College Basketball Weekend Update: Louisville Reigns As Upset City

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College Basketball Weekend Update: Louisville Reigns As Upset City

Weekend Headliners

No. 20 Louisville 69, No. 1 Pittsburgh 63

 

In one 40-minute swoop, Louisville ruined Pittsburgh's perfect record, beat its third straight ranked team in just over a week, and knocked off its first number one team since December of 2003. Happy 21st birthday, Earl Clark.

 

This win came through the legs of the 10 Cardinal players that forced a season-high six turnovers from veteran point guard Levance Fields and suffocated the Panthers through a full-court pressing attack of Big East proportions.

 

But none of that is surprising, even for a team that had fallen from preseason No. 3 in the nation to almost unranked after three depressing non-conference losses. Not as long as Rick Pitino paces the Louisville sideline.

 

For those who haven't tracked the Cardinals for the past three years, this January surge is a retold story of Louisville teams of the past. It was five losses entering conference play two seasons ago, and three losses last season before opening Big East play with a loss to Cincinnati.

 

After an NIT appearance in Louisville's inaugural run through the Big East, Pitino has learned how to save the best for last. That's why this loss shouldn't matter to Pitt fans, who saw Brad Wannamaker appear as a capable ball handler and defensive specialist Jermaine Dixon surge for 19 points.

 

The Big East is wide open, and one loss won't hurt Pittsburgh down the road. Louisville has the edge now over the rest of the conference, having already experienced the toughest part of their schedule without failure.

 

 

 

No. 2 Wake Forest 78, No. 10 Clemson 68

 

In the final battle between unbeaten teams this basketball season, Wake Forest came away with another signature win and more reason for why they should have been ranked the number one team in last week's polls.

 

Clemson slashed the Demon Deacons' 14-point lead to only one with 4:54 to play, and that was with most of Wake Forest's starting five in the game, fairly rested and ready to finish. Showing superior depth and defense, the Deacs went on a 17-6 run to complete the game.

 

Jeff Teague was amazing again, going for 24 points, but Al-Farouq Aminu was the unexpected spark the Demon Deacons needed. The 6'9" freshman recorded a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double, proving he's one of the many surprises this season that have made Wake Forest the team to beat in the ACC.

 

 

 

No. 3 Duke 76, No. 13 Georgetown 67

 

Greg Monroe picked up his second personal foul and exited a tight game with six minutes left in the first half. The freshman center returned only briefly before halftime, picking up his third foul less than a minute later. When Monroe stepped on the floor to start the second half, Duke had put together a 17-2 run in his absence and permanently taken control of the game.

 

Monroe did his best, igniting a 13-2 run to open the second half, but Georgetown was never able to pull within more than four points on Duke's home floor. At the 15-minute mark, Monroe picked up his fourth foul from the bench in technical fashion.

 

To finish a game of runs, Duke put together a 15-3 spurt over the next five minutes, extending its non-conference home winning streak to a nation-leading 68.

 

 

 

Quick Hits

 

No. 5 North Carolina 82, Miami 65: Jack McClinton scored 21 and Dwayne Collins added 13. Only one other Hurricane player scored in double figures, showing why Miami earning an at-large to the NCAA Tournament is looking less like a lock and more like a stretch.

 

No. 6 Oklahoma 69, Texas A&M 63: Blake Griffin started strong, but after recording only six rebounds, Austin Johnson's 19 points stole the show and secured the win against a deceptively tough Texas A&M squad.

 

No. 8 Syracuse 93, No. 12 Notre Dame 74: Saturday's jam-packed Carrier Dome far and away won the award for most annoying scorers table, flashing eye-popping ads throughout another Big East loss for the outclassed Irish.

 

No. 14 Marquette 91, Providence 82: The Big East is known for rough basketball, but when Jeff Xavier's (Providence) brother stepped on the court to debate a call as the literal sixth man, referees finally stepped in and made an impact on the game.

 

Virginia Tech 79, Boston College 71: Continuing its post-UNC free-fall, Boston College scored only two points in the final three minutes and never threatened Virginia Tech.

 

Northwestern 74, No. 18 Minnesota 65: Less than a week after giving up a 14-point lead to Purdue, Northwestern knocked off a ranked opponent for the first time since February of 2006.

 

 

 

Best Weekend Stat Line: Nick Calathes, Florida

 

28 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists in 80-65 win over Arkansas

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