Cleveland St. 56 Butler 52
The mighty may not have fallen, but some mites got bitten on Thursday night.
In the mid-majors, Butler met their match as the Cleveland State Vikings upended the #12 Bulldogs, 56-52, with a pressure defense that forced the visitors into their poorest shooting performance of the season.
Butler could only manage 18-53 field goals (.340) including a mere 6-23 from beyond the arc, as Cleveland State played tight defense and got inside scoring from J'Nathan Bullock (14 points) and timely sharpshooting from Joe Davis, who hit 5 of 7 from the field with 3 of 4 threes for 13 points. Cedric Jackson was also on his game, hitting 4-6, tallying 14 for the game.
Butler star A.J. Graves was hounded all night, and finished with a dismal 2 of 11 from the floor and 5 points, matching his worst outing of the season, a 73-66 win over Valparaiso.
The loss was the second of the season for the Bulldogs (16-2), both to Horizon League opponents. Their first loss was at Wright State, 43-42 on December 8, and had won 8 straight since. Cleveland St. improved to 13-5, but won their 6th straight in the Horizon League without a loss, improving their lead over Butler to two games.
Louisville 71 Marquette 51
Everybody's healthy again for Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals and they're making some noise in the Big East.
David Padgett scored 17 points and hauled in 10 rebounds and Terrence Williams pitched in a game-high 20 points as the Cardinals won their 4th straight and 8th of their last 9, routing 15th ranked Marquette, 71-51.
Louisville improved to 3-1 in the conference and are in a 4-way tie for first place with Notre Dame, Pitt and Georgetown.
Marquette shot just 30 percent from the field and fell to 3-2 in the conference and 13-3 overall.
Tennessee 80 Vanderbilt 60
The Vols showed everybody who's the boss in the SEC with a consummate victory over #16 Vanderbilt.
Wayne Chism showed his versatility with a game high 20 points, hitting 8 of 13 shots from the floor, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range. JaJuan Smith and Tyler Smith each chipped in with 14 as the #6 Volunteers improved to 15-1. Vandy won 16 straight to open the season, but have dropped two straight, the first a 79-73, double overtime loss at Kentucky this past Saturday.