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Creighton Again Defeats Villanova While the Big Ten Undergoes Two Upsets

NCCA Men’s hoops had another action-packed weekend of upsets with a few teams fortunate enough to dodge an upset bullet.

Changes will take place in this week’s top 25 and one team stealing headlines is No. 18 Creighton (21-4, 11-2). In their second meeting this season, team again routed No. 6 Villanova (22-3, 10-2); this time the score was “only” 101-80 and with the win, CBS Sports has Creighton sitting in the No. 6 spot after its No 15 position last week.

The team also owns the Big East’s top spot.

Doug McDermott

Doug McDermott

One of the keys to Creighton’s win was Doug McDermott, who scored a season-high 39 points. This represented his ninth time for the season to score 30-plus points and No. 23 during his collegiate career. He now leads the country in scoring at 25.9 points a game and has surpassed Larry Bird on the NCAA’s scoring list with his 2,863 points–the 13th spot of all time.

Adding points to the board were McDermott’s teammates: Isaiah Zierden contributed 13 points while Devin Brooks had 12 and Grant Gibbs added 11 points. As for Ethan Wragge, who scored nine 3-pointers in the last game, continued struggling with this shot (only one) and for the game scored five points.

In this second matchup, the Bluejays shot a season-best 64.2 percent, surpassing their previous high back on Jan. 20 (56.9 percent) against, yes, Villanova in the 96-68 victory. Now from their meetings, Creighton has defeated Villanova 197-148 with 60% shooting from threes (30-for-50) and 60.4% from the floor, according to CBS Sports.

Creighton coach Greg McDermott said of the game, “I didn’t think we could play much better than we did at Villanova. But I’m not sure we didn’t play better today. We didn’t have the crazy shooting night from the 3-point line, but the other parts of the game were really good.”

As for Villanova, well, Creighton has their number. After losing to them last month, the Wildcats had won six consecutive games. For this game, James Bell led in scoring with 18 points but fouled out of the game as six minutes remained. JayVaughn Pinkston added 15 (all in the game’s second half) while Dylan Ennis contributed 11.

Can Creighton keep the momentum going? On Wednesday, the team will play at Marquette (15-10, 7-5). The Bluejays sit at 25/1 to win the 2014 Men’s NCAA Basketball Championship.

In other action on Sunday, it was tough to be a hoops fan in the state of Michigan as the Big Ten saw its share of upsets.

Frank Kaminsky

Frank Kaminsky

No. 21 Wisconsin (21-5, 8-5) kicked the day off with a 75-62 win over No. 15 Michigan (18-7, 10-3). The Badgers Frank Kaminsky was the team’s MVP as he scored 25 points with 11 rebounds–his first career double-double. He was also vital to the team’s win as the Wolverines started closing in with six minutes remaining in the game. The team cut a 16-point deficit to a 52-49 Badger lead but Kaminsky said not so fast,scoring to give his team a five-point lead, then hit a three-pointer to extend it even more.

Wisconsin brought its defense to Ann Arbor and again Michigan’s Nik Stauskas struggled, only contributing 11 points (4 for 11) and two assists while Derrick Walton went 0-for-6 and Zak Irvin, from the floor, was 1-for-7, according to NBC Sports.

With the win, Wisconsin has won four straight games and on Saturday, they’ll play No. 16 Iowa (19-6, 8-4), who sits right above them in the conference standings. The Badgers and the Hawkeyes both sit at 25/1 to win the Big Dance.

Later in the day, No. 9 Michigan State (21-5, 10-3) lost 60-51 to Nebraska (14-10, 6-6) in Lansing. This represented Sparty’s fourth loss in seven games and for Nebraska, a statement win. Michigan State has been playing on borrowed time with its injuries and has a tough remaining schedule including games against Purdue and Michigan (away games), Illinois, Iowa and ending at Ohio State.

The Spartans sit at 17/2 to win the Big Dance.



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