The SEC/Large 12 Problem took heart 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 time beyond regulation 102-98 and No. 10 Texas Tech pulled the Houdini act of the
day 12 months with a 12-0 run within the remaining minute to oust LSU 76-71 in beautiful vogue.
That wasn’t all. The Oklahoma colleges delivered the products as nicely, with No. 24 Oklahoma kicking off the day with a 66-61 win over No. 9 Alabama and Oklahoma State defeating Arkansas 81-77 due to the late-game heroics of Cade Cunningham.
As for the remainder of the SEC/Large 12 Problem — and the remainder of the happenings across the sport — we have highlighted Saturday’s winners and losers beneath.
Winner: Florida bolsters NCAA Event resume
Nobody would have blamed the Gators in the event that they’d folded after dropping preseason SEC Participant of the Yr Keyontae Johnson in December in horrifying vogue. However the Gators have now received 4 straight after outlasting No. 11 West Virginia 85-80. Solely Gonzaga and Texas Tech have scored extra in opposition to the Mountaineers this season. However with Michigan switch Colin Castleton proving to be a revelation, the Gators are surging and constructing fairly a resume. The 6-foot-11 Castleton completed with 21 factors, seven rebounds and 5 blocks on Saturday.
Loser: Windfall blows 15-point result in Hoyas
As if blowing a 15-point result in a Georgetown staff that sat on the backside of the convention standings forward of Saturday wasn’t brutal sufficient, Windfall did simply that, dropping 73-72 in particularly agonizing vogue. With 1.5 seconds remaining, Windfall star David Duke missed a free throw that might have possible despatched the sport to OT, sending the sport to a screeching halt as an alternative. (Duke is hitting above 80% from the free-throw line this season.)
Winner: Duke’s Johnson reveals dunking abilities
Duke freshman ahead Jalen Johnson delivered the dunk of the day with authority Saturday because the Blue Devils blew out Clemson 79-53. Johnson took a steal halfway by means of the first half and jammed over Clemson freshman PJ Corridor when the 2 met at the rim, posterizing him within the course of.
Here is one other look, as a result of it was completely wonderful and only one angle doesn’t suffice.
Johnson introduced the arrogance and swagger to his postgame, too, telling ACC Community that he noticed it coming.
“I might inform by the best way he was pursuing it [that he was going to try to block it],” he mentioned. “I knew I used to be going to place him within the rim.”
Loser: TCU blows large lead on the street
To cough up a double-digit lead is one factor, however to take action within the remaining minutes on the street in opposition to a ranked staff is in its personal particular class of ache. TCU led by a dozen with 4:40 left in regulation however let No. 12 Mizzou mount a 19-7 run from there to power time beyond regulation. In OT, the Tigers outscored TCU 13-9 to take a 102-98 win at residence. TCU has now misplaced five-straight and is simply projected by KenPom to win two of its remaining 9 convention video games. Ouch.
Loser: One other unbeaten goes down
The variety of unbeaten groups in faculty hoops shrunk by two this weekend after Alabama A&M misplaced to Prairie View A&M 79-57. The Bulldogs’ loss got here a day after Winthrop (16-1) took its first lack of the season on Friday by simply two measly factors in a 57-55 victory by a UNC Asheville staff it beat by 4 factors solely a day earlier than.
The Bears nonetheless have not received a recreation by fewer than eight factors after they repped the Large 12 with an 84-72 win over Auburn. Baylor led simply 35-30 at halftime earlier than systematically dismantling Bruce Pearl’s membership with the standard mixture of 3-point taking pictures and protection, holding Auburn star guard Sharife Cooper in test. There was additionally this ridiculous put-back dunk by Matthew Mayer that despatched the Bears’ bench into an utter frenzy.
Winner: Cade Cunningham heats up late
Oklahoma State freshman Cade Cunningham did not make the beginning Saturday in opposition to Arkansas after lacking the final two video games on account of COVID-19 protocols. However true to the cliche: It isn’t the way you begin, it is the way you end.
And Cunningham completed with objective. He had 14 second-half factors within the Pokes’ 81-77 win over Arkansas, and sunk not solely the go-ahead jumper in crunch time, however free throw makes an attempt within the remaining few seconds to salt away the win.
Loser: Colorado’s Pac-12 hopes take crushing hit
With a 19-point second-half lead vs. Utah all Colorado needed to do Saturday within the second half was keep away from a complete collapse. However that is precisely what the Buffaloes did falling 77-74 in a stunner to the Utes. Colorado made simply 4 photographs from the sphere over the ultimate 9 minutes of play and Utah guard Alfonso Plummer got here off the bench to attain 21 of his 23 factors within the remaining 7:49 of the sport. Plummer hit 4 3-pointers in that span, together with a four-point play with 3:24 that gave the Utes a 70-69 lead that they might not relinquish.
Winner: Villanova retains cruising
Bear in mind Villanova? You ought to. After a protracted layoff on account of COVID-19 points, the No. 3 Wildcats have returned by profitable three straight, with Saturday’s 80-72 win over Seton Corridor serving as the newest instance of their Large East supremacy. Most agree that No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2 Baylor — each undefeated — are clearly the perfect groups within the nation. However at 11-1 (6-0 Large East), Villanova isn’t far behind.
Loser: LSU melts down late vs. Texas Tech
Down seven with a minute to go at LSU, No. 10 Texas Tech wanted a miraculous flip of occasions to keep away from a three-game dropping streak.
And a miracle it acquired.
The Purple Raiders cobbled collectively a 12-0 run over the ultimate minute of play to win 76-71. It began with a Mac McClung 3, adopted by one other, adopted by six consecutive factors from Terrence Shannon to shut it out. An absolute soften from LSU however a superb effort value acknowledging as such by Tech.
Winner: Shorthanded Sooners present up vs. Alabama
Oklahoma ordered a win Saturday with a wholesome facet of historical past, defeating No. 9 Alabama 66-61 and, within the course of, turning into simply the third staff ever to file 4 regular-season wins over top-10 opponents in the identical month. The spectacular win got here with out main scorer Austin Reaves, capping a month through which the Sooners (11-4) defeated No. 9 West Virginia, No. 9 Kansas, No. 9 Alabama and No. 5 Texas all inside a 28-day window.
Do not look now, however OU abruptly seems to be like essentially the most severe risk to Baylor (if there’s one!) within the Large 12. And a warning prematurely: Good luck when you’re ranked No. 9 and taking part in the Sooners.
Loser: Clemson’s tough month continues
Solely two weeks in the past, Clemson was ranked, the proprietor of the No. 1 protection in adjusted effectivity and cruising in direction of severe ACC competition. However oh, the final two weeks have been dreadful. The Tigers have fallen 4 occasions of their final 5 outings capped with a drubbing by the hands of Duke 79-53. They’ve now misplaced every of their final 4 video games by a mixed 98 factors.