January 6th, 2018 is a day that some teams will never forget. A day that could put their resume in good hands come March.
Duke went on the road to take on North Carolina State. NC State struggled last year but had the lone bright spot of Dennis Smith Jr. who advanced to the NBA. It looks like his leadership left a mark. NC State stormed the court as the buzzer sounded to a 96-85 victory. Omer Yurtseven led the way for the Wolfpack with 16 points and 9 rebounds. The freshman sensation Marvin Bagley Jr. kept Duke in the game throughout as he finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds. #2. Duke drops to 13-2, and 1-2 in ACC play. North Carolina State is now 11-5.
#5. Xavier has looked very promising all year as a top team and perhaps with a win today could have put them as a top 3 team. But Providence had other plans. Kyron Cartwright had 19 points and 9 assists to lead Providence to an 81-72 victory at home. Kerem Kanter led the way for Xavier off the bench with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
#7. Oklahoma traveled to #6. West Virginia for a little Big 12 action. West Virginia prevailed in a very close game 89-76. Veteran point guard Jevon Carter was tremendous for West Virginia as he poured in nearly a triple double, (17 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds). Trae Young was great again for Oklahoma with 29 points but his 8 turnovers were too much to overcome. Oklahoma goes to 12-2 on the year, while West Virginia goes to 14-1.
Two ACC powerhouses squared off in Virginia Saturday afternoon as #12 North Carolina took on #8 Virginia. In a defensive game, Virginia came out on top 61-49. This was a very different game play from North Carolina and it was not the same team everyone is used to watching. Joel Berry led the way for the Tar Heels with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Devon Hall stared for Virginia with 16 points and 7 assists.
Unranked LSU picked up a huge SEC win over #11 Texas A&M 69-68 on the road in Texas. The Aggies continue to struggle and drop to 0-3 in SEC play. Tyler Davis paced them with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Tremont Waters led LSU with 21 points.
Colorado may be the next team to watch out for. After beating Arizona State, they follow it up with an 80-77 victory over Arizona. McKinley Wright IV was terrific with 16 points and 10 assists for Colorado. Deandre Ayton had 26 points for Arizona.
Alongside Colorado, Auburn is right with them on teams to watch out for. After dismantling UCONN, Auburn outplays the #22 Arkansas Razorbacks 88-77. Desean Murray had 15 points and 8 rebounds for Auburn. Jaylen Barford led Arkansas with 21 points.
#23 Tennessee showed everybody that they belong where they are as they top #17 Kentucky. Kentucky continues to be a team of question. They were led by PJ Washington who had just 13 points. Admiral Schofield had 20 points and 9 rebounds for Tennessee.
In another Big 12 matchup, Kansas held off TCU in a nail biter. 88-84, Devonte’ Graham had 28 points for the Jayhawks. TCU has really come out strong after winning the NIT last season, and show themselves as a true threat in the conference.
Some other notable winners in the top 25 include #25 Clemson with a 74-69 overtime victory at home against Louisville. #3 Villanova with a 100-90 victory over Marquette, Markus Howard bounces back from his huge scoring outbreak as he stays hot. Finishes with 37 points and 8 assists in a losing effort for Marquette. #13 Purdue handles Nebraska at home 74-62. Vince Edwards led the way for the Boilermakers with 21 points, 10 rebound and 6 assists. #18 Texas Tech stays hot with a 74-58 victory at home against Kansas State. Keenan Evans finished with 27 points for Texas Tech. Lastly, after beating Villanova, Butler tried to spoil plans for #21 Seton Hall but Seton Hall held on late to beat the Bulldogs 90-87. Kelan Martin had 27 points for Butler while Angel Delgado had a monster game with 28 points, 15 rebounds and 6 assists.