What we learned about Duke, Kansas, and everyone else on college basketball's wild Saturday
As far as college basketball Saturdays go, Feb. 3 was one of the most hectic and unexpected we've seen in quite some time.
(The Super Bowl doesn't get all the drama!)
Let's take a deep breath and look back at what we learned about...
Washington: The Huskies are a legit NCAA tournament team now with a sweep of the Arizona schools at home, a road win at Colorado, at USC and a neutral court win over Kansas. The Mike Hopkins zone is working and the squad has shot makers in Noah Dickerson and Dominic Green that can carry this squad.
Arizona: The Wildcats lost at the buzzer in one of the toughest venues in the country at Washington. No reason to hang their heads. The only other Pac-12 loss was a three-point game at Colorado. The Wildcats will still win the Pac-12 and get a high seed. No need to panic.
Virginia: Tony Bennett discussed the impact of De’andre Hunter on our March Madness 365 podcast last week. That’s clear. Hunter led the Cavs in scoring in yet another ACC road win, this time at Syracuse.
Purdue: The Boilermakers needed a test. They got one on the road at Rutgers. That’s what champions do. They get pushed to the brink, but find a way to win.
Duke: The Blue Devils have to make perimeter shots late. They also are far from their ceiling. Will they get there? Still to be determined. They have one veteran player in Grayson Allen. They yearn for one or two more.
St. John’s: The Red Storm have the goods to be a Big East spoiler at the Garden. They thrived on the big-game atmosphere. And the country got to see Shamorie Ponds, who shows no fear on the greatest stage.
Michigan State: Tom Izzo has loved the contributions of Matt McQuaid. He delivered in a tight road win at Indiana.
Xavier: The Musketeers are playing with fire (see St. John’s and Georgetown) but are closers. That’s what elite teams do.
Kansas: The Jayhawks still are the pick to win the Big 12 for a 14th-straight win, but the thinness inside is probably what could prevent this team from reaching a Final Four.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys are putting together an NCAA resume with a Kansas and Oklahoma win, coupled with one over Florida State.
Cincinnati: The Bearcats haven’t even played Wichita State yet and they are a lock to win the AAC. Book it.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders have the toughness to advance in March with yet another key road win, this time at TCU.
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Texas: Matt Coleman hasn’t received enough credit for how stable he has been for the Longhorns after he scored 22 on Oklahoma.
Saint Mary’s: This team has toughened up in the WCC and Jock Londale is a prime-time player with 34 in the win at San Diego.
Gonzaga: The Zags finally knocked off BYU at home after struggling lately against the Cougars in Spokane. Gonzaga answered when pushed and will need to do the same at Saint Mary’s.
West Virginia: That the flu bug that had hit the Mountaineers didn’t keep this crew down. The Mountaineers desperately needed another home win and got it over Kansas State.
Tennessee: Grant Williams is having an all-SEC season and the Vols are in the thick of the race for the league title.
North Carolina: Pitt is the ultimate team to get you feeling good about yourself. The Tar Heels needed this badly before Duke comes calling Thursday.
Clemson: The Tigers of the past would have folded with a big-time injury. But not this season. Clemson has become adaptable and the win at Wake Forest was significant.
Missouri: The Tigers had an NCAA-tournament type week by winning at Alabama and taking down Kentucky.
Kentucky: This squad is simply young and inexperienced at key positions and the inconsistencies aren’t likely to end anytime soon.
"I still believe in this team and I still believe we have the most upside of any team in the country. It’s just that unless you play together as a team, unless you create shots for each other ... you can’t ever become a good team."@UKCoachCalipari https://t.co/FVsB6T60Al pic.twitter.com/OzUt53hTFT— Kentucky Basketball (@KentuckyMBB) February 3, 2018
Alabama: The Tide is resilient. The Mizzou loss didn’t affect the Florida game. This was as important a win as Alabama has had this season.
Florida: The Gators need to make 3s to win. Simple. They were 5 of 24 on 3s. And lost to Alabama at home for their second-straight defeat.
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NC State: The Wolfpack are the real deal. Beating Notre Dame after knocking off North Carolina a week ago is proof that they are on the road to a bid.
Houston: The Cougars win at UCF showed that this team can bounce back and will be a top three team in the American. Lock it in.
Miami: The ‘Canes are winning the games they should. That’s what NCAA teams do. The win over Virginia Tech on the road was the latest example.
Texas A&M: The Aggies could sneak into the NCAA tournament despite starting the SEC at 0-5. They’re 4-6 now after beating South Carolina.
Providence: The Friars avenged the home loss to Marquette with a road win, a critical win since the Friars hadn’t proven they could win key games on the road.
LSU: Tremont Waters is getting no love since the Tigers are just 13-9. He scored 27 in an upset over Arkansas.
Arkansas: The Hogs have to start winning a game on the road to feel comfortable about a bid. The loss in Baton Rouge dropped them to 4-6 in the SEC.
Florida State: The Seminoles got the split with Louisville after winning on the road. Florida State desperately needed this one after a disappointing loss at Wake Forest.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions aren’t being Penn State this season. They are actually now winning games they should. Penn State’s wins over Rutgers and now Iowa at home are games they have to win to make a late run.
Georgia: The Bulldogs failed to follow up a win over Florida by losing at Mississippi State. Inconsistency isn’t going to cut it for a bid.
UCLA: The Bruins answered the call for a must win against USC. The Bruins now better get a good one on the road in the Pac-12.
Brown: The Bears have a player who can really, really score that isn’t getting any national pub. His name is Desmond Cambridge and he scored 32 in a 102-100 overtime win at Princeton. He scored 29 in an overtime loss at Penn and 22 in a loss to Harvard.
St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies kept their NCAA hopes alive with a critical A-10 road win at Duquesne. Jaylen Adams had 40.
Drake: Reed Timmer scored 32 in a win over Bradley to make him the all-time leading scorer at the school. Winner. Baller.