The Norman Transcript

February 11, 2013

College game is getting crazier by the week

By Jay Cohen
The Associated Press

NORMAN — Wisconsin’s tying half-court heave went in, of course. Then Kansas lost again. And in case you were asleep late Saturday night, Notre Dame rallied past Louisville in five overtimes.

March Madness is weeks away, but February Frenzy is already in full swing.

Six more Top 25 teams went down Saturday, including two of the top five. When the next Associated Press poll comes out today, it likely will have a new No. 1 for the sixth straight week — marking the second-longest such streak since the first rankings in 1949.

Fourth-ranked Duke overcame early and late deficits to beat Boston College 62-61 on Sunday night, but seventh-ranked Arizona lost 77-69 to California and Illinois made 11 3-pointers in a 57-53 victory at No. 18 Minnesota. That made it six top-10 teams and 14 in the Top 25 overall with at least one loss since the poll came out last Monday.

“Nothing about today was easy,” Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “These are games anybody can lose, and throughout the country everybody is losing them. Our guys found a way to win against a team that was also deserving to win, so that’s a real good thing.”

For top schools, it’s been a rocky run. According to STATS, Top 25 teams lost to unranked teams 36 times from Jan. 17 to Feb. 6, the most in at least 17 years.

Top-ranked Indiana, No. 2 Florida and No. 3 Michigan each have dropped a game in the past week. The Hoosiers fell 74-72 at Illinois on Thursday and the Gators trailed by as many as 27 during the second half of an 80-69 loss at Arkansas last Tuesday night.

“It’s a crazy season, man. It is a crazy, crazy season,” Illini forward Tyler Griffey said. “It just goes to show you anybody can beat anybody on any given night. TCU beating Kansas, us beating Indiana: It’s an unbelievable year, but that’s what makes it exciting. That’s what makes it so much fun to play.”

Michigan was leading Wisconsin 60-57 on Saturday when Ben Brust got a perfect inbound pass from Mike Bruesewitz, took one dribble across halfcourt and connected for the tying 3-pointer as time expired in regulation. Brust added another big 3-pointer in overtime to lead the Badgers to a 65-62 victory.

“It was awesome, something I’ll remember forever, and I’m sure a lot of people will,” Brust said.

The Wolverines will need to forget this one in a hurry. They face rival Michigan State in East Lansing on Tuesday night.

The fifth-ranked Jayhawks also are looking at a quick turnaround after a 72-66 loss at Oklahoma on Saturday made it a three-game slide for the storied program for the first time in eight years. They host No. 13 Kansas State on Monday.

“It hasn’t been a good week for us by any stretch, but let’s be real,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We were ranked No. 2 in the country seven days ago, and you don’t go from being a good team to a bad team overnight.

“We’ve had a couple of bad outings, but we’re still a good team.”

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