Around the Top 25 MBB: No. 6 Gonzaga, No. 1 Houston upset at home; No. 9 Kansas on losing skid

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Looking at the top 25 teams in Men’s Basketball, many teams struggled, with some rare losses tossed in the mix. Illustration by Zaire Diaz/The Daily Campus

The trend continues from last week in which many top-25 teams struggled, including some rare home losses for some of the top programs in college basketball. Let’s take a look at the best games, performances, and upcoming games in this edition of Around the Top 25. 

Best Games 

No. 14 TCU gets first win at No. 2 Kansas, 83-60 

Despite a phenomenal performance by Jalen Wilson where he scored 21 of his 30 points in the first half, the Jayhawks suffered their first loss at Allen Fieldhouse since Kentucky blew them out about a year ago. Shahada Wells came off the bench and led the Horned Frogs in scoring with 17 points. 

Loyola Marymount snaps No. 6 Gonzaga’s long home winning streak, 68-67 

Gonzaga had won 75 consecutive games at home coming into Thursday’s match against Loyola Marymount, but National Player of the Year candidate Drew Timme and Julian Strawther could not answer Cam Shelton’s game-winning layup. Shelton had 27 points to lead the Lions, while  Timme finished with 17 points and seven rebounds. The Zags will take a visit to Portland on Saturday. 

No. 11 Arizona snaps No. 5 UCLA’s winning streak, 58-52 

The UCLA Bruins were one of the hottest teams in college basketball with a 14-game winning streak. They saw that streak come to an end in Tucson though, despite four of their five starters scoring double digits, including two double-doubles. Star forward Ąžuolas Tubelis contributed his own double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Wildcats. UCLA takes on cross-town rival USC on Thursday, while Arizona heads to Pullman to take on Washington State. 

Temple knocks off No. 1 Houston at home, 56-55 

Damian Dunn made the game-winning free throw with 66 seconds remaining. Jamal Shead and Tramon Mark couldn’t find a basket for the final minute as Temple held on to upset Houston. Dunn was the player of the game with 16 points for the Owls. Star guard Marcus Sasser struggled with 12 points, shooting 4-for-11 from the floor. The Cougars will take on UCF in Orlando tonight. 

No. 17 Baylor hands No. 9 Kansas third-straight loss, 75-69 

In their past three games, Kansas has lost to Kansas State, TCU at home and Baylor on Monday night. The defending national champions have been carried by star forward Jalen Wilson this year, but freshman Gradey Dick led the Jayhawks in scoring with 24 points. Forward Jalen Bridges nearly had a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds while LJ Cryer led the Bears in scoring with 22 points and five three-pointers. Kansas visits blue-blood Kentucky on Saturday, while Baylor hosts former Southwest Conference foe Arkansas that same day. 

Best Performances 

Drew Timme, F, Gonzaga (at Pacific: 38 pts, 5 reb, 2 blk) 

Timme is considered one of college basketball’s best players and redeemed himself after a loss to Loyola Marymount. He currently averages 22 points and seven rebounds per game while shooting over 60 percent from the floor. 

Zach Freemantle, F, Xavier (vs. Georgetown: 30 pts, 11 reb, 7 ast) 

Freemantle is the top scorer on one of the best frontcourts in college basketball. He has recorded a double-double in the past two games and shoots just under 60 percent from the field. Despite many talented players in the Big East, especially in the frontcourt, Freemantle has had an all-Big East caliber season. 

Armaan Franklin, G, Virginia (at Wake Forest: 25 pts, 10 reb, 5 3pt) 

Virginia picked up a huge win on the road in Winston-Salem led by former Indiana Hoosier Armaan Franklin. He leads the Cavaliers in scoring, averaging nearly 13 points per game, with eight straight games scoring double figures. 

Markquis Nowell, G, Kansas State (vs. Texas Tech: 23 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast) 

Nowell didn’t have a great scoring outing in the thrilling upset win over Kansas but bounced back with a home victory over Texas Tech. Nowell averages nearly 17 points and eight assists per game, looking like an All-American each time he steps onto the hardwood. 

Zach Edey, C, Purdue (vs. Maryland: 24 pts, 16 reb) 

This section of the article wouldn’t be complete without an impressive Zach Edey performance. Edey snapped his 12-game streak with a double-double on Thursday at Minnesota. He followed up with another impressive double-double in the win on Sunday. Before Thursday’s game, Edey hadn’t missed a double-double since November. 

Upcoming Games 

No. 13 Xavier at No. 19 UConn (6:30 p.m., FS1) 

Xavier and UConn face off tonight at Gampel Pavilion in a rematch of Xavier’s upset win over the Huskies on New Year’s Eve. It’s a battle of the two best frontcourts in the Big East and headlined by two Big East Player of the Year candidates: Xavier guard Souley Boum and Huskies forward Adama Sanogo. 

No. 10 Texas at No. 4 Tennessee (Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN) 

In this top-10 clash that headlines a loaded Big 12/SEC Challenge, Rick Barnes faces Texas for just the second time since his 17-year tenure in Austin ended in 2015. The matchup headlines two of the best guards in their respective conferences: Texas’s Marcus Carr and Tennessee’s Zakai Zeigler. 

No. 9 Kansas at Kentucky (Saturday, 8 p.m., ESPN) 

Saturday’s primetime game is between two of the greatest programs in college basketball history. The Jayhawks are on a three-game losing streak coming into Lexington, whereas the Wildcats have only lost once this season (South Carolina). This matchup features two of the best players in college basketball: Kansas forward Wilson and Kentucky forward Oscar Tshiebwe, the reigning consensus National Player of the Year. 

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