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Andy Wittry | NCAA.com | January 31, 2022

Kentucky throttles Kansas, Alabama's resume grows, No. 1 Auburn's winning streak reaches 17 and more from Saturday's men's basketball action

Andy Katz thinks the Big 12 is the conference to beat this year

Twenty of the 25 ranked men's basketball teams were scheduled to play on Saturday, including a blowout in a top-15 matchup between blue bloods Kansas and Kentucky as part of this season's SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Two top-five teams lost, but that's only the beginning of a loaded weekend men's basketball slate.

Here's a breakdown of everything you need to know from Saturday's men's basketball action.

Saturday's top-25 games and results

Here are the games involving top-25 teams on Saturday. Click or tap on the game to view the score and live stats.

Click or tap here to view Saturday's complete men's basketball scoreboard.

Kentucky blitzes Kansas

Kentucky hadn't won at Kansas since 1983. Back then, Kentucky coach John Calipari was as old as a fifth or sixth-year senior, just 24 years old. So the Wildcats' 80-62 thromp of the Jayhawks on Saturday night was massive, both in the margin and the historical context.

Kansas had won four of the last five games in the series, which included two Champions Classic matchups and three games in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The Jayhawks had won four in a row at home against the Wildcats.

But those Kentucky teams didn't benefit from a career day from Keion Brooks Jr., who scored a career-best 27 points with nine field goals and nine free throws, and a double-double from Oscar Tshiebwe, who finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds. The Wildcats were dominant on the defensive glass, grabbing 29 of a possible 35 defensive rebounds, and while Kentucky didn't record a single block, Kansas made just 18 of 41 2-point attempts as the Jayhawks struggled with their interior scoring.

Kentucky, which has already lost on the road to Notre Dame, LSU and Auburn, and to Duke on a neutral court, now owns one of the best wins of the entire DI men's basketball season: on the road against Kansas.

Alabama knocks off No. 4 Baylor to add to impressive non-conference resume

Four days after Alabama lost at Georgia, which was previously winless in the SEC, the Crimson Tide took advantage of a home date with No. 4 Baylor and it earned yet another marquee non-conference win, beating the Bears 87-78 behind five double-figure scorers, led by Jahvon Quinerly's 20 points. Alabama has now defeated each of last season's national finalists; the Crimson Tide defeated Gonzaga 91-82 in Seattle in December.

Alabama led by four points at halftime and Baylor cut the deficit to two early in the second half on Kendall Brown's tip shot, but that was the closest the Bears got the rest of the way. Alabama guard JD Davison's steal and slam put the Crimson Tide up by 10, 81-71, with 2:33 to go. That dunk, plus his later 3-pointer amid a broken play and his alley-oop to Juwan Gary, punctuated a massive win for Alabama, which has played .500 basketball since its 8-1 start to the season.

Alabama also has a win over Houston to its name, so while the Crimson Tide's record is now 14-7 – a good mark, but nowhere near that of, say, 20-1 Auburn or some of the country's best two-loss teams – Alabama might have the best trio of wins, and certainly non-conference wins, in the country.

For Baylor, this was the Bears' first and only non-conference loss of the season. They were the country's final undefeated team after a 15-0 start to the season. In January, Baylor became the first-ever No. 1-ranked team to lose two home games in the same week, but the Bears responded with three consecutive wins before losing on Saturday. Next up is a home game against West Virginia on Monday.

LSU allows season-high 77 points in loss to TCU

No. 19 LSU entered Saturday with the most efficient defense in the country, according to kenpom.com. The Tigers, which force a turnover on roughly a quarter of their opponents' possessions and have held opponents to 27-percent 3-point shooting, dropped their fourth game in a five-game stretch on Saturday, as unranked TCU downed LSU 77-68 in Fort Worth.

It was the most points a team has scored against LSU this season, besting the previous high-water mark of 70 points, which Auburn and Alabama both reached in wins over LSU.

The Horned Frogs only shot 27 percent from three — in line with LSU's season average — and they committed 13 turnovers, but TCU shot nearly 60 percent from 2-point range as Chuck O'Bannon and Mike Miles each scored a game-high 19 points. TCU also maximized its second-chance opportunities with 13 offensive rebounds on 28 missed shots.

It was arguably the biggest win of TCU's season, coming one week after the Horned Frogs beat the Iowa State Cyclones on the road. TCU is now 14-4, while LSU fell to 16-5 after its 12-0 start.

No. 9 Duke holds off Louisville on the road

Duke roared to a 16-3 lead at Louisville thanks to six early points from Mark Williams and five from Jeremy Roach. The Blue Devils' lead climbed to 15 points, 22-7. But the Cardinals, playing their first game under interim coach Mike Pegues, pulled within three points in the closing minutes of the first half thanks to a pair of free throws from Samuell Williamson. They trailed by just five at halftime.

Louisville's Dre Davis later tied the game at 45-all, as one of the ACC's middle-of-the-pack teams threatened to knock off a regular-season conference contender in unlikely fashion. However, Duke scored the game's next four points at the free throw line. While Louisville was able to tie the game again, 60-60, the Cardinals never led in the entire game and a late-game 12-0 run gave Duke a cushion. Two Duke starters, Williams and Paolo Banchero, had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, and 11 points and 15 rebounds, respectively, while AJ Griffin scored a game-high 22 points as he sank all five of his 3-point attempts.

Neither team shot particularly well — both teams shot below 45 percent from the field and less than 55 percent at the line — but Duke, with 20 offensive rebounds on 38 missed shots (a 52.6-percent offensive rebounding percentage), capitalized on numerous second-chance opportunities.

It was Duke's third win in a row after the Blue Devils fell in overtime at Florida State. Louisville is now on its second three-game skid in ACC play to fall to 5-6 in the conference and 11-10 overall.

MORE: The top 10 new coaches, ranked by Andy Katz

No. 1 Auburn wins 16th game in a row

Auburn, which reached No. 1 in the AP Top 25 poll for the first time in program history on Monday, lived up to its new billing in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, as it downed Oklahoma 86-68 behind a dominant afternoon on the boards, great free throw shooting and an impressive showing from its frontcourt headliners. Star freshman Jabari Smith posted a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double, both of which were game highs, while center Walker Kessler finished just one rebound shy of a double-double of his own with 21 points and nine boards, plus four blocks.

The Tigers held a 12-rebound advantage on the boards, 41-29, while grabbing 27 of a possible 33 defensive rebounds. At the free throw line, Auburn made 22 of 26 attempts, or nearly 85 percent.

It was Auburn's 16th win in a row. Next up is a home date with Alabama on Tuesday.

Texas upsets No. 18 Tennessee, holds off comeback 

Despite a 19-3 run over the final six minutes of the game, No. 18 Tennessee wasn't able to complete the comeback against Texas, as the Longhorns edged out the Volunteers, 52-51. 

Senior Courtney Ramey led the way for Texas with 18 points, three assists and three rebounds. Senior Timmy Allen scored the game-winner when he sunk his second of two free throw chances with six seconds left in the contest. 

Texas beat Tennessee with an outstanding 54.1 percent shooting from the field and 43.8 percent from beyond the arc. In contrast, Tennessee only shot 35.8 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from three. 

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