Morning Madness: Tuesday, Feb. 14
Here's what you need to know in college hoops for Valentine's Day, Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Gonzaga, Villanova and Kansas stayed 1-2-3 when the AP Top 25 was released on Monday afternoon. But by Monday night -- as Kansas was flirting with a second straight Allen Fieldhouse flop -- we once again were reminded of a college basketball truism: Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing. Ever.
Well ... unless you're talking about the UConn women.
In case you missed it
• First, let's give it up to that UConn women's team, which pushed its college basketball record winning streak to an even 100 on Monday with a hard-fought 66-55 victory over South Carolina. How hard-fought? During the first 99 games of the streak, UConn beat its opponents by an average of almost 39 points per game. So an 11-point win for the Huskies is a practical nail-biter. Still, as always, it's another UConn win.
• Speaking of giving it up: West Virginia did Monday, in the yackiest of ways, to Kansas. The Mountaineers were up by 14 points with 2:43 left and seven with 52 seconds remaining, but the Jayhawks stormed back to tie the score at 71 and force overtime. The Jayhawks turned the tables with some late-game trapping, then ripped off the first eight points in OT to win 84-80, avoiding a second straight loss at Allen Fieldhouse. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks fans broke the record for loudest crowd roar at indoor sporting event.
• No. 8 Louisville tried to give one away to Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, coughing up a seven-point lead with a little over two minutes to play. The Cardinals righted themselves in OT, though, walking out with a 76-72 win. Syracuse, trying to make its NCAA tournament case, was 8-for-33 on 3-pointers.
• Oh, Baylor: seeded No. 3 in an early tournament look by the selection committee on Saturday, losers to unranked Texas Tech on Monday. No. 4 in the polls for now, the Bears get rejuvenated Kansas on Saturday.
What to watch today
• Tennessee tries Tuesday to do something the Volunteers haven't done since 1998-99: beat Kentucky twice in a season (7 ET, ESPN).
• More biggies tonight: No. 15 Florida at Auburn, Rutgers at No. 16 Purdue and No. 25 Notre Dame at Boston College.
Social moment of the day
Louisville occasionally has the poise of a pack of squirrels. But they do bring it every night, as Pitino has said. Impressive OT regroup.— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) February 14, 2017
Bracket tip: Seeding the Final Four
No. 1 seeds make it to the Final Four more than any other seed. If you don't know that, you might as well make your bracket picks this March with a blindfold and a dart.
If you must take a chance on a longshot making the Final Four -- not smart, but we get it -- take this tidbit: As many 8 seeds have made a title game since 1985 (3) as 4 or 5 seeds. You can mine for more bracket data on how seeds perform in the Final Four here.
We dig the big man
Our weekly Naismith Watch, tracking the contenders for the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Naismith Trophy, has a new leader. You can argue the rankings if you want. (That's half the fun.) You probably don't want to beef with this dude, though.
Purdue's Caleb Swanigan, 6-foot-9 and 250 pounds of double-double dominance, is averaging 19 points and 12.8 rebounds a game, which is impressive enough. The sophomore also is shooting better than 48 percent on his 3-pointers. How do you handle that? Answer: You don't. You just give it up to the big man.
Check out the Naismith Watch from NCAA.com's Brian Mull.
Mark your calendar
Selection Sunday: March 12
Final Four: April 1-3