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College basketball scores, winners and losers: Missouri, West Virginia get NCAA early seed, then lose at home

 

USATSI

A recap of everything that went down Saturday in college hoops, and who came out as winners and losers

Saturday's slate of college basketball slate kicked off with an early look at where things stand in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament selection committee, as the annual bracket preview provided a glimpse at who the top 16 seeds were entering the day's action. But just a few hours later, things began to shift as another weekend of upsets and tight finishes got rolling. 

Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia and Villanova -- each featured among the top 16 -- had all fallen by early evening, offering a nice reminder of just how fickle the art of Bracketology is at this time of year. But for every ranked team that falls victim to an upset, there is an eager counterpart in the win column looking to capitalize on the dwindling amount of regular season time to gear up for a postseason run.

The day featured plenty of big winners and big losers, so here's a recap of some highlights from another full day of hoops.

Winner: Ohio State's affirms its legitimacy

The same day that the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee revealed that Ohio State is in preliminary position to land a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the No. 4 Buckeyes reinforced their legitimacy with a dominant 78-59 win over Indiana. Ohio State has now won six straight and nine of 10. If Michigan struggles during its return from a lengthy hiatus, watch out: this Buckeyes team could find itself in position to compete for a Big Ten title come the last week of the season. 

Loser: Auburn keeps the monkey on its back

Auburn hadn't won in Rupp Arena since 1988 -- losing 18 straight in Lexington, Kentucky, during the span -- and the Tigers couldn't steal a win on Saturday, despite the Wildcats' well-publicized woes. Kentucky hit 8-of-13 3-pointers during a 52-point second half to snap a four-game losing streak with an 82-80 victory and earn just its sixth win of the season. The Wildcats also held Auburn freshman Sharife Cooper to 14 points, which was his second-lowest scoring output of the season. The star guard made just 6-of-23 shots from the field, failed to reach the free-throw line for the first time this season and turned the ball over six times.

If there was ever a season to end a losing streak at Kentucky that's been going on for more than 30 years, this was it, and the Tigers blew their chance.

Winner: Arkansas is coming on strong

Yeah, so about those Razorbacks. They aren't ranked and haven't been all year after playing a weak non-conference schedule. But Saturday's 86-81 overtime win at No. 10 Missouri marked the sixth win in seven games for coach Eric Musselman's squad. This team faded down the stretch last season, but it's surging this time and looks like it could be dangerous in March. Now 16-5 (8-4 SEC), you can expect to see the Razorbacks emerging from bubble territory and possibly into the polls on Monday after their second Quad 1 victory helped answer any lingering questions about their legitimacy.

Winner: The Crimson Tide are flying

Alabama set a school record for most points in an SEC game in a 115-82 win over Georgia, thanks in large part to their 3-point shooting. The No. 11 Crimson Tide (17-5, 12-1 SEC) hit 18-of-30 from beyond the arc and actually attempted more 3-pointers than 2-pointers. But the 2-pointers they attempted were nearly all from the paint, as second-year coach Nate Oats continues to emphasize efficient shot-taking.

One shot attempt from freshman wing Darius Miles in the final minute that helped put the finishing touches on the record was particularly ambitious though. Miles, who played just four minutes, leapt from the edge of the paint and finished an emphatic dunk on 6-foot-9 Georgia defender Josh Taylor that sent the Crimson Tide bench into a frenzy.

Loser: Michigan State's pride keeps getting hit

It seemed that maybe, just maybe, Michigan State was getting back on track entering Saturday's game with Iowa. The Spartans had won two straight heading into their home date with the struggling Hawkeyes and could cling to some hope of a miraculous late-season rally. But Saturday brought just another smack of reality for the Spartans, who fell to 10-8 (4-8 Big Ten) with an embarrassing 88-58 loss. The defeat constituted the worse suffered at the Breslin Center since it opened in 1989. Michigan State held Luka Garza, the nation's leading scorer, to a season-low eight points on 3-of-11 shooting and it didn't even matter. Iowa made 13-of-25 from 3-point range and reinforced that this Michigan State team is sorely lacking the talent on both ends to make the NCAA Tournament after it rose as high as No. 4 in the AP poll back in December.

Winner: The Pac-12 title race shaping up for great finish

Oregon's 63-61 victory over Arizona was the Ducks' third straight and keeps them in the race for the Pac-12 title along with USC, UCLA and Colorado. With leading scorer Chris Duarte back at full speed and last year's third-leading scorer Will Richardson back in the lineup after a December hand surgery, the Ducks are beginning to hit their stride. Duarte hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.5 seconds left against the Wildcats. Last year, it was UCLA that finished the season on a tear to make the Pac-12 championship race interesting. Oregon looks like it's going to play that role this season. But a game against Colorado on Thursday looms large among two teams jockeying to keep pace with the Trojans and Bruins.

Loser: Idaho falls to 0-17 with overtime loss

It's hard to feel sympathy for vandals, but the Idaho Vandals get our heartfelt condolences for what happened to them on Saturday. They entered their game at Idaho State with an 0-16 record, having lost their past eight games by double-digits. But it looked like the misery might end until Idaho State's Daxton Carr hit a 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left to force overtime. From there, the Vandals were outscored 10-4 and dropped to 0-17 after a 64-58 loss in overtime. That's just brutal.

Winner: Oklahoma is a force in the Big 12

After a 2-3 start to Big 12 play, it looked like Oklahoma might be doomed to repeat last year's 9-9 Big 12 record as they scrapped through a tough league by alternating between wins and losses. But this Sooners team just continues to surprise, with Saturday's 91-90 double-overtime win at No. 14 West Virginia serving as the latest reminder that this is not a team to be trifled with. That's seven wins in the last eight games for coach Lon Kruger's squad, a stretch that includes four victories over teams that were ranked in the top-15 at the time of the game. All five of Oklahoma's starters reached double-figures as the No. 12 Sooners validated their spot as a No. 3 seed in Saturday's bracket preview.

Loser: Mississippi State keeps losing

There was a time in mid-January when it looked like the Bulldogs were rallying to put an 0-2 start behind them and compete for their second NCAA Tournament berth under sixth-year coach Ben Howland. But after Saturday's embarrassing 72-51 home loss to Vanderbilt, it's painfully clear Mississippi State still isn't there yet. The loss was the Bulldogs' sixth in their last eight games, and that it came against lowly Vanderbilt only added to the frustration.

Winner: Northeastern has a banner day

Northeastern is off to an 8-1 start in the Colonial Athletic Association after Tyson Walker's career-high 36 points lifted the Huskies to a 76-67 win over Towson for coach Bill Coen's 250th game at the school. The victory tied Coen with legendary former Northeastern and UConn coach Jim Calhoun for first all-time on the school's wins list, according to the school's sports information department. 

Winner: Loyola smacked Drake in MVC showdown

The No. 22 Loyola Chicago Ramblers, they of 2018 legend for their Final Four run, are proving deserving of their return to the national spotlight. Ranked in the AP poll for the first time this season, the Ramblers scored a big 81-54 win at Drake on Saturday behind a ridiculously efficient offensive performance. Loyola Chicago made 63.4% of its shots and outscored the Bulldogs 50-20 in the second half to secure the team's first Quad 1 victory of the season. Drake (19-2, 10-2 Missouri Valley Conference) played with star ShanQuan Hemphill, who might be out for the season with a broken foot. Hemphill leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game and was a key in Drake's 18-0 start. But Loyola Chicago's win was still as close to a statement victory as can be made in the MVC this season. 

Loser: Colorado's bid for Pac-12 supremacy

With three straight Pac-12 victories under its belt, Colorado entered Saturday's game at lowly Cal with a 10-4 league record and a real shot, it seemed, at competing for the conference title. If nothing else, the Buffaloes looked destined for their best-ever season in league play under 11th-year coach Tad Boyle. But after a surprising 71-62 loss against the Bears, it seems the Buffaloes may still be bumping their heads against the ceiling of mediocrity as they so often do. The Buffs were just one spot out of the AP poll this past Monday and looked destined to finally enter it for the first time this season until the ugly loss to a Bears team that entered on a seven-game losing streak. All of the sudden, playing conference powers Oregon, USC and UCLA in three of its final four scheduled regular season games appears a bit more daunting for this squad.

College basketball scores, weekend takeaways: Bracket facts, big wins, Ayo vs. Luka, Creighton's statement

Matt Norlander discusses wins by Virginia, UConn, Arkansas, plus the case for Ayo Dosunmu vs. Luka Garza for POY

            Matt Norlander

    Saturday afternoon brought a tempting first look at a bracket. Then a number of those teams that were seeded by the selection committee went on to lose hours later. Hey, that's the fluid nature of college basketball's season and a reminder that a lot will change between now and Selection Sunday, which is exactly one month away.

Here are my top 10 takeaways from a lovely Valentine's Day weekend in college hoops. 

What to know: Bracket reveal

The Division I Basketball Selection Committee's top 16 reveal from Saturday afternoon offers up a few tidbits to keep in mind. As a refresher, here was the top 16. Twelve of these 16 teams played over the weekend, going a combined 8-4. 

1. Gonzaga 

2. Baylor 

3. Michigan 

4. Ohio State 

5. Illinois 

6. Villanova 

7. Alabama 

8. Houston 

9. Virginia 

10. West Virginia 

11. Tennessee 

12. Oklahoma 

13. Iowa 

14. Texas Tech 

15. Texas 

16. Missouri

Although the committee is using S-curve principles to build the bracket this season (geography isn't a factor because the entire tournament will be in Indiana), it's vital to remember that there are bracketing procedures that preclude high-end conference opponents from meeting prior to the Sweet 16. And if two teams from the same league have met three times prior to the Big Dance, they're not allowed to meet prior to the Elite Eight. So the committee had to split up five Big 12 teams, four Big Ten teams and three SEC teams into different regions because teams across the top four seed lines cannot be in the same region -- that's an NCAA rule -- unless a league has more teams than regions in the top 16. That's why the Big 12 (five teams) was forced to have two in the same region (No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 4 Texas in Region 2).

The highest-ranked team on average across all six NCAA metrics that did not make the list: USC, now 13th at KenPom and 15th in the NET. 

Consider that the Big Ten had three of the top five seeds. With Villanova's loss on Saturday, it's looking all the more likely that the conference can have two No. 1s next month. 

Great news for Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Ohio State fans: In the previous three years of the February bracket reveal that later had an NCAA Tournament (2017-19), three of the four No. 1 seeds in February held the top line in March. (While there was no 2020 NCAA Tournament, the projections last year also kept this pattern.) And in the three previous years we did have a tournament, one of the four No. 1 seeds in February went on to win the national title: North Carolina in 2017, Villanova in 2018, Virginia in 2019. 

If the top 16 looked strange to you, well, you wouldn't be wrong. It was undeniably lacking big-brand presence. Only four schools seeded have won an NCAA Tournament: Michigan, Ohio State, Villanova, Virginia.

Want more college hoops? The latest episode of Eye on College Basketball is below.

Michigan capsizes Wisconsin

The No. 3 Wolverines waited 23 days between games, got down by 14 on the road against a ranked team and then managed to double-up No. 21 Wisconsin 40-20 in the second half en route to a 67-59 win. That was impressive. In fact, it's probably Michigan's most impressive win this season, which it closed with a 13-2 run. Juwan Howard's team didn't make the committee look bullish for slotting them No. 3 overall. Considering this was a standalone Sunday game, it only enhances the Wolverines' profile overall as well. 

Allow me to gush about that second half performance, as the collective defensive showing sliced away at a double-digit Wisconsin lead (the inadvertent elbow with Brad Davison's didn't help Bucky; Michigan turned the game thereafter). Hunter Dickinson, Isaiah Livers, Chaundee Brown, Franz Wagner and Eli Brooks held UW to just under 0.62 points per possession in the second half. Totally turned off Wisconsin's water. The Badgers fell off a cliff in the second half, shooting 25% and scoring a mere 20 points while shooting 1 of 13 from 3-point range.

Dickinson had 11 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. He's a top-five freshman in the nation. Livers had a game-high 20 points, but Dickinson's play signified why Michigan can win a national title. He is special. One last thing: As much as I'd like to credit Dickinson's play entirely, the fact is there's no excuse for Wisconsin bigs Micah Potter and Nate Reuvers to finish with zero rebounds. That should never happen.

Two-bid Valley? It's still alive

If you're the type to root for small conferences to earn at-large bids, then the Missouri Valley is the league for you this year. No. 22 Loyola Chicago and Drake wound up splitting their series this weekend, boosting both teams' at-large cases in the process. It was the best possible situation for the Valley. On Saturday, Loyola Chicago steamrolled its way to an 81-54 road win over the Bulldogs. On Sunday, Drake again was at home and won a slugfest, holding on 51-50 in overtime to improve to 20-2 and notch its first Quadrant 1 win.

Here's why it's so meaningful for Drake: The Bulldogs got this win despite not having their best player. Tank Hemphill is Drake's leading scorer and rebounder. He recently had surgery on his left foot. He'll be out, minimally, until the start of the NCAA Tournament. So this was huge. Loyola Chicago and Drake are now both 1-1 in the top quadrant with both those results having coming against the other. The Ramblers sit at 18-4. They started the day 10th in the NET, while Drake was 40th. I'd venture Loyola-Chicago will still be among the top 20 on Monday morning, while Drake will move back into the top 35. It's vital both of these teams don't lose again prior to the Missouri Valley Tournament, which will start in just over two weeks' time.

A new Creighton emerges?

Creighton's insistent 86-70-win over No. 5 Villanova was the Bluejays' best win this season and an emphatic proclamation. When we discussed the Jays in the preseason as a potential equal to Villanova in the Big East, this is the team we had in mind. Turns out being an underdog on their home floor is all the motivation the team needed. 

"We've been the hunted, really, for a month," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said Saturday night. "We've been probably the favorite in every game we've been ranked. So everybody has a little extra motivation -- during a year where it's kind of tough to find motivation -- to play us. Today, we got to play a top-five team in the country and it gave, I think, us a little more juice." 

Star guard Marcus Zegarowski also finally had his statement game. The preseason Big East Player of the Year had knee surgery last spring, then was out again for six weeks in October and November. In January, another short setback (hamstring) hampered him. Zegarowski's just about healthy now, and lookie here: a season-high 25 points. If this is what Creighton can bank on more nights than not going forward, this team has a Final Four ceiling. 

As for Villanova, you take the bruising loss and move on. The biggest impact the game had on the Wildcats, as far as I can tell, is that they will probably have to win out in order to have a shot at a No. 1 seed. 

Weekend's best game: Oklahoma-West Virginia

Just because a mid-February game between two ranked teams doesn't have either 1-seed or bubble-type consequences doesn't mean it can't be significant. No. 12 Oklahoma went into No. 14 West Virginia and pulled off a 91-90 double-overtime win to improve to 13-5 and take sole possession of second place in the feisty Big 12. Five Sooners, led by Austin Reaves, scored in double figures. Reaves posted 28 points along with nine rebounds and seven assists. For OU to overcome 29 points from WVU's Derek Culver -- in addition to five 3-pointers from Sean McNeil -- and to do this on the road? Great sign. So remember this one month from today (Selection Sunday): Oklahoma has tasty potential to be a premier Final Four sleeper.

Ayo Dosunmu's building an intriguing case vs. Luka Garza for player of the year. USATSI

Can Ayo catch Luka?

We've reached a stage where this needs to, at the very least, be a friendly debate. Luka Garza was the near-consensus pick for college hoops' best player in the preseason. And it's true he's still the frontrunner for National Player of the Year. But he's got at least two players chasing him, one of those guys also being someone nipping at Garza's heels in his own league: Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu. The No. 5 Illini needed OT to win 77-72 at Nebraska on Friday night. If not for Dosunmu, Illinois takes its worst loss of the season. He scored the team's final 10 points in regulation and its first five in OT to almost-singlehandedly beat Nebraska and keep Illinois as the highest-rated No. 2 seed, according to the selection committee.

Dosunmu's a stud, the kind of player great enough to lift his team to a national title. He's also averaging better than 20/5/5, and if he keeps those averages he'll be the first Big Ten player to do that since Ohio State's Evan Turner pulled it off 11 years ago. (When Turner did it he won National Player of the Year.)

Dosunmu's heroic effort came a night before Garza had a fairly quiet day in Iowa's 30-point win at mediocre Michigan State: eight points, eight rebounds, three assists. Illinois is 14-5 and alone in second place in the Big Ten. Iowa is 15-6 and tied for fourth. Statistically, here's how the two match up. Garza is the pick right now, but it's a legitimate race with three weeks of regular season ball remaining.

PLAYER PPG RPG APG BONUS 2PT% 3PT%

Garza

24.5

8.4

1.8

1.6 BPG

59.3

43.1

Dosunmu

21.7

6.2

5.1

1.1 SPG

51.0

40.3

Virginia quietly entering 1-seed territory

Saturday closed with another intriguing matchup as we waited to see whether bubbly North Carolina could keep it close vs. No. 9 Virginia. Nope. For the fourth time this season UVA held an opponent under 50 points: Cavaliers 60, Tar Heels 48. Virginia has played UNC more times than any opponent (144) and has never won seven straight games against the Tar Heels -- until now.

The Wahoos were a No. 3 seed as of Saturday morning, per the committee. But at 15-3 (11-1 ACC) and clearly standing as the best team in that conference, Tony Bennett's club has a shot to get a No. 1 seed should it get to Selection Sunday with no more than four losses. It's looking possible. 

For 12-7 North Carolina, it's on a game-by-game basis going forward with its tournament fate. The Tar Heels had their upcoming Tuesday game vs. Virginia Tech postponed, so the ACC will try to shift things around for the Heels if it can. Otherwise, UNC won't play again until next Saturday vs. Louisville.

Weekend's most cherished power win: UConn

UConn has been hampered by significant injuries all season long. Akok Akok is the team's best defender; he's played four games. Highly touted freshman Andre Jackson has missed seven. The biggest blow has been James Bouknight's absence since Jan. 5. The future NBA pick is UConn's most valuable player. Entering the weekend, UConn was 5-1 with him and 3-4 without him. He wasn't available for the roadie against 10-2 Xavier on Saturday, either.

Somewhat amazingly, that wound up not mattering as Dan Hurley's team won 80-72 and landed its second Quad 1 victory of the season. The 9-5 Huskies are still on the outside of the bracket and looking in as of now. But if Bouknight can return for next Saturday's game against Villanova (as I think he will), then UConn has a healthy shot at not just playing itself back into the NCAA Tournament convo but also becoming a dark horse to win the Big East Tournament title. 

Tennessee, Mizzou too shaky to trust

Tennessee no longer gets to use the "undefeated with Jaden Springer and Keon Johnson healthy" line. The Volunteers were never in it on the road vs. LSU, losing 78-65 and enabling the Tigers to make 20 of their 31 shots from 2-point range (64.5%), which is an affront to a team that for weeks has held the top ranking in defense at KenPom. Tennessee's offense failed to average at least 1.0 points per possession for the eighth game this season. (Troubling.)

Elsewhere in the SEC, Arkansas knocked off Missouri on the road. It was the Razorbacks' first win over an NCAA Tournament-level team. For Mizzou, more reason to fade the Tigers. It was their third loss in six games. The Tigers were projected as a No. 4 seed two hours before this game began, but obviously that would not have been the case had this game been decided prior to Saturday. Mizzou is a 5 at best now. Odd but true: Alabama is the only SEC team worth trusting in your bracket next month. 

At least Hogs coach Eric Musselman finally had another reason to take off his shirt again. 

Another team voluntarily ends its season

Let's close with this because we're going to see more of it. Maine quietly ended its season Saturday after having played just nine games in almost three months. As I mentioned recently on the Eye on College Basketball podcast, sources around college hoops in recent weeks have told me they expect a handful of opt-outs before we get to March. We've had a few in Division I women's basketball already (with more potentially to come), and now on the men's side there are three: Maine, Howard and Chicago State. New Mexico debated it as well before choosing to continue. As more teams with bad records struggle to hit the finish line, don't be surprised if the number of teams that bail on the season do so before their last scheduled game. 

College basketball rankings: Oklahoma, Virginia, Creighton surge upward in new Top 25 And 1

Creighton buried Villanova to stand out as one of three big movers in Sunday's rankings

            Gary Parrish

     Bill Self suffered the worst home loss of his Kansas career last month. Tom Izzo suffered the worst home loss of his Michigan State career on Saturday. Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has already lost four times at home in the same season for the first time in 14 years. And it's undeniable that these things are all tied to the fact that home-court advantage isn't much of an advantage during a global pandemic.

It's been obvious at Creighton, too.

The Bluejays typically enjoy one of college basketball's greatest homecourt advantages thanks to them annually finishing in the top 10 in attendance. They finished in the top five last season while going 17-1 inside the CHI Health Center Omaha. But with capacity limited this season because of COVID-19 protocols, they've been much more vulnerable at home than normal, evidence being how Creighton entered Saturday's showdown with Villanova with three home losses to unranked teams on their resume. So it was reasonable to be skeptical about their chances of upsetting Jay Wright's Wildcats.

They did it, though.

Creighton sank 12 of 26 attempts from three and shot 59.3% from the field to bury Villanova, 86-70. The star was Marcus Zegarowski. He took 18 shots, made 10 and finished with 25 points and five assists.

"He totally controlled the game," Wright said. "We had different types of coverages on him. None of them worked. I think it's because he's so smart. He read every change we made and really sliced us up."

The win improved Creighton to 16-5 overall, 12-4 in Big East play. The Bluejays are now 6-1 in their past seven games and up to No. 18 in Sunday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Their jump from No. 22 to No. 18 pushed Texas Tech and Louisville down one spot each, no fault of their own. Creighton's next game is scheduled for Feb. 24 against DePaul.

Sunday's Top 25 And 1 rankings

BIGGEST MOVERS

4 VIRGINIA 9 MISSOURI

RK

TEAMS

 CHG

RCRD

1

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GONZAGA Gonzaga's perfect record includes double-digit victories over Virginia, Iowa and Kansas. The Zags have won their 11 WCC games by 24.6 points. -- 20-0

2

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BAYLOR Baylor's perfect record is highlighted by victories over Texas, Illinois, Texas Tech and Kansas. The Bears have won 15 of their 17 games by double-digits. -- 17-0

3

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MICHIGAN Michigan is 8-1 in the first two quadrants with double-digit wins over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Purdue. The Wolverines' lone loss came at Minnesota. -- 14-1

4

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OHIO ST. Ohio State is 9-1 in its past 10 games with wins over Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. The Buckeyes lead the nation with eight Quadrant 1 wins. -- 17-4

5

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ILLINOIS Illinois is 10-5 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Illini will take a five-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with Northwestern. -- 14-5

6

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HOUSTON Houston is 10-1 in its past 11 games with nine double-digit wins in that stretch. The Cougars are 7-1 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss at East Carolina. 1 17-2

7

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ALABAMA Alabama is 10-5 in the first two quadrants with victories over Tennessee and Arkansas. The Crimson Tide will take a two-game winning streak into Wednesday's game at Texas A&M. 1 17-5

8

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OKLAHOMA Oklahoma is 7-1 in its past eight games with wins over Alabama, West Virginia, Texas and Kansas. The Sooners have zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. 3 13-5

9

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VIRGINIA Virginia is 11-1 since losing to Gonzaga with victories over Clemson and North Carolina. The Cavaliers are 8-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss coming in Quadrant 3 to San Francisco. 4 15-3

10

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W. VIRGINIA West Virginia's three-game winning streak was snapped Saturday by Oklahoma. The Mountaineers are 9-6 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. 1 14-6

11

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VILLANOVA Villanova's two-game winning streak was snapped Saturday at Creighton. The Wildcats are 5-3 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. 5 13-3

12

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TEXAS Texas is 6-5 in the first two quadrants with zero losses outside of Quadrant 1. The Longhorns will take a two-game winning streak into Tuesday's game at Oklahoma. -- 13-5

13

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USC USC is 6-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Trojans' six-game winning streak features victories over UCLA and Stanford. 3 17-3

14

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FLORIDA ST. Florida State is 6-1 in its past seven games with wins over Louisville and North Carolina. The Seminoles are 6-2 in the first two quadrants with one additional loss coming in Quadrant 3 to UCF. -- 11-3

15

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VA. TECH Virginia Tech is 3-1 in its past four games after Saturday's win at Miami. The Hokies are 7-4 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. -- 14-4

16

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IOWA Iowa is 8-6 in the first two quadrants with only one loss outside of Quadrant 1. The Hawkeyes will take a two-game winning streak into Thursday's game at Wisconsin. 3 15-6

17

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WISCONSIN Wisconsin is 8-6 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. The Badgers are 2-1 in their past three games with the lone loss in that stretch coming at Illinois. 1 15-7

18

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CREIGHTON Creighton is 6-1 in its past seven games with wins over Villanova and Seton Hall. The Bluejays are 11-2 in the first two quadrants with three additional losses falling in Quadrant 3. 4 16-5

19

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MISSOURI Missouri is on a two-game losing streak after Saturday's loss to Arkansas. The Tigers are 6-5 in the first two quadrants with only one loss outside of Quadrant 1. 9 13-5

20

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TENNESSEE Tennessee is 4-4 in its past eight games after Saturday's loss at LSU. The Vols are 5-5 in the first two quadrants with only one loss outside of Quadrant 1. 3 14-5

21

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TEXAS TECH Texas Tech is 3-3 in its past six games after Tuesday's double-digit loss to West Virginia. The Red Raiders are 5-6 in the first two quadrants heading into Monday's game at TCU. 1 14-6

22

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LOUISVILLE Louisville's 8-3 record in the first two quadrants includes victories over Duke, Virginia Tech, Pitt and Georgia Tech. Three of the Cardinals' four losses have come inside the first quadrant. 1 11-4

23

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LOYOLA-CHI. Loyola Chicago's 11-game winning streak includes 10 double-digit victories. The Ramblers are 5-3 in the first two quadrants with zero additional losses. -- 18-4

Big East preseason Player of the Year Marcus Zegarowski scored a season-high 25 points Saturday to fuel No. 19 Creighton to a blowout win over No. 5 Villanova 86-70. It was a startling statement sent by the Bluejays as they rained down 3s, dominated the paint and, in the process, managed to heave a wrench into the conference race in the final weeks of the regular season.

The performance came only hours after Villanova earned a No. 2 seed from the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee in its annual in-season bracket preview, which gives a snapshot of where teams stand if the season were to end today. The committee announces a total of four seeds from each region -- so 16 teams overall -- and Creighton was conspicuously missing from that bunch on Saturday.

If Creighton didn't take that exclusion as a slight, it had a funny way of showing it. Zegarowski scored 17 first-half points as the Bluejays came out firing. They led for nearly 32 minutes of game action in a dominant showing. As a team, they shot 12-of-26 from 3-point range (compared to Villanova's 10-of-32 outing) and outscored Villanova in the paint 36-20 to top it off.

— Creighton Men’s Basketball (@BluejayMBB) February 13, 2021

It's Creighton's third consecutive win and sixth in its last seven as it crept within striking distance to Villanova at the front of the Big East race. It's Villanova second loss in its last four games, however, dropping it to 5-2 since its nearly month-long hiatus that spanned some of December and January because of COVID issues.

The Wildcats have plenty of juice to be a force this postseason, and still have the goods to carry the league -- prime example being their 32-point shellacking of Marquette earlier in the week. But a loss to Creighton -- and by such a substantial margin -- won't do themselves any postseason favors as they teeter on the 2 line (the No. 6 overall team as of Saturday morning by the selection committee) with a month left until the tournament.

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Creighton sends statement in upset of No. 5 Villanova

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Winners and losers: Seeded Mizzou, WVU fall at home

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Takeaways: Bracket reveal, Ayo vs. Luka

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Creighton makes statement in upset of No. 5 Villanova

KYLE BOONE  1 MIN READ

Michigan State suffers worst home loss of Tom Izzo era

KYLE BOONE  1 MIN READ

Zags, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio St. are early No. 1 seeds

KYLE BOONE  2 MIN READ

Duke will rise again as it all starts with recruiting

GARY PARRISH  2 MIN READ

Maine opts out of playing rest of 2021 season

KYLE BOONE  5 MIN READ

Loyola's Krutwig has Ramblers humming along

MATT NORLANDER  16 MIN READ


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