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Top 25 Notebook: Friars upset No. 4 Villanova in overtime

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(Max Goldberg/ Flickr)

(Max Goldberg/ Flickr)

Friars upset No. 4 Villanova

For those who follow the Providence Men’s Basketball team , the 2015-16 season has been a surprise on a multitude of levels. The Friars began the season unranked before taking down every team in their path, other than at the time No. 3 Michigan State in the Wooden Legacy tournament finale. Providence (17-3, 5-2 Big East) then went on to lose two disappointing Big East games at home at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to inferior foes Seton Hall and Marquette.

Leave it to the No. 16 Friars to go out on the road and knock off another ranked opponent as they did Sunday afternoon, besting No. 4 Villanova (17-3, 7-1 BE), 82-76 in overtime at Wells Fargo Center.

Ben Bentil has come to the forefront of the Friars’ stifling defensive attack and has been a dominant post presence this season . Bentil led the Friars with 31 points and 12 rebounds, helping him earn Big East Player of the Week honors and snapping the Wildcats 22-game Big East win streak.

Villanova did not go quietly. Trailing 66-63, having possession with just under seven seconds to play, Ryan Arcidiacono (19 points) buried a three-pointer to force overtime. Josh Hart added 18 points for the Wildcats, who saw their 32 game home winning streak go up in smoke.

Providence  trailed by a 37-35 margin at the intermission, and failed to take it home as Kris Dunn missed what would have been a game winning three-point field goal at the end of regulation to force overtime.

Bentil scored 10 of his 31 points in overtime, adding two free throws with less than 15 seconds remaining to ensure the Friars’ second road victory over a top-10 ranked Big East opponent.

Dunn added 13 points and tied a career-high dishing out 14 assists.

Iowa State beats No. 4 Kansas

The Bill Self-led Kansas men’s basketball team has been an integral apart of the college basketball landscape for the better half of two decades. For the third consecutive game on the road, the No. 4 Jayhawks were left heading for the buses with a most unfamiliar feeling, falling to No. 14 Iowa State, 85-72 Monday.

Kansas (16-4, 5-3 Big 12) led by seven points at the half, only to be outscored by 20 points over the course of the second half. Perry Ellis led the Jayhawks with 23 points, with Frank Mason III adding 16.

The Cyclones, however, are headed in the opposite direction. A year in which college basketball appears to have no stability at the top, Iowa State has won its fourth straight contest and have Player of the Year candidate Georges Niang firing on all cylinders. Niang scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half for the Cyclones (16-4, 5-3 Big 12), while Monté Morris led Iowa State with 21. Abdel Nader added 17 points, aiding a 24-7 run in the second half to all but put away their Big 12 rival.

Iowa State has now beaten three of the top four teams in this week’s top 25 AP poll – besting Kansas, Oklahoma and Iowa.

Down goes Duke, again

Like Kansas, Mike Krzyzewski has been a dominant figure at the helm of the Duke men’s basketball team  Along with Self and the Jayhawks, the Blue Devils are likely to be unranked come next Monday after the No. 24 Miami handed Duke (15-6, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) its fourth loss in five games, 80-69, Monday night.

Sheldon McClellan scored 21 points to lead Miami (16-3, 5-2 ACC), with Angel Rodriguez adding 13 points and a career-high 11 assists. Ja’Quan Newton (15 points), Davon Reed (14 points), and Tonye Jekiri (10 rebounds) all aided the Hurricanes effort in knocking off the Blue Devils.

Trailing by just four heading into the break, Duke fell flat, being outscored 45-38 in the second half to lose their fourth ACC game this season. Their last four losses have been by a combined 22 points. Brandon Ingram checked in with a double-double for the Blue Devils, scoring 19 and corralling 10 rebounds. Grayson Allen added 17 points in the losing effort.

Kyle DaLuz can be reached at [email protected], and can be followed on Twitter @Kyle_DaLuz.

About the Writer
Kyle DaLuz, Managing Editor
The Minutemen were selected to finish 11th in the preseason A-10 polls after missing out on the conference tournament in 2015.
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