One of sport's more famous theories is the one about a letdown. It's hard for a team to keep playing at a sky-high pace, especially after a loss.
Arkansas almost proved the theory before asserting itself against Texas Tech Wednesday night.
The third-ranked Razorbacks were playing for the first time since having their 20-game winning streak broken by top-ranked UNLV on Sunday.The only thing Texas Tech and UNLV have in common is two-word nicknames starting with `R.' Yet, the Red Raiders had Arkansas down for 28 minutes before the Razorbacks rallied for an 87-69 victory.
"It was hard for us to get up for this game, especially after playing UNLV," Arkansas' Todd Day said. "This is a big win for us.
"Coach was worried because he didn't think we would be emotionally high enough to play this game. We just came out flat and didn't do the things we normally do."
That Arkansas (24-2, 11-0 in Southwest Conference) came out flat was an understatement. The Red Raiders (8-17, 4-8) led 10-1 and 15-3 and Arkansas didn't pull even until there were four minutes left in the half.
No. 5 Duke 74, Davidson 39
The Blue Devils (22-4) shook off a slow start to dominate visiting Davidson (7-17). Thomas Hill scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half.
No. 6 Arizona 71, Arizona St. 50
The Wildcats (20-4, 9-3) won their 59th straight home game as the Sun Devils shot just 12 percent in the first half (4-for-33) and trailed 28-11 at halftime.
No. 8 UNC 85, Wake Forest 70
Rick Fox scored 21 points to lead the Tar Heels (18-4, 7-3), who beat Wake Forest at home for the sixth straight year.
No. 13 St. John's 66, B.C. 60
Malik Sealy returned from taking 10 stitches in his arm to score 14 second-half points as the Redmen (17-5, 8-5) snapped a two-game losing streak with the road victory.
No. 16 Kentucky 85, Tennessee 74
The Wildcats snapped a two-game losing streak behind senior center Reggie Hanson's career-high 28 points.
No. 17 Nebraska 65, Iowa State 57
The Cornhuskers (20-4, 6-3) changed from traditional red road uniforms to black and the switch worked as they broke a six-game losing streak at Ames and swept the Cyclones (9-16, 3-6) for the first time since 1982-83.
No. 19 Virginia 84, Fairfield 52
The Cavaliers snapped their three-game losing streak and extended the Stags' losing string to a school-record 11 games.
No. 20 LSU 98, Auburn 61
Shaquille O'Neal rebounded from his worst outing of the year with 20 points in limited duty as the Tigers (16-7, 9-4) cruised to the home victory.
No. 21 Okla. St. 77, Oklahoma 74
This was two teams passing each other in the conference standings. Oklahoma State (17-5, 6-3) won for the sixth time in seven games, while the Sooners (15-9, 4-5) dropped its sixth of seven.
No. 23 Miss. St. 84, Miss. 77
Doug Hartsfield scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half as the Bulldogs won at Oxford for the first time since 1984.
UTEP 77, W. Texas St. 74
At El Paso, Texas, six free throws in the last 50 seconds, including three by Johnny Melvin, helped Texas-El Paso hold off West Texas State.
The Miners raised their record to 15-8, while WTSU saw its eight-game winning streak snapped and dropped to 21-3.
UTEP, of the Western Athletic Conference, led by as many as 18 in the second half before West Texas made a late rush. The Lone Star Conference's Buffalos got within 71-66 on a Dawon Foreman jump shot with 58 seconds.
But Melvin and the Miners made enough free throws to hold on.
Hawaii 61, Air Force 58
At Honolulu, Ray Reed scored 26 points, including eight in the final 2:07, to give Hawaii a victory over Air Force.
Reed's 15-foot jumper gave Hawaii a 55-54 lead it never lost. He scored two more baskets to make it 59-54 with 51 seconds left.
After baskets by Chris Lowry and Charles Smith brought Air Force to 59-58 with 18 seconds left, Reed hit two free throws four seconds later for the final margin.
Lowry led Air Force (8-15, 1-10 Western Athletic Conference) with 20 points and Smith added 15. Troy Bowe had 11 points and seven assists for Hawaii (12-11, 4-8).