Kansas held off East Tennessee State, but Northwestern and South Carolina couldn't avoid their own upsets. The Wildcats lost at home to Radford just 11 days after losing at home to Merrimack (somehow sandwiched around a win over Providence). The Gamecocks fell at home to Boston University. Houston needed 65 second-half points and 32 points from Quentin Grimes to beat Rice.
It was a weird night of college basketball. Let's dive in.
Three things from Tuesday
1. Anthony Lamb is a star.
Vermont ended up losing at Virginia on Tuesday 61-55, but the big takeaway was Vermont senior Anthony Lamb. Lamb finished with 30 points and seven 3-pointers and took over the second half for long stretches. Remember, this was against a defense that allowed 34 points total against both Syracuse and James Madison. Lamb had plenty of chances to surpass that on his own, but he missed a few late 3-pointers. The reigning America East Player of the Year, Lamb is good enough to carry Vermont to a win in March. He had 23 points and the game-winning pull-up jumper -- with at least two defenders on him -- to beat St. John's on Saturday and has continued to expand his offensive game during his career at Vermont.
For Virginia, it's unbelievable to see the strides Mamadi Diakite (19 points) has made offensively. Entering this season, Diakite had made a total of eight 3-pointers in his first three years in Charlottesville. He has now made five this season, with three coming Tuesday. He looks completely comfortable doing so, spotting up and going up confidently. Diakite even made a pull-up jumper from 19 feet off the dribble. That's something we didn't see coming this season.
2. Killian Tillie returns for Gonzaga.
The status of Killian Tillie has been a major talking point for Mark Few's Bulldogs throughout the early part of the season and back in the preseason. As a sophomore, Tillie was one of the best players in the West Coast Conference, if not the country. He averaged 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds while shooting 47.9% from 3. Since then, though, he has been a shell of his former self due to injury. He played in just 15 games last season because of ankle and foot injuries, then missed the first four games of this season after a preseason knee surgery. Not only were there questions about his return timetable, but it was also an issue of how effective he would be upon returning.
Some of the questions were answered Tuesday. Not only did Tillie return against Texas-Arlington, but he also started and played 26 minutes. He scored 15 points, grabbed eight rebounds and made one 3-pointer. The Bulldogs got off to a 4-0 start without Tillie and struggled en route to a six-point win over UT-Arlington, but they're clearly a better -- and different -- team with him in the lineup. Tillie is a versatile defender and is one of the best 6-foot-11 shooters in the country.
We'll get to see Gonzaga against stiffer competition next week at the Battle 4 Atlantis, and Tillie will have a couple of games under his belt by then. If he's healthy and effective, that's a major lift for Few and the Zags.
3. The Fightin' Blue Hens!
We don't write about Delaware very often, given that the Blue Hens have made one NCAA tournament since Mike Brey left Newark in 2000. But they beat St. Francis on Tuesday to move to 6-0 on the season, becoming the first team in the country with six wins. As a result, the Blue Hens are basically the best team in the country, right? That's definitely how it works, at least as long as a Delaware alum is writing this column.
Five of Delaware's six wins have come away from home, with three wins in Florida at the Sunshine Slam and back-to-back road victories against Lafayette and St. Francis (Pa.). That isn't the stiffest competition, but this is a team that won seven games the season before Martin Ingelsby arrived in 2016. The Blue Hens have steadily improved under Ingelsby, going from 13 wins to 14 to 17 to this season. The CAA is fairly wide open, so it's conceivable that Delaware could get into the mix after being bounced in the tournament semifinals in March.
Nate Darling, who started his career at UAB, has been the star. He ranked seventh nationally in points per game at 26.0 entering Tuesday and ticked it up slightly with 28 points against St. Francis.
Three things for Wednesday
1. Anthony Edwards and Georgia against Georgia Tech
Two of the candidates to be selected near the top of June's NBA draft have consistently been in the headlines early in the college basketball season: Memphis' James Wiseman and North Carolina's Cole Anthony. Meanwhile, Georgia's Anthony Edwards has been superb through three games against inferior competition, and he moves into the spotlight Wednesday as the Bulldogs host Georgia Tech. Edwards had 53 points in his first two games, and last week against Delaware State, when his shot wasn't falling, he had seven assists to just one turnover. Georgia Tech's veteran point guard, Jose Alvarado, is up in the air for Wednesday due to an ankle injury, but either way, it's Edwards' first game against a high-major opponent and is very much worth watching.
2. Battle of the Boulevard
Belmont and Lipscomb have had a Nashville rivalry for almost 70 years -- and it's being taken up a notch this season, as Belmont's head coach is Casey Alexander, who left Lipscomb to replace Rick Byrd last spring. Unfortunately for Lipscomb, the Bison are not nearly as good as they were last season. Alexander led Lipscomb to 29 wins and the NIT title game, but the team has yet to beat a Division I program this season. Meanwhile, Belmont has NCAA tournament hopes once again, behind breakout guard Adam Kunkel and 6-foot-11 sophomore Nick Muszynski.
3. The health of North Carolina and Louisville
While North Carolina and Louisville have been rolling in the first couple weeks of the season, both teams are dealing with injury issues -- and both teams are hoping they get some reinforcements the next couple of weeks. For Louisville, Malik Williams and freshman David Johnson have been out for an extended amount of time, but it sounds like both could be back soon. Both are practicing, and Chris Mack said after the Cardinals' most recent game that he "probably" could have played both players. They're likely to be cautious, but could either one get a couple of minutes Wednesday? Meanwhile, Carolina is without several players, but Brandon Robinson is probably the closest to a return. He went through warm-ups last week and practiced a little bit the last two days. We'll see if he suits up on Wednesday.