Zion Williamson, Braxton Beverly and the Top Highlights for Jan. 26

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2019

DURHAM, NC - JANUARY 26: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils goes to the basket against Jose Alvarado #10 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium on January 26, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Lance King/Getty Images

Four of the top 20 teams in college basketball were defeated while several other top teams faced difficult tests during a loaded Saturday across the country.

While No. 1 Tennessee lived up to its ranking with a strong 83-66 win over West Virginia, No. 2 Duke had much more trouble with Georgia Tech before pulling away late for a 66-53 victory.

In a battle of blue bloods, No. 8 Kentucky showcased its impressive defense to outlast No. 9 Kansas 71-63.

Meanwhile, the rest of the rankings could look different after No. 13 Maryland, No. 16 Auburn and No. 20 Ole Miss all suffered losses Saturday.

Here is a rundown of some of the top highlights from Saturday's slate, along with a look ahead toward who will be in action Sunday.


Notable Saturday Scores

No. 1 Tennessee 83, West Virginia 66

No. 2 Duke 66, Georgia Tech 53

No. 3 Virginia 82, Notre Dame 55

No. 8 Kentucky 71, No. 9 Kansas 63

No. 10 Virginia Tech 78, Syracuse 56

Illinois 78, No. 13 Maryland 67

No. 22 Mississippi State 92, No. 16 Auburn 84

No. 24 Iowa State 87, No. 20 Ole Miss 73


Zion Williamson Continues to Amaze


Braxton Beverly Saves North Carolina State at the Buzzer


James Banks Throws It Down Over Zion


Washington's Nahziah Carter with a Big Dunk in the Lane

Bennie Boatwright Wins It for USC


Mamadi Diakite Helps Virginia's Defense Remain Dominant

Ky Bowman Leads Boston College to Victory with Impossible Shot


Justin Robinson's Big Night Fuels Virginia Tech


John Calipari Sees PJ Washington as an Elite Talent

Although Kentucky sophomore PJ Washington has been inconsistent throughout his first two seasons, the forward showed what he can do at his best, with 20 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in the win over Kansas.

He was a big part of the defensive effort that held the Jayhawks to just 36.5 percent shooting from the field.

Kentucky coach John Calipari gave a lot of praise to Washington after the game.

"People need to start talking about PJ Washington as one of the best players in the country," Calipari said, per Aaron Torres of the Athletic.

The coach also noted how the sophomore's mindset made a difference.

"PJ had a spirit about him," he told reporters. "He had a spirit about him. He had a confidence about him. He let the game come. There was no tentativeness to how we play. I've been waiting for a year and a half for that."

He added: "I'm telling you, he's as good as anybody in the country."

While Washington is only averaging 12.7 points and 8.1 rebounds following the win, he could be ready to break out over the final couple of months of the season.


Duke Responded to Coach K's Challenge

Though Duke is one of the most talented teams in college basketball, the team was close to losing to an unranked team at home for the second time in two weeks Saturday.

Georgia Tech led 35-27 two minutes into the second half, but a timeout by Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski apparently made the difference.

"He just challenged us to get back to playing like ourselves," point guard Tre Jones said after the game, per Joedy McCreary of the Associated Press. "We weren't showing any energy, any enthusiasm—nothing out there. We were extremely dead and we knew we just had to pick it up, have a little life."

Duke stepped up from there and outscored the Yellow Jackets 39-18 the rest of the way.

RJ Barrett finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the win, while Zion Williamson totaled 20 points with three blocks.

Jones played 35 minutes in his first game back from separating his AC joint, totaling six points with four assists and four rebounds.


Sunday's Notable Matchups

No. 6 Michigan State at Purdue, 1 p.m. ET

No. 17 Houston at Tulsa, 2 p.m. ET

Seton Hall at No. 18 Villanova, 2:30 p.m. ET

No. 19 Iowa at Minnesota, 5 p.m. ET


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