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Saturday Notes – February 4, 2017

February 6, 2017 Columns No Comments

With the way this season has gone, you had to think we were due for a day like Saturday – not a good day to be a high-ranked team. Saturday tied a record for the most losses in a single day by teams ranked in the AP Top 25, with several going down in the top 10.

Interestingly, there were several matchups that were quite heralded, but few ended up living up to their billing in that respect. A couple of the biggest matchups ended up being blowouts, and in both cases with the team ranked lower winning, though in each case that team was also at home.

With that, here are notes from a number of the day’s games.

Iowa State 92, Kansas 89 (OT): The Jayhawks’ 51-game home winning streak comes to an end in a thriller, a big win for the Cyclones.

Kansas State 56, Baylor 54: The Bears couldn’t bounce back at home as Kansas State gets a big road win they desperately needed. This greatly strengthens the Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament resume, though it needs more work.

Oklahoma State 82, West Virginia 75: The Cowboys turned the ball over 19 times, which is to be expected. How did they beat the press? They shot 62.5 percent when they didn’t give it away, out-rebounded the Mountaineers 30-16 and were 24-27 from the free throw line in a game that makes you think this team could be turning a corner.

Oregon 85, Arizona 58: It’s not a big surprise that the first showdown of the two favorites in the Pac-12 went to the home team. The fact that this was never really a ballgame thanks to the Ducks being scorching hot from the field (65.2 percent), especially from long range (16-25, though they missed their last four), is. Tyler Dorsey, whose jump shot was once a question mark, had 23 points on 7-9 shooting, making all six of his attempts from behind the arc.

Florida 88, Kentucky 66: Every time Kentucky tried to get back in this one, Florida had an answer in a dominant win. If they play like this more often, they will be hard to beat.

Syracuse 66, Virginia 62: History repeats itself as the Orange again rally to beat Virginia. This time, the rally started a bit earlier – the beginning of the second half, when a 19-2 run erased a 34-22 halftime deficit.

Duke 72, Pittsburgh 64: Mike Krzyzewski’s comeback was a win as the Blue Devils get ready for arch-rival North Carolina on Thursday.

Wake Forest 81, Georgia Tech 69: Wake Forest has a little better NCAA Tournament resume than you might suspect, and this win will help given that Georgia Tech has knocked off North Carolina, Florida State and Notre Dame.

Miami 84, NC State 79: The Hurricanes get to .500 in ACC play with a road win, and now they will try to get more wins to make a better NCAA Tournament case.

Purdue 73, Maryland 72: The Big Ten race gets a little more interesting as the Boilermakers hold off Maryland.

Ohio State 70, Michigan 66: Both of these teams need some good wins, and this win – on the road – can help the Buckeyes if they pick up a few of them in the weeks to come.

Cincinnati 82, UConn 68: Before the season, this figured to be a prime matchup. Instead, there wasn’t a lot of luster to it, and the Bearcats took care of the Huskies.

South Carolina 77, Georgia 75: A tough week ends for the Bulldogs, as they had tough road losses at Kentucky and South Carolina that were both there for the taking.

Xavier 82, Creighton 80: The battle of two teams recently hit hard by a season-ending injury and chasing Villanova goes to the visiting Musketeers.

Missouri 83, Arkansas 78: The Tigers get their first SEC win, and it’s another Saturday loss that will hurt Arkansas’ NCAA Tournament hopes.

San Jose State 78, New Mexico 68: This was a shocker, coming at The Pit. It’s the Spartans’ first win there in 13 games, and the Lobos aren’t in a good place right now.

Wichita State 86, Illinois State 45: It’s all even in the Valley, and the only thing surprising about this was the margin, as the Shockers made it a laugher in the second half, scoring more points (51) in the second than the Redbirds scored all game.

VCU 83, St. Bonaventure (OT) 77: This is a tough one to swallow for the Bonnies, who got a three-pointer by Matt Mobley (34 points) with less than a second remaining and appeared to win, then fans rushed the floor and a technical foul led to a tie game and overtime. The Atlantic 10 released a statement noting that this was the correct call, and the conference office reviewed it with the coordinator of officiating.

Saint Mary’s 71, San Diego 27: That’s not a typo – the Toreros really did score just 27 points, nine coming in the first half. They shot 19.6 percent from the field and were out-rebounded 43-23.

Ohio 85, Akron 70: The first loss for Akron in MAC play this year ends their 12-game winning streak, with Jaaron Simmons scoring 38 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the way.

Princeton 57, Harvard 56: A big win for the Tigers in Cambridge, which puts them two games up on the Crimson in the loss column early.

Green Bay 86, Valparaiso 69: This makes the Horizon League race a little more interesting, as Green Bay is now just a half game back of Valpo (one more loss) and Oakland right there at 8-4 after they won at Cleveland State.

Wagner 68, Fairleigh Dickinson 59: In going across the river to get this win, Wagner makes things a bit more interesting in the NEC after conference leader Mount St. Mary’s, who is now 10-2 after they won.

Eastern Washington 130, Portland State 124 (3 OT): This game wasn’t on many radars, but it might have been the wildest one of the day and set a few records. Eastern Washington’s Jacob Wiley and Bogdan Bliznyuk tied Rodney Stuckey’s school record with 45 points each, and EWU set a Big Sky record for points by a team and the 254 combined points is also a conference record.

South Dakota 74, Oral Roberts 67: This game is mainly noteworthy because Mike Daum had a monster game with 38 points and 17 rebounds for one of the best stat lines of the day.

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