It was a big day across the college basketball world on Saturday, including five matchups between Top-25 teams.
In the day's early action, No. 7 Duke and No. 14 Louisville hooked up in an ACC affair. Louisville got a double-double from big man Anas Mahmoud (17 points, 11 rebounds) in a ballgame the Cardinals would go on to win, 78-69. Another ACC bout featured No. 11 North Carolina in a tilt against No. 9 Florida State. FSU is in the midst of a six-game stretch against teams in the Top 25, but unfortunately the Seminoles suffered their first loss in conference on the road at UNC on Saturday, 96-83.
In a matchup of Big East foes, No. 12 Butler moved past No. 15 Xavier (83-78) behind a near double-double for Bulldogs' freshman guard Kamar Baldwin (career-highs of 21 points and nine rebounds). In the Big 12, No. 1 Baylor bounced back from an early-week loss to West Virginia by defeating No. 25 Kansas State, 77-68. The Bears were paced by 26 points from guard Manu Lecomte.
And last but not least, a primetime matchup in the West Coast Conference put Gonzaga's unblemished record on the line against their conference rival Saint Mary's (California). The end result: The last unbeaten team in the nation still stands. Gonzaga moved its record to 17-0 on the year with a 79-54 win behind three players in double-digits. Nigel Williams-Goss led the way with 19 points and five assists in the victory.
NCAA.com was there for all of the action from the hardwood, but in case you missed something, read on below for a few of the highlights.
Florida State at North Carolina
Even a brutal early ACC schedule hasn’t slowed No. 9 Florida State, as the Seminoles have won 12 consecutive games, including the last three against ranked teams. They play their fourth of six consecutive games against Top-25 opponents on Saturday against No. 11 North Carolina. The Tar Heels have won three straight games after squeaking past Wake Forest 93-87 on Wednesday.
Players to watch
- Florida State guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes had 21 points in the team’s win over Duke on Tuesday, and is averaging 11.1 points and 4.6 assists on the year.
- North Carolina guard Joel Berry II has started all 16 games in which he has played, and is averaging 15.6 points and a team-high 4.6 assists while hitting 42.2 percent of his 3-point shots.
- Florida State and Notre Dame are the only ACC teams without a conference loss this season.
- The Tar Heels won the only meeting last season in Tallahassee, 106-90.
- Florida State has lost six straight games to North Carolina, with the last win coming in the 2012 ACC Tournament Final.
- Forward Justin Jackson leads the Tar Heels with 17.7 points per game.
- North Carolina is 8-0 at home this season.
- Florida State guard Dwayne Bacon is averaging a team-high 17.8 points per game, having reached double-figures in every game this season.
- North Carolina guard Tony Bradley left the Wake Forest game with a head injury, and his status is unclear.
For the third time ever, a pair of Top-15 squads will collide in Hinkle Fieldhouse when No. 15 Xavier visits No. 12 Butler. The Musketeers’ six-game winning streak came to a humbling end in Tuesday’s 25-point loss to No. 3 Villanova. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were toppled by No. 8 Creighton on Wednesday and saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
Players to watch
- Musketeers guard Edmond Sumner is flourishing with 15.3 points, 4.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. The sophomore has scored in double figures in nine consecutive outings and has at least five assists in five of those games.
- Bulldogs forward Kelan Martin is averaging a team-leading 16.8 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. The junior was held to seven points on 3-for-14 shooting against Creighton, marking his first game in single digits this season.
- Xavier is 37-18 all-time against Butler and has won the last four meetings.
- The Musketeers are 10-0 this season when scoring 70 points and 36-3 since the start of last year when doing so.
- Xavier guard Trevon Bluiett is averaging a team-leading 17.3 points per game but is shooting 30 percent (6-for-20) from the field over the last two games.
- The Musketeers are outrebounding opponents by 7.7 rebounds per game, one of the top marks in the Big East.
- Butler is 4-1 against ranked opponents this season while Xavier is 0-2.
- The Bulldogs are shooting 38.7 percent from beyond the arc while holding opponents to 29.9 percent.
- Butler forward Andrew Chrabascz is the only other Bulldog averaging double figures in scoring with 11.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game.
- The Bulldogs are 9-0 at Hinkle Fieldhouse this season and 37-8 at home since the start of the 2014 season.
Baylor’s reign atop the college basketball world may only last until Sunday no matter the outcome of its matchup against Kansas State. Just one day after the Bears earned their first No. 1 ranking on Monday, they dropped an 89-68 decision at No. 10 West Virginia. The schedule doesn’t get much easier as they travel to take on the No. 25 Wildcats – winners of 11 straight home games. Baylor swept the two-game season series last year following two wins from Kansas State the season before.
Players to Watch
- Johnathan Motley has been a force for the Bears all season. The junior had his streak of four double-doubles snapped in the loss to the Mountaineers, but he still averages team highs of 15.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
- Kansas State sophomore guard Kamau Stokes had one of his better games of the season Tuesday in a 66-65 loss to Texas Tech with team highs of 17 points and five assists. He now averages 11.4 points and a team-high 4.6 assists per game.
- Baylor’s 29 turnovers in the loss to West Virginia were tied for the most it has had since joining the Big 12 during the 1996-97 season.
- Kansas State’s starting five averages between 10.6 and 12.3 points per game.
- The Bears are shooting a robust 49.4 percent from the field.
- The Wildcats have lost their three games this season by a combined four points.
- With three blocks against West Virginia, Motley moved into eighth place on the school’s all-time blocks list with 104.
- Senior D.J. Johnson leads the Wildcats in total blocks (25) and shooting percentage (62.1 percent).
No. 21 Saint Mary’s and No. 5 Gonzaga have made a habit of meeting three times per season over the last decade, and match up for the first time this year with early control of the West Coast Conference on the line. The Gaels were the last team to beat Gonzaga in Spokane, a 63-58 win on Feb. 20 of last year. The Bulldogs have lost just once since, in the Sweet 16 of last year’s NCAA tournament.
Players to watch
- Saint Mary’s forward Calvin Hermanson had a career-high 27 points against Portland on Thursday, and is the Gaels’ second-leading scorer with 11.6 per game.
- Gonzaga guard Nigel Williams-Goss leads the team with 15 points and 4.8 assists per game. The junior is also chipping in 5.9 rebounds per game with a team-leading 27 steals.
- The teams have met 23 times since 2009, with Gonzaga holding a 17-6 advantage.
- Saint Mary’s held Portland to 33 points on Thursday, the second-lowest total by a Division I team this season.
- Gonzaga is averaging 86 points per game, and outscoring opponents by an average of 21.6.
- Saint Mary’s is allowing 56.6 points per game.
- The Gaels have won nine straight games, and have not had a double-digit streak since winning 12 in a row during the 2011-12 season.
- Gonzaga has seven players averaging at least 8.6 points per game.
- Saint Mary’s center Jock Landale is averaging team highs of 17.8 points and 9.8 rebounds.