For a while there I wasn't sure whether or not two ranked teams were ever going to play one another again. I'm not saying I cried a little, but I definitely cried a little.
TOP 25 SCORES
No. 1 Syracuse 80, Tulane 61
No. 2 Ohio State 69, Miami of Ohio 40
No. 3 Kentucky 87, Loyola (Md.) 63
No. 6 Baylor 72, Saint Mary's 59
No. 8 Connecticut 79, Fairfield 71
No. 9 Missouri 78, No. 25 Illinois 74
N0. 10 Marquette 64, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 50
No. 11 Florida 82, Florida State 64
No. 12 Kansas 63, USC 47
Long Beach State 68, No. 14 Xavier 58
No. 16 Georgetown 60, Memphis 49
No. 17 Indiana 89, UMBC 47
No. 18 Mississippi State 82, Northwestern State 67
No. 19 Michigan State 90, Lehigh 81
No. 20 Michigan 77, Bradley 66
No. 23 Creighton 87, Northwestern 79
GAME OF THE NIGHT: Missouri 78, Illinois 74
Missouri led the annual "Braggin' Rights" game with Illinois by double digits for the bulk of 40 minutes, but found itself down 70-68 with two minutes remaining. The Tigers (12-0) then used the athleticism and pressure that has them off to their best start since 1981-82 to finish the game on a 10-4 run.
Phil Pressey, who somehow was not named to the 60-player Cousy Award (point guard) watch list earlier this week, led the way with 18 points, five assists and the game's key basket in the final minute. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Mizzou's win was that it came with star Marcus Denmon going just 2-of-9 from the field.
Missouri still has yet to play a true road game, which means its status as a national title contended is debatable. What isn't is how enjoyable Frank Haith's first Tiger team is to watch. They're athletic, they're skilled and they play at a ridiculously fast pace, but they do so while seeming more under control than they did under Mike Anderson.
Mizzou will hit the road for the first time on Dec. 30 against Old Dominion, its final non-conference tune-up before Big 12 play begins.
UPSET OF THE NIGHT: Long Beach State 68, Xavier 58 (Diamond Head Classic)
Tu Holloway's return from a one-game suspension wasn't enough to keep Xavier from becoming LBSU's second top-15 upset victim of the season.
Holloway's 17 points and four assists couldn't topple a balanced 49er attack that featured five players scoring in double figures, led by freshman Michael Caffey's career-high 14 points.
The Musketeers (8-2), who have now dropped two straight, had their star point guard back but were still without starting guard Mark Lyons, starting forward Dez Wells and reserve Landen Amos. All four were suspended for their actions in the bench-clearing brawl against Cincinnati earlier this month. Lyons is eligible to return Friday, while Wells and Amos will miss the tournament while serving their four-game penalties.