Four Top 10 Teams Go Down — This Week in College Basketball
Florida State’s 90-57 rout of third-ranked North Carolina was the biggest upset, but three additional teams in the top 10 of the Associated Press college basketball poll lost last week. Here’s what’s happening in NCAA hoops:
Team on the Rise: No. 22 San Diego State Aztecs
San Diego State (15-2, 1-0 Mountain West) has won eight in a row. A Tuesday victory over Chicago State only served as a precursor for the Aztecs’ thrilling 69-67 win over No. 12 UNLV on Saturday. Guards Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin have been solid, averaging 16.9 and 15.7 points per game, respectively. Franklin hit the game-winning basket against the Rebels with three-tenths of a second to play. If San Diego State coach Steve Fisher can get his front court players to produce like his guards, the Aztecs may be a force in the tournament in March.
Team on the Decline: No. 7 Indiana Hoosiers
Two weeks after beating No. 5 Ohio State in Bloomington, the Hoosiers lost to the Buckeyes in Columbus 80-63 on Sunday. That defeat, coupled with the 77-74 home loss to unranked Minnesota on Thursday, gives Indiana (15-3, 3-3 Big Ten) a more difficult road to the Big Ten title. Indiana coach Tom Crean needs his team to get back to playing the type of defense that held nine of its first 12 opponents under 70 points.
Player on the Rise: Donte Poole, Murray State Racers
Donte Poole had a career-high 28 points as No. 15 Murray State (18-0, 6-0 Ohio Valley Conference) remained undefeated by beating Tennessee Tech, 82-74, on Saturday. A six-three guard, Poole also tossed in 21 when his team thumped Jacksonville State 66-55 on Thursday. With a scoring average of 14.6 points per game, Poole is now scoring nearly 10 points per game higher than he did the last two seasons.
Player on the Decline: Chace Stanback, UNLV Rebels
Though he has been key to UNLV’s 16-3 start, Chace Stanback has stumbled in his last two games, scoring just seven points per contest on five of 21 shooting. His struggles factored into the Rebels’ 69-67 loss to No. 22 San Diego State on Saturday. Stanback must return to form if UNLV (16-3, 0-1 MWC) is to win the Mountain West Conference.
Coach on the Hot Seat: Jamie Dixon, University of Pittsburgh
Pitt (11-7, 0-5 Big East) has lost six straight games, including dropping a home game to Rutgers by 23 points on Wednesday. Dixon needs to do something to bring this once-ranked team back to form. He’ll get no help from the schedule as games against No. 1 Syracuse and No. 14 Louisville loom this week.
Bizarre Stat of the Week: Deividas Dulkys, Florida State Seminoles
Deividas Dulkys told reporters he made 28 straight shots from beyond the 3-point arc in warm-ups on Saturday. Dulkys then went out and hit eight of 10 threes during the Seminoles 90-57 rout of North Carolina. His 32 points were a career-high.