If this was a big test, then No. 1 Ohio State aced it.
William Buford had 19 points, Jared Sullinger added 17 and No. 1 Ohio State played almost flawlessly in rolling past No. 12 Purdue 87-64 on Tuesday night.
Jon Diebler had 13 points and a career-high eight rebounds, Deshaun Thomas added 13 points, David Lighty scored 10 points and Aaron Craft had 11 points and six assists for Ohio State (21-0, 8-0 Big Ten), which ran its record to 62-4 all-time when atop the polls.
The Buckeyes and No. 4 San Diego State (20-0) are the only unbeaten teams remaining in Division I.
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JaJuan Johnson had 22 points for Purdue (17-4, 6-2).
Ohio State, which shot 55 percent from the field and hit 11 of 19 3-pointers, used an 11-0 first-half run to take control and never let up.
The victory puts the Buckeyes up by two games in the Big Ten. After several close calls in conference play, they had yet to really blow out a team. They chose a high-profile game against a quality opponent to do just that.
Ahead by 20 points at halftime after shooting 57 percent from the field and making 6 of 9 3-pointers, they kept it up even as Purdue turned up the pressure in the second half.
Late in the shot clock, with the Boilermakers scrambling to get back in the game, the 6-foot-9 Sullinger even tossed in a 3 to the delight of a near-capacity crowd of 17,556.
Another 3 by Buford and a power move inside by Sullinger swelled the lead to 61-36 after the opening 5 minutes of the second half. The Buckeyes led by as many as 31 points before substituting throughout the final 10 minutes.
About all Purdue had going for it was Johnson, who came in leading the Big Ten in scoring at 20.9 points a game. He had over half his team's points midway through the second half.
E'Twaun Moore added 16 points for the Boilermakers.
The Buckeyes evened the all-time series at 82 wins apiece.
Ohio State dominated from the outset, building the lead to 22 points at one point in the opening half. They hit five of their first six 3-point attempts, running off 11 straight points over one 4-minute span.
Coach Matt Painter called three timeouts trying to stem the Ohio State tide in the opening 20 minutes, to no avail.
Following routine, Dallas Lauderdale started for the Buckeyes but was replaced by Craft at the first media timeout. From there to the end of the first half, the freshman was brilliant. He had nine points, five rebounds and four assists - although he did falter when he was knocked to the court on a layup with 6 seconds left. He didn't leave the offensive end of the court as Purdue hurried down but failed to score.
Diebler hit two 3s, Buford hit two more and Thomas, another freshman, added to the surge with seven points.
The Buckeyes led 46-26 at halftime after shooting 57 percent from the field, including 6 of 9 on 3-pointers.
A small contingent of Purdue fans in one block high in the upper deck began a "Let's go, Boilers!" cheer late in the half, with their team down by 20. Ohio State's fans responded by pointing to the scoreboard.
Before the game, the crowd was entertained by a video featuring the off-key singing of Craft, Diebler and Sullinger. The fans roared at the end, possibly out of relief that the song was over.
Seton Hall 90, Syracuse 68: Jeremy Hazell led a long-range Seton Hall barrage with 28 points, and the suddenly hot-shooting Pirates stunned No. 9 Syracuse 90-68 on Tuesday night, the Orange's third straight loss.
Host Syracuse (18-3, 5-3 Big East) had lost two straight to top 10 conference foes, on the road at Pittsburgh a week ago and on Saturday at home to Villanova before a crowd of 33,736. In both games the Orange fell behind early — Pittsburgh scored the first 19 points of the game and Villanova hit eight three-pointers in the first half.
That trend continued against Seton Hall (9-12, 3-6), which had lost three straight. The Pirates torched Syracuse's zone defense for seven threes in the first half, four by Hazell, and built a 13-point halftime lead.
Seton Hall, the worst shooting team in the Big East, finished 10 of 17 from beyond the arc and shot 54.1 percent for the game while holding Syracuse to 5-for-21 from long range and a season-low 36.1 percent from the field.
No. 6 Kansas 82, Colorado 78: The Jayhawks built a big lead with three-pointers, then won it at the free-throw line, scoring their last nine points from there to hold off the Buffaloes. Freshman Josh Selby led Kansas' balanced scoring with 17 points as the Jayhawks (19-1, 4-1 Big 12) bounced back from their first home loss since 2007 to beat the Buffaloes for the 16th straight time. Alec Burks led Colorado (14-7, 3-3) with 25 points but it wasn't enough to extend the Buffs' 14-game home winning streak.
BYU-San Diego State a battle of guards
Brigham Young's Jimmer Fredette is the small-town East Coast guard groomed by an older brother with help from inmates after he was allowed to compete on prison recreational teams.
San Diego State's D.J. Gay is the ultimate California kid, raised outside Los Angeles and taught the game by a father who started taking him to his city rec games when he was 3.
Though their paths wouldn't cross until college, the ninth meeting between two of the nation's best point guards will be key in the biggest regular-season game of their careers.
"It's going to be crazy," Fredette said of Wednesday night's showdown between fourth-ranked San Diego State and ninth-ranked BYU. "If we play well, our crowd will be into it. We need our crowd to rattle them a little bit. But it's going to be a great one."
San Diego State is 20-0. BYU is 19-1. Both are 5-0 in the Mountain West Conference. Bragging rights in the Mountain West are at stake along with perhaps seeds in the NCAA Tournament.
As different as Fredette and Gay are, both point guards make their teams go.
"I think it will be a back-and-forth game between the two," said BYU forward Noah Hartsock, who will have his hands full with an SDSU front court that includes player of the year candidate Kawhi Leonard, 6-9 Malcolm Thomas and 6-8 Billy White.
"With San Diego State having a great front line, the (media) might overlook D.J., but he's a tremendous player. He's really one of the great team leaders and great energizers."
There's little question this will be a raucous one. The game has been sold out for more than a week, and more than 20 NBA scouts have descended on Provo. While Fredette will do everything he can to keep the pace high, Gay will try to keep it under control. But both can score.
Gay finished with 30 against New Mexico on Jan. 15 and 20 against Air Force four days later. He is shooting nearly 42 percent from beyond the arc. He just hasn't quite lit up the scoreboard like the 6-2, 195-pound Fredette, who scored a school-record 49 against Arizona last season and has topped 40 points in two of the last three games.
Deal getting closer on aircraft-carrier game
North Carolina and Michigan State are closing in on a deal to play a basketball game on an aircraft carrier next season. Tar Heels Coach Roy Williams said on his radio show Monday night that the teams hope to play on Veteran's Day in San Diego on a carrier. Larry Gallo, a senior associate athletics director at UNC, said Tuesday that a contract isn't in place yet. Gallo said discussions also involve the U.S. government and a promoter.
Whole Kansas team to attend funeral
Coach Bill Self, Athletics Director Sheahon Zenger and the entire Kansas team will travel to Washington, D.C., on Wednesday for the funeral of Lisa Robinson, 37, the mother of sophomore forward Thomas Robinson. She died of an apparent heart attack late Friday night. In the three weeks previously, her father and mother had also died, leaving only Thomas and his 9-year-old sister, Jayla.
Thomas More 90, Chatham 40: The newly No. 1 Saints looked the part Tuesday, rolling over the Cougars to remain undefeated. Former Conner standout Allison Long led 12 players in double figures with 14 points for Thomas More, which was ranked at the top of the D3hoops.com poll Monday.