Things that seemed inevitable finally played out in college basketball last week.
The nation’s last unbeaten team finally went down when Temple knocked off No. 13 SMU 89-80 behind Devin Coleman's 8-for-8 performance from the field, including seven 3-pointers.
No. 8 Maryland finally got its marquee win of the season by beating No. 3 Iowa 74-68 behind a clutch 17 points from Rasheed Sulaimon.
No. 10 Providence finally brought No. 6 Villanova a step back closer to the rest of the Big East pack by going into Philadelphia and handing the Wildcats their first loss in league play, 82-76.
Your weekly campus tour into what is and what was in college hoops begins now.
Big man on campus
Anthony Pitts Sr. had never seen his grandson Wayne Selden play a game in person since the Kansas guard left home to go to college. Pitts doesn’t like to fly, so he left his home in Roxbury, Massachusetts, on Thursday and drove more than 20 hours to Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence to watch Selden and the Jayhawks play against Kentucky.
“[Pitts] told me [Saturday] afternoon, ‘He better play good, I came a long way to watch this,’” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I think Grandpa got his money’s worth.”
So did every Jayhawks fan who has been waiting to see Selden dominate the way he did, scoring a career-high 33 points in Kansas' 90-84 overtime win.
In the Jayhawks' four losses, Selden has averaged just 10.2 points and shot 35 percent from the field. In their wins, he averages 16.6 points and shoots 54 percent from the field.
Thanks in part to the presence of his grandfather, the winning version of Selden showed up. He bounced back from a so-so performance in Kansas’ 85-72 loss at Iowa State, in which he wasn’t close to being aggressive offensively and finished with 11 points.
Selden came through against Kentucky. When the Wildcats grabbed their biggest lead of the game at 57-49, Selden scored 10 straight points to pull the Jayhawks within 61-59. Self called Selden’s performance “unreal.”
“Guys were too passive and that’s when Wayne started to drive the ball downhill and that’s when positive things started to happen,” Kansas guard Frank Mason III said.
Kansas had lost three of its previous five games entering Saturday night. Selden’s performance was a reminder of how good the Jayhawks can be when he stays active offensively.
If he’s going to play like that, KU ought to find a way for Selden’s grandfather to attend every game.
The place to be
KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky. Big Monday brings a big matchup for both Louisville and visiting North Carolina. The Cardinals are still looking for their first signature win of the season. The chance to do so against Virginia on Saturday turned into a 63-47 defeat, their worst in the six seasons they’ve played in the Yum! Center. The Tar Heels have reeled off 12 straight wins, but a closer examination of their schedule during that stretch reveals no teams currently ranked in the Top 25 and only one (Clemson) with a winning record in ACC play. Last season, the teams played three close games, including Louisville’s rally from 18 down in the second half to win in overtime at home.
Coach of the week
Virginia coach Tony Bennett entered the week trying to figure out ways to get his team playing better on the road. He tinkered with lineup combinations. He shrunk his rotation and adjusted players’ minutes. Nothing seemed to be working; all four of Virginia’s losses have come in true road games, and it looked like the Cavaliers were headed for a fifth loss when they fell behind by 10 at Wake Forest with 1:23 left on Tuesday night.
Maybe Bennett shouldn't get all the credit for the minor miracle that took place in the Cavs’ 72-71 comeback win. After all, Darius Thompson admitted "he just threw up," his game-winning, banked 3-pointer at the buzzer. But Bennett is surely responsible for how the Cavs carried that momentum into Saturday's win over Louisville, which handed the Cards their first home loss of the season. They played arguably their best defense in a road game this season. For the second straight season, Virginia held the Cards to just 47 points.
Bennett has the Cavs trending upward and again has them looking like a team that has a shot at defending their ACC regular-season crown.
Number to know
23. That’s the record number of top-five teams in The Associated Press Top 25 poll that have lost before February. Had Kentucky pulled off the road upset, Kansas would have contributed its fifth loss to the total. Michigan State has lost three times while ranked among the top five, while North Carolina, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia and Maryland each own two losses. Iowa, Xavier, Villanova, Duke, Iowa State and Texas A&M each have one.