Our quick thoughts on Monday's results:
What a difference 48 hours made for UConn. Two days after what Jim Calhoun called an "embarrassing" loss to Cincinnati at home, the Huskies were a completely different team against Villanova, playing aggressively on both ends of the floor and pulling off a season-saving 84-75 upset of the 3rd-ranked Wildcats Monday night at the Wachovia Center. Kemba Walker was the hero for UConn, as he went 14-for-16 from the free throw line and scored a season-high 29 points in the victory, which was - astonishingly - the Huskies' first true road win of the season. It was also UConn's first win over a top-10 RPI opponent after losing their previous four such games by 20 points combined. The win moves the Huskies to 5-8 in the Big East, and officially makes them a factor again on the Big East bubble. Their remaining schedule (at Rutgers, WVU, Louisville, at ND, at South Florida) is far from easy, but it's certainly not out of the realm of possibility that the Huskies go 4-1 in those five games and finish 9-9 in conference. If they do that, and beat the Mountaineers along the way, they would be in good shape to grab a bid with a couple of wins in the Big East tourney.
As for Villanova, the loss is their second in their last four games, and it drops them back into a tie for first in the Big East with Syracuse. The loss also puts the Wildcats' 1 seed in jeopardy, especially with a game at Pitt looming on Sunday. If they lose that game, they'll definitely be a 2 next week. Even if they win, a case could still be made for Purdue or Duke (if either go 2-0 this week) to replace them on the 1 line.
Kansas certainly didn't play like the top overall seed against Texas A&M, but the Jayhawks did just enough to scrape out a 59-54 win over the red-hot Aggies Monday night in College Station. A&M had a four point lead with six minutes to play, but Kansas went on an 11-2 run the rest of the way to win its 11th straight game and its sixth straight conference road game. The most impressive part of the victory for the Jayhawks was that they did it without much help from Sherron Collins, who scored just seven points and had a team-high five turnovers. Bill Self also had to be thrilled with how his team defended the typically high-scoring A&M offense late in the game. Kansas held the Aggies to just five points over the last 7:15, and limited them to 34 percent shooting for the game. Next up for the Jayhawks is a home game against Colorado on Saturday. A&M's next game is also Saturday, on the road against Iowa State. A win over the Cyclones would keep A&M from falling very far on the S-curve next week; a loss would likely them down from a 6 to an 8.
Of note: Greivis Vasquez scored 30 points as Maryland blew out Virginia at home; Morgan State lost its first MEAC game of the season - to South Carolina State at home; Coastal Carolina won at UNCC; Jackson State won at Texas Southern in OT.