College basketball scores, winners and losers: Kansas falls again, Florida thrives in SEC/Big 12 Challenge
The SEC/Big 12 Challenge took center stage Saturday and boy, oh boy, it didn’t disappoint.
Florida upset No. 11 West Virginia with an exciting come-from-behind 85-80 win, No. 12 Missouri overcame a double-digit deficit to flee TCU in overtime 102-98 and No. 10 Texas Tech pulled the Houdini act of the day year with a 12-0 run within the final minute to oust LSU 76-71 in stunning fashion.
That wasn’t all. The Oklahoma schools delivered the products also , with No. 24 Oklahoma beginning the day with a 66-61 convert No. 9 Alabama and Oklahoma State defeating Arkansas 81-77 because of the late-game heroics of Cade Cunningham. Then, the premier team within the state just north of Oklahoma, No. 15 Kansas, got walloped on the road by No. 18 Tennessee.
It was a wild day indeed within the SEC/Big 12 Challenge but also within the sport. So we’ve done the leg work to conclude all the happenings into one tidy column dubbing the day’s biggest winners and losers. Enjoy.
Loser: Kansas struggles continue
Times are tough for Bill Self and Co. They took their fourth loss in five games Saturday to the Vols, who stomped them 80-61. it had been the Jayhawks’ fifth loss of January to shut the month, the primary time since 1989 the program has taken that a lot of losses during a single month and therefore the first time Self has done so as a head coach since 1995, per ESPN.
Winner: Florida bolsters NCAA Tournament resume
No one would have blamed the Gators if they’d folded after losing preseason SEC Player of the Year Keyontae Johnson in December in frightening fashion. But the Gators have now won four straight after outlasting No. 11 West Virginia 85-80. Only Gonzaga and Texas Tech have scored more against the Mountaineers this season. But with Michigan transfer Colin Castleton proving to be a revelation, the Gators are surging and building quite resume. The 6-foot-11 Castleton finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five blocks on Saturday.
Loser: Providence blows 15-point lead to Hoyas
As if blowing a 15-point cause a Georgetown team that sat at rock bottom of the conference standings before Saturday wasn’t brutal enough, Providence did just that, losing 73-72 in especially agonizing fashion. With 1.5 seconds remaining, Providence star David Duke missed a foul shot that might have likely sent the sport to OT, sending the sport to a screeching halt instead. (Duke is hitting above 80% from the free-throw line this season.)
— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) January 30, 2021
Winner: Duke’s Johnson shows dunking skills
Duke freshman forward Jalen Johnson delivered the dunk of the day authoritatively Saturday because the Blue Devils blew out Clemson 79-53. Johnson took a steal midway through the primary half and jammed over Clemson freshman PJ Hall when the 2 met at the rim, posterizing him within the process.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 30, 2021
Here’s another look, because it was absolutely glorious and just one angle does not suffice.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 30, 2021
Johnson brought the arrogance and swagger to his postgame, too, telling ACC Network that he saw it coming.
“I could tell by the way he was pursuing it [that he was going to try to block it],” he said. “I knew I was going to put him in the rim.”
Loser: TCU blows huge lead on the road
To cough up a double-digit lead is one thing, but to try to to so within the final minutes on the road against a ranked team is in its own special category of pain. TCU led by a dozen with 4:40 left in regulation but let No. 12 Mizzou mount a 19-7 run from there to force overtime. In OT, the Tigers outscored TCU 13-9 to require a 102-98 win reception . TCU has now lost five-straight and is merely projected by KenPom to win two of its remaining nine conference games. Ouch.
Loser: Two more unbeaten teams go down
The number of unbeaten teams in college hoops shrunk by two this weekend after Alabama A&M lost to Prairie View A&M 79-57. The Bulldogs’ loss came each day after Winthrop (16-1) took its first loss of the season on Friday by just two measly points during a 57-55 victory by a UNC Asheville team it beat by four points only each day before.
Winner: Baylor handles Auburn with ease
The Bears still haven’t won a game by fewer than eight points after they repped the large 12 with an 84-72 convert Auburn. Baylor led just 35-30 at halftime before systematically dismantling Bruce Pearl’s club with the standard mixture of 3-point shooting and defense, holding Auburn star guard Sharife Cooper in restraint . There was also this ridiculous put-back dunk by Matthew Mayer that sent the Bears’ bench into an utter frenzy.
— Baylor Basketball (@BaylorMBB) January 30, 2021
Winner: Cade Cunningham heats up late
Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham didn’t make the beginning Saturday against Arkansas after missing the last two games thanks to COVID-19 protocols. But faithful the cliche: it isn’t how you begin , it’s how you finish.
And Cunningham finished with purpose. He had 14 second-half points within the Pokes’ 81-77 convert Arkansas, and sunk not only the go-ahead jumper in crunch time, but foul shot attempts within the final few seconds to store the win.
Cade Cunningham with ice in his veins 🥶 pic.twitter.com/QMpDfW3L2s
— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) January 30, 2021
Loser: Colorado’s Pac-12 hopes take crushing hit
With a 19-point second-half lead vs. Utah all Colorado had to try to to Saturday within the last half was avoid a complete collapse. But that’s exactly what the Buffaloes did falling 77-74 during a stunner to the Utes. Colorado made just four shots from the sector over the ultimate nine minutes of play and Utah guard Alfonso Plummer came off the bench to attain 21 of his 23 points within the final 7:49 of the sport . Plummer hit four 3-pointers therein span, including a four-point play with 3:24 that gave the Utes a 70-69 lead that they might not relinquish.
Loser: Florida State misses opportunity
On each day where ACC leader Virginia fell to Virginia Tech, Florida State squandered an honest opportunity to maneuver up the league standings, falling on the road 76-65 to Georgia Tech. The loss pushed the Seminoles to 6-2 in conference play, but a win would’ve tied them with Virginia for first place. Now they seem to be a full game back within the standings and chasing both Virginia schools.
Winner: Villanova keeps cruising
Remember Villanova? you ought to . After an extended layoff thanks to COVID-19 issues, the No. 3 Wildcats have returned by winning three straight, with Saturday’s 80-72 convert Seton Hall serving because the latest example of their Big East supremacy. Most agree that No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor — both undefeated — are clearly the simplest teams within the nation. But at 11-1 (6-0 Big East), Villanova isn’t far behind.
Loser: LSU melts down late vs. Texas Tech
Down seven with a moment to travel at LSU, No. 10 Texas Tech needed a miraculous turn of events to avoid a three-game streak .
And a miracle it got.
The Red Raiders cobbled together a 12-0 run over the ultimate minute of play to win 76-71. It started with a Mac McClung 3, followed by another, followed by six consecutive points from Terrence Shannon to shut it out. An absolute melt from LSU but an excellent effort worth acknowledging intrinsically by Tech.
Down 7 with a minute to go?
— Texas Tech Basketball (@TexasTechMBB) January 30, 2021
Winner: Shorthanded Sooners show up vs. Alabama
Oklahoma ordered a win Saturday with a healthy side of history, defeating No. 9 Alabama 66-61 and, within the process, becoming just the third team ever to record four regular-season wins over top-10 opponents within the same month. The impressive win came without leading scorer Austin Reaves, capping a month during which the Sooners (11-4) defeated No. 9 West Virginia , No. 9 Kansas, No. 9 Alabama and No. 5 Texas all within a 28-day window.
Oklahoma is the third team since the introduction of the AP Poll in 1948-49 with 4 regular-season victories over top-10 opponents in a single calendar month.
They join NC State in January 1974 and Saint Joseph's in December 1964. pic.twitter.com/Qj4tzcWYQ9
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 30, 2021
Don’t look now, but OU suddenly looks like the most serious threat to Baylor (if there is one!) in the Big 12. And a warning in advance: Good luck if you’re ranked No. 9 and playing the Sooners.
Winner: UT Arlington gets by Arkansas State at the horn
UT Arlington led for exactly zero seconds within the last half against Arkansas State, and yet it still managed to return out with a win. That’s because the Mavericks played catch-up the whole last half yet finally prevailed as time expired, with a buzzer-beating layup lifting them past ASU.
YOU 𝙒𝘼𝙉𝙏 IT. YOU 𝙉𝙀𝙀𝘿 IT.
🗣@JoshSours with the final call👇
— UTA Men’s Basketball (@UTAMavsMBB) January 31, 2021
Loser: Clemson’s rough month continues
Only fortnight ago, Clemson was ranked, the owner of the No. 1 defense in adjusted efficiency and cruising towards serious ACC contention. But oh, the last fortnight are dreadful. The Tigers have fallen fourfold in their last five outings capped with a drubbing at the hands of Duke 79-53. They’ve now lost each of their last four games by a combined 98 points.