By Andrew Kahn
Just before many schools take their holiday break, college basketball provided us an exciting weekend. In addition to the two major programs in Kansas notching impressive victories, there were upsets and big-time scoring performances across the country.
Huge day for state of Kansas
Saturday was a memorable day for Kansas basketball. In the afternoon, the Jayhawks, playing their first road game of the season, beat Ohio State 74-66 behind redshirt freshman Ben McLemore’s 22 points. Kansas beat the Buckeyes twice last season, including in the Final Four. Later that night, Kansas State upset No. 8 Florida 67-61 to earn Bruce Weber his first signature victory at his new school.
Temple upsets No. 3 Syracuse
Temple bounced back from a home loss to Canisius to beat a more well-known upstate New York school at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Behind Khalif Wyatt’s 33 points, the Owls upset No. 3 Syracuse 83-79. Wyatt was 15 for 15 from the free throw line; Temple as a team was 29 for 36 (80 percent) compared to Syracuse’s 19 for 34 (55 percent).
Tapley’s big game propels Aztecs
Senior Chase Tapley scored a career-high 33 points to lead No. 18 San Diego State to an 80-58 victory over San Francisco on Saturday in the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu. Tapley drilled six three-pointers and hit 13 of 19 shots. It was the Aztecs’ (11-1) seventh win over a team from California this season. They won again on Sunday to earn a place in the tournament final against No. 4 Arizona on Tuesday.
Nate Wolters fuels upset of New Mexico
The Jackrabbits had to travel by bus from Tennessee to New Mexico because of a snow storm, but the trip was worthwhile when they beat previously-unbeaten New Mexico 70-65 on Saturday. Senior point guard Nate Wolters scored 28 and dished out seven assists for South Dakota State, perhaps an indication that his sore ankle is healing. The No. 16 Lobos will have to regroup before a trip to Cincinnati later this week.
Rubles rocks rim
Speaking of Cincinnati, the Bearcats’ Titus Rubles had an impressive put-back dunk in a 68-58 win over Wright State on Saturday. Rubles was the last Cincy player to cross half court on a fast break, but after Cashmere Wright missed a short jumper, Rubles circled in and slammed it home with one hand.
Andrew Kahn is a contributor to CBS Local who has written for ESPN the Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. He writes about college basketball and other sports at http://andrewjkahn.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @AndrewKahn.