After his team denied Brigham Young a probable No. 1 ranking, Alabama Birmingham Coach Gene Bartow said the Cougars deserve it.
Michael Charles and Reginald Turner both scored 24 points Saturday night as Alabama Birmingham handed knocked off previously undefeated and third-ranked BYU, 102-83, at Birmingham, Ala.
"I think they are a great team," Bartow said after a day in which nine teams in the top 20 were beaten. "I think they are headed for the Final Four. I'll still vote them No. 1.
"This is the best basketball game that UAB has ever played. Even though they scored a lot of points on us, our defense held us together.
Barry Bearden added 23 points for the Blazers (13-10), who won their fourth straight game.
Brigham Young (17-1), the last remaining unbeaten major college team, probably missed a chance to move into the No. 1 position in next week's poll. Top-ranked Arizona was upset by Stanford Thursday night, and No. 2 Nevada Las Vegas lost to UC Santa Barbara on Saturday.
BYU Coach Ladell Anderson said the defeat could help his team in the long run.
"Now that we've got that (an unbeaten record) off our back, maybe we'll be better as we prepare for the (NCAA) tournament," Anderson said.
UAB led, 39-37, at halftime and built the margin to 19 points before Brigham Young cut the gap to 82-75 with 4:03 to play.
Charles scored nine points in the final four minutes as UAB outscored Brigham Young, 20-8, to clinch the victory.
Mike Smith had 21 points for BYU.
North Carolina State 77, Duke 74--Vinny Del Negro, held scoreless in the first half, scored 8 of his 12 points in the final three minutes and the Wolfpack upset the fourth-ranked Blue Devils in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at Durham, N.C.
The victory lifted the Wolfpack (14-4 overall, 5-2 in the ACC) into a three-way tie with Duke (15-3, 5-2) and North Carolina for the conference lead.
Del Negro gave N.C. State a 71-70 lead on a breakaway layup with 2:44 left, but Duke's Kevin Strickland answered with a driving layup with 2:26 remaining.
Then Del Negro hit a short jumper with 1:50 left and scored on a driving layup to make it 75-72 with 1:01 left.
Del Negro added two free throws with two seconds left.
Connecticut 66, Georgetown 59--Cliff Robinson scored 16 points and blocked 9 shots as the Huskies knocked off the No. 14 Hoyas in a Big East game at Hartford, Conn.
Georgetown (14-6, 4-5), which trailed by 12 points early in the second half, took a 52-51 lead on a shot by Mark Tillmon with 4:47 left, but Robinson scored and Phil Gamble followed with a three-point basket to get Connecticut (11-8, 3-7) back in front.
The Huskies made eight straight free throws in the final 1:23 to clinch the victory, their first over Georgetown since January 1982.
Auburn 58, Florida 57--John Caylor scored 21 points, and the Tigers hit seven three-point shots in the second half to knock the No. 19 Gators out of the Southeastern Conference lead at Gainesville, Fla.
Ronnie Montgomery hit a three-pointer to bring Florida (16-6, 7-3) close with 1:41 left, but neither team scored again.
Auburn (12-7, 5-5) beat Florida for the fifth straight time and denied Gator Coach Norm Sloan his 600th career victory. The Tigers have won 10 of the last 11 games against Florida.
Vernon Maxwell scored 21 points for Florida but missed a shot at the final buzzer.
Indiana 75, Illinois 74--Freshman guard Jay Edwards scored 27 points and made two free throws with 32 seconds left to give the Hoosiers a Big Ten victory over the No. 17 Illini at Champaign, Ill.
Edwards, who hit five three-point baskets, scored 24 points in the second half as the Hoosiers (13-6, 5-4) overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half and handed Illinois (14-8, 4-5) its fourth straight defeat.
Nick Anderson scored 22 points for Illinois.
Louisiana State 94, Vanderbilt 79--Ricky Blanton scored 25 points, and Wayne Sims added 23 as the Tigers beat the 15th-ranked Commodores in an SEC game at Baton Rouge, La.
The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for Vanderbilt (14-5, 7-4) in the conference.
Vanderbilt center Will Perdue had 29 points and 7 rebounds before fouling out with one minute left and the Commodores trailing, 87-77.
Jose Vargas added 20 points for LSU (11-8, 6-4), which led, 44-33, at halftime.
Oklahoma State 80, Iowa State 78--John Starks hit an 18-foot jumper with four seconds left in overtime to lift the Cowboys to a Big Eight upset over the No. 16 Cyclones at Ames, Iowa.
Jeff Grayer, who scored 35 points, missed a 28-foot jumper as time expired, and Iowa State (16-7, 2-5) lost its fifth straight conference game.
Grayer's short jumper with 20 seconds left in regulation tied the score, 68-68, and sent the game into overtime after the Cyclones trailed by as many as 13 points.
Starks and Sylvester Kincheon scored 21 points each for the Cowboys (12-8, 3-3).
Iowa 101, Michigan State 72--Jeff Moe scored 19 points in his second start of the season to help the No. 13 Hawkeyes beat the Spartans at Iowa City, Iowa.