Jim Larrañaga, college basketball, Miami

Saturday may have been the best overall day in college basketball this season and of course, there were winners and losers to note.

Week eight of college basketball was arguably the best of the season to this point. How can you argue with that when the number two team in the nation falls at home to an unranked Miami Hurricanes team? Or the early window, with two original Big East matchups living up to the conference’s name. College basketball is picking up steam, and Saturday was a major reason why.

Winners

Jim Larrañaga

That’s some bucket list type stuff. Unraked Miami – major underdogs – go inside Cameron Indoor Stadium and take down the Duke Blue Devils. It’s also a win for the ACC, whose only team ranked this week was the Blue Devils. You can add Miami to the top 25 in week nine.

Big East

The Big East is set up to have an extraordinary percentage of its teams make the madness in March. Seton Hall and UConn played an overtime thriller in Newark, NJ. The Pirates and Huskies looked like the best two teams in the conference. Up I-95, the home Providence friars edged out a win over St. John’s. Right now, there are five, maybe six surefire teams in the Big East that would be in the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today. And you can’t discount the Johnnies or Marquette either.

(Most of) the state of Texas

Texas Tech had one of the biggest wins of the day, knocking off Kansas at home. The Red Raiders lost earlier in the week to Iowa State, so this win shows a lot about that team and their heart.

Texas A&M fought hard for an SEC win over a tough Arkansas Razorbacks team. The Aggies are now 13-2 (2-0).

No. 12 Houston, not even close to full strength due to injuries, beat a good Wichita State team by ten. The Cougars are proving how good of a program they’ve become.

Baylor stayed undefeated over a fellow Texas team in TCU. Sorry to the Horned Frogs, but Texas stays on top of the rankings again as Scott Drew’s guys looks as good, if not better than last season’s championship team.

Not all was well, as the Texas Longhorns dropped another game to an unranked Oklahoma State team. But for the most part, Texas teams got it done.

Losers

Fans of Pac 12 basketball

This one just sucks as a fan of the game in general. COVID-19 cases have started to plateau and looser restrictions have games coming back. But that’s not every case. Over half of the Pac 12’s games on Saturday had to be postponed. And they were some good old-fashioned rivalry games. Oregon and Oregon State, Arizona and Arizona State, and USC and Stanford will all have to be made up as the season moves on.

Colorado State

Talk about being affected by COVID. The Rams had only played two games since December 11th and looked the part against a difficult San Diego State team. A 30-point loss is nowhere near indicative of this Colorado State team and unfortunately, in the Mountain West, losses like that mean a bit more when it comes to picking the teams for the NCAA Tournament. Hopefully, the voters will consider the circumstances, and at 11-1, they’ve got enough good play built up to be fine.

Kadin Shedrick

The Virginia big man was tasked with guarding Armando Bacot for most of Saturday’s game. Bacot finished with 29 points and 21 rebounds, to the point where you almost feel bad for Shedrick who’s a very talented player in his own right. But Bacot put up Oscar Tshiebwe-type numbers (who I also feel bad for anyone who has to go up against). Bacot was just a force in the paint all game long and hopefully, Shedrick is able to regroup as the season pushes on.

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