College basketball results, winners and losers: Arizona stunned at home, UConn back in winner’s circle

The first full Saturday of 2023 produced a college basketball slate of everything we love about the sport. As conference play hit its full stride across the country, there were explosions, exciting finishes and stunning upsets.

number 7 Alabama Made the most eye-catching explosion ever Kentucky crushed 78-52while No. 25 Iowa He delivered the thrilling finish in a 69-67 win at No. 17 TCU. As for the startling disorder, there aren’t a lot of questions regarding Washington state.

Take down the Cougars #5 Arizona 74-61 on the road to the program’s first-ever win against a top-five opponent. The victory was also the Cougars’ first win over a top-five team anywhere since 1983 and was especially stunning given WSU’s poor start to the season.

Arizona (14-2, 3-2 Pac-12) shot just 31.7% from the floor and had just 2 points off the bench as they trailed as many as 18 in the second half. Muhammad Jayi advanced over Washington State with 24 points, including 13 in the second half, while the Cougars improved to 7-10 (2-4).

This unexpected outcome only cemented that there are a few truly dominant teams in college basketball this season. Four of the top six teams in the AP Top 25 lost their games this week as chaos begins to engulf the sport with the arrival of a new calendar year.

Let’s dive a little deeper into Saturday’s action by examining the winners and losers from across the country.

winner: Okun Back in the winner’s circle

The Lotta folks abandoned UConn ship and swam thousands of miles in the opposite direction after dropping two straight games – both in Big East play – Xavier and then Providence To end the Gregorian year 2022 and open the new year. Now, these people are looking pretty silly right now. The #4 Husky has handed their business over to the modern competitor Creighton 69-60 to finish a two-game skid in a game that wasn’t that great. Both teams traded punches in the second half, but UConn took control midway through the final frame and extended their lead to as many as 12 before settling home for a nine-point victory.

After two straight league losses, UConn needed not only a win, but one win over a good team that could help get them back into the mix in the regular season race. She got just that by restricting the visiting Bluejays—the third-best 3-point shooter in the Big East—to 2 of 16 3-point range shooters. This was only the third time since Greg McDermott took over the program in 2010-11 that Creighton has achieved 2 or fewer 3s in a regular season conference game.

“Our identity is elite defense and top five defense,” said UConn coach Dan Hurley. “What makes teams special is when they are so effective on both ends of the field, when our defense is on point.”

Loser: Kentucky falls flat again on the road

Kentucky suffered its second-biggest loss to an SEC foe since John Calipari’s arrival in Lexington on Saturday as the Wildcats went flat and were subsequently leveled in a 78-52 rout at the hands of Alabama. It doubled as the Crimson Tide’s biggest win over the Wildcats, beating the previous record of 25 points that had stood since 1990.

“This one I don’t know if I want to watch the tape,” Calipari said afterwards. “We did what we wanted to do but missed every shot. You can’t have three of your starters go 3 for 27 — three of your starters that you rely on to make baskets. We looked unattached again because everyone held the ball, everyone caught it and bounced it first.” You have to give [Alabama] credit.”

It was Kentucky’s third road loss of the season in as many trips after falling in a semi-distant environment (not a kennel but not necessarily a neutral field) vs. Gonzaga on November 20 and then lost at Missouri before the new year. Combined, UK led by 23 totals in both of those losses and never led against both Gonzaga and Alabama.

winner: Michigan StateThe yo-yo rides are heading up

It’s still early January and it looks like Michigan State has already been through the ups and downs of an entire season. The Spartans, who were once ranked 12th, have lived out of the polls over the past month after two ugly losses to Notre Dame And North West On November 30 and December 4. Since then, the Spartans have had six straight wins. While a handful of those came against key middle opposition, the Spartans were winning comfortably and playing solid defense. In a 59-53 win over the challenger Michigan On Saturday, the Spartans held the Wolverines to just 34.5% shooting. Although the win wasn’t a technical feat, it improved Michigan State to 11-4 (3-1 Big Ten), and that could be enough to get Sparty rated again on Monday.

Winner: Jerome Tang gets Best Teacher

For 19 years, Jerome Tang has stood shoulder to shoulder with Scott Drew and helped build a champion actual a hero! – at Baylor. That changed last season when Tang finally spread his wings and took over as the head coaching position at Kansas State, setting up Tang’s Wildcats for at least two face-to-face meetings a year with the Drew’s Bears.

Check the score: 1-0, Tang.

K-State went to Waco on Saturday and stunned Baylor 97-95 in overtime behind Markquis Nowell’s 32 points and 14 rebounds. Florida transfer Keyontae Johnson added 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting to help the home-bound Bears duel.

“I like Scott,” Tang said. “Thankful to the Baylor fans and the welcome. That was really cool. Then it turned out to be a basketball game.”

Loser: TCU’s home court advantage

TCU fell at home for its second loss all season to fall to 13-2 as Iowa raced to Fort Worth and won 69-67, and the Hurricanes seemed to cause trouble with very little resistance in front of a TCU home crowd that looked sparse at best and completely empty.

Of course, TCU fans might have something else on their minds — the Horned Frogs play in the College Football Playoff National Championship Monday, punctuating a dream season — but even so, it’s hard to see a 13-1 (now 13-2) team set that kind of attendance. home.

Winner: Providence is red hot

Providence improved to 6-0 in Big East play for the first time in program history, but not without some drama. He led the Monks in pre-Holding for Dear Life the stretch in an 83-80 win vs. . St. John. The Friars were picked to finish fifth in the league, but got off to another strong start after achieving in similar fashion last season. The Friars were picked to finish seventh in the Big East in 2021-22 but ended up winning the league. Veteran manager Ed Cooley lost five of his top six goalscorers from this side but proved to be a wizard of the transfer portal once again. All five starters hit double figures for Providence against the Red Storm, who started 1-5 in the league.

loser: Villanova Wasted opportunity to win quality

You could consider Xavier a weekend winner as well in the same category as his Big East Providence counterpart, but I’d argue his win isn’t the big picture as impactful and important as Villanova’s loss. Falling 88-80 at home dropped them to 2-3 in conference play and eliminated a good opportunity to claim a Quadruple 1 win at home. The Wildcats have been up and down all season in their first year under new head coach Kyle Neptune, and while it’s too early to take any team off one week in the calendar year, it seems they are teetering closer and closer to becoming an NIT team than an NCAA Tournament team. Only one of his wins all season has come against a team expected on the field The latest Jerry Palm chip: Oklahomawhich was narrowly dropped at a field of 68. Nova will have to bungle and pile up wins in Big East play in shortstop fashion.

loser: Wisconsin He misses a Big Ten acquisition opportunity

Illinois He traveled to No. 14 Wisconsin going 0-3 in Big Ten play and losing key rookie guard Skyy Clark, who walked away from the program for personal reasons. Wisconsin was off to a 3-0 start in the league and had a chance to come out of the day as the only Big Ten team going undefeated in conference play. The Badgers missed the opportunity with some holey defense as the Illini cruised to a 79-69 victory with 49 points in the second half. Wisconsin entered to allow opponents to shoot only 30.8% from 3-point range, but Illinois drilled 10 of 19 shots from outside the arc to hand the Badgers’ first loss in the league.

Alabama made the biggest statement of the day in the SEC by annihilating Kentucky. But if there was such a thing as an “impressive” win over lowly South Carolina, it was 8th-ranked Tennessee that found it. The Volunteers crushed the Gamecocks 85-42 on the road to improve to 3-0 in the SEC. The South Carolina Volunteers held a laughable 25% shooting mark and held freshman star JJ Jackson scoreless. Two of Tennessee’s conference wins come by more than 30 points.

loser: duke Luck needs late in the game

No. 16 Duke finished winning, 65-64 Boston College by making just one of the last 14 attempts from the field. The Blue Devils led 52-38 in the second half but nearly gave up the game late on. Fortunately, Duke hit 17 of his 19 free throw attempts, helping the Blue Devils cap off 15 turnovers and a 29.2% second half shooting percentage. Winning is winning, especially on the road. But in the wake of an 84-60 loss in North Carolina State On Wednesday, there was nothing particularly inspiring about Duke’s gameplay.

winner: Fau He wins the thirteenth in a row

Florida Atlantic almost held a 20-point lead against it CharlotteHowever, the Owls held on for a 71-67 victory to extend their winning streak to 13 games. The Owls entered 12th in the grid, and although they received no respect from the AP’s top 25 voters, there is no doubt that something special is brewing in Boca Raton. The winning streak is the longest in program history, and the Owls could find themselves in consideration for the program’s second-ever NCAA Tournament bid if this continues.

Loser: Arkansas cools down on the road

After making just 2 out of 16 3-point attempts in the 72-59 loss at Auburn, No. 13 Arkansas is officially cold on the road. The Razorbacks made just 4 of 25 long-range attempts in a road loss at LSU to begin major league play, meaning they are only 6 of 41 deep in their only true game so far. At 12-3 (1-2 SEC), the Razorbacks are at home with No. 7 Alabama next and will need to shoot much better into the friendly boundaries of Bud Walton Arena to beat the red-hot tide.

WINNER: Clemson is the last ACC team to go undefeated

Clemson had its best start ever in the ACC by improving to 5-0 in the league with a 75-74 win over a Pitt team that went 4-0 in conference play. The Tigers trailed 67-59 with 5:30 remaining but used a 13-2 lead from there to take control of the road. Four players reached double figures, led by Chase Hunter’s 17. The budding guard scored 13 in the second period to lead the Tigers, who are the last undefeated team in ACC play. Duke’s road game is up next Wednesday, but the Tigers suddenly looked great after a 1-3 start to the season.

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