A big day of top 10 teams being upset in College Basketball, as #15 Kansas came away with a 80-78 win over #9 Oklahoma State, while unranked Michigan stunned Wisconsin in Madison with a 77-70 win.
Kansas aren’t used to being ranked below anyone from their own conference, but some disappointing results from the non-conference schedule hurt their national standing. However, since Big 12 play began, they’ve been nothing short of great, picking up a 4-0 record, the only team in the conference without a loss.
Their latest conquest came at the expense of the Cowboys, losing for the second time this season to a Big 12 team. While they focused on stopping Andrew Wiggins and did a good job (only 3 points in 23 minutes) their own star, Marcus Smart, was short of greatness. He shot only 3-of-14 from the field to finish with 16 points, hitting 10-of-10 from the line, adding 10 rebounds, 9 assists and 4 steals.
But putting on a Russell Westbrook impression, for better and worse, wasn’t enough for the Cowboys to come away with the win in Lawrence. The Cowboys got to within one point with 5.7 seconds on the clock, but it was too little too late. Joel Embiid was dominant all night on both ends (13 points, 11 rebounds, 8 blocks) and Naadir Tharpe took care of business on offense, scoring 21 points, missing only once from his eight field goal attempts.
In the Big Ten, Wisconsin picked up their second loss in conference play. After years of dominating both Michigan and Indiana (24-1 in over the last 25 games), they’re now 0-2 against these teams. The Wolverines came to Madison and won 77-70, backed by a big game from Nick Stauskas (23 points), getting help from Caris LeVert scoring 20 points and Glenn Robinson III with 14 points.
When Wisconsin can’t force a low-scoring game with plenty of turnovers (especially to their opponents) they don’t have the offensive talent to make it through. Michigan shot 54.7% from the field and 53.8% from beyond the arc, and one of their problems recently is giving up points in the paint – 30.9 points per game, more than anyone in the Big Ten.
Michigan, meanwhile, are 5-0 in conference play, and with this win have a very good shot at coming back to the top 25. It was the program’s first win in Wisconsin since 1999, losing their previous 11 visits while averaging only 54.7 points per game, losing by an average of 13.6 points and usually shooting just above 40% from the field. It was like opposite Saturday as they ended their curse, and made Wisconsin look very far from a top 3 team.