Clemson, S.C. — What a wild ride the past four days have been for Clemson fans.
The Tigers beat No. 3 Duke 79-72 on Tuesday night to sandwich wins over the Atlantic Coast Conference’s basketball blue bloods around Monday’s loss in the College Football Playoff title game.
Tuesday night’s win over the Blue Devils was the highest-profile upset for the Tigers (9-7, 3-3 ACC) since they beat No. 1 North Carolina on their home court in February 2001. And just like that day, students rushed the court at Littlejohn Coliseum.
On Saturday, Clemson beat North Carolina in Chapel Hill for the first time in program history, ending a 59-game losing streak on the Tar Heels’ home court and setting off a locker room celebration that looked like the aftermath of an NCAA Tournament win. The Tigers have won three in a row since falling below .500 in a Dec. 31 loss to Miami.
“2020 is starting to feel like our year,” said Aamir Simms, who led Clemson with a career-high 25 points.
The Blue Devils (15-2, 5-1 ) came into the game as 10 1/2-point favorites and were leading the nation with an average margin of victory of 21.5 points. Duke had not lost since a stunning home defeat to Stephen F. Austin in November.
Clemson fans, stung by the football Tigers’ first loss in 30 games — a 42-25 defeat against LSU Monday night at the Superdome in New Orleans — stopped moping less than 24 hours later. Duke never had a bigger lead than 4-0 and Clemson led for more than 28 minutes.
Simms and Tevin Mack, who scored 22 points, kept dragging Duke’s big men around the perimeter.
“We tried to move their guys around a lot. They have a lot of size,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said.
That opened up the lane for Clemson’s offense. Seventeen of the Tigers’ 30 baskets were layups or dunks — including one by John Newman III that was so nasty it got a shout-out on Twitter from Magic Johnson.
“Simms was spectacular tonight in how he controlled the game,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
Clemson led 40-33 at halftime and stretched the lead to nine points before Duke rallied. The Blue Devils led 62-59 with 6:40 remaining.
That’s when Clemson took control with a 14-3 run, including eight points from Simms. His three-point play made it 73-65 with 2:16 remaining.
Mack finished 10 of 14 from the field. Simms was almost as efficient, shooting 10 of 15, and he had nine rebounds and five assists.
Vernon Carey Jr. scored 20 points for Duke and Tre Jones had 17.
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No. 6 Kansas 66, (at) Oklahoma 52: Isaiah Moss scored 20 to help Kansas beat Oklahoma.
Stepping into the starting lineup in place of leading scorer Devon Dotson, who sat out with a hip injury, Moss made 6 of 11 3-pointers. It was Moss’ first start for Kansas. The graduate transfer had started every game he played in the previous two seasons at Iowa.
Udoka Azubuike had 16 points and 14 rebounds and Marcus Garrett added 15 points for the Jayhawks (13-3, 3-1 Big 12), who bounced back from a loss to Baylor last Saturday.
Kristian Doolittle had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma (11-5, 2-2).
No. 7 San Diego State 64, (at) Fresno State 55: In a contest in which they had no 3-point game, the No. 7 the Aztecs relied on a suffocating defense to shut down Fresno State.
San Diego State (18-0, 7-0 Mountain West Conference) remains one of two unbeaten teams in Division 1, along with Auburn. The Aztecs extended two nation-leading streaks: 18 consecutive victories, and nine straight road or neutral-site wins.
San Diego State hasn’t been 18-0 since the 2013-14 team advanced to the Sweet 16. The Aztecs experienced just their fifth victory by single digits, due in part to an offense that missed 15 of 18 3-point attempts and had no offensive rebounds in the first 30 minutes.
Orlando Robinson led Fresno State (5-12, 1-5) with 18 points.
No. 11 Louisville 73, Pittsburgh 68, OT; Pittsburgh forward Terrell Brown thought he had a game-tying tip-in with 21 seconds to play, but he was called for a foul on the play, allowing Louisville to escape with a victory.
Pitt guard Trey McGowens’ driving layup attempt bounced off the rim, and Brown put it back, appearing to tie the game, but he was whistled for an over-the-back foul against Louisville’s Malik Williams.
Williams hit both free throws, securing the final margin of victory.
Louisville star junior Jordan Nwora was limited by Pitt’s defense, leading the Cardinals with 14 points, which tied for his second-smallest output of the season.
McGowens led an unexpected offensive charge from Pitt. He finished 8-of-22 for 24 points.
(At) No. 12 West Virginia 81, TCU 49: Derek Culver scored 17 points, West Virginia’s bench provided a huge lift on the offensive end and the Mountaineers stomped TCU.
The Mountaineers (14-2, 3-1 Big 12) are unbeaten in eight home games and have held 10 opponents this season to 60 points or less, including five straight.
TCU (12-4, 3-1) remains winless in Morgantown since joining the Big 12 in the 2012-13 season. The Horned Frogs missed a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the league and had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Miles McBride, Oscar Tshiebwe and Jermaine Haley added 11 points apiece for West Virginia.
RJ Nembhard led TCU with 14 points and Desmond Bane added 13.
(At) No. 13 Dayton 79, VCU 65: Obi Toppin scored 24 points on a tender ankle and led a 22-point run in the second half as No. 13 Dayton ended a streak of four straight losses to VCU. Jalen Crutcher added 20 points for Dayton (15-2, 4-0 Atlantic 10), which shot 50% from the field.
De’Riante Jenkins and Nah’Shon Hyland led VCU VCU (12-5, 2-2) with 16 points apiece.
No. 23 Texas Tech 77, (at) Kansas State 63: Kyler Edwards scored a career-high 24 points, Davide Moretti had 14 and Texas Tech used a late push to beat Kansas State.
The Red Raiders (11-5, 2-2 Big 12) led by 17 at one point, but the Wildcats rallied and led 46-45 with 13 minutes remaining. Kevin McCuller scored nine of his 10 points in the final 11:30 to help steady Texas Tech. Jahmi’us Ramsey also had 10 points.
Cartier Diarra scored 19 points, Xavier Sneed had 14 and Montavious Murphy added 11 for Kansas State (7-9, 0-4).
Central Michigan 74, (at) Toledo 67: Dallas Morgan and Devontae Lane combined to score 32 second-half points and Central Michigan picked up its first win in Toledo’s Savage Arena since 2016.
Morgan scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and Lane added 16 points — scoring 12 after halftime — as Central Michigan (10-7, 3-1 Mid-American Conference) won for the first time on the road this season. David DiLeo added 16 points for Central Michigan and Rob Montgomery had a career-high 11 rebounds to go with seven points..
Keshaun Saunders scored 18 points for the Rockets (9-8, 1-3). Marreon Jackson added 15 points and six assists. Luke Knapke had 14 points. Central Michigan faces Buffalo at home on Saturday.
Ball State 69, (at) Eastern Michigan 52: Tahjai Teague scored 23 points on 9 of 12 shooting and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and Ball State topped Eastern Michigan. Teague’s career-high of 28 points came against Eastern Michigan on Jan. 8 last year.
Ishmael El-Amin had 16 points and seven assists for Ball St. (10-7, 3-1 Mid-American Conference). Kyle Mallers added 10 points and Jarron Coleman distributed eight assists for the visiting team.
Noah Morgan had 14 points for the Eagles (10-7, 0-4), whose losing streak reached four games. Yeikson Montero added 12 points. Boubacar Toure had nine rebounds.
Ty Groce, whose 12 points a game coming into the matchup led the Eagles, shot just 1-of-5. Eastern plays Ohio at home on Saturday.
Bowling Green 85, (at) Western Michigan 82: Daeqwon Plowden scored 19 points and Bowling Green fended off a late run by Western Michigan. Dylan Frye added 16 points for Bowling Green, the Mid-American Conference preseason favorite, which won a third straight. Four players reached double figures for the Falcons (12-5, 3-1) with Marlon Sierra and Justin Turner chipping in 12 points apiece.
Michael Flowers led the Broncos (8-9, 1-3) with 28 points. Brandon Johnson added 18 and B. Artis White 14. Western Michigan plays Kent State at home on Saturday.
(At) Wisconsin 56, No. 17 Maryland 54: Brad Davison hit a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left after getting a steal and Wisconsin upset No. 17 Maryland to pick up their third straight victory against a ranked opponent.
Davison finished with 14 points and Nate Reuvers and Micah Potter added 17 and 14 to lead the Badgers (11-6, 4-2 Big Ten), who now have beaten then-No. 5 Ohio State and then-No. 20 Penn State.
Jalen Smith scored 18 and Anthony Cowan Jr. had 16 for the Terrapins (13-4, 3-3) who have now lost two straight after winning three and a row. Maryland suffered an 18-point defeat Friday at Iowa.
Trailing 54-51 with 1:31 to go, Reuvers made a jumper to bring the Badgers within one. Davison then stole the ball, called a timeout and then sunk a 3 to put the Badgers up 56-54 with 11 seconds to play.
After a timeout by Maryland, a 3-point attempt by Cowan clanked off the rim and Wisconsin escaped with the victory.
(At) No. 21 Ohio State 80, Nebraska 68: C.J. Walker scored 18 points to help No. 21 Ohio State 12-5, 2-4 Big Ten) snap a four-game losing streak. Kaleb Wesson had 13 points and 14 rebounds Thorir Thorbjarnarson paced Nebraska ( 7-10, 2-4) with 15 points and three players had 10. The Huskers shot 42.4% in losing their second in a row.
Iowa 75, (at) Northwestern 62: Luka Garza scored 27 points — all but one of them in two spurts — and Iowa beat Northwestern. C.J. Fredrick and Joe Wieskamp each added 11 as the Hawkeyes (12-5, 3-3 Big Ten) won their second straight. Miller Kopp scored 15 and Peter Nance had 11 for the cold-shootings Wildcats (6-10, 1-5), who connected at just 36% from the floor and have lost six of seven.