College basketball: No. 1 Kansas falls to No. 18 Villanova

Villanova's Collin Gillespie (2) and Jermaine Samuels (23) react after defeating Kansas on Saturday in Philadelphia.
(Mitchell Leff / Getty Images)

Jermaine Samuels hit a winning three-pointer with 20.5 seconds left in Philadelphia to lead No. 18 Villanova to a 56-55 victory on Saturday over Kansas, the latest No. 1 to fall this season.

“I just shot it unconsciously,” Samuels said.

The Jayhawks (9-2) had moved up one spot to become the fifth team to top the poll this season. It is the first time the Associated Press poll has had five different No. 1s before New Year’s Day; the record for an entire season is seven, set in 1982-83.

Get ready for a sixth when the top 25 is released Monday.

“It’s just one of those years,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “There just isn’t one team that’s dominant.”


Unlike Duke and Louisville, which lost to unranked teams, Kansas fell to a traditional national power that has had its number in recent seasons. The Wildcats (9-2) finally nudged ahead in a back-and-forth game in the final seconds.

UCLA nearly wipes out a 13-point deficit in a 74-64 loss to North Carolina at the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas.

Dec. 21, 2019

Samuels hit the three to make it 56-55. The shot had more than 20,000 fans at the Wells Fargo Center going wild. But Collin Gillespie was whistled for a foul and Kansas’ Devon Dotson missed his game-tying free throw.

The Wildcats threw the ball away with 11.2 seconds left to give Kansas possession and two looks at the basket. Dotson missed a contested layup on the final shot as the clock expired, and the Jayhawks’ nine-game winning streak ended.

at No. 2 Gonzaga 112, Eastern Washington 77: Filip Petrusev had 24 points and nine rebounds to help the Bulldogs beat the Eagles, clearing a path for Gonzaga to become the sixth top-ranked team in the nation so far this season.

The Bulldogs have reached No. 1 several times in recent years, including twice last season.


Admon Gilder scored 22 points and Ryan Woolridge added 15 points for Gonzaga (13-1), which has won five straight games since falling to Michigan in the title game of the Battle 4 Atlantis. The Zags have won 30 straight home games, the longest streak in the nation.

Jacob Davison scored 17 points and Tyler Kidd added 16 for Eastern Washington (7-4).

No. 5 Ohio State 71, No. 6 Kentucky 65: D.J. Carton had 13 points, Kaleb Wesson added 12 before fouling out, and the Buckeyes outlasted the Wildcats in the CBS Sports Classic in Las Vegas.

Ohio State (11-1) played with Duane Washington Jr., its second-leading scorer, limited to eight minutes because of a rib injury and had a hard time shaking Kentucky in a physical game.

The Wildcats (8-3) stayed within reach despite a poor-shooting second half before the Buckeyes stretched the lead to seven with 1:17 left. Ohio State made four straight free throws in the final 18 seconds to prevent Kentucky from mounting a comeback.

Wesson also had eight rebounds before fouling out with 3:30 left.

Nate Sestina scored 17 and hit five three-pointers and Tyrese Maxey added 15 points for the Wildcats.

Freshman Ethan Anderson could not find the basket early on but was on the mark late as USC defeated LSU 70-68 at Staples Center.

Dec. 21, 2019

at No. 8 Oregon 84, Texas Southern 78: Payton Pritchard led a late surge to help the Ducks escape an upset scare against the Tigers.

Pritchard scored 29 points, 16 of them in the final 4:44, as Oregon (10-2) finally got the lead and held it. Will Richardson added 18 points.

Chris Baldwin had 27 points for Texas Southern (3-8), which a year ago posted an 89-84 victory over the Ducks, then ranked 18th. Tyrik Armstrong added 21 points.

at No. 11 Memphis 77, Jackson State 49: Precious Achiuwa had 20 points and nine rebounds and DJ Jeffries added 13 points to help Memphis beat Jackson State.

Memphis (10-1) weathered 28 turnovers by shooting 55% when it wasn’t throwing away the ball or mishandling passes. The teams combined for 53 turnovers.

Tristan Jarrett led Jackson State (3-9) with 20 points.

L.A. Times’ Bill Plaschke makes bold predictions for L.A. sports in 2020 that should even fire up USC coach Clay Helton.

Dec. 21, 2019

at No. 12 Auburn 74, Lehigh 51: Austin Wiley had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Tigers, who at 11-0 are the only unbeaten Power Five program and one of four undefeated teams in the country.

Auburn led 27-20 at the half and pulled away from there. J’Von McCormick scored 18 points, hitting three straight three-pointers to put the game away.

The Hawks dropped to 3-8.

Colorado 78, No. 13 Dayton 76 (OT): D’shawn Schwartz nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer, McKinley Wright IV scored a season-high 29 points, and the Buffaloes beat the Flyers in the Chicago Legends at United Center.

Colorado (10-2) trailed by 14 in the first half, led by eight in the second and came away with the win after Obi Toppin hit a tying three in the final seconds of regulation for Dayton (9-2).

Schwartz scored 20 points. Wright finished one point shy of his career high and grabbed 10 rebounds, helping the Buffaloes win their third in a row. Jalen Crutcher led the Flyers with 19 points, and Toppin had 17.

at No. 14 Michigan 86, Presbyterian 44: Jon Teske scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half, and the Wolverines cruised past the Blue Hose despite losing Isaiah Livers to an apparent injury.

Michigan (9-3) snapped a two-game losing streak and took full advantage of an easier spot on the schedule.

Livers went up for a dunk attempt and missed early in the first half, drawing a foul in the process. While he moved around under his own power, he was holding his left knee.

Eli Brooks scored 16 points for Michigan, and David DeJulius added 12.

Owen McCormack led Presbyterian (2-10) with 10 points.

at No. 15 Michigan State 101, Eastern Michigan 48: Cassius Winston had 21 points and seven assists, leading the Spartans to a rout of the Eagles.

Michigan State (9-3) has won four straight, and it might keep rolling if its supporting cast can gain confidence after solid performances.

The Spartans’ Foster Loyer scored a season-high 13 points, Aaron Henry had 12 points, Xavier Tillman scored 11 and Marcus Bingham added 10 points.

Eastern Michigan (9-2) did not have a double-digit scorer. Ty Groce had nine points on three-for-12 shooting.

St. John’s 70, No. 16 Arizona 67: Nick Rutherford scored on a driving layup with 1:03 remaining, Julian Champagnie added a free throw with 0.2 seconds left, and the Red Storm (11-2) beat the Wildcats (10-3) in the Al Attles Classic in San Francisco.

LJ Figueroa scored 21 points and Rasheem Dunn added 14 to help St. John’s win its seventh straight. The last two have come without injured scoring leader Mustapha Heron.

Zeke Nnaji had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Arizona. Nick Mannion added 19 points.

No. 17 Butler 70, Purdue 61: Bryce Golden scored 14 points, and the Bulldogs used relentless defense to pull away from the Boilermakers in the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Butler (11-1) has won two straight since losing at No. 11 Baylor.

Trevion Williams led Purdue (7-5) with 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Boilermakers have lost two of their last three games and two straight in the event that brings Indiana’s four best-known programs to Indianapolis for a December doubleheader. Indiana defeated Notre Dame 62-60 in the opener.

No. 19 Florida State 66, South Florida 60: The Seminoles used smothering defense to overcome a 10-point deficit in the final seven minutes and beat the Bulls in the Orange Bowl Classic in Sunrise, Fla.

Florida State (10-2) forced 24 turnovers, including seven as it outscored South Florida 19-3 down the stretch. The Seminoles forced four shot-clock violations and won despite being outrebounded by 14 and shooting only 40 percent, including seven for 27 from three-point range.

RaiQuan Gray had 11 points, seven rebounds and three of Florida State’s 13 steals. Anthony Polite, Trent Forrest and M.J. Walker also scored 11 points apiece. Michael Durr had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Bulls (6-6).

No. 20 San Diego State 80, Utah 52: Malachi Flynn scored 16 points, and the Aztecs remained as one of the nation’s four unbeaten teams with a victory over the Utes in the Basketball Hall of Fame Classic at Staples Center.

Yanni Wetzell and Nathan Mensah added 14 points apiece for San Diego State (12-0), which is off to the second-best start in program history.

San Diego State, Auburn, Duquesne and Liberty remain the nation’s unbeaten teams.

Timmy Allen led Utah (9-3) with 21 points.

Coming off a rare down year in which they didn’t make the NCAA tournament, the San Diego State Aztecs are one of four undefeated teams in Division I.

Dec. 20, 2019

at No. 21 Tennessee 75, Jacksonville State 53: Jordan Bowden scored 19 points, and the Volunteers beat the Gamecocks to give Tennessee coach Rick Barnes his 700th career victory.

Barnes improved his record to 700-367 record in 32 seasons at George Mason (1987-88), Providence (1988-94), Clemson (1994-98), Texas (1998-2015) and Tennessee (2015-present). He’s the seventh active coach with 700 career Division I wins.

After the game, fifth-year senior guard Lamonte’ Turner announced that he has thoracic outlet syndrome and will undergo season-ending surgery. Turner has been bothered by shoulder problems the last few years.

John Fulkerson added 16 points for Tennessee (8-3). Ty Hudson scored 11 points for Jacksonville State (4-8).

at No. 24 Texas Tech 68, Texas Rio Grande Valley 58: Freshman Jahmi’us Ramsey scored 15 points in his return after missing four games with a hamstring injury, and the Red Raiders overcame another sluggish start to beat the Vaqueros.

Texas Tech (8-3) extended its nonconference home winning streak to 53 games. Quinton Johnson II led Rio Grande Valley (4-8) with 17 points and seven rebounds.

No. 25 West Virginia 75, at Youngstown State 64: Oscar Tshiebwe scored 19 points and Derek Culver added 15 as the Mountaineers defeated the Penguins.

West Virginia (10-1) scored the final eight points to seal its third straight win since its loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden.

Darius Quisnenbery scored 22 points for Youngstown State (7-6).