'We ran into a buzz saw'

No. 1 UConn loses for first time in two months as Creighton can't miss. What worked vs. the Huskies. Plus, BYU's rowdy home environment, bubble wins and losses, a MAAC darling and much more.

Welp, UConn are clearly frauds… or just not so different than everyone else this season.

Let’s rationalize what happened in Omaha, along with some other key games.

1. How Creighton pulled off its stunner

It was just last weekend when No. 1 UConn appeared to be peaking and darn-near unbeatable.

Yet after Tuesday’s shocking 85-66 loss at No. 15 Creighton, it appears the Huskies aren’t so different from the rest of college hoops and the AP top 10. Winning on the road is hard.

But a loss like this for a team that had a D-I best 14-game win streak, coming off a 28-point win over No. 4 Marquette? It surprised coach Dan Hurley. But maybe that was to be expected when you haven’t lost since Dec. 20. The Huskies made a season-low three 3-pointers (18.8% from beyond the arc).

It was UConn’s 19th straight road loss to a ranked team, dating back to March 13, 2014 when it was in the AAC.

"We did a bad job coaching tonight, our players did a bad job playing, I did a bad job coaching," Hurley said. "Your huddles aren't going to be super energized when you haven't lost in two-plus months.

“We were definitely stunned. This wasn't the game we expected. We knew this was a dangerous game and a quality opponent and one of the better teams in the country. But we didn't expect this to happen."

For that matter, neither did Creighton coach Greg McDermott.

"When I watched that Marquette-UConn game, I've got to admit I wasn't feeling warm and fuzzy about our chances," McDermott said.

UConn (24-3, 14-2 in Big East) remains the clear Big East favorite, but it showed some weaknesses for the first time in a while. Creighton blew up most of UConn’s ball-screen actions, which made for late-clock shots and indecisive decision-making. The Huskies looked crisp on offense against Marquette, but the ball stayed in the players’ hands too long vs. Creighton.

That Creighton (20-7, 10-6) outscored UConn 22-7 over the final 8½ minutes of the first half didn’t help. The Jays caught fire — they hit 14 of their last 19 shots in the half — and finished 14-of-28 from deep and 54.7% overall. For once, UConn couldn’t respond.

“It just kind of felt like we ran into a buzz saw,” Hurley said.

Creighton scored 1.44 points per possession, an astounding number against UConn (which did have Donovan Clingan in foul trouble for much of the first half. Hurley was not happy about it.)

The biggest key? Steven Ashworth. He scored 20 points, including 5 3s. Over the last 11 games, Ashworth is averaging 15 ppg, 4 rpg and 5 apg. It took a bit, but the Utah State transfer has found his groove, which was crucial on a night where Stephon Castle spent much of it glued to Baylor Scheierman.

This was a night that served as a reminder of why Creighton entered the season ranked in the Top 10. With their first-ever win against the No. 1 team, we’ll see how they handle their four remaining regular-season games, two of which are on the road.

If this game proved anything, it proved Creighton’s legitimacy. And gave their crowd ample reason to celebrate.

2. BYU bounces back, shoots past Baylor

No. 11 Baylor entered Tuesday game at No. 25 BYU on a bit of a roll. The Bears had won five if six, and nearly pulled off a win at Kansas.

Winning at BYU should be doable, right?

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