Five things to know from Monday’s action:
Kansas State knocked off the top team in the land despite a poor shooting performance. The Wildcats beat Texas 71-62 despite a 38.5 field goal percentage, going 1-for-12 from 3-point range and shooting 62.5 percent from the line. Just how incredible is that? Over the past decade, only three teams have knocked off a ranked team while shooting less than 40 percent from the field, 10 percent from long distance and 65 percent from the line. It hasn’t happened since Boston College knocked off Syracuse in 2004. The Wildcats didn’t just beat a ranked team on Monday, they beat the No. 1 team in the nation. Their 38.5 field goal percentage is the lowest in beating No. 1 since Tennessee beat Memphis in 2008, while shooting 37.5 percent. Kansas State’s starting lineup shot just 31.7 percent and was 0-for-8 from long distance, thanks mostly to their starting backcourt -- Jacob Pullen and Denis Clemente -- combining to shoot 4-for-24 from the floor.
Jamar Samuels certainly made a nice case for himself as the nation’s top sixth man. He scored 20 points -- one shy of a career high -- to go with a career-high 12 rebounds in Kansas State’s win over Texas. After starting the opener, Samuels has come off the bench in each of the last 16 games, scoring in double figures all but twice. Samuels is averaging 12.6 PPG, which is the most for a major conference player with five starts or fewer.
Troy Jackson dished out 15 assists, but it wasn’t enough for the Fighting Irish, who fell to Syracuse. Jackson’s 15 assists are the most in a loss since Nebraska’ Charles Richardson Jr. had the same total in a 2006 loss to Rutgers. Ironically, the last player with more than 15 in a loss came against Notre Dame, when UConn’s Marcus Williams had 16 in 2005. On Monday, Jackson only scored 2 points on 0-for-7 from the field. The last major conference player without a field goal and at least 15 assists was Oklahoma’s Terrell Everett in 2006 against Baylor.
Meanwhile, Luke Harangody put together yet another great statistical performance despite the loss. A game after his worst scoring output of the season (14 points vs. Cincinnati), Harangody went off for 31 points and 14 rebounds. It marked the 10th time in his career that he has gone for 30 and 10. The active player with the next most is Coastal Carolina’s Joseph Harris with only four. It also makes you appreciate just how impressive Michael Beasley was as a collegiate player. In his one season at Kansas State (33 games), Beasley went for 30 and 10 on 13 occasions. Harangody got his 10th in his 118th career game.
On a night when Texas fell from the ranks of the undefeated, Alcorn State remained among the, well, defeated. After losing to 4-11 Arkansas-Pine Bluff by 34 points, Alcorn State fell to 0-18, remaining with Bryant as schools without a win. Just how bad are things for the Braves? Alcorn State is averaging 22.2 turnovers per game, which is on pace to be the most for any team since Maryland-Eastern Shore’s 22.3 in 2004-05. After Monday night, the Braves are losing by an average of 28.6 PPG, which is the worst in the nation by almost 10 points (Bryant’s scoring differential is minus-18.7 PPG). Even during NJIT’s winless ’07-08 season, it’s scoring differential was just minus-21.1. Alcorn State is on pace to easily have the worst differential of the last decade, a distinction currently held by Savannah State’s minus-25.3 in 2005-06.