Syracuse has finally fallen from the rank of the unbeatens, losing to Boston College in an overtime thriller, 62-59. Down three in the closing seconds, Trevor Cooney's game-tying attempt fell well short. Tyler Ennis pulled down the rebound, but the Orange were unable to get off another shot before time expired:
Olivier Hanlan had 20 points for Boston College, but it was Patrick Heckmann's baseline layup with 46 seconds left that gave the Eagles the lead for good.
With the loss by Syracuse, Wichita State is the only undefeated team remaining in college basketball. The Orange also lose their stranglehold on first place in the ACC, and now trail by a half-game to 13-1 Virginia.
No. 2 Florida 71, Auburn 66
Another top team was in danger of falling Wednesday, as Auburn nearly took out Florida in Gainesville. The Gators squeaked by as the Tigers made a series of mental mistakes in the final minute.
After Auburn's Chris Denson tied the game at 66 with his front end of two free throws, the senior guard clanged the second off the iron. Inexplicably, teammate Asauhn Dixon-Tatum fouled Gator rebounder Patric Young. The senior hit both free throws, and the Tigers threw the ball away on the ensuing possession. The sequence got SB Nation's Auburn blog, College and Magnolia, thinking:
That was as Auburn basketball as Auburn basketball gets.— College and Magnolia (@CollegeAndMag) February 20, 2014
Florida remains unbeaten in SEC play, a full three games up on second-place Kentucky.
No. 3 Wichita State 88, Loyola 74
As Syracuse was mired in an upset against Boston College, the Shockers were winning handily against Loyola. Wichita will enjoy at least a few days as college basketball's only unbeaten team, not having to play again until Saturday.
Fred VanVleet saw nylon every time the ball left his hands Wednesday, hitting all six of his field goals and all 10 of his free-throws. The breakout guard finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
No. 4 Arizona 67, Utah 63 (OT)
The Wildcats avoided their second straight loss, prevailing over Utah in overtime Wednesday. Sharpshooter Gabe York got his first start of the season, as he and Nick Johnson tied for a game-high 15 points for Arizona.
Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson came off the bench, hobbled slightly by an injury. RHJ had been starting in place of Brandon Ashley, who is done for the season.
No. 7 Cincinnati 77, South Florida 49
The Bearcats have won 17 of their last 18 games, destroying South Florida on Wednesday. Leading scorer Sean Kilpatrick had 23, more than the Bulls were able to score in the entire first half. Cincinnati led 40-18 at the break, coasting to an easy victory from there.
No. 10 Saint Louis 89, George Mason 85
In a high-flying Atlantic 10 game, the Billikens hung on in overtime against upset-minded George Mason. All five Saint Louis starters scored in double digits, led by 25 from Jordair Jett. The senior guard's total included three huge buckets in overtime to hold off the Patriots.
Sherrod Wright had a career-high 34 for George Mason in the losing effort, hitting 12 of his 18 field-goal attempts.
No. 11 Creighton 85, Marquette 70
Creighton improves to 11-2 in the Big East with a win over Marquette. Naismith Award favorite Doug McDermott scored 25 points, including this stone-cold bomb in the second half:
The Bluejays are a team on the rise, with their only loss in the last month coming at St. John's on Feb. 9.
No. 23 UCLA 86, California 66
Jordan Adams dropped 28 for UCLA as the Bruins cruised against Cal. As a team, UCLA shot over 58 percent from the field, including hitting eight of 15 threes. Adams also had five of the Bruins' eight steals, creating havoc on both ends of the floor,
The Bruins improve to 10-3 in Pac- 12 play, holding tight a game behind conference-leading Arizona.
No. 24 Ohio State 76, Northwestern 60
The Buckeyes cruised in the second half against Northwestern, riding LaQuinton Ross' 16 points and six rebounds. Ohio State has now won five of their last six games, a big accomplishment in the grind of the Big Ten.
For Northwestern, Drew Crawford scored a game-high 22 points. Four Buckeye starters reached double digits, including Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr.