Zion Williamson, Markus Howard's 38-Point Day and the Top Highlights from Feb. 9

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistFebruary 10, 2019

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - FEBRUARY 09: Zion Williamson #1 of the Duke Blue Devils shoots over De'Andre Hunter #12 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the first half during a game at John Paul Jones Arena on February 9, 2019 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

The Duke Blue Devils stormed past yet another opponent Saturday, as they went into John Paul Jones Arena and defeated the Virginia Cavaliers by 10 points.  

As it has for most of the college basketball season, Duke's highlight reel was dominated by its star freshmen, as Zion Williamson made a few more plays with his freakish athleticism, while R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish combined to knock down 11 three-point shots. 

But Duke's first-year stars weren't the only players to top the college basketball marquee Saturday. Marquette's Markus Howard continued his terrific season by dropping 38 points in a one-point win over Villanova. 

Saturday's slate was tame in terms of upsets since Virginia was the only top 10 team to fall. In total, six ranked teams lost, but four of them suffered defeats to ranked foes, while Virginia Tech and Iowa State were the only ones to lose to unranked programs. 


Saturday's AP Top 25 Scores

No. 1 Tennessee 73, Florida 61

No. 2 Duke 81, No. 3 Virginia 71

No. 4 Gonzaga 94, Saint Mary's 46

No. 5 Kentucky 71, Mississippi State 67 

No. 6 Nevada 91, New Mexico 62

No. 7 Michigan 61, No. 19 Wisconsin 52

No. 8 North Carolina 88, Miami 85 (Final/OT)

No. 9 Michigan State 79, Minnesota 55

No. 10 Marquette 66, No. 14 Villanova 65

Clemson 59, No. 11 Virginia Tech 55

No. 13 Kansas 84, Oklahoma State 72

No. 15 Purdue 81, Nebraska 62

No. 22 Florida State 80, No. 16 Louisville 75 (Final/OT)

TCU 92, No. 17 Iowa State 83

No. 18 Texas Tech 66, Oklahoma 54

No. 21 LSU 83, Auburn 78

No. 23 Buffalo 90, Central Michigan 76


Zion Covers Ground For Unreal Block


Zion's Early Steal and Slam For Duke


Howard Erupts For Big Day Against Villanova


Utah Sinks Deep Buzzer-Beater


Villanova's Final Possession Fail 


Michigan Finishes Off Win with Emphatic Slam


Walker's Massive Steal and Layup for Florida State


Maye Helps UNC Stay Alive and Force Overtime


Schofield Slams All Over Florida



Battle's Steal and Dunk for Syracuse



Duke Comes Away with Impressive Road Win in Front of LeBron

Duke hasn't lost a true road game this season, as its two losses came at the Maui Invitational to Gonzaga and at home to Syracuse. 

Saturday's win over Virginia might have been the most impressive of the season for the Blue Devils,  as they shot 13-for-21 from three-point range.

Barrett delivered six of those three-point shots and he had some strong words to explain Duke's road success after the game, per SportsCenter's official Twitter account: 

Barrett hit four of his triples in the first 10 minutes of the game, a start that Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski noticed right away, per Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch: 

“You could see right away, he was lathered up,” Krzyzewski said. “He got us off to such a good start.”

While Duke's future NBA stars were thriving on the court, LeBron James and Rajon Rondo were watching from the stands. 

Krzyzewski knew about the potential of a visit from James, per WRALSportsFan.com's Lauren Brownlow: 

Although Virginia is now out of Duke's sights until the ACC tournament, the Blue Devils have four games against ranked opponents left in conference play, with the next one coming Tuesday at Louisville. 


Howard Keeps Marquette Alive in Big East Title Race

If you haven't been paying close attention to Markus Howard, you should become familiar with him during the final month of the regular season. 

The Marquette guard delivered his latest fantastic performance Saturday by scoring 38 points and keeping the Golden Eagles within reach of Villanova in the Big East standings. 

The 38-point performance was Howard's fourth-career 35-plus point game against a ranked opponent, which passed J.J. Redick and Buddy Hield for the most in the last 20 years, per College GameDay's official Twitter account: 

Three of Howard's seven performances of 30 points or more have come in the last four games, as he also scored 32 points against Butler and 31 points versus Xavier. 

Howard also received some help Saturday in the form of Sacar Anim, who chipped in with 18 points in what he called a statement victory, per Ben Steele of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

"This was definitely a statement win for us," Anim said. "Just because Villanova being the program they've been the past years, obviously being the national champions. So it's a really good win for us." 

Villanova leads Marquette by one game in the Big East standings and now the February 27 rematch at Villanova carries a ton of significance. 


Sunday's AP Top 25 Schedule

No. 25 Cincinnati at No. 12 Houston (4 p.m. ET, ESPN) 

Northwestern at No. 20 Iowa (6:30 p.m. ET, BTN) 


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.


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