The Big 12/SEC Challenge may have take center stage on Saturday, and although it produced some dandies and important results, it was hardly alone. Several mid-majors had showdowns of teams at the top of the standings in addition to all the high-major games that initially grab attention.
The Big 12/SEC Challenge figured to be a good slate of games, as entering the day the Big 12 had a slim 5-4 edge in matchups between schools of the two conferences this season. That comes as the Big 12 has been atop the conferences while the SEC’s overall non-conference showing left a little to be desired. For the third straight year, the Big 12 won, going 7-3 this time around.
With that, here are notes from some of the day’s games.
Oklahoma 77, LSU 75: A heart-breaking loss for LSU. They led for most of the game and by double digits at times, they responded initially when they finally lost the lead, and came up just short of a major league signature win.
Kansas 90, Kentucky 84 (OT): Like the aforementioned game, this one was all you could want in a matchup of these two. In the end, it was Wayne Selden (33 points) who stood above everyone else, making big play after big play.
Florida 88, West Virginia 71: A convincing win by the Gators got the day going. They built a big lead early and never looked back. I have to admit I have long thought this Gators team has better computer numbers than I expect, but this win changes the perception some.
Virginia 63, Louisville 47: Let the Cardinals serve as a great example of how little the polls tell us. They will probably still be ranked after the Cavaliers convincingly beat them at home, yet they have knocked off just one team that is even close to a lock for the NCAA Tournament (Pittsburgh).
NC State 85, Miami 69: NC State has needed a win or two like this all year. Cat Barber carried them again, as he has much of the season.
Florida State 76, Clemson 65: Remember that big stretch where Clemson was beating everybody? They rode a home-heavy time for that. A win or two on the road will help.
Texas A&M 72, Iowa State 62: This game was every bit as entertaining as we could have expected. The Aggies did a great job of closing it out by winning the final minutes.
Texas 72, Vanderbilt 58: Another missed opportunity for Vanderbilt, which means their margin for error keeps dropping.
Providence 73, Georgetown 69: The dynamic duo of Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil carry the Friars to another big road win, less than a week after winning at Villanova.
Purdue 89, Nebraska 74: Let’s just say something that’s undoubtedly been said many times: A.J. Hammons can be really good. 32 points, 11 rebounds and five assists good.
USC 98, Washington 88: These two teams are even at 6-3 in Pac-12 play, part of a three-way tie behind Oregon heading into Sunday.
Marquette 75, Butler 69: This was in Milwaukee, but the losses continue to pile up for Butler as they are now 3-6 in the Big East.
Kansas State 69, Ole Miss 64: The Wildcats get their best win of the season. Now the question becomes whether or not they turn this into a confidence booster for more quality wins.
Indiana 74, Minnesota 68: The Hoosiers almost let this one get away, even losing the lead late. They regrouped.
New Mexico 88, Boise State 83: It’s a race for second in the Mountain West as San Diego State won at UNLV to remain undefeated, and now New Mexico pulls into second place after an impressive road win on Saturday.
Saint Joseph’s 64, Rhode Island 55: A nice road win allows the Hawks to keep pace near the top of the Atlantic 10.
UAB 81, Marshall 78: A big road win puts UAB alone atop Conference USA for now.
Fordham 78, UMass 72 (OT): Fordham gets their first road win of the year, closing this one out in the extra session.
Stephen F. Austin 66, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 61: A big road win in a battle of teams that entered the day undefeated in conference play puts the Lumberjacks into a first-place tie atop the Southland right now at 8-0 along with Houston Baptist, who eked out a 70-69 win over Sam Houston State.
Wagner 73, Mount St. Mary’s 63: These two teams are now tied atop the Northeast Conference, with this being a big road win for the Seahawks. Fairleigh Dickinson joins them at 7-3.
Yale 79, Princeton 75: An early showdown goes to the host Bulldogs, who pull into a tie at 4-0 with Columbia after the first full weekend of Ivy League play.