Every night turns into utter insanity in college basketball these days, and Wednesday was certainly no different.
Here are the three things that you need to know from the night’s action.
1. SAN DIEGO STATE IS NOW THE ONLY UNBEATEN TEAM LEFT IN THE COUNTRY
No. 4 Auburn went into Tuscaloosa on Wednesday night and just got absolutely worked over by Alabama in the basketball version of the Iron Bowl.
Kira Lewis finished with 25 points, Herb Jones added 14 and 12 boards and the Crimson Tide cruised to an 83-64 win over a top five team that entered the night without a loss to their name.
The narrative here is going to be that Auburn lost their first game of the season, but the truth is that Auburn found a way to rig their schedule the way that teams have done in the past with the RPI. They loaded up on teams that they could and should beat but that were good enough to make their schedule look respectable. Think: Davidson, or New Mexico, or Richmond, or Furman, or Saint Louis. Those are all going to end up as top 100ish wins, and in total, it’s going to make Auburn’s strength of schedule computer numbers look delightful.
But the truth is that the Tigers hadn’t yet beaten anyone of note. Unless you think that N.C. State is getting to the NCAA tournament, there’s a very real chance that Auburn has yet to play a tournament team.
That, of course, may change after this game.
Because the real story here is that it looks like Nate Oats is getting this thing going in the right direction. Alabama has now won two of their last three, five of their last seven and seven of their last ten. They’ve covered the spread in all ten of those games. The three losses came by an average of 5.7 points, and all three were on the road against top 40 teams — Penn State, Florida and Kentucky.
Alabama really is an entertaining watch. They run as much as anyone in the country, they fire up shots as quickly as they can and they have a rule: Threes and layups. No deep twos, no mid-range. Get to the rim or bomb away.
Combine that with talent like Kira Lewis and John Petty, and if that’s not something you will have fun watching, then why are you even a basketball fan?
2. KENTUCKY BLOWS A LEAD AND LOSES AT SOUTH CAROLINA
Elsewhere in the SEC, Kentucky was up by 14 points in the second half and found a way to lose at South Carolina in a game where A.J. Lawson didn’t do all that much.
Ashton Hagans struggled late, Nate Sestina was played off the floor and the Wildcats were, overall, the team that we saw earlier in the season.
But hey, at least they had a great view of this buzzer-beater:
A post shared by Rob Dauster (@rob.dauster) on Jan 15, 2020 at 5:59pm PST
3. SETON HALL WON AT BUTLER
In what was the most entertaining and intense game of the night, No. 18 Seton Hall went into Hinkle Fieldhouse and knocked off No. 5 Butler despite trailing by 10 points at the half.
Myles Powell scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half, and the Pirates are now in sole possession of first place in the Big East.
Our Scott Phillips wrote a column on this game here.