By: Andrew Kahn
The sports talk around the water cooler this morning probably isn’t about college basketball, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an exciting weekend for the sport. It was a classic Super Bowl, but Saturday’s action delivered, as the top two teams in the poll went down.
1. IU beats Michigan in top-3 showdown
It took Michigan 20 years to get back to No. 1, but like their time atop the polls in 1992, it didn’t last long. Earlier this season Michigan was the last team in the country to lose; on Saturday it became the last to drop its second game, falling to No. 3 Indiana 81-73 in Bloomington. Just as they did in their previous loss, at OhioState, the Wolverines got off to a bad start, as Indiana hit its first six shots and led 20-7. After that the game lived up to the hype, as Michigan tied it in the second half. Indiana’s five starters scored between 11 and 19 points, while Michigan relied too much on its backcourt of Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr.
2. Cowboys get historic win at the Phog
Several streaks came to an end on Saturday in Lawrence: Kansas had the nation’s longest winning streak (18 games), a 33-game home win streak, and 16 straight home wins against Oklahoma State. But for the first time since 1989, the Cowboys won at Allen Fieldhouse, beating the Jayhawks 85-80. Markel Brown and freshman Marcus Smart combined for 53 points for the Cowboys, supplying several highlight-reel baskets (see Smart’s fast break dunk at the start of the video below). Oklahoma State didn’t wither when No. 2 Kansas erased its big first half lead, showing they’re a team that could make some noise in March.
3. ’Canes atop ACC
There are only two major conference teams that are unbeaten in league play—Miami is one of them. The No. 14 Hurricanes improved to 8-0 in the ACC with a 79-78 win over No. 19 North Carolina State. Reggie Johnson’s tip-in just before the buzzer won it. Miami’s three losses came when either Durand Scott (its leading scorer) or Reggie Johnson (top rebounder) missed the game.
4. Florida cruises
The other aforementioned team that is undefeated in conference play is No. 4 Florida, a team that should get some No. 1 votes in today’s new poll (though likely not enough to move past Indiana). The Gators have the highest scoring margin in the country (22.9) after beating No. 16 Mississippi 78-64 on Saturday, Florida’s smallest margin since their Dec. 22 loss to Kansas State.
5. Zags stay perfect in WCC
Also unbeaten in conference play is No. 7 Gonzaga, though its Saturday game at San Diego went down to the wire. The Bulldogs pulled out a 65-53 victory to move to 8-0 in the West Coast Conference and 21-2 overall. Many believe this year’s Gonzaga squad has a chance to go further in the NCAA Tournament than ever before. The Zags likely won’t be challenged until a Feb. 14 showdown at Saint Mary’s.
Andrew Kahn is a contributor to CBS Local who has written for ESPN the Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. He writes about college basketball and other sports at http://andrewjkahn.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @AndrewKahn.