The No. 15 Kansas Jayhawks got perhaps their biggest win of the season so far Monday night with a 77-70 road win against the No. 8 Iowa State Cyclones, and the GIF below, context notwithstanding, does a good job of painting the picture right out of the gate.
That's Joel Embiid blocking Dustin Hogue in the second half. We'll get back to that, and back to him.
Iowa State was coming off its first loss of the season Saturday to Oklahoma, but more important was the status of its star DeAndre Kane, who left that game after turning his ankle. He was a game-time decision Monday, and he ultimately started. He looked like nothing was wrong, and he hit a three-pointer that tied the game at 36 as time expired in the first half.
Now, back to Embiid. He assisted Perry Ellis' three to start the second half. On Iowa State's following possession, he blocked Melvin Ejim underneath the basket, ran the floor and got the layup in transition. Those plays were what sparked Kansas out of the locker room, allowing the Jayhawks nine unanswered points to start the second half.
With just under 10 minutes to go, Iowa State closed the margin to 56-51. Embiid scored a basket for Kansas, and then rejected Hogue on the next possession—that's the GIF above. Embiid scored on a reverse layup on the ensuing possession after the block with 9:17 to play.
Andrew Wiggins finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds, and Naadir Tharpe had 23.
No. 2 Syracuse 69, Boston College 59
Syracuse was the only one of the four remaining undefeated Division I teams playing Monday, and Boston College did all it could to take that number down to three when it hosted the Orange on Monday. For the first 30 minutes, the Eagles were in control. They led 51-46 with 10 minutes to play and had shot 9-of-16 from three-point range up until then.
But that's when the shots stopped falling for the home team. Over the next nine minutes, Boston College's only five field goal attempts were all threes, and none went in. The Eagles' only two shots inside the arc in the final 10 minutes were with under a minute to go when Syracuse already had the game locked up.
Tyler Ennis finished with 12 points, six steals and five assists for Syracuse. The Orange only committed eight turnovers, and they're averaging exactly eight turnovers per game in four ACC games this season.
No. 23 Duke 69, Virginia 65
Duke has fallen on hard times in the past few weeks, losing its ACC opener to Notre Dame and then hardly competing in a 72-59 loss at Clemson on Saturday. Duke moved to No. 23 in Monday's new Associated Press Top 25, its lowest ranking since it was out of the rankings altogether in February 2007.
The Blue Devils led by 11 points with 3:44 to play at 61-50, but Virginia held Duke without a field goal over the next several minutes while it frantically played catch-up at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Cavaliers' defense came up with hold after hold -- Duke's shaky free-throw shooting had something to do with that -- but Virginia kept scoring on the other end.
Malcolm Brogdon tied the game at 63-63 on a three-point play with 1:25 to go, and he made two free throws with 37 seconds to give Virginia a 65-64 lead, its first of the game. Then with about 18 seconds to play, Virginia finally allowed a field goal.
That was Rasheed Sulaimon, who led Duke with 21 points. Duke got one more lucky bounce on a bad shot in the game's final seconds, but Virginia wouldn't score again.