Wednesday was being hailed as a defining night in the college basketball regular season.
It certainly lived up to the hype as five teams entered the day undefeated. Only four came up aces, including Syracuse (17-0, 4-0 Big East) which had an easy time in a 76-59 win over St. John’s (10-5, 3-2) at Madison Square Garden.
Check out Mark Herrmann’s previous posts on the game.
As well as the Orange played, it might not be enough to lift them to the top spot.
The rest of the undefeated teams had close shaves. Ohio State (17-0, 4-0) held off rival Michigan in a Big Ten showdown, 68-64, San Diego State (18-0, 3-0) beat UNLV, 55-49, and Kansas (16-0, 1-0) barely beat Iowa State, 84-79.
But one team couldn’t keep pace with the others. That team was No.1 Duke, which had its win streak halted at 25 in a 66-61 loss at Florida State. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Seminoles have give Duke fits ever since it joined the ACC.
Florida State beat then-No.1 Duke in March 2006 and then-No.5 Duke in February, 2003. Earlier this season the Seminoles knocked off No.15 Baylor at the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Expect to see the unranked Seminoles enter the polls next week.
Most impressive win: It had to be San Diego State. Yes, I know Florida State beat No.1, but that was bound to happen. San Diego State played tremendous defense, limiting UNLV to 49 points. UNLV didn’t hit its first three-pointer until the 9:35 mark of the second half. Any team that can play defense like that has a big future ahead of it.
Most important win: Syracuse handling St. John’s. If seemed like the 1980s at the Garden as Syracuse took control and won by double digits in front of 14,440. It also sent shivers throughout the nation that the Orange is for real and quite possibly the best team in the country. Syracuse can beat teams inside (Rick Jackson) and outside (Scoop Jardine).
Other surprises Wednesday night: Oklahoma State (13-3, 1-1) looked terrible in a 71-48 loss to Texas A&M (15-1, 2-0). Colorado (13-4, 2-0) continued its rise in the Big 12 with a 74-66 win over No.20 Kansas State (12-5, 2-0). Pittsburgh (16-1, 4-0) crushed a slumping Georgetown (12-5, 1-4), 72-57. Not sure if the Hoyas can climb out of the hole they’re in.