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Top 25 roundup

No. 3 Texas taken down a notch by Nebraska

Brandon Richardson, who would later hit the clinching free throws, evades Texas’s Cory Joseph. Brandon Richardson, who would later hit the clinching free throws, evades Texas’s Cory Joseph. (Nati Harnik/Associated Press)
Associated Press / February 20, 2011

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Count Texas among those very impressed by Nebraska’s upset of the No. 3 Longhorns.

Brandon Richardson hit a pair of free throws with 7.2 seconds left to seal the Cornhuskers’ 70-67 win yesterday in Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska hadn’t beaten a team ranked in the top three since knocking off No. 3 Missouri, 98-91, in the 1994 Big Eight Conference tournament.

After Texas’s 3-point attempt fell short at the buzzer, Nebraska students stormed the court and hoisted players on their shoulders.

“Man, what a great game,’’ Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said. “How can you not be excited? It’s a great day for us.’’

The Cornhuskers’ second win over a Top 25 opponent this season broke Texas’s school-record Big 12 winning streak at 11 games. Nebraska downed then-No. 13 Texas A&M, 57-48, on Jan. 29.

Texas coach Rick Barnes said this one wasn’t a fluke.

“There’s no question Nebraska deserves all the credit because they were a terrific team today,’’ he said. “Doc Sadler is one of the great guys in this business, and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy. If this helps them to the NCAA Tournament, then it would be great for him. The fans were great, and they definitely deserved to win the game.’’

Richardson led Nebraska (19-8, 6-6) with 15 points, 10 in the second half. Toney McCray added 14. Jordan Hamilton and Brown each had 18 for Texas (23-4, 11-1).

St. John’s 60, Pittsburgh 59 — At Madison Square Garden, Dwight Hardy’s underhanded flip with 1.2 seconds to play gave the Red Storm an upset victory over the No. 4 Panthers for their fifth win over a highly ranked team this season.

Hardy (19 points) started his drive near midcourt, went past one defender on the right side only to find another one there. He went to the baseline and underhanded the ball up and over the rim to give the Red Storm (17-9, 9-5 Big East) the victory.

“I knew the ball was going to be in my hands during the timeout,’’ said Hardy. “Once I couldn’t make my initial move, I just had to go with my instincts, not think, and I had a layup with reverse spin, made the shot and no one was on my side. When I saw that, I elevated as quick as I could so no one could come over and block it.’’

St. John’s beat then-No. 13 Georgetown, No. 9 Notre Dame, No. 3 Duke, and No. 10 Connecticut, all big wins as the Red Storm look to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2002.

Ashton Gibbs, who missed the last three games with an MCL injury to his left knee, finished with a career-high 26 points for the Panthers (24-3, 12-2).

Kansas 89, Colorado 63 — Markieff Morris had 26 points and 15 rebounds and the top-ranked Jayhawks bounced back from a lopsided loss to Kansas State with an easy victory, the Buffaloes’ 28th straight defeat in Lawrence.

Brady Morningstar hit his first four 3-pointers to help Kansas (25-2, 10-2 Big 12) get off to a flying start after their brand-new No. 1 ranking was tarnished Monday night by a shocking 84-68 loss at the home of the unranked Wildcats.

Colorado (16-11, 5-7) will go into the Pac-10 next year with a 5-52 record in Allen Fieldhouse. The last time the Buffs won in Lawrence, their coach, Tad Boyle, was a sophomore on Larry Brown’s Jayhawk team in 1983.

Alec Burks had 15 points for the Buffs, Cory Higgins had 14, and Marcus Relphorde 12.

Morris, the Big 12’s leading rebounder, was 8 for 10 from the floor, 9 of 12 from the foul line, and had 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 2 steals along with his 15 rebounds in 29 minutes.

San Diego State 70, Air Force 58 — Malcolm Thomas scored 20 points and Kawhi Leonard posted his 19th double-double to help the sixth-ranked Aztecs outlast the host Falcons and set a school record with their 27th win.

Leonard had 18 points and 15 rebounds as San Diego State (27-1, 12-1 Mountain West) beat Air Force (13-12, 4-8) for the seventh straight time. Thomas grabbed 13 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

The Aztecs, who have won a school-record 36 consecutive games against non-ranked opponents, now get six days to prepare for seventh-ranked BYU, which handed them their only loss this season.

BYU 79, TCU 56 — Jimmer Fredette scored 23 points and the seventh-ranked Cougars rolled in Fort Worth.

While Fredette had another tough shooting game — 6 of 16 overall, and 3 of 9 on 3-pointers — and committed six turnovers, he was only 4 points shy of his nation-leading average. Four other BYU players scored in double figures.

BYU (25-2, 11-1 Mountain West) took control with an 18-4 run to end the first half after Garlon Green’s 3-pointer got the Frogs (10-18, 1-12) within 27-24.

West Virginia 72, Notre Dame 58 — At Morgantown, W.Va., Truck Bryant broke out of a slump by scoring 24 points as the Mountaineers took command early in the second half and ended the eighth-ranked Fighting Irish’s seven-game winning streak.

Joe Mazzulla added 16 points, and Kevin Jones had 14 points and 10 rebounds for West Virginia (17-9, 8-6 Big East), which got a badly needed win against a ranked opponent to prop up its NCAA Tournament hopes.

Ben Hansbrough led Notre Dame (21-5, 10-4) with 19 points before fouling out. Carleton Scott added 11 points and Tyrone Nash scored 10.

Georgetown 61, South Florida 55 — Chris Wright made six free throws in the final 29.7 seconds to finish with a season-high 26 points and the ninth-ranked Hoyas (21-6, 10-5 Big East) held off the host Bulls (8-20, 2-13).

Arizona 87, Washington 86 — Derrick Williams had 26 points, 13 rebounds, and a block with less than a second left, lifting the No. 12 Wildcats (23-4, 12-2) to a wild Pac-10 victory over the visiting Huskies (18-8, 10-5).

Villanova 77, DePaul 75 — Corey Fisher scored a career-high 34 points, nailing the tying 3-pointer near the end of regulation, and the 15th-ranked Wildcats (21-6, 9-5 Big East) beat the Blue Demons (7-19, 1-13) in overtime in Rosemont, Ill.

Syracuse 84, Rutgers 80 — Kris Joseph scored 6 of his 21 points in overtime, and the 17th-ranked Orange (22-6, 9-6 Big East) held off the visiting Scarlet Knights (13-13, 4-10).

Vanderbilt 77, Auburn 60 — John Jenkins scored 22 points and the 18th-ranked Commodores (20-6, 8-4 SEC) used a dominant second-half stretch to turn a tie game into a rout in Auburn, Ala.

Missouri 76, Iowa State 70 — Marcus Denmon scored 25 points and the 20th-ranked Tigers (21-6, 7-5) beat the Cyclones (14-13, 1-11) in Ames, Iowa, for their first Big 12 road win of the season.

Texas A&M 67, Oklahoma State 66 — David Loubeau scored 22 points, B.J. Holmes hit two key free throws in the final seconds, and the No. 21 Aggies (21-5, 8-4) held on to third place in the Big 12 with a victory over the host Cowboys (16-10, 4-8).

Kentucky 90, South Carolina 59 — Darius Miller scored a career-high 22 points and the 22d-ranked Wildcats (19-7, 7-5 SEC) had little trouble with the visiting Gamecocks (13-12, 4-7).

Xavier 79, Fordham 72 — Tu Holloway had his second career triple-double — 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists — and the No. 24 Musketeers (20-6, 11-1 Atlantic 10) beat the visiting Rams (6-18, 0-12).

Utah State 75, Saint Mary’s 65 — Tai Wesley and Brockeith Pane scored 22 points apiece to help the No. 25 Aggies (25-3) bolster their position for an NCAA Tournament bid by beating the Gaels (23-6) in Moraga, Calif.