Tuesday’s Things to Know: Kansas’ Big 12 streak ends; Big Ten race gets complicated; Duke survives
Tuesday night featured chaos all over college basketball thanks to upsets and conference races getting upended. One of the sport’s most iconic streaks finally came to an end while another conference race got more interesting thanks to an upset loss. And that doesn’t even include an overtime thriller between top-25 teams and a top-five team nearly losing to an unranked team at the buzzer.
Oklahoma ends the Kansas Big 12 title streak with blowout win
The streak is finally over. After 14 consecutive years of Big 12 titles, the league is guaranteed a new conference regular-season champion after No. 13 Kansas fell on the road at Oklahoma.
Falling behind by double digits less than five minutes into the game, the Jayhawks never recovered as junior forward Dedric Lawson (18 points, 11 rebounds) was the team’s only consistent presence. Meanwhile, Oklahoma picked up its most important win of the season as this Q1 victory likely solidifies the Sooners into the Field of 68. Kristian Doolittle (24 points, 11 rebounds) tallied his fourth double-double of the season while Brady Manek earned 21 points.
CBT’s Rob Dauster has more on this one here as he explores what the end of this streak means for Kansas and college hoops.
Minnesota outlasts No. 11 Purdue to muddy the Big Ten race
Things got complicated in the Big Ten on Tuesday night thanks to the Golden Gophers holding off Purdue for a Big Ten home win. While the victory likely punches Minnesota’s at-large ticket into the Field of 68, the most important takeaway from this one is the Boilermakers relinquishing their lead in the Big Ten.
With Michigan State’s Tuesday night win over Nebraska, the Big Ten now has a three-way tie for the conference lead as Purdue, the Spartans and Michigan are all 15-4 heading into the final conference game of the season. The Boilermakers had a golden opportunity to clinch at least a share of the Big Ten title with a win on Tuesday, but Carsen Edwards (22 points, 7-for-31 shooting) struggled to consistently make shots while big man Matt Haarms (three points, 1-for-8 shooting) was also off. Amir Coffey poured in 32 points for Minnesota as they were among the night’s big winners among bubble teams.
No. 14 Florida State rallies to beat No. 15 Virginia Tech in OT
The night’s only matchup between top-25 teams ended up being a good one as the Seminoles had an impressive second-half rally to earn the ACC home win.
While this game doesn’t have huge NCAA tournament implications (it’ll certainly help Florida State, but how much remains to be seen) the win gives the Seminoles the very important No. 4 seed (and double bye) in the upcoming ACC Tournament. Trailing by 14 points at the half, Florida State used a balanced effort to rally as Mfiondu Kabengale led with 17 points.
No. 4 Duke survives Wake Forest without Zion
Life without superstar freshman Zion Williamson continued for the Blue Devils on Tuesday as Duke barely survived with a one-point home win over Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons had multiple looks on the game’s final possession as Chaundee Brown’s putback rolled out in agonizingly slow fashion as time expired. Trailing by 10 in the second half, Duke was carried by freshman R.J. Barrett (28 points) in this one as Cam Reddish battled foul trouble and a sluggish start to only finish with six points.
Point guard Tre Jones (13 points, eight rebounds, three steals) also had a solid effort on both ends of the floor, but he left for part of the second half with what’s being described as a bruised right quad. Junior big man Marques Bolden was also limited due to a hip injury in this one as the Blue Devils need to get healthy, and quickly, before Saturday’s rivalry showdown at North Carolina.