Our reaction to a wild night of basketball
No. 4 had to play overtime to beat an opponent with a losing record in the Pac-12, and a team with a 17-game win streak had to play overtime to beat a 2-9 conference opponent.
Oh, and Wichita State just kept winning while Doug McDermott just kept scoring.
It was that kind of night in college basketball -- arguably the wildest of the entire season.
Feels like March tonight.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) February 20, 2014
It did indeed. And our team of writers and reporters was all over it -- starting with the collectively stunned reaction to Syracuse’s 62-59 overtime loss to Boston College at the Carrier Dome.
Boston College, the worst high-major defense in college basketball by a huge margin, just beat 25-0 Syracuse at home. I don't know.— Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) February 20, 2014
I am STUNNED over Cuse losing. @ home to BC !WOW - congrats to Eagles 4 laying their hearts out— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) February 20, 2014
Wow. Can't believe what I just saw. #BCvsCUSE— Jeannine Edwards (@jeanninee12) February 20, 2014
A shocking upset no doubt -- one of the biggest in years -- but the drama certainly wasn't anything new to the Orange, who have been living on the edge for a while now (including two wins by a combined three points in the past week).
Syracuse is the Flying Wallendas of college basketball. Forever on a tightrope.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) February 20, 2014
I put it to you that Syracuse games are somewhat entertaining.— John Gasaway (@JohnGasaway) February 20, 2014
Some had a theory. Was it the throwback unis that finally did in SU? Why mess with success, right?
Commence uniform burning in Syracuse.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) February 20, 2014
That's the danger of letting Joe Namath design your new uniforms.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) February 20, 2014
But hey, Boston College had something to do with it as well. Full credit to the hard-luck Eagles, whose miserable season included the death of longtime SID Dick Kelley last week.
Wow... Dick Kelley with the win. No doubt on that one.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) February 20, 2014
Cool to see Boston College hoops win one at undefeated Syracuse for longtime SID Dick Kelley. Teamwork— Lance Armstrong (@lancearmstrong) February 20, 2014
The BC players never quit this season, despite blowing leads in a number of games.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) February 20, 2014
Just how big of an upset was this? Our good friends at ESPN Stats & Information put it in some perspective.
Boston College: 1st sub-.500 team to win road game vs #1 team since Georgia Tech in 1955 over Kentucky #BCvsCUSE— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2014
Boston College entered the game with a .240 win pct...the worst EVER by team to defeat AP No. 1 team in February or later #BCvsCUSE— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2014
Boston College joins Villanova (1990) as the only teams to beat a top-ranked Syracuse team on its home floor— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2014
How unlikely was Boston College's win over Syracuse? ESPN's Basketball Power Index gave the Eagles a 1.2% chance of pulling the upset.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2014
And then there was one. Despite the craziness elsewhere, the Shockers of Wichita State just kept doing what they do -- win basketball games. WSU went on the road and defeated Loyola 88-74 to improve to 28-0, the first team to reach that mark since Illinois in 2005.
And we are down to one unbeaten on the men's side of hoops. Wichita State Shockers— Jimmy Dykes (@JimmyDykesLive) February 20, 2014
Wichita State lone unbeaten left at 28-0. Tremendous accomplishment, but I'm still not ready to give the Shockers a No. 1 seed.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) February 20, 2014
Wichita State was 6 Auburn points away from likely being #1.— Carter Blackburn (@carterespn) February 20, 2014
Might the Shockers still be No. 1 next week? Florida entered Wednesday on a 17-game win streak, but Auburn (at just 4-8 in the mediocre SEC) went into Gainesville and almost knocked off the Gators -- falling after a very untimely foul in the closing seconds of a 71-66 UF victory.
The storyline that will get lost after tonight? .... Florida needed (and received) a miracle to beat Auburn at home.— Myron Medcalf (@MedcalfByESPN) February 20, 2014
Florida will win. Auburn will continue to be Auburn.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) February 20, 2014
Who had Florida-Auburn in the office pool as the game of the year in SEC hoops?— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) February 20, 2014
Even always-steady Saint Louis got caught up in the mid-evening madness around college basketball. Like Florida, the 10th-ranked Billikens were also on a 17-game win streak but needed a free throw with less than a second remaining just to force overtime against the Atlantic 10's last-place team, George Mason. The Billikens escaped with an 89-85 victory.
Saint Louis went through the same thing Florida and Syracuse did and had to go to OT to survive at George Mason.— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) February 20, 2014
Fourth-ranked Arizona didn't escape the madness either, squeaking out a 67-63 win at Utah in overtime.
Arizona survives wild day of hoops, escapes Utah with a win.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) February 20, 2014
Then there was this guy, who just continues to do what he does -- in this case during Creighton's 85-70 win at Marquette.
Doug McDermott has now passed Tyler Hansbrough and Elvin Hayes on the all-time scoring list, moving from 13th to 11th.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 20, 2014
Speaking of Hansbrough, that brings us full circle to a stat from an ESPN researcher that should at least somewhat comfort Syracuse fans on this bleak night in Central New York.
Cheer up, @Cuse fans... last time Boston College beat #1 team in the nation was over UNC in 2009... the Heels went on to win the title.— Jason McCallum (@ESPNJMac) February 20, 2014