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#15 Kansas Knocks Off #8 Iowa State, #23 Duke Holds On for Win Against Virginia

In perhaps one of their biggest wins of the season, #15 Kansas (12-4) defeated #8 Iowa State (14-2), 77-70 in Ames. This represented the Cyclone’s first home loss of the season.

It was also the first time they played against Kansas’ talented trio of freshman Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Naadir Tharpe, who were pretty much unstoppable on Monday evening. Tharpe had a career-high night with is 23 points (nine shots); Wiggins added 17 points and 19 rebounds (a season high) and Embiid contributed 16 points with 12 of them coming during the game’s second half. He also had five blocks.

Andrew Wiggins

Andrew Wiggins

Kansas jumped out to a quick lead, 15-4, but the Cyclones said not so fast. They fought back and tied the game at 36 by the halftime break.

In the second half, the Jayhawks again came out strong and took a 52-41 lead. They kept the advantage for the rest of the game but it wasn’t all good for the team as it committed 24 turnovers for the night.

Kansas coach Bill Self wasn’t happy and said via CBSSports.com, “‘We handled the ball miserably. Looked like a third grade team out there offensively sometimes taking care of the ball. But we made up for it by being pretty good on the glass. It was a great win.”

For Iowa State, top player DeAndre Kane had 21 points but this came on a sprained left ankle suffered in Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma (13-3, 2-1). While his output remained intact, it was the Cyclone’s three-point shooting that didn’t show up against Kansas. As the conference top team for 3-pointers, Iowa State only hit 4 of 25 on Monday.

Kansas seems to have Iowa State’s number as they have defeated them 17 of the last 18 matchups. The two will meet again on Jan. 29.

In the interim, the Cyclones will need to rebound from two straight losses now that conference play has started. This will begin on Saturday against Texas (13-4, 2-2) but looking ahead, Iowa State sits at 25/1 to win the 2014 NCAA Championship.

The Jayhawks will have another tough matchup this week as they’ll take on #9 Oklahoma State (14-2, 2-1) on Saturday. This young team sits at 15/2 to the 2014 Championship.

#23 Duke defeats Virginia, 69-65 

Duke (13-4, 2-2) narrowly escaped a third loss in four games by holding on at the end to defeat Virginia (12-5, 3-1) on Monday.

The game was a little too close for comfort after the Blue Devils led throughout until the last 37 seconds. This came thanks to a free throw by Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon. His team then took a 65-64 advantage but Duke scored five straight points to win the game.

Rasheed Sulaimon

Rasheed Sulaimon

Rasheed Sulaimon scored 21 points–a season high–for the night with his three-pointer giving Duke the final go-ahead at 18.8 seconds remaining to win the game. Rodney Hood contributed 14 points while Amile Jefferson added 10 points with a career-high 15 rebounds.

Jabari Parker again struggled, only scoring eight points (3-for-11 shooting) for the night.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the game via the Associated Press, “Win or lose, we’re in the top 10, we’re not in the top 10, we’re this, we’re that, we’re a disappointment or whatever. I have a good basketball team (and) my kids played their hearts out tonight. We’re just going to keep moving on and really we’ll be immune to praise or criticism because we’ll be our own best self-critics.”

This comment comes as Duke entered the game outside a Top 20 ranking. This last came on March 15, 2007 when as an unranked team, the Blue Devils lost to VCU, 79-77, in the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

For Virginia, Malcolm Brogdon had 17 points with Joe Harris contributing 15 points. Next up is Florida State (11-4, 2-1) on Saturday.

Duke will play North Carolina  State (11-5, 1-2) also on Saturday. It sits at 16/1 to win the 2014 NCAA Championship while Virginia is 75/1.


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