NCAA

Navy earns first 11-win season with Military Bowl victory

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Navy earns first 11-win season with Military Bowl victory

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Navy jumped out to a 31-7 lead and that proved to be too steep of a mountain for Pitt to climb as the Midshipmen held on for the 44-28 win in the Military Bowl. Here are the five big takeaways from the game:

As good as advertised: So that Keenan Reynolds guy is good. He finished the game with 144 yards on the ground and three touchdowns, including a record-setter in the fourth quarter. It's clear when you watch him play that he runs the option to absolute perfection, always making the right reads and throwing perfectly timed pitches. Navy may not be known for its pass attack, but it was incredibly effective Saturday with Reynolds throwing quick, decisive passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. He even caught a pass on a trick play for 47 yards.

"He's a super football player," Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. "Make no mistake, there was a reason that he was a finalist for the Heisman. He rushed for a touchdown, threw for a touchdown and then caught a heck of a pass on the quarterback throw back. He did a really nice job."

RELATED: Reynolds sets TD record...again

Defensive wiz? Narduzzi was hailed as one of the top defensive minds in the nation when he was hired at Pitt prior to this season. He spent eight seasons with Mark Dantonio building Michigan State into a defensive juggernaut before leaving to accept the head job at Pitt. That was not on display Saturday as Navy sliced and diced the Panthers' defense with relative ease. The Midshipmen finished with 590 total offensive yards and 44 points, both of which were season highs for the Pitt defense.

Backbreakers: While Navy broke off plenty of big plays in this game, the option offense is built for short plays and long drives. That means setting up a lot of 3rd-and-short conversions. Defenses have to find a way to get off the field on third down because those long drives can be demoralizing. That certainly was the case on Monday. Navy had six drives of nine plays or more, five of which ended with a touchdown. The Midshipmen also converted on third down 12 of 17 times. It's hard to win with stats like that.

More than just Reynolds: There's no denying how great Reynolds was in this game, but Navy's success Monday was not all their senior quarterback. The defense held Pitt to 335 yards, forced three interceptions and managed to keep star wide receiver Tyler Boyd out of the end zone.

"The defense and [defensive coordinator] Dale Pehrson have done a great job all year," Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo said. "All of those turnovers were huge. Those were some huge picks. The defense played well all year and that is a testament to Dale and the players."

A record-setting day: Reynolds set the record for most career touchdowns in FBS history and most rushing yards by a quarterback in FBS history during Monday's game. Reynolds' class has now won 36 games, tying the school record for wins by a class set by the Class of 1909. The senior class is also the first in school history to win three consecutive bowls. In addition, the win was Navy's 11th of the season which is also a school record. For a program as long and as storied as Navy's, that's saying something.

When asked which record meant the most to him, Reynolds was very quick to answer.

"Most wins in a season," he said. "You play to win the game and that means the most."

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Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

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Georgetown snaps 4-game road losing streak, tops Butler

INDIANAPOLIS -- Marcus Derrickson tied a career-high with 27 points, on 11-of-13 shooting, for his eighth 20-plus point game this season and Georgetown beat Butler 87-83 on Tuesday night.

After Georgetown missed two free throws, Kamar Baldwin made a scoop shot in the lane and Sean McDermott stole the inbounds pass, leading to another Baldwin basket to pull Butler to 84-81 with 1:29 to go.

Butler had a chance to tie it in the closing seconds, but Baldwin's long 3-pointer was short and Jahvon Blair sealed it at the line at 4.5.

Jessie Govan had his 12th double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Georgetown (15-10, 5-9 Big East). Trey Dickerson, a senior averaging 3.5 points per game, set a career-high in the first half with 12 points and finished with 18.

Kelan Martin had 22 points and eight rebounds to reach 20 points for the 17th time this season for Butler (17-10, 7-7). Tyler Wideman added 19 points and Baldwin had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

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Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982

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Virginia jumps to top of new AP poll for first time since 1982

A loss didn't prevent Virginia from climbing to No. 1 in AP men's basketball poll for the first time in more than 35 years after all.

The Cavaliers rose a slot to sit atop Monday's AP Top 25 despite an overtime home loss Saturday to Virginia Tech, part of an upset-filled week that allowed for plenty of uncertainty in the poll. The Cavaliers (23-2, 12-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned 30 of 65 first-place votes to outdistance No. 2 Michigan State and rise above the turmoil that included last week's top three teams all losing.

Tony Bennett's Cavaliers had been at No. 2 before this season, but this is the first time the program has reached No. 1 since December 1982 — the senior season of 7-foot-4 great Ralph Sampson — back when the poll ranked only 20 teams. And that team fell out of that spot after its improbable upset loss to Chaminade in Hawaii, regarded by many as the biggest upset in the history of college sports.

Virginia looked set to reach the No. 1 spot after Villanova's home loss to St. John's before losing to the Hokies. Still, the Cavaliers ended up there a day after the NCAA selection committee had them as the No. 1 overall seed in its reveal of the top 16 seeds to date.

The Cavaliers — whose 12 previous weeks at No. 1 all came during the Sampson era — play with the top ranking for the first time since the Chaminade loss on Tuesday at Miami.

"I do not get too carried away with where we are," Bennett said after the loss to the Hokies. "I always say 'thus far,' and now we have to prove it again. ... Now we are going to get a chance to do it again and we are going to have to fight like crazy every game. Everybody is capable of beating everybody in this league and that is reality. If you are little off it is not enough."

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TOP-5 CHANGES

Michigan State (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) climbed two spots after a weekend win against Purdue in a top-5 matchup. The Spartans, who reached No. 1 for a week in January, earned 21 first-place votes.

Next came Villanova (23-2, 10-2 Big East), who fell to third after a five-week stay at No. 1 and earned nine first-place votes. Xavier (23-3, 11-2 Big East) inched up a spot to fourth and earned five first-place votes, followed by Cincinnati (23-2, 12-0 American Athletic Conference) at No. 5.

This is Xavier's highest ranking in its history, while Cincinnati is in the top 5 for the first time since spending a good chunk of the 2001-02 season there.

PURDUE'S SLIDE

Purdue (23-4, 12-2 Big East) fell from third to sixth after losing to Ohio State and Michigan State last week. Those losses snapped the nation's longest winning streak at 19 games, marking Purdue's first losses since falling to Tennessee and Western Kentucky on consecutive November days in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.

Texas Tech was next at No. 7, followed by Ohio State, Gonzaga and Auburn to round out the top 10.

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TOP RISERS

Rivalry wins against Duke and North Carolina State helped North Carolina climb seven spots to No. 14 for the week's biggest jump. It continued the Tar Heels' wild swings in poll positioning, including a nine-slot drop last month and two other slides of eight slots.

Ohio State rose six spots to No. 8 after the Purdue win, while No. 11 Clemson was up five spots.

LONGEST SLIDES

Oklahoma and freshman star Trae Young had the biggest fall of the week, down six spots to No. 23. The Sooners have lost three straight and six of eight after Saturday's loss at Iowa State .

St. Mary's (15th) and Arizona (17th) both fell four spots.

NEWCOMERS

The newcomers aren't entirely new this week. Both No. 21 Texas A&M and No. 25 Arizona State have been ranked multiple weeks this season and appeared in the top 10, with the Sun Devils reaching No. 3 on Christmas Day.

SLIDING OUT

Kentucky fell out of the rankings for the second time this season -- It hadn't happened since March 2014 before this year -- from No. 24 after three straight losses. Miami fell out from No. 25 after losing at Boston College.

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