Only four games involving Top 25 teams on Tuesday night, but there were was some excitement.
Doug McDermott’s cold-blooded three from 25 feet away with only 2.5 seconds remaining gave Creighton a much needed Big East conference win vs. St. John’s, 63-60. The Red Storm (then known as the Redmen) were making their first appearance in Omaha since 1966.
McDermott’s line: 15 of 26 shooting in 37 minutes, scoring a season high 39 points after St. John’s tied the game late at 60.
In icy Baton Rouge, LSU canceled classes due to the freezing rain that shut down portions of Interstate 10 (even worse–snow did in fact scrub the Auburn-Alabama game, which will be made up on Saturday in Tuscaloosa) but 12,124 hearty souls managed to get into the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and watch their Tigers upset Kentucky 87-82. Helping the cause inside the half-empty arena was over 50 percent shooting for LSU, 32 for 63 led by the 29 points from forward Johnny O’Bryant III. Julius Randle was held to only six points (UK only shot 32 of 73 for the entire game). The ‘Cats drop to 15-5, 5-2 in SEC play. LSU improved to 13-6 and nudged one game back of UK at 4-3 in conference play.
Matt Costello compiled a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, but it was Keith Appling who proved to be huge down the stretch scoring 16 as Michigan State came back from a 30-26 halftime deficit and force overtime. In the extra period, Mike Gesell missed a layup at the buzzer and Gang Green managed to escape and end the 20 game home winning streak at Carver-Hawkeye for the Hawks (that’s what the locals say on 1040 AM, WHO Radio in Des Moines), upending Iowa in Iowa City 71-69. The Spartans pulled to within a 1/2 game of undefeated Michigan in Big Ten play, while Iowa is still in the tournament mix at 5-3 in the conference, 16-5 overall. Roy Devyn Marble had 21 points to lead all scorers for Iowa, who shot a miserable 18 of 48 for 37.5 percent. Michigan State was 25 of 59 for 42 percent during the 45 minutes of play, but it was Iowa’s free-throw shooting that made the game closer than it actually was. Iowa toed the line 43 times and made 30, but missed 13 foul shots. Michigan State on the other hand–was 11 of 20 for the game.
Finally, Wichita State padded their undefeated record to 22-0 outdistancing Loyola of Chicago, 57-45.
The Shockers remain with Arizona (who won on Sunday, and Syracuse who survived by hitting a lot of free throws in the final seconds at Miami on Saturday) as the only undefeated schools.
A huge ACC game will take place on Saturday with Duke traveling to Syracuse. Duke upended Pittsburgh on the road Monday night, in what was Coach K’s 901st win as Blue Devils coach. The countdown towards 1,000 continues.
Especially to those in the south, where heat is sometimes hard to come by–please try your best to stay warm. And please bring some of that semi-chilly air back to the north where it should be.