College Hoops on Sling: 'Nova Stumbles, Baylor Is the New #1, Duke Meets Louisville in ACC Showdown

Jan 09, 2017 by Sling Staff

The Villanova Wildcats finally out of the top spot in the ranking, following a 66-58 loss to Butler, while Baylor remained undefeated with wins over Iowa State and Oklahoma State, to ascend to #1. Gonzaga is the only other team that’s yet to lose, after beating San Francisco 95-80. Virginia, meanwhile, suffered a mighty tumble after losing to Pitt 88-76, falling from #11 to #19. You can catch every team in the top 10 and more this week on Sling.


#6 Kentucky (13-2) vs Vanderbilt (8-7)
7pm ET on ESPN

The Kentucky Wildcats stayed on track last week, thumping Texas A&M 100-58 on Tuesday, before taking it relatively easy on Arkansas, beating the Razorbacks 97-71. Malik Monk gave another great game in the first performance, scoring a game-high 26 on 8-of-11 shooting, while in the second game it was fellow freshman De’Aaron Fox who led the way with 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting, while also grabbing 6 boards and dishing 6 dimes. Monk and Fox have been so good they’ve drawn comparisons to another recent UK backcourt duo: John Wall and Eric Bledsoe. Twelve of the Wildcats’ 13 wins have been by at least 20 points, and they’re outscoring their opponents by 23.1 points per game.

After beating Auburn 80-61 behind a 33-point effort from Matthew Fisher-Davis, the Vanderbilt Commodores last week fell behind Alabama early in the second half, and never quite caught up, falling 59-56. Fisher-Davis leads the team with 16.9 ppg.

Syracuse (10-6) vs #tk Virginia Tech (12-3)
7pm ET on ESPNU

#1 Baylor (15-0) vs #10 West Virginia (13-2)
7pm ET on ESPN2

#15 Xavier (13-2) vs #3 Villanova (15-1)
7pm ET on FS1

#23 Florida (12-3) vs Alabama (9-5)
9pm ET on ESPNU

#2 Kansas (14-1) vs Oklahoma (6-8)
9pm ET on ESPN2

#25 Kansas State (13-2) vs Texas Tech (12-3)
*9:15pm ET on ESPNews


#11 North Carolina (14-3) vs Wake Forest (10-6)
8pm ET on ESPN2

The UNC Tar Heels last week needed a career high 31 points from Joel Berry II for an 89-86 win overtime win against Clemson, and then destroyed NC State on Sunday 105-56, as 10 Tar Heels scored 6 or more points, led by Justin Jackson’s 21. NC State was off its game, committing 26 turnovers, shooting 36.5% from the floor and just 27.3% from the charity stripe. The Blowout win coincided with the return of North Carolina guard Theo Pinson, who been out all year with a foot injury. Pinson failed to score, but he did have 5 assists, 5 rebounds and 4 steals in just 13 minutes.

Wake Forest is coming off a long layoff, having last played January 3, when they beat Boston College 79-66, thanks in large part to a 39-26 rebounding advantage. John Collins has been the team’s leading scorer with 16.4 ppg, and he did it again against BC, scoring a team-high 17.

#12 Butler (14-2) vs #8 Creighton (15-1)
9pm ET on FS1


#20 Notre Dame (14-2) vs Miami (11-3)
7pm ET on ESPN

Ohio State (10-6) vs #18 Wisconsin (13-3)
7pm ET on ESPN2

Loyola Marymount (8-7) vs #5 Gonzaga (15-0)
9pm ET on ESPN3

#25 USC (15-2) vs Utah (11-4)
9pm ET on Pac-12 Network

Arizona State (9-8) vs #16 Arizona (15-2)
9pm ET on ESPN2

SMU (14-3) vs #22 CIncinnati (13-2)
9pm ET on ESPN

#4 UCLA (16-1) vs Colorado (10-6)
11pm ET on ESPN UCLA kicked off 2017 with an 81-71 defeat of the Cal Bears, as freshman studs TJ Leaf and Lonzo Ball delivered 18-11-3 and 14-5-7 respectively, but it was Bryce Alford who led the team in scoring with 24, as he made 5 of 7 from downtown. Then on Sunday against Stanford it was Ball who led the Bruins with 21 points, while Leaf dropped his eighth double-double of the year with 15-10.

The Colorado Buffaloes come into this game on a 3-game skid, after losing to last week to Arizona State, 78-77, and Arizona 82-73. Against ASU the Buffaloes had gone up 77-76 with 20 seconds to go, but a foul called on Derrick White with 2 seconds left sent Tra Holder to the line for a pair of free throws for the win. It was a heartbreaking finish for White, who’d scored a game-high 35. Against Arizona, they simply ran into a better, team, falling behind early and never closing the gap.

#21 Saint Mary’s (14-1) vs Portland (9-6)
11pm ET on ESPNU


#24 Minnesota (15-2) vs Penn State (10-7)
Noon ET on ESPNU

#7 Duke (14-2) vs #14 Louisville (13-3)
Noon ET on ESPN

The Duke Blue Devils recovered from a New Year’s Eve loss to Virginia Tech by beating Georgia Tech 110-57 and Boston College 93-82. Against G-Tech, the Dukies had seven guys in double figures, led by Jayson Tatum’s 19 pints, to go along with 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks. Tatum was again the man against BC, with 22-6-3-4-2. Grayson Allen, who was suspended by Coach K after tripping an Elon player, was predictably reinserted after the team’s loss Virginia Tech, missing a grand total of one game. He’s averaged 14-4-9 in his two games back, and you can be sure he’s learned his lesson.

The Louisville Cardinals 77-70 loss to Notre Dame saw the team surrender its most points this season, thanks in part to the Irish’s 22-of-25 performance from the line. Though the Cardinals’ cause was in no way helped by their own terrible shooting from beyond the arc, as they hit just 7 of 27. But they recovered with a 65-50 win over Georgia Tech, holding the Yellow Jackets to 34% shooting from the floor, and blocking 12 shots. Louisville is #2 in the land with 6.88 blocks per game, and opponents’ 3-point percentage at 27.5%.

Georgia (10-5) vs #23 Florida (12-3)
Noon ET on ESPN2

#3 Villanova (15-1) vs St John’s (8-9)
Noon ET on FS1

Truman State (12-3) vs #8 Creighton (15-1)
1pm ET on FS2

#15 Xavier (13-2) vs #12 Butler (14-2)
2pm ET on FS1

Oklahoma State (10-5) vs #2 Kansas (14-1)
2pm ET on ESPN2

#9 Florida State (15-1) vs #11 North Carolina (14-3)
2pm ET on ESPN

#10 West Virginia (13-2) vs Texas (7-8)
4pm ET on ESPN2

Auburn (10-5) vs #6 Kentucky (13-2)
4pm ET on ESPN

#1 Baylor (15-0) vs #25 Kansas State (13-2)
4:30pm ET on ESPNU

#4 UCLA (16-1) vs Utah (11-4)
6pm ET on Pac-12 Network

#21 Saint Mary’s (14-1) vs #5 Gonzaga (15-0)
10pm ET on ESPN2

Oregon State (4-13) vs #13 Oregon (15-2)
10:30pm ET on Pac-12 Network


#25 USC (15-2) vs Colorado (10-6)
8:30pm ET on ESPNU

Watch NCAA Basketball on ESPN and ESPN2 by subscribing to Sling Orange, on ESPN3, ESPNews and ESPNU by subscribing to Sling Orange + Sports Extra, on FS1 and FS2 by subscribing to Sling Blue, and on the Pac-12 Network by subscribing to Sling + Sports Extra

All stats courtesy ESPN and College Basketball Reference.

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