The theme of the week is showdowns between highly-regarded top 25 teams. That theme gets ratcheted up Tuesday night when No. 2 Ohio State takes the floor against No. 4 Duke, but it got off to a solid start on Monday with a highly entertaining tilt between No. 11 Xavier and No. 19 Vanderbilt.
Here's a look at everything that else that went down on the first day of the work week.
No. 6 Louisville 79, Long Beach State 66
No. 9 Florida 96, Stetson 70
No. 11 Xavier 82, No. 19 Vanderbilt 70 (OT)
No. 16 Marquette 88, Jacksonville 56
No. 21 Memphis 70, Jackson St. 45
No. 23 California 73, McNeese St. 57
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 11 Xavier 82, No. 19 Vanderbilt 70 (OT)
The highest-profile game of the evening lived up to its billing as Xavier erased a 10-point deficit and dominated the five-minute overtime period on their way to an 82-70 win over host Vanderbilt.
The story of the extra period was preseason All-American Tu Holloway, who hit back-to-back clutch three-pointers to give the Musketeers a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The senior guard scored ten of his game-high 24 points in overtime.
Vanderbilt was again playing without injured center Festus Ezeli, which helps explain why the Commodores were outrebounded 48-30. What it doesn't explain is how the guard-heavy, veteran-laden squad committed 18 - mostly unforced - turnovers.
"Turnovers are generally careless or selfish," Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings said. "Neither of those has anything to do with the other team."
Ezeli's absence is starting to become a tired excuse for a team that started this season in nearly everyone's top ten. Vandy's ultimate strength was supposed to be its veteran backcourt anyway, and with that being the case it's even more worrisome that the Commodores weren't able to seal the deal in a home game that appeared to have been all but won.
UPSET OF THE NIGHT: Oakland 89, Tennessee 81
The venue may have changed drastically, but the final score was nearly identical.
A year after Oakland stunned then-No. 7 Tennessee 89-82 in Knoxville, the Golden Grizzlies pulled the upset again by nearly the same score, bettering the visiting Volunteers 89-81 at the O'Rena Athletics Center in Rochester, MI.
Tennessee, which was surprisingly competitive in losses to Duke and Memphis at the Maui Invitational last week, trailed by a sizable margin for nearly the entire 40 minutes. The Vols' performance on the island last week had more than a few people tabbing them as the potential surprise team in the SEC, but on Monday they looked more than like the bottom-six squad that most were predicting they'd be before the season.
Oakland, the two-time defending Summit League champions, held Tennessee at bay by hitting a commendable 28-of-31 attempts from the free-throw line.
PLAYER OF THE NIGHT: Reggie Hamilton, Oakland
Hamilton played a huge part in that free-throw stat line, connecting on all 15 of his freebies en route to torching the Volunteers for 35 points. He scored just four points in the upset victory over Tennessee last season.
Mike Glover, Iona - Scored 28 points and snatched 14 rebounds in the Gaels' 100-84 win over LIU.
Damian Lillard, Weber State - Dropped a night-high 36 points in a losing effort against Saint Mary's.
Matthew Dellavedova, Saint Mary's - Scored 25 points, dished out 11 assists and keyed a monster second half by the Gaels.
Jae Crowder, Marquette - Scored 27 points for the Golden Eagles, who moved to 6-0 by routing Jacksonville, 88-56.
Tu Holloway, Xavier - As previously mentioned, scored 24 points and made all the plays down the stretch in Xavier's big road win over Vandy.
PIC OF THE NIGHT:
Xavier beat Vanderbilt. Xavier players were happy. Vanderbilt players (not pictured) were not happy.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: "This might be the best team in this area [greater New York City] in the past 10 years. They have three Big East-level players playing in the MAAC." --LIU coach Jim Ferry on Iona after his team fell to the talented Gaels, 100-84.
NUMBER OF THE NIGHT: 88
That's how many possessions there were in said Iona/LIU shootout. That's a lot.
TEN TO END
1. Florida's 96-70 win over Stetson was the 400th of head coach Billy Donovan's career.
2. Akron, which started this season with a ten-point victory at Mississippi State, has now dropped three-of-four after getting thumped 77-56 at West Virginia Monday night. The Zips were hoping to match the success of MAC east division foe Kent State, which won by ten in Morgantown earlier this season, but this game was never really in doubt. Playing without suspended point guard Alex Abreu certainly didn't help.
3. I've said it before and I'll probably say it three or 97 more times before the end of the season: if you have the opportunity to watch Iona play, take it. The Gaels push for 40 straight minutes and never seem to tire ("A 40-minute game, it’s like a joke to us" was Mike Glover's quote Monday night), and Scott Machado might be the best point guard in the country.
4. In a battle of mid-major powers, Saint Mary's erased a one-point halftime deficit to run away from Weber State, 87-70. The Gaels scored 56 points in the second half.
5. St. John's head coach Steve Lavin will likely not be on the bench when his team faces No. 1 Kentucky on Thursday night.
6. Tennessee's Jeronne Maymon turned a lot of heads with his 32-point, 20-rebound performance against Memphis last week, but he was virtually non-existent in Monday night's loss to Oakland. The junior forward scored just eight points and had just six rebounds in a game that appeared to be set up for him to dominate.
7. Injury-riddled Louisville turned Long Beach State over 21 times on their way to a 79-66 win over the visiting 49ers. The sixth-ranked Cardinals looked as sharp as they have all season against the team that went on the road and shocked Pittsburgh by ten earlier this month.
8. Georgetown shook off the same Maui hangover that doomed Tennessee and ran away from IUPUI, 81-58. The Hoyas, who next face No. 12 Alabama, led by just one at intermission.
9. In the evening's lone matchup of two BCS conference teams, Colorado built a double-digit lead in the second half and then held on late to top visiting Georgia, 70-68. Freshman Spencer Dinwiddie led the Buffs with 16 points.
10. Damian Lillard's 36-point performance on Monday made the Weber State star the nation's leading scorer at 25.6 ppg.