This past week of college basketball began with a bang, especially in the ACC.
Unranked Syracuse defeated then No. 12 Louisville at the Carrier Dome 69-59 on Wednesday night. Syracuse, facing a self-imposed postseason ban this season, showed how they can be a very tough opponent. Rakeem Christmas scored 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Orange.
Later that night, we saw another instant classic in the storied Duke-North Carolina rivalry. The No. 4 Blue Devils overcame an 11 point second half deficit to defeat the No. 15 Tar Heels 92-90 in overtime at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
North Carolina dominated Duke in the paint, and got 18 points and 12 rebounds from Brice Johnson. Other starting UNC big man Kennedy Meeks also added 18 points.
The Blue Devils got 22 points from freshman point guard, Tyus Jones, who completely took over down the stretch. Jones added seven rebounds and eight assists. Duke also got 22 points from senior guard Quinn Cook.
Duke would take on Clemson on Saturday at home, but were without star freshman center, Jahlil Okafor, who sprained his ankle in the win over North Carolina. Cook tied a career high 27 points and freshman, Justise Winslow, scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the 78-56 win.
No. 1 and unbeaten Kentucky scored 110 points in a 110-75 rout of Auburn at the Rupp Arena on Saturday. Karl-Anthony Towns scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds for the Wildcats. Aaron Harrison chipped in 18 for Kentucky.
No. 3 Gonzaga came back from a 17 point deficit in the second half on the road to beat St. Mary’s 70-60 on Saturday. Kyle Wiltjer had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Zags.
No. 8 Kansas fell on the road to Kansas State 70-63 on Monday night. Nigel Johnson had 20 points off the bench for Kansas State.
Tuesday night saw a trio of top-15 upsets across college basketball. No. 5 Wisconsin lost on the road to No. 14 Maryland. Dez Wells scored 26 points and have seven rebounds for Maryland.
At South Bend, Indiana, Syracuse came up with their second straight top-15 victory as they defeated No. 9 Notre Dame 65-60. B.J. Johnson had 19 points and six rebounds off the bench for Syracuse.
And then in Chapel Hill, North Carolina., North Carolina State defeated No. 15 North Carolina 58-46. State’s three starting guards combined for 43 of their 58 points. This was the first time Roy Williams, head coach of UNC, had been defeated by the Wolfpack at home.
The Louisville Cardinals dismissed starting point guard Chris Jones on Sunday. Jones was reported to have sent a threatening text message to a woman. Jones was suspended for the Syracuse game last week, returned for Louisville’s 55-53 win over Miami on Saturday, and then was dismissed from the team on Sunday.
Coming up this weekend, No. 10 Northern Iowa travels to take on No. 11 Wichita State at 2:00 p.m. on ESPN on Saturday. No. 1 Kentucky hosts No. 18 Arkansas at 4:00p.m. No. 19 Baylor takes on No. 20 West Virginia at home at 4:00p.m. on ESPNU. No. 4 Duke hosts Syracuse at 7:00 p.m. on ESPN, and to cap off the night, No. 13 Utah plays host to No. 7 Arizona at 9:00 p.m. on ESPN.