For the second night in a row in college basketball, a BCS-conference title contender tried to elevate itself. And for the second night in a row, the established order turned away a challenge.
Last night in upstate New York, Georgetown sprinted to a 14-0 start before letting the Syracuse Orange back into the game -- in a big way -- in being outscored by 31 the rest of the way. The Orange, behind G Andy Rautins and F Wesley Johnson, showed that they are well-deserving of their current Top-5 ranking.
A year after the Big East dreamed of sending four teams to the Final Four, it was supposed to be a down year; instead, the conference has six teams in the current AP Top-25 (five in the current KenPom Top-25, but eight (half the league) in the Top-40). The Beast is back.
And Feb. 27th -- Villanova (18-1, 7-0) at Syracuse (20-1, 7-1) -- looms large.
In the Big Ten, meanwhile, Michigan hoped to start on the road back to national prominence when it hosted #5 Michigan State. Armed with a student body seemingly hopped up on Beilein-ball, the Wolverines appeared came back in the second half to take the lead with less than a minute to go.
With 38 seconds remaining, Michigan's DeShawn Sims missed a corner jumper badly. The Spartans' Kalin Lucas drained a 15-foot jumper to take a one-point lead. Sims had a chance to redeem himself with 1.5 left, but a tough layup slipped off the front rim.
And Maize-and-Blue fans wonder if raiding Morgantown was worth it.