Men's college basketball winners and losers headlined by North Carolina, Purdue

Perhaps the most telling thing about the current status of the North Carolina men’s basketball team is that North Carolina State fans didn’t even storm the court after Sunday’s win against the Tar Heels. Of course, the Wolfpack faithful didn’t let their long-time rivals leave without a few taunts of "NIT! NIT!" as the final seconds of their 77-69 victory ticked away.

That might indeed be the case. The road loss left UNC with a 16-11 overall record. None of those defeats were to teams outside the top two quadrants of the NCAA’s NET rankings, but the Heels are still without a quad-one win. They face the real possibility of becoming the first preseason No. 1 team to miss the Big Dance in the sport’s modern era.

North Carolina forward Armando Bacot (5) drives against North Carolina State forward Ebenezer Dowuona during the second half of the game at PNC Arena.
North Carolina forward Armando Bacot (5) drives against North Carolina State forward Ebenezer Dowuona during the second half of the game at PNC Arena.

About the only good news for UNC from the weekend is that fellow ACC bubble dweller Clemson had an even more egregious loss on Saturday at Louisville. The Cardinals had won only three games all year coming into the weekend, though they’d been showing a bit of fight recently having nearly tripped up league leader  Virginia three days earlier. That hardly matters to the Tigers, who now have three quad-four losses on their ledger.

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Here are a few other winners and losers from the Sunday slate, as well as a few others from late Saturday results you might have missed.



After dropping three of their last four games, the Boilermakers were in need of a get-right win. Sunday’s date with imploding Ohio State was just what the doctor ordered. Zach Edey was dominant once again with 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Boilermakers cruised 82-55.


There were a few uneasy moments for the Cougars as they watched a shorthanded Memphis squad trim a 13-point deficit to five in the final two minutes. But Houston held on for a 72-64 win that keeps the Cougars in line for a top seed. The loss shouldn’t be too damaging for the Tigers, who were without leading scorer Kendric Davis after he turned an ankle in Thursday night’s win against Central Florida. They hope to have him back in the lineup when they get another crack at the Cougars in Memphis in a couple of weeks.

The Missouri Valley leaders

Bradley and Drake stayed hot to remain atop the MVC standings. Bradley had a bit more of an adventure Sunday, getting a go-ahead four-point play from Rienk Mast in the final minute to pull out a 50-48 win at Southern Illinois. The Bulldogs closed the first half on a 17-3 run to pull away from Belmont at home en route to a 70-56 win. Their meeting in Peoria in a week will likely determine the regular-season championship.


The Gaels are now two games clear in the MAAC and riding a seven-game winning streak after Sunday’s 20-point win at Saint Peter’s and a pair of losses by Rider. Anton Brookshire led the latest triumph for Rick Pitino’s squad with 22 points.

The West Coast leaders

Speaking of Gaels, the ones from Saint Mary’s remain on a collision course with Gonzaga in the battle for WCC supremacy, though both are comfortably in the NCAA tournament field. SMC completed a season sweep of BYU Saturday night, while the Zags used a 34-point outing from Drew Timme to run past Pepperdine 92-83.



After racing to a 22-4 lead in the first five minutes and leading Utah State 47-32 at the half, the Wolf Pack managed just 19 points after intermission and wilted as the Aggies rallied for a 75-66 win Saturday. The result might not have been fatal for Nevada, which still has some solid results in the bank, but its margin for error is reduced considerably the rest of the way in the hotly-contested Mountain West.


Things were trending in the Ducks' favor as they slowly had been creeping into tournament consideration after defeat of Arizona State and Southern California in two of its last three games. However, a Sunday loss at Washington State followed an earlier loss to Washington that left them well back of the pack on the bubble.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: North Carolina leads college basketball winners and losers from Sunday