Saturday's top 25 roundup: No. 1 Kentucky clobbers UCLA
Chicago — No. 1 Kentucky made it look so easy that coach John Calipari felt the need to point out he had actual human beings on the court.
The only question was the final score, and that took longer to decide than the game.
Devin Booker had 19 points, and the Wildcats scored the first 24 points in an 83-44 victory over UCLA on Saturday.
"They're not machines and they're not computers," Calipari said. "They don't play great every time out."
They sure looked like machines the way they dominated this game.
Aaron Harrison added 15 points, and the Wildcats (12-0) handed the Bruins (8-4) one of their most-lopsided losses ever.
The first meeting between the storied programs in eight years turned ugly as soon as the game started, with Kentucky dominating UCLA in every possible way. It was so bad that officials lost track of one of the Bruins' second-half baskets and put out an amended box score about 90 minutes after the game.
It hardly mattered.
The opening 24-0 run was eight shy of the record between two Division I teams, set by Connecticut against New Hampshire on Dec. 12, 1990. And the 39-point margin was nine shy of the Bruins' record.
Kentucky led 41-7 at the intermission. It was the lowest point total in a half for UCLA and the fewest by a Kentucky opponent since December 1943.
"We just have to keep playing against ourselves," Booker said. "Coach always stresses that to us — that we're not playing against the other team, we're playing against ourselves. Just keep playing. You can't look at the score."
UCLA coach Steve Alford was so impressed he said the Wildcats might not lose a game this season.
"If they continue to play at that level defensively, I'm a firm believer they got a chance to run this thing out," he said.
Kentucky was simply too deep and too athletic, with a 10-man rotation and three starters standing 6-foot-10 or taller. Some of those players probably would get more time and put up bigger numbers elsewhere. But they almost certainly would not be on a team as dominating as this one.
"People can watch these guys in 20 minutes and know how really good they are," Calipari said. "They don't need 40 minutes, and these kids are great. We're a really good team with a bunch of guys, 10 guys, that all could score double figures."
Booker hit 5 of 6 3-pointers and 7 of 10 shots overall. Harrison made three 3-pointers, nailing one to start the game, and Kentucky hit 12 in all from long range to the delight of their cheering fans.
The Wildcats also played stifling defense, with the Bruins missing their first 17 shots and going 19 for 71.
Isaac Hamilton led UCLA with 14 points and Bryce Alford scored 13. But they came after Kentucky put this one away — which didn't take long.
In the second game of a doubleheader at the United Center that started with No. 24 North Carolina beating No. 12 Ohio State, the Wildcats erased all doubt about this one almost as soon as it started.
Harrison's 3 from the wing got things started, and Kentucky just poured it on from there, blocking shots, breaking for dunks and nailing jumpers.
Wildcat fans just about came unglued after Harrison nailed a 3 to make it 16-0 with 16:27 remaining, chanting "Go Big Blue!" during a timeout. And the lead continued to climb.
Booker capped the run with back-to-back 3-pointers and a breakaway dunk off a block by Dakari Johnson against Alford, making it 24-0 with 12:40 left in the half.
The Bruins finally broke the shutout 23 seconds later on a layup by Kevon Looney.
No. 4 Louisville 76, (at) Western Kentucky 67: Terry Rozier took charge after the first-half ejection of Montrezl Harrell to score a career-high 32 points, including 26 in the second half for Louisville.
Rozier closed Louisville's scoring with five free throws to finish 11 of 13 from the line and made three 3-pointers that quashed the Hilltoppers' hopes of seizing momentum following Harrell's exit with 38.7 seconds remaining in the first half. The preseason first-team All-American was assessed a flagrant-2 foul for throwing an elbow following a shoving match after a loose ball scramble.
Chris Jones added 10 points for Louisville (10-0). T.J. Price scored 24 points for the Hilltoppers (5-5).
(At) No. 7 Villanova 82, Syracuse 77, OT: JayVaughn Pinkston had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Darrun Hilliard scored 23 points and Villanova beat Syracuse to improve to 11-0.
The Wildcats never led until overtime and rallied from a 15-point hole to stun their former Big East rival. Josh Hart buried a 3-pointer and Pinkston tied it at 69-with 4.2 seconds left in regulation.
Josh Hart added 21 points for the Wildcats. Rakeem Christmas and Michael Gbinije each scored 18 points for Syracuse (6-4).
No. 8 Gonzaga 63, Cal Poly 50: Kevin Pangos scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half, and Gonzaga struggled to shake pesky Cal Poly before pulling away. Gonzaga (11-1) was flat throughout and at times uncommonly sloppy playing its annual game at Seattle's KeyArena, letting Cal Poly (5-5) hang around late into the second half before finally putting away the Mustangs in the final 6 minutes.
(At) No, 9 Texas 78, Long Beach State 68: Javan Felix scored a season-best 17 points. Felix made 6 of 9 shots, including three 3-pointers. The reserve guard's previous high this season was 11 points.
Jonathan Holmes scored 14 for Texas (10-1) and Cam Ridley had 13.
Connor Lammert had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Longhorns. Reserve center Prince Ibeh blocked four shots in 10 minutes.
Mike Caffey scored 23 to lead Long Beach State (5-7).
(At) No. 10 Kansas 96, Lafayette 69: Freshman Kelly Oubre Jr. had 23 points and 10 rebounds and Frank Mason added 14 points and nine assists for Kansas.
Wayne Selden Jr. finished with 12 points, all in the second half for Kansas (9-1). Freshman Svi Mykhailiuk and Jamari Traylor each had 11 points, and freshman Cliff Alexander had 10.
Seth Hinrichs led Lafayette (7-3) with 15 points and seven rebounds. Kansas played without freshman Devonte' Graham because of a toe injury, and junior Perry Ellis was limited to seven minutes in the first half.
(At) No. 13 Iowa State 83, Drake 54: Naz Long scored 13 points, Monte Morris had 12 for Iowa State. Dustin Hogue added 10 points to help the Cyclones (9-1) run their winning streak to six following a loss to Maryland last month.
Iowa State pushed a 16-point halftime lead to as much as 35 in the second half. The Cyclones shot 12 of 23 from 3-point range and had 25 assists on 32 field goals.
Highly touted transfer Jameel McKay had eight points and five rebounds in his debut with Iowa State. McKay sat out the first nine games after transferring from Marquette last year.
Trevor Berkeley and Jacob Enevold each had 10 points for Drake (2-9).
No. 14 Utah 59, (at) UNLV 46: Delon Wright scored 17 points and Brandon Taylor had 16 for the Utes in the MGM Grand Showcase.
Utah (8-2) had 12 steals — including six by Taylor and four by Wright — to cap a rough stretch by winning for the third time in four games.
Rashad Vaughn had 16 points and seven rebounds to lead UNLV (7-3), and Christian Wood added eight points and 13 rebounds.
No. 16 Washington 69, No. 15 Oklahoma 67: Jernard Jarreau scored 12 points in the MGM Grand Showcase at Las Vegas. The Huskies (10-0) led by 20 in the first half, but only scored three points in the final 4:01. Jordan Woodard had a look at a potential winning jumper for the Sooners in the final seconds, but he missed and Andrew Andrews grabbed the rebound.
Andrews and teammate Robert Upshaw finished with 11 points each. Upshaw, the nation's leading shot blocker, also swatted two shots.
Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield led Oklahoma (7-3) with 17 points apiece.
(At) No. 19 San Diego State 70, Ball State 57: Winston Shepard scored 15 points and JJ O'Brien had 13. The Aztecs (8-3) were playing for the first time since losing 71-62 in overtime at Cincinnati on Wednesday night. Shepard came on strong down the stretch, making consecutive baskets on a spin move in the lane and then a jumper in the lane to give the Aztecs a 59-43 lead with just more than 8 minutes left. He then made two free throws to make it 64-47.
Jeremie Tyler scored 17 points for Ball State (3-6).
No. 22 West Virginia 83, North Carolina State 69: Juwan Staten scored 24 points. Devin Williams had 16 points and Jaysean Paige added 11 points to help the Mountaineers (10-1) win their third straight. Staten, who also had six assists, was selected the Most Outstanding Player of the Gotham Classic at the Barclays Center.
Trevor Lacey scored 24 points and Anthony Barber had 16 for North Carolina State (9-3), which lost for the second time in three games.