Teams fall all around in Saturday action.
Saturday saw a blizzard of Top 25 activity, with most of the top teams holding their own and a fair share of upsets. The biggest losers were LSU, Kansas, Arizona, Texas and Nevada. First the upsets:
Texas Tech 69 Kansas 64 - Brandon Rush was held to just 10 points on 4-16 shooting as Bobby Knight's Red Raiders knocked off the #5 Jayhawks in Lubbock. Tech improved to 14-5 and hosts tough Texas A&M on Wednesday.
Arkansas 72 LSU 52 - The Razorbacks mauled #16 LSU in Little Rock, limiting the Tigers to just 35% from the field. Glen Davis had 16 points, Terry Martin scored 10 and the two were the only LSU players to reach double figures. Arkansas had five players in double figures, shot 50% as a team - including 8-20 from behind the arc - and recorded 9 steals.
New Mexico State 80 Nevada 73 - The Aggies played unkind host to #15 Nevada, scoring 47 2nd-half points in a wild West shootout. While the Aggies shot only 39% to Nevada's 50%, they hit 28-34 free throws and dominated the glass, hauling down 45 rebounds to the Wolf Pack's 32. Senior forward Justin Hawkins was everywhere for the Aggies, scoring 29 points on 12-19 shooting, and pulling down 11 rebounds (9 offensive).
Vanderbilt 72 Kentucky 67 - The Commodores continued their impressive run in the SEC, this time knocking off a ranked opponent on the road. Vandy has now beaten three ranked teams - Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky - in the last two weeks, but still must face LSU and Florida on the road the next two Wednesdays. #25 Kentucky lost for only the 4th time this season, but has yet to face a ranked opponent in the SEC. Look out below... here comes Tubby!
Villanova 76 Texas 69 - covered yesterday... see below.
And now for the winners...
Florida 79 Mississippi 70 - Joakim Noah has an efficient afternoon, hitting 9-10 from the field and leading all scorers with 24 points. The #1 Gators built a 45-26 lead at the half and despite playing a sloppy 2nd half, cruised at home for their 10th straight win.
Wisconsin 71 Illinois 64 - The #2 Badgers toughed out another road win behind their two bulls, Kammron Taylor and Alando Tucker, who scored 20 and 17, respectively. The Badgers have now won 15 in a row and face only unranked opponents for their next 9 games until February 25, when they visit Ohio State. Wisconsin is now 19-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big 10. Despite the knocks on the conference, Wisconsin hasn't ducked anyone. They have quality wins over Florida St., Ohio St., Georgia, Pittsburgh and Marquette.
UCLA 73 Arizona 69 - Arron Afflalo scored 22 points and the Bruins held the #11 Wildcats to 39% shooting, sending Arizona to their 3rd straight loss and 4th in five games. It was a tough week for Lute Olson's troops, with losses to Oregon, USC and the Bruins in a span of 7 days. While one could blame the scheduling gods for their downfall, losing all three of these games, plus a 77-73 loss at Washington St. on Jan. 6, cannot be discounted. The PAC-10 may be the toughest conference in the country and Arizona just can't cut it. If they Wildcats aren't bumped completely out of the top 25 as they should, look for a fall to at least 22 or 23.
Ohio State 82 Iowa 63 - Greg Oden finally is getting his groove on. The freshman phenom hit 12 of 13 shots, hit all five of his free throws, hauled down 10 boards and finished with a season-high 29 points. The #7 Buckeyes continue to chase Wisconsin in the Big 10.
Texas A&M 67 Oklahoma St. 49 - This one was no contest as JamesOn Curry scored 20 of the Cowboys' 49 points. Mario Boggan was the only other OKST player in double figures with 11. Acie Law had 16 to pace the balanced Aggies attack. The #8 Aggies improved to 16-2 (4-0 conference), while #11 Oklahoma St. dropped to 16-3 (2-2).
In the ACC, #4 North Carolina topped Georgia Tech, 77-61; #19 Clemson clobbered Boston College, 74-54; #14 Duke mauled NC State, 79-56; Virginia Tech
Elsewhere, #9 Oregon continued winning with a 92-84 home win over Cal; a pair of SEC squeakers saw Tennessee outlast South Carolina, 64-61 and #10 Alabama bested Georgia on a last-second shot by Ronald Steele, 78-76.
#13 Air Force topped San Diego St., 56-51; #17 Memphis invaded East Carolina for a 61-44 win; #18 Butler beat Wisconsin Green Bay, 80-59;
Sunday's Top 25 games include South Florida at #20 Notre Dame, #24 Marquette at #6 Pittsburgh, Maryland at #23 Virginia Tech.