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Andy Wittry | | January 16, 2020

Auburn's undefeated season comes to an end and other takeaways from a wild Wednesday

South Carolina's Jermaine Couisnard on buzzer beater to beat Kentucky: 'I thought I shot it too hard'

Five top-25 men's basketball teams lost on a wild Wednesday night, including three teams ranked in the top 10. We're here to break down the biggest results from the night and what they mean for the teams involved.

And then there was one

No. 4 Auburn and No. 7 San Diego State have been in a staring contest, seeing who will flinch first and lose, leaving the other team as the final undefeated team in the sport.

The Tigers blinked.

They fell 83-64 at rival Alabama, following a 15-0 start to the season. As Auburn Coach Bruce Pearl told March Madness correspondent Andy Katz on the latest #MM365 podcast, he knew his team may not pull off the unthinkable of a perfect regular season – and that's OK.

"I want my guys to understand that, look we're gonna get beat," Pearl told Katz on the podcast. "I don't want to lose, I want someone to beat us."

We'll have to see if Pearl thinks Auburn's loss at Alabama qualifies under that description. Auburn shot just 31.7 percent from the field, missed 13 free throws, recorded just eight assists and committed 21 turnovers.

Auburn's first loss leaves us with a few questions and story lines to follow in the next two months:

  • Can Auburn get back on track and enter the SEC Tournament with only three or four losses, or will the Tigers' loss to Alabama snowball with upcoming games at Florida, home against a South Carolina team whose last two wins were over Kentucky and Virginia, home against Iowa State in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, at Ole Miss, home against Kentucky and at Arkansas?
  • Meanwhile, can Alabama, which plays faster than almost every team in the country and loves to shoot threes, turn a corner after its biggest win of the season? The Crimson Tide's longest winning streak of the season is three games and its second-longest streak is two games.
  • How long can San Diego State keep its perfect record intact? There's no longer an Auburn vs. San Diego State horserace to see who can outlast the other. Now, it's all about the Aztecs and their 11 remaining regular season games in the Mountain West. There are also, potentially, important NCAA Tournament seed implications in San Diego State continuing to boost an already-strong resume. March Madness correspondent Andy Katz had the Aztecs at No. 5 overall on the seed list of his latest bracket projection, which would put them as the top No. 2 seed.

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Seton Hall stays perfect in the Big East

After posting an 8-4 record in non-conference play, Seton Hall is starting the play like the team that many AP voters believed the Pirates could be when they were ranked No. 12 in the preseason AP poll. A 78-70 road win at No. 5 Butler gave No. 18 Seton Hall its best win of the season and leaves the Pirates as the only Big East team that's undefeated in conference play.

They're atop the standings at 5-0, while Butler, No. 14 Villanova and Providence have one loss apiece.

What's most impressive about the game is that Seton Hall trailed by 10 points at halftime, 40-30, then outscored Butler 48-30 after halftime. Being a bucket shy of reaching the half-a-century mark in the second half of a game on the road against a top-five team is really, really impressive.

Potential National Player of the Year candidate Myles Powell scored 29 points, guard Quincy McKnight (11 points, 13 assists, seven rebounds) was three rebounds shy of a triple-double and center Romaro Gill scored an efficient 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

This season could prove to be the most competitive Big East regular season title race since the conference restructured.

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South Carolina wins at the buzzer

South Carolina freshman guard Jermaine Couisnard thought he shot his game-winning, banked-in 3-pointer too hard.

That's what he told March Madness correspondent Andy Katz after his Gamecocks prevailed 81-78 over No. 10 Kentucky.

Couisnard had a season-high 26 points, including 4-of-5 shooting from deep – none bigger than his game-winner.

As mentioned earlier, South Carolina's last two wins were over the reigning national champion, Virginia, on the road and Kentucky. But the Gamecocks are just 9-7 on the season and they have a puzzling loss to Stetson.

If they're going to make a tournament push, a win over Kentucky will likely be a key reason why.

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Temple hands Wichita State first conference loss

There's now a four-way tie atop the AAC with Wichita State, Houston, Tulsa and Cincinnati tied at 3-1 in conference play.

That's because Temple beat No. 16 Wichita State 65-53 on Wednesday night behind Quinton Rose's team-high 19 points. It was an ugly game in many aspects – both team made just three 3-pointers, including Wichita State's 3-of-21 effort, Temple won despite committing 20 turnovers and Wichita State barely cracked 30 percent shooting from the field.

Wichita State arrived at Temple riding a nine-game winning streak, seven of which were at home. Now the Shockers will have to try to regroup against Houston at home before playing four of their next six games on the road.

Georgetown pulls away from No. 25 Creighton

After a 1-3 start in Big East play, Georgetown responded with an 83-80 win over No. 25 Creighton. The Hoyas controlled the game for the final nine minutes or so and Marcus Zegarowski's 3-pointer in the final few seconds cut Georgetown's six-point lead in half to make the final score appear closer than it would've been otherwise.

Georgetown won the battle on the boards 34-25, which helped the Hoyas weather the Bluejays' strong 3-point shooting night in which they made 13 threes and shot 40 percent from deep.

Four Georgetown starters scored in double figures, led by Omer Yurtseven's 20 points, 13 rebounds and three assists.

That leaves Creighton on its heels, having lost three of its last four after winning eight games in a row.

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