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Four winners and losers from Tuesday's tip-off marathon

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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The 24-hour tip-off marathon produced some intriguing games and wild finishes worthy of your espressos, energy drinks and 32-ounce cups of Mountain Dew. As I wrote Tuesday night, Ohio State's stock probably rose the most out of anyone after its win over Florida, but here are four other winners and losers from a long day of basketball:

Winner: UConn women's basketball

The top-ranked Huskies survived what may be their biggest hurdle on their way to potentially surpassing the John Wooden-era UCLA team that won a record 88 games in a row from 1971-74. Connecticut extended its streak to 80 on Tuesday, rallying from an eight-point second-half deficit against second-ranked Baylor behind 30 points from star Maya Moore and a couple crucial late baskets from freshman Bria Hartley.

Loser: Baylor coach Kim Mulkey

Mulkey deserves tons of credit for building Baylor into one of women's basketball's elite programs, but she hurt her team's chances against UConn by spending her final timeout to set up her defense prior to UConn's last possession. Although Baylor did get a stop to remain within one, the Bears failed to get organized on offense and ended up with a desperation 30-foot heave after the buzzer sounded.

Winner: A new mid-major darling

That would be San Diego State, which validated its first-ever top-25 ranking with an impressive 79-76 victory at Gonzaga thanks to 30 points from Billy White and 18 points and 12 rebounds from Kawhi Leonard. Even if you consider that Gonzaga star Elias Harris clearly isn't at full strength yet as a result of a preseason shoulder injury, this was still one of the best victories in program history.

Loser: A former mid-major darling

For Southern Illinois to lose at home to Northeastern in overtime on a technical foul shot after a Chris Webber-esque timeout was a reminder of how far the Salukis have fallen from their heyday a few years ago. They finished 6-12 in the Missouri Valley Conference a year ago and are off to an 0-2 start outside league play this season, ratcheting up the pressure on coach Chris Lowery.

Winner: Quincy Acy

In a LaSalle-Baylor game that featured potential NBA-bound big men on both teams, Acy was by far the best player on the floor. The athletic 6-foot-7 Baylor forward scored an efficient 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, helping the Bears stave off LaSalle despite the absence of star guard LaceDarius Dunn and the growing pains experienced by acclaimed freshman Perry Jones.

Loser: Malcolm Delaney

Maybe Delaney got sucked into a one-on-one battle with Kansas State's Jacob Pullen. Maybe the Virginia Tech star feels like his complementary players aren't good enough to carry more of the load. Either way, Delaney tried to do way too much in a 73-57 loss to the Wildcats, displaying shaky shot selection in scoring 20 points on just 6-for-18 shooting and committing nine turnovers.

Winner: Kansas State's supporting cast

Jacob Pullen only managed five field-goal attempts as a result of early foul trouble and Curtis Kelly did not play at all, yet Kansas State demolished a Virginia Tech team that some believe might be the ACC's runner-up this season. As well as role players Jordan Henriquez-Roberts, Will Spradling and Rodney McGruder played Tuesday, it's scary to think how good the Wildcats might look at full strength.

Loser: Butler's supporting cast

A surprising 88-73 road loss to Louisville exposed that Butler is severely lacking in firepower behind guard Shelvin Mack and center Matt Howard. Mack looked like a future pro in scoring 25 points and Howard overcame his usual first-half foul trouble to contribute 23, but the rest of their teammates shot a combined 7 of 35 from the field and struggled to contribute much offensively.

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