College basketball scores, winners and losers: Wisconsin still stumbling; Creighton, Dayton defy seeding snubs

No. 1 UConn and No. 3 Houston made the NCAA Tournament selection committee look smart by eviscerating quality foes on Saturday in the hours after landing as projected No. 1 seeds in the Bracket Preview show on CBS. The annual preview offered a glimpse at how the top 16 teams in the Big Dance would have been seeded entering the day’s action.

Of course, it’s all subject to change over the next four weeks as college basketball speeds toward Selection Sunday on March 17. And it didn’t take long for some of those changes to start occurring. Wisconsin, which landed as a No. 4 seed in the preview, promptly lost at Iowa. Similarly, projected No. 2 seed Marquette was on the receiving end of a beatdown from UConn.

If the Golden Eagles were to enter a slide, there would be no shortage of quality teams ready to take their spot on the No. 2 line. Baylor, Iowa State, Alabama and Duke — all listed as No. 3 seeds in the preview show — cruised to victories Saturday. 

It was a day full of consequential information and results in college basketball, and it’s not over yet. So as we continue to wait on results and analyze the day that was, our team as always has compiled a handy list of winners and losers to scroll through to help catch you up on a busy Saturday.

Winner: UConn wagon keeps rolling

The only matchup of the day between top-five opponents wound up being one of the biggest snoozers of the weekend. No. 1 UConn stuffed No. 4 Marquette in a locker and threw away the keys early in what amounted to a 40-minute celebration for Huskies fans. UConn won 81-53, which marked the largest margin of victory ever in a top-five conference matchup since the beginning of the AP poll (which, by the way, celebrated its 75th anniversary earlier this year). Woof. It wasn’t even a bad loss for Marquette. It was just an old-fashioned butt whooping from UConn. There is no doubt about where the best team in college basketball resides: it is in Storrs, Connecticut. — Kyle Boone

No. 11 South Carolina falling at home to a .500 LSU team is itself a surprising result.

No. 11 South Carolina blowing a 16-point second-half lead at home and losing by one? Now that is genuinely stunning. 

The Gamecocks’ mid-week slip-up to Auburn turns this loss into an official skid for the once-surging South Carolina team. The 40-point loss at Auburn was a tough one to take on the chin, but blowing a 16-point lead at home while allowing LSU to hit six consecutive field goals to end the game might be even more demoralizing. This team can still win the SEC, but two tough losses in the span of four days might mean it’ll have to do so with a wounded ego. — Boone

Winner: TCU’s Nelson hits game-winner

TCU guard Jameer Nelson Jr. spent nearly the entire second half operating in the shadows as Micah Peavy, Emmanuel Miller and Xavier Cork led the Horned Frogs back from a 49-41 deficit at Kansas State. But when the game was on the line, Nelson delivered. The 6-foot-1 guard hoisted a contested 3-pointer over the outstretched arms of K-State’s Cam Carter. The hopeful heave hit nothing but net with 1.1 seconds remaining to lift TCU to a 75-72 victory. It was Nelson’s only made basket of the second half, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. — David Cobb

Loser: Wake Forest still winless in Quad 1

Wake Forest entered the day at No. 37 in the NET, No. 28 in KenPom and No. 4 in the ACC standings. But despite its relatively strong standing in various measures of success, it was among the “First 4 Out” of Jerry Palm’s NCAA Tournament Bracketology due to its lack of a Quad 1 win. A game at Virginia presented the perfect opportunity for the Demon Deacons to rectify that, but it wasn’t meant to be. Cam Hildreth missed a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer to leave Wake Forest on the wrong end of a 49-47 ACC battle. Wake Forest is now 0-5 in Quad 1 opportunities, and the opportunities are running thin. Games against Duke, Virginia Tech and Clemson over the regular season’s final three weeks could be Quad 1 opportunities, and it will be imperative that the Demon Deacons get over the hump in a couple of them.  — Cobb

Winner: Duke’s McCain sets records in win over Florida State

Have yourself a day, Mr. McCain. The Duke star freshman broke the program record for most 3-pointers made by a first-year player with eight and tied Zion Williamson for the most points scored by a freshman with 35. McCain connected on 8 of 11 attempts from beyond the arc and helped Duke win its fourth straight game in a 76-67 win over Florida State. The Blue Devils still control their own destiny to win the ACC regular-season title and McCain is a major reason why. — Cameron Salerno

Loser: Bubbles get cloudier in Texas

Texas and Texas A&M each entered the day as No. 10 seeds in the projected NCAA Tournament field but were still considered “on the bubble” by CBS Sports Bracketology Expert Jerry Palm. Neither did anything to help their cause. The Aggies fell 100-75 at No. 15 Alabama while the Longhorns lost 82-61 at Houston. It was the most lopsided loss of the season for the Aggies and tied for the most lopsided loss of the season by the Longhorns. Just a week ago, it seemed like the Aggies were on the right path with an 85-69 win over Tennessee. But after losing at lowly Vanderbilt on Tuesday and getting torched by the Crimson Tide, they will have to sweat it out in the days leading up to Selection Sunday. Similarly, Texas has now lost four of its last six to fall to 5-7 in Big 12 play with road games against No. 6 Kansas, Texas Tech and No. 12 Baylor still on the schedule. — Cobb

Winner: Big 12 frontrunners

The top of the Big 12 standings before Saturday looked the same after Saturday’s festivities as Iowa State and Houston held serve at home vs. Texas Tech and Texas, respectively, to improve to 9-3 in conference play. The wins kept the two Big 12 frontrunners tied atop the standings even with the chasing Kansas Jayhawks and Baylor Bears sneaking out road wins, and they assured us one heckuva matchup Monday with the Cyclones traveling to Houston to take on the Cougars. — Boone 

Winner: Kansas takes care of business on the road

Kansas has developed a reputation of being one of the best home teams and one of the worst road teams this season — it was 1-5 away from Allen Fieldhouse in its last six games entering Saturday — but the Jayhawks took care of business with a massive road win over No. 25 Oklahoma to stay in the Big 12 hunt. KU is still on the chase looking up at Iowa State and Houston, but it lives to keep its hunt alive with a crucial road win at a time it desperately needed one. With ailing star Kevin McCullar Jr. reentering the lineup, the Big 12 race could get juicy in the stretch run of the regular season. — Boone

Loser: Wisconsin’s struggles continue

Wisconsin received the benefit of the doubt from the NCAA Tournament selection committee and landed as a No. 4 seed in the Bracket Preview. But the positive vibes didn’t carry over to the court as the Badgers dropped their fifth game in their last six tries, falling 88-86 at Iowa in overtime. The Badgers led by 13 in the first half and held a three-point lead in overtime. But Tony Perkins slipped in a dagger with this late bucket that lifted the Hawkeyes to victory. — Cobb

Winner: North Carolina’s Bacot is on a tear

Armando Bacot posted his fifth consecutive double-double as No. 7 North Carolina cruised to a 96-81 win over Virginia Tech. Bacot finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds on 11 of 16 shooting in the most recent example of how the fifth-year star is elevating his game as the season’s stretch run arrives. The Tar Heels have been treading water for a few weeks, but Bacot’s recent tear offers a hulking reason for optimism that UNC can win the ACC title after all. — Cobb

Among the first teams left out in the bracket reveal were No. 16 Dayton and No. 17 Creighton; both landed just outside the selection committee’s breakdown of the top 16 teams. Following the snubs, both went out and made their cases with wins. The Bluejays turned a 35-34 halftime deficit into a 79-57 win at Butler behind 57.1% shooting in the second half thanks to Baylor Scheierman and Ryan Kalkbrenner. The duo combined for 48 points, including 28 in the second half, as Creighton won its third straight. Dayton wasn’t quite as impressive in a 78-70 win over Fordham, but star forward DaRon Holmes II was spectacular. The All-American candidate scored 29 points on 10 of 13 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds. — Cobb

Detroit Mercy took care of business at home this week and scooted past IUPUI to get its first win of the season, leaving Mississippi Valley State as the only winless team in the sport entering the weekend. That did not change Saturday. With its chance to equal the Titans in the win column, MVSU failed in spectacular fashion with an 80-57 road road loss to Alabama A&M to move to 0-25 on the season. The Delta Devils will likely be underdogs in each of their remaining six regular-season games. — Boone

Loser: BYU takes bad road loss

It’s hard to win in the Big 12 and even harder to do so on the road, but No. 19 BYU’s 93-83 loss at Oklahoma State might take the cake as the most confounding of the day that was. The Cougars were favored by 7.5 points and wound up losing by 10 to an OSU team that, even with the win, ranks outside the top-100 at KenPom and sits at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. Yuck, Cougars. Yuck. — Boone

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