memorable of the season. According to KPI Sports, which analyzes college hoops, this was statistically the most impressive outcome of the season so far.
What else we'll be talking about: Ohio State drops its fourth straight, 68-62.
For the first time as Big Ten foes, Nebraska beat Ohio State. It no longer becomes a question of winning in the Big Ten, but rather winning enough. The Buckeyes should get better with a couple of upcoming home games against weaker league competition -- Illinois and Penn State -- but big-picture, it's not looking pretty. All those double-digit wins over weaker competition aren't adding up to much right now.
Nebraska, by the way, beat OSU for the first time in 29 years. They did it by beating Ohio State at its own game: with defense. OSU was ineffective from 3-point range and never looked comfortable in its own offense, a credit to Tim Miles' team but also a knock on Aaron Craft. The Buckeyes senior steps up big in a lot of moments (and he had 12 points and seven rebounds), but he has proven not to be an above-average point guard in terms of running an offense. At this point, he's a vital player but not one who can catalyze big runs or get this OSU team to play like a top-tier team with the ball.
Afterward, Craft told the media it feels like "a black cloud" is hovering over the team.
Shavon Shields and Terran Petteway each had 18 for the Huskers, who are now 9-8. Question: Have Nebraska and Creighton ever beat ranked teams on the same day?
UPDATE: Tim Miles took a photo with a fan. Two angles here. I'm cracking up.
That's a good win: Kansas keeps on rolling. National title contender from here on out.
I asked Gary Parrish on the Monday podcast if Kansas would win by double digits. We both agreed that would be the case. Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks with 18 points. Baylor was feeling it from deep; Brady Heslip banged home six 3-pointers after coming off the bench. The Bears kept it interesting, but they don't have the discipline or talent to match Kansas, especially at home. Scott Drew's team is now 13-4, but more importantly 1-3 in the Big 12.
Bill Self is now 5-0 in the Big 12, and he'll be winning the league for the 10th straight season. Every team except Kansas and K-State has at least two losses. And while Kansas State looks like a tournament team, it's not beating out KU for this conference crown in 2014.
CBSSports.com Player of the Week Joel Embiid was relatively quiet, yet still effective. The collective talent on Kansas has to be the best in the nation. We'll link Parrish's column from Phog Allen when it goes up.
But that’s a bad loss: UNC is now 1-4 in the ACC.
The Tar Heels took a road loss at Virginia, which I suppose isn't a bad loss in a vacuum, but we draw back and look at the Heels ... and it's now becoming a borderline NCAA tournament team. Yes those three wins over Louisville, Michigan State and Kentucky actually seem to be getting better with age, but at a certain point it looks like that was a different UNC team. The wins will still count to a lot, but outside of those three games, when has UNC made a statement?
Virginia I have to commend. The Cavs have become a 14-5 team and are 5-1 in the league. At the start of the season I would've thought this likely. Then I watched the group sputter to a 9-4 start and look less than inspiring. But in this ACC, second place is on the table. Joe Harris led the Hoos with 16.
Another team on a skid: Georgetown falls to Marquette.
The Hoyas, a team I thought would finish second to Marquette in the Big East this season, fell to the Golden Eagles 80-72. Buzz Williams' team earned an overtime road win here, and it's one he's been starving for all season. Georgetown's probably not making the NCAA tournament, but nevertheless, 10-8 Marquette was due. We figured the Big East could be a crap shoot, but to see these programs combine for a 21-14 record in mid-January is one of the unforeseen letdowns of this season. Markel Starks went for 28 in the loss.
Players with impact
1. Andrew Wiggins led Kansas in rebounds, with seven, and had 17 points. For the most part, he continues to put up that kind of stat line in the quietest manner possible.
2. Your leading scorer from Monday? Hartford's Wes Cole, who put up 30 in the Hawks' 69-51 win over UMass Lowell.
3. Ralston Turner put in a career-high 23 points for N.C. State in its 65-56 win over Maryland. State fans are feeling nice about the victory, but in reality these are two programs vying for an NIT bid. Maryland is having an inconsistent season, to say the least.
Numbers to figure
1997: The last time a team won four in a row over teams in the top 25 of the AP poll. That was UNC who did it then. Kansas repeated the feat on Monday.
13 to 2: Creighton jumped from No. 13 to No. 2 in KenPom by nature of its win over Villanova. I believe that's the highest jump for any team in the top 40 in one night this season.
15,342: The number of heads on hand to watch Nebraska beat Ohio State, the second-largest crowd in school history.
1994-95: The last time Virignia was 5-1 to start its ACC slate.
1-11: The combined record of Oregon, Iowa State and Ohio State since all three of those teams -- once undefeated -- dropped their first game, dating back to Jan. 5.
-- It's endured some injuries, but still tough to see Drexel now dip below .500 in league play. It fell 90-77 at home to Delaware Monday night, and Jeff Borzello's Blue Hens are now 5-0 in the league and the favorites to earn the CAA's auto bid.
-- DePaul lost. 84-74 to Xavier.
-- Vermont is 5-0 in the America East and the favorite in that league. It won by 17 over New Hampshire.
-- Fran Fraschilla's kid is a walk-on at Oklahoma, and this is his third trick-shot video. He does it in the name of charity. Jay Bilas is featured.
-- How good does Syracuse have it? Big man Dajuan Coleman is out for the year, yet it probably won't affect the Orange's title hopes all that much.
-- Miss the movement in the latest polls? Some shakeups each week now, due to tougher schedules coming into play.
-- A guy Florida State has signed to play basketball in the future was arrested and accused of eating marijuana over the weekend.
-- Xavier reserve Kamall Richards has torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the season.
Arizona, for no good reason, doesn't have to play at USC or UCLA this season
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