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On the Quad: Did Troy Williams just save Indiana's season?

What a week in college basketball, during which:

  • We said goodbye to Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, who unexpectedly stepped aside to allow longtime assistant Greg Gard to take the reins of the program.

  • Northern Iowa took down another top-five team, this time Iowa State, to go with its earlier win over then-No. 1 North Carolina.

  • A wacky Saturday came as an early Christmas gift, with a total of four top-10 teams losing, leaving us giddy for the potential madness in March.

Your weekly campus tour into what is and what was in college hoops begins now:

Big man on campus

Indiana needed something good to happen. Hoosiers fans were booing during parts of their team's performance against Notre Dame on Saturday, especially when the Hoosiers fell behind by 16 and their win probability dropped to 4.9 percent.

Apparently, Troy Williams took those odds.

Williams wasn’t perfect. In the first half especially, he was likely the source of the collective eye rolls from Hoosiers fans. He committed four turnovers, which marked the third straight game and the sixth time this season he’s had at least that many in a game.

But he turned that around and helped IU change its fortunes, too.

Williams scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half and added a game-high 10 rebounds to lead the Hoosiers’ improbable 80-73 comeback victory.

On a team not known for its defensive play, Williams protected a two-point lead by stealing the ball from Notre Dame point guard Demetrius Jackson with less than 40 seconds left. It was Jackson’s only turnover in the second half.

Williams is also not known for his free throw shooting, but the 65 percent shooter nailed four in the final 36 seconds to seal the win for IU.

Yes, Notre Dame was unranked, and winning this game does nothing to erase some of the low points of Indiana's nonconference slate. But the Hoosiers needed this, and Williams was crucial in helping power the kind of win that turns seasons around.

Number to know

11. That’s become a significant number for North Carolina senior forward Brice Johnson for reasons other than it being the jersey number he wears. With UNC starting center Kennedy Meeks out for at least two weeks with a knee injury, Johnson’s presence inside has become invaluable for the Tar Heels.

The 6-foot-10 senior forward missed his first shot attempt in Saturday's 89-76 win over UCLA, then proceeded to connect on 11 consecutive attempts the remainder of the game, finishing with a career-high 27 points.

Johnson had scored 20 or more points in a game six previous times in his career entering this season. He's now done it in each of the two games Meeks has been sidelined so far.

It was his second straight game posting a career high of 11 field goals made, as Johnson scored 25 points against Tulane on 11-for-17 shooting from the field in the Tar Heels' win Wednesday.

Johnson now sits at No. 9 in Ken Pomeroy’s Player of the Year standings. (Not surprisingly, Michigan State’s Denzel Valentine is No. 1.)

The place to be

Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Talk about a marquee matchup -- when Louisville travels to Kentucky on Saturday, it will literally be the only game played that day in Division I college basketball.

Former escort Katina Powell’s allegations of recruiting improprieties at Louisville threatened to be a season-long distraction for the Cardinals. It has turned into an afterthought, though it’s a safe bet the blue-clad rivals in Lexington haven’t forgotten. Still basking in holiday cheer, surely Wildcats fans will be on their best behavior, right?

They may be too anxious to do otherwise. The Cats have won seven of the past eight meetings against the Cardinals, including twice in the NCAA tournament, but enter this one looking vulnerable.

For the first time under John Calipari, Kentucky is coming off a loss before facing Louisville. The Wildcats have lost consecutive games only six times during Calipari’s seven seasons -- and four of those came during the 2012-13 season, with his only Kentucky team that didn’t make the NCAA tournament.

Louisville’s Mangok Mathiang is the only player remaining from the Cardinals' last win in the series on Dec. 29, 2012 (he sat out as a redshirt that season), and he'll miss the next six to eight weeks with a left foot injury suffered against Western Kentucky yesterday.

The Cardinals have played a relatively resistance-free schedule to date but have appeared to mesh faster and more completely than any of Rick Pitino’s previous teams that returned as little as it did.

Coach of the week

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak turned down the initial offer to play against Duke in Madison Square Garden. But on second thought, he figured a trip to New York -- Utah’s first since 2003 -- would be good culturally for the team, not to mention provide a marquee spotlight for the program.

He’s surely glad he changed his mind now.

The “other” Coach K didn’t build the Utes’ Sweet 16 rematch with Duke as a chance for revenge. But Utah’s overtime win Saturday against Duke was a good way to bounce back after a lackluster performance in a loss at Wichita State the week before.

Krystkowiak made sure the Utes took advantage of their superior size with an injury to Duke’s Amile Jefferson depleting the Blue Devils' frontcourt. The Utes outscored the Blue Devils 48-26 in the paint and outrebounded them 56-38.