Frustration, tempers and outright tantrums were among the biggest stories of the day in college basketball on Saturday.
On the frustration front, Iowa State coach TJ Otzelberger had us covered, delivering a lengthy statement after his team’s win over Kansas wherein he denied accusations from earlier in the week that someone was trying to videotape the huddle of Kansas State from the crowd at Hilton Coliseum.
On the tempers front, Providence fans not-so-kindly gave former coach Ed Cooley a homecoming in Friartown with a smattering of boos and other vulgarities aimed in his direction with Georgetown in town.
And on the tantrums front, Clemson’s Joe Girard appeared to try and charge at an official in the moments right after the Tigers lost to No. 12 Duke 72-71 inside Cameron Indoor Stadium on the heels of a controversial finish in which the Blue Devils took the lead in the closing seconds at the charity stripe off of an iffy foul call.
We love ourselves some drama in sports and college hoops delivers the goods in spades, doesn’t it?
Our recap of the day and drama that unfolded from Saturday is below Saturday’s Top 25 results in full replete with all the winners and losers across the sport.
Saturday’s Top 25 scoreboard
|W 75-68 at Florida State
|W 74-52 vs. Kansas State
|W 75-62 at Vanderbilt
|W 63-57 at Arkansas
|L 79-75 at No. 23 Iowa State
|L 64-58 at Mississippi State
|W 87-78 at Oregon
|W 70-62 vs. Indiana
|L 85-84 vs. No. 20 Texas Tech
|W 72-71 vs. Clemson
|W 75-57 vs. Seton Hall
|L 105-102 3OT vs. TCU
|L 69-64 at Richmond
|W 85-62 vs. DePaul
|W 90-84 OT at Boise State
|W 85-84 at No. 11 Oklahoma
|W 84-72 vs. Texas
|W 79-75 vs. No. 6 Kansas
|L 79-76 OT at Wyoming
Winner: Kentucky’s Reeves continues to shine
No. 6 Kentucky righted the ship with a 63-57 road win over Arkansas just days after a loss at South Carolina behind a big 24 points from senior guard Antonio Reeves. On a UK team loaded with NBA talent (and on Saturday missing Rob Dillingham), Reeves again led the way in scoring — as he’s done all season — to help the Wildcats to a huge road win.
There’s far more talented guards in college basketball than Reeves but you’d be hard-pressed to find one who is both as important and underrated as Reeves is to UK’s success. — Boone
Loser: Clemson’s Brownell rips refs in loss to Duke
Clemson coach Brad Brownell wasn’t in the most joyful mood when talking about his teams 72-71 loss to No. 12 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils shot 13 free throws in the final six minutes of action — including a pair by Tyrese Proctor after he was fouled by Clemson’s Josh Beadle with one second remaining. Proctor was able to step to the line moments later and connected on both to ultimately give Duke the win.
“I am unbelievably disappointed with the ending,” Brownell said. “That’s really poor. That’s poor. We’ve had some history with that official. There was a lot of emotion from our bench because we are a passionate group that fought our tails off and felt like the game was taken from us a little bit. It shouldn’t be decided like that.”
After the final buzzer sounded, it appeared that Girard appeared to try and charge at an official, but he was held back by his coaches and teammates before anything escalated. — Salerno
Losers: Providence fans go nuts over Cooley
Even before Saturday’s Providence-Georgetown game — a homecoming for Hoyas coach Ed Cooley and a chance for Friars fans to air their grievances — things got off the rails.
Oh, yes. Literally.
A borderline belligerent fanbase of Friars knocked over rails set up to restrain fans and nearly caused a trampling incident. And things didn’t calm much the rest of the day, either, as ramped-up security thankfully — and miraculously — kept a rambunctious crowd from blowing the lid right off the Dunk.
Cooley had to brave taunts and chants of ranging vulgarity in one of the most hostile environments since Chris Beard returned to Texas Tech and had to take a close loss home on top of it. It was an eye-opening visual that reminds us of two things: college basketball is simply the best, and Providence fans are genuinely nuts. — Boone
Winner: King goes off for Iowa State
Iowa State forward Tre King had made three 3-pointers all season entering Saturday’s showdown with No. 7 Kansas. Against the Jayhawks, he made a career-high four as the No. 23 Cyclones used a season-high 14 makes from beyond the arc to fuel a 79-75 victory. King led all scorers with 21 points as the Cyclones won their seventh straight home game against a ranked opponent and improved to 13-0 at Hilton Coliseum this season. This program went 0-18 in Big 12 play in 2020-21 before coach T.J. Otzelberger’s arrival. Three years later, Hilton Magic has returned, and the Cyclones are firmly in the league title hunt with two wins over top-10 league foes already on their resume. — Cobb
Loser: Kansas continues to stumble in Big 12 play
If it feels like Kansas is taking more Ls in Big 12 play than it usually does, then … your spidey senses are tingling properly. No. 7 Kansas dropped a roadie to No. 23 Iowa State 79-75 dropping KU to 16-4 on the season and to just 4-3 in league play. That start in-conference is not just bizarre, either: it’s unheard of. KU’s never had a worse start to conference play than 4-3 since Bill Self took over the program in 2003. — Boone
Winner: UCLA knocks off crosstown rival USC
UCLA’s season hasn’t gone according to plan, but they will have the satisfaction of claiming a win over crosstown rival USC in one of the final meetings as members of the Pac-12. The 65-50 win on the road at the Galen Center gives the Bruins a small glimmer of hope that they can run the table in March at the Pac-12 Tournament and steal a bid away from someone. While that appears highly unlikely, they still get the fulfillment of winning a rivalry game. This marked the first time since 2004 that UCLA and USC both came into this game with losing records. USC has been one of the biggest disappointments in college basketball and now finds itself in sole possession of last place in the conference. — Salerno
Loser: Horns go down at BYU
Texas continues to be unwilling to brush off opposing crowds or players doing the “Horns Down” gesture. A group of BYU fans were asked to remove shirts that spelled out H-O-R-N-S D-O-W-N (by BYU this time, but still!) and it comes days after coachafter they did the gesture following an upset win.
On the court, Texas looked sluggish and fell on the road to BYU 84-72 for its fourth Big 12 loss already. If things couldn’t get any worse, BYU fans chanted “SEC, SEC, SEC” in the final moments. These are the kind of games Texas needs to win if it wants to stay off the bubble. — Salerno
Loser: Baylor blows big lead in 3OT loss to TCU
No. 15 Baylor led TCU by as much as 10 in the second half and never trailed after halftime. Yet, the Bears found themselves in overtime. Three of them, actually. In the Big 12’s first triple-overtime game since 2019, TCU eventually outlasted Baylor 105-102. Jameer Nelson Jr. led all scorers with 30 points and scored the final six for the Horned Frogs after Baylor took a 99-95 lead early in the third overtime. Losing at home is always painful, especially when it comes in triple overtime against an in-state foe inside your brand new venue. — Cobb
Winner: Texas Tech runs the Big 12
No. 20 Texas Tech rallied from a nine-point deficit over the final 7:30 to stun No. 11 Oklahoma 85-84 on the road. It was only the latest impressive victory for the Red Raiders (16-3, 5-1 Big 12), who maintained solo possession of first in the nation’s most brutal league. The Red Raiders also won at Texas earlier this month, meaning their final visits to both departing Big 12 rivals will go down as triumphs. — Cobb
Loser: Auburn fails (again) to secure Quad 1 win
Bruce Pearl and his paper Tigers failed — once again — to secure a Quad 1 win on Saturday, falling 64-58 at Mississippi State. They are, and remain, the only top-25 team in the NET rankings to still not have a Quad 1 win on the resume.
No. 8 Auburn is 16-4 overall, 5-2 in SEC play and viewed highly in the metrics at both KenPom (No. 7) and BartTorvik (No. 3), but it has a lackluster resume at the top — hardly the type of problem you’d expect for a team that up until this week has looked like the class of the SEC. — Boone
Winner: Cadeau helps UNC stay perfect in ACC
UNC freshman guard Elliot Cadeau picked a great day to have the performance of his young career. The former five-star prospect scored 16 points and dished out six assists in a 75-68 win on the road against Florida State. The Tar Heels are the last Big Six school to have a perfect record in conference play and Cadeau deserves credit for helping North Carolina improve to 9-0 in ACC play for the first time since 2001. — Salerno
Winner: Love shines in Arizona’s win over Oregon
The Caleb Love experience is like no other. The former North Carolina star has had his fair share of memorable moments while also having games to forget. The former was on display in the Wildcats’ statement win over Oregon when Love scored a career-high 36 points to help his team get back to the top of the Pac-12 standings. Love remains the X-Factor on the roster that can elevate the Wildcats to the Final Four. At this point in this season, he should be one of the favorites to win the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Saturday may go down as his signature moment this season. — Salerno
Loser: Louisville’s situation gets even worse
Virginia waltzed into the KFC Yum! Center and flat-out embarrassed Louisville, a team that has shown all season it needs absolutely no assistance this season in doing so, with a 69-52 beatdown as the Cardinals fell to 6-14 overall and 1-8 in the ACC. The visiting Cavaliers raced out to a 41-13 halftime advantage — Louisville’s third-largest halftime deficit in program history — before coasting the rest of the way to the finish line.
The final score didn’t tell the story of what a lopsided beating it was for Virginia nor what an embarrassment it was for Louisville, which at this point is just business as usual. The Cardinals just looked disinterested — and that went both for players and for coaches this time, with a video surfacing during a timeout showing that assistant coach Nolan Smith appearing more engaged with timeout entertainment than his team’s planning.
Not good. — Boone
Winner: Florida’s Handlogten has career day
Florida squandered a 21-point lead in the second half and wound up in overtime against Georgia before escaping with a 102-98 win. The huge lead would never have existed in the first place if not for the performance of center Micah Handlogten. The Gators’ 7-foot-1 center exploded for a career-high 23 points and 17 rebounds on 10-of-13 shooting. His seven offensive boards fueled Florida’s 12-3 edge in second-chance points. The offensive output was particularly stunning since Handlogten was averaging just 5.8 points in UF’s first six SEC games. Included in his memorable day was his first made 3-pointer since Dec. 19. It came in ridiculous fashion. — Cobb
Loser: No 3-pointers for Indiana in loss to Illinois
Indiana isn’t a good 3-point shooting team and hasn’t pretended to be one often this season. But the Hoosiers’ lack of perimeter firepower reached new depths in a 70-62 loss at No. 10 Illinois. The Hoosiers (12-8, 4-5 Big Ten) finished 0 of 9 from beyond the arc, marking the first game since the 2009-10 season that Indiana failed to make a single 3-pointer. IU took a 49-42 lead with 12:43 remaining, but an endless procession of bricks followed as the Illini (15-5, 6-3) closed the game on a 28-13 run. The Hoosiers have lost four straight. — Cobb
Winner: Richmond ends Dayton’s winning streak
Richmond took down No. 16 Dayton 69-64 in a big-time Atlantic 10 battle, ending the Flyers’ winning streak at 13 games. That left McNeese State with the nation’s longest winning streak as the Cowboys notched their 13th win in a row by thrashing New Orleans earlier 102-65. It’s been a spectacular turnaround for McNeese under first-year coach Will Wade, who was suspended for the first 10 games of the season because of violations committed at LSU. The Cowboys haven’t exactly been playing the nation’s toughest schedule — a win over the Mississippi University for Women is included in the tally — but there is at least some meat on the bone. Wins over Michigan and upper-half Sun Belt teams Louisiana and Southern Miss suggest that McNeese could have some bracket busting potential come March. — Cobb
The last one-loss team in the country is no more. Cornell delivered an 83-68 win over its Ivy League rival to move into a first-place tie with Yale atop the conference. The Big Red used a 30-5 first-half run to build a lead and never looked back to knock off Princeton as the reigning conference champions fell to 13-2 and 3-1 in the the Ivy League. The highly anticipated rematch is set for the second-to-last game of the season on March 2 and it could very well be for (at least a share) of the Ivy League regular season title. — Salerno
Loser: Ohio State’s road woes continue
One of the worst road-losing streaks among Big Six conference schools continues. Ohio State dropped its 14th consecutive game on the road in an 83-58 loss to Northwestern. The last time Ohio State won a game on the road was New Year’s Day of last year– a whopping 391 days since the Buckeyes beat an opponent on the road. For a team that came into the season with aspirations of getting back to the NCAA Tournament, these losses certainly won’t help their case. Ohio State sits at 13-7 overall and 3-6 in the Big Ten. Ohio State’s next opportunity to snap the streak will come on Feb. 2 against Iowa. — Salerno