Dec 15, 2013, 2:19 AM EDT
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 1 Arizona 72, Michigan 70
The Wildcats held off Michigan in a thriller in Ann Arbor to kick off Saturday afternoon’s action. Glenn Robinson III was dominant in the first half, scoring 16 of his 20 points, but he was shut down by Aaron Gordon in the final 20 minutes. Brandon Ashley led the way with 18 points.
1) No. 18 North Carolina held off No. 11 Kentucky 82-77, getting . It was the third win for North Carolina over the nation’s consensus top three teams in the preseason. Who saw that coming? The key for the Heels was the play of J.P. Tokoto and James Michael McAdoo, as Raphielle Johnson wrote here.
2) Naadir Tharpe finished with eight points and nine assists and Joel Embiid went off for 18 points and four blocks in one of his most impressive performances of the season as No. 13 Kansas put a thorough beating on New Mexico in the second half of an 80-63 win.
3) The biggest winner of the day may have been Notre Dame, who desperately needed the win they picked up against Indiana. The Irish have a lot of kinks they need to work out, not the least of which is Eric Atkins’ struggles. But this is a team with quite a bit of talent, one that has enough back court talent to make some noise in the ACC this season.
1) Tekele Cotton finished with 19 points, five boards, four assists and two steals as No. 12 Wichita State beat Tennessee 70-61. One sequence where Cotton blocked a shot and finished an and-one at the other end changed the game.
2) Stephen Holt finished with 24 points and six assists to lead St. Mary’s to a win at Boise State.
3) Ryan Harrow went for 33 points as Georgia State picked up a win they badly needed over Old Dominion.
1) VCU scored just 20 first half points and shot 36.9% from the floor as they lost at Northern Iowa 77-68 on Saturday. The biggest culprit? Briante Weber, who shot 2-for-11 from the field.
2) Cincinnati got worked over by archrival Xavier despite 20 turnovers by the Muskies and just eight points and five fouls from Semaj Christon.
3) Utah beat BYU 81-64. Matt Carlino’s 3-for-15 performance without any assists wasn’t much better than the 6-for-22 that Tyler Haws and Kyle Collinsworth combined to shoot.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith each had 18 points in a win for No. 3 Ohio State over North Dakota State.
- No. 4 Wisconsin shot 60.5% from the field and 9-for-15 from three in a blowout win over Eastern Kentucky.
- No. 5 Michigan State is banged up, which is why I’m not terribly concerned about their close win over Oakland on Saturday.
- Russ Smith had 14 points and 10 assists to lead five players in double-figures as No. 6 Louisville beat Western Kentucky.
- Le’Bryan Nash seems to be embracing his role as the No. 3 option, but he was a star on Saturday, finishing with 22 points and 10 boards in No. 7 Oklahoma State’s win over Louisiana Tech.
- A late 11-0 run spurred No. 15 Oregon to a 71-64 win over Illinois.
- Augustine Rubit went for 35 points, but it wasn’t enough for South Alabama to pull off the upset against No. 20 Gonzaga.
- Cady Lalanne led five players in double-figures with 17 points in a win over Northern Illinois for No. 22 UMass.
- Jordan Adams had 18 points in a win for UCLA over Prairie View A&M.
- Kellen Dunham stayed hot, hitting for 25 points in a win over Purdue.
- Marshall Henderson moved into the starting lineup for Ole Miss on Saturday, finishing with 15 points (on 11 shots) and five assists without a turnover.
- Pitt improved to 9-0 on the season with a 91-73 win over Youngstown State.
- Richard Solomon finished with 17 points, 14 boards, three steals and two blocks in a win over Fresno State.
- Five players scored in double-figures as Marquette put up 86 points in a win over IUPUI.
- T.J. Warren is one of the best scorers no one is talking about. He went for 29 on Saturday.
- Toledo is still undefeated as well, knocking off Sam Houston State.
- Jordan Woodard scored 24 points to lead Oklahoma to a win over Tulsa and his brother, James.
- Princeton erased an 18 point deficit in the final 6:34 of regulation to knock off Penn State in overtime.
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- Tournament darling R.J. Hunter is heading to the NBA 2
- Texas freshman Myles Turner declares for the NBA Draft 4
- The Final Four is set, and it’s going to be insane 22
- No. 7 Michigan State reaches the Final Four for the seventh time under Izzo 15
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