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College basketball: Six ranked teams fall on wild night

Arizona guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, right, celebrates with a teammate after defeating seventh-ranked Texas A&M 67-64 on Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017, in Phoenix.
Arizona guard Parker Jackson-Cartwright, right, celebrates with a teammate after defeating seventh-ranked Texas A&M 67-64 on Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017, in Phoenix. Associated Press

Before those pesky final exams carve into the schedule, college basketball had a big and interesting night on Tuesday.

Six teams ranked in the AP Top 25 lost, including two teams in the Top 10.

The highlights:

▪ Arizona did just enough down the stretch to knock off No. 7 Texas A&M 67-64 in Phoenix. DeAndre Ayton scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Sean Miller’s team tries to get back on track after a tough start. Admon Gilder scored 21 points, but the Aggies lost for the first time after seven straight wins. A&M star Robert Williams had a tough night with just four points and seven rebounds. Williams missed four of his six shots.

▪ Ball State upset No. 9 Notre Dame in South Bend 80-77 on a stone-cold three-pointer from Tayler Persons with 1.7 seconds left. Persons scored 24 points for the Cardinals, who entered the game 4-4. Notre Dame dropped to 7-2 despite 26 points from Bonzie Colson.

▪ No. 4 Villanova beat No. 12 Gonzaga 88-72 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Mikal Bridges led the way with 28 points for the Wildcats. Villanova shot 51.7 percent. Gonzaga got 22 points from Zach Norvell but fell to 7-2.

Bridges, Villanova show how patience pays with rout of Gonzaga

▪ The second game of the Jimmy V doubleheader featured a former Big East rivalry with Syracuse holding off Connecticut 72-63. Tyrus Battle scored 22 points for the Orange, who also got a career-high 18 points from freshman Matthew Moyer. Connecticut dropped to 6-3.

▪ No. 3 Michigan State improved to 2-0 in early Big 10 play with a 62-52 road win over Rutgers. Miles Bridges scored 21 points for the Spartans. He nailed five of his 11 three-point attempts. Tom Izzo’s team held Rutgers to just 25.8 percent shooting from the floor.

▪ Nebraska handed visiting No. 14 Minnesota 78-68 loss in Lincoln. Glynn Watson poured in 29 points for the Huskers, who are 7-3 overall. Minnesota dropped to 8-2 thanks to shooting just 32.4 percent from the floor. Jordan Murphy was held to 10 points, though the junior did grab 12 rebounds.

▪ Unranked West Virginia handed No. 15 Virginia its first loss of the season, 68-61 in Morgantown. Jevon Carter scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Bob Huggins’ Mountaineers, who are likely to get back into the Top 25 with an 8-1 record. Virginia turned it over 14 times.

AP college basketball poll week-to-week in a Google Doc

▪ No. 22 Nevada fell to 8-1 with an 82-76 overtime loss at Texas Tech. Keenan Evans paced the winners with 32 points as the Red Raiders overcame a 36-31 halftime deficit. Caleb Martin scored 28 points for Nevada.

▪ No. 1 ranked Duke scored 71 points in the first half on the way to a 124-67 rout of St. Francis of Pennsylvania. Marvin Bagley produced yet another double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Marques Bolden came off the bench to record a double-double of his own, scoring 17 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Duke shot 70 percent from the floor. The Blue Devils made 15 of 26 three-pointers for 57.7 percent.

Five observations from Duke’s win over Saint Francis

▪ No. 6 Wichita State rallied from an eight-point halftime deficit to beat South Dakota State 95-85. Landry Shamet scored 21 points and Shaq Morris added 20 for the Shockers, who improved to 7-1. South Dakota State came into the game with wins over Iowa and Ole Miss.

▪ No. 10 Miami handled visiting Boston University 69-54 to improve to 8-0. Lonnie Walker IV scored 26 points for the Hurricanes, who made 11 of 21 three-pointers. Walker was five-of-seven from beyond the arc.

▪ No. 20 TCU held off SMU 93-84 to run its record to 9-0. Kenrich Williams scored 27 points for Jamie Dixon’s Horned Frogs, who shot 56.5 percent from the floor against what is normally a good defensive SMU team.

▪ In the SEC, Georgia improved to 7-1 with an 87-82 home win over Winthrop. Yante Maten did it again, producing a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Georgia comes to Rupp Arena to face Kentucky on New Year’s Eve.

▪ After being pounded over the weekend at Houston, Arkansas picked up a bounce-back 92-66 victory over Colorado State. Jaylen Bradford and C.J. Jones each scored 19 points for the Razorbacks.

▪ With Michael Porter, Jr. in attendance, Missouri defeated visiting Miami of Ohio 70-51. The Tigers got 20 points from Kevin Puryear. Now 7-2, Mizzou won eight games all of last season.

Missouri overcomes its slow start to beat Miami

▪ Former UK foe Vermont fell 91-81 at Marquette on Tuesday. The Catamounts are now 6-3 on the season. Stef Smith scored 20 in the loss. Markus Howard pumped in 34 for Marquette, also 6-3.

▪ Shaka Smart returned to his old school VCU as Texas picked up a 71-67 win. Freshman center and former UK target Mohammed Bamba scored 13 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Longhorns, who are now 6-2.

▪ Memphis had to hold on to beat Samford 65-64 as former UK coach Tubby Smith edged former UK player Scott Padgett. Samford is just 2-7 on the season. Memphis is 5-2.

▪ Making its long trek to Corvallis, Eastern Kentucky lost 74-62 at Oregon State. Nick Mayo had 15 points and nine rebounds as the Colonels fell to 4-5 on the year. Stephen Thompson led the Beavers with 26 points. EKU visits Northern Kentucky on Sunday.

A local team is traveling 2,500 miles to play one game. Here’s why.

College basketball on television Wednesday

  • 7:00 - Kent State at Xavier (Fox Sports 1)
  • 7:00 - Siena at Louisville (ESPN2)
  • 7:00 - Wisconsin at Temple (ESPNU)
  • 7:00 - Brown at Providence (Fox Sports 2)
  • 8:00 - Austin Peay at Illinois (Big 10)
  • 8:00 - Loyola-Chicago at Florida (SEC)
  • 9:00 - Washington vs. Kansas (ESPN2)
  • 9:00 - Central Connecticut at DePaul (Fox Sports 1)
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