On Monday, a number of NCAA Top 25 squads played their final games of 2012, while a few also opened their conference schedules.
No. 5 Indiana opened their Big Ten schedule with a road win over unranked Iowa, 65:69, to improve to 13-1 and dropping the Hawkeyes to 11-3. Indiana jumped out to an early 25:33 lead at the end of the half, with a 0:10 run mid-way through the half to get a cushion on the scoreboard. In the second half Iowa found the basket and outscored the Hoosiers 40:36, but Indiana got a key offensive rebound and hoop from Victor Oladipo with just over a minute to play and then he dropped in a pair of singles with 26 seconds left, to ice the contest. Coming off a year that they were 3-6 on the road in the Big Ten and having had trouble with Iowa over the last couple of years, Indiana is just relieved to get the win and head back to Bloomington.
No. 9 Minnesota will most likely get another bump next week as they dropped No. 18 and Big Ten rival Michigan State convincingly on Monday, 76:63 as they open conference play. The Spartans used a 3:15 run in the second quarter to get on top of the Gophers, 54:59, and in a situation where they’d have fallen apart in recently years, the Williams Arena crowd saw something new. As coach Tubby Smith put it, “We’re finally, I think, growing up…” and his squad roared back to get their first Big Ten win on the new season. It was the first time Minnesota has beaten Michigan State in Big Ten play since 2006.
No. 14 Cincinnati beat No. 24 Pittsburgh in their Big East opener in Pittsburgh, 61:70, to get back on track after getting upset on Saturday by New Mexico. Cashmere Wright dropped in 18 for the Bearcats and Sean Kilpatrick, who’s last second shot was blocked to preserve the win for New Mexico, added 16 to get the Big East season off to a 1-0 start. Pitt got 16 from Talib Zanna and 13 from Lamar Patterson.
No. 7 Syracuse picked up their 32nd straight home win with a solid decision over Central Connecticut State, 96:62. Both clubs wrapped up their non-conference schedule and Jim Boeheim earned his 902nd win, tying him with Bobby Knight for 2nd most wins in men’s Division I basketball behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, who now has 939.
No. 10 Gonzaga held off host No. 22 Oklahoma St., 68:69, in a non-conference match-up that had an extra 4,000 in attendance courtesy of billionaire T. Boone Pickens. Pickens bought the tickets and had them distributed to make sure the arena at his alma mater was filled to capacity for the first Top 10 non-conference team to visit Stillwater since Memphis in 1989.
No. 20 New Mexico squandering their newfound Top 25 status by losing to unranked St. Louis, in St. Louis, 60:46. It was St. Louis’ seventh consecutive win.
Cracking into the AP Top 10 to replace Missouri and Cincinnati are Minnesota and Gonzaga, both of whom are 12-1 on the season now. Minnesota hits No. 9 this week (N0. 13 with the Coaches’ Poll) with a 25-point win over Lafayette, 75:50, and the Zags climb from No. 13 to No. 10 with a 94:87 win over Baylor.
The big mover of the week was New Mexico, on the heels of their 54:55 win over Cincinnati, in Cincinnati last week. The Lobos were off the board with the AP voters, sitting at No. 26, but have moved to No. 20 this week. They were also at No. 26 with the Coaches, but only advanced three to No. 23.
UNLV dropped off the AP poll (from No. 20 to No. 26) and fell seven places with the Coaches, from No. 17 to No. 24 after their 79:73 road loss to North Carolina.
UCLA got no respect from either group after defeating No. 7 Missouri to improve to 10-3. The AP voters gave them a total of six votes, while the Coaches gave them just two. Missouri, now at 10-2, got 912 votes from the AP voters and 420 votes from the Coaches.
The Associated Press Top 25 Poll
|19||San Diego State||11-2||437||17||-2|
|23||North Carolina State||10-2||270||23||–|
|Others Receiving Votes: UNLV 52, North Carolina 38, Wyoming 28, Temple 21, Virginia Commonwealth 15, Kentucky 13, Wichita State 11, Connecticut 9, UCLA 6, Maryland 5, Oregon 3|
Division I Coaches’ Top 25 Poll
|17||San Diego State||11-2||242||16||-1|
|25||North Carolina State||10-2||95||25||–|
|Others Receiving Votes: Virginia Commonwealth 36, Kansas State 35, North Carolina 34, Kentucky 31, Wyoming 30, Wichita State 7, Colorado 6, Maryland 5, Connecticut 3, UCLA 2, Bucknell 1, Colorado State 1, Temple 1|
|17||San Diego State||11-2||19.0||17.0||18.0|
|24||North Carolina State||10-2||23.0||25.0||24.0|
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