Pat Carroll grimaced after another victory in a perfect season. No, not Saint Joseph's, but the only team ahead of it in the polls -- Stanford.
"It's not going to take anything away from our season no matter what they do, but it wouldn't be a bad thing if they lost," Carroll said with a smile.
Delonte West scored 20 points, Jameer Nelson had 18 and Carroll added 14 to lead the second-ranked Hawks to a 76-53 win over Temple on Saturday at Philadelphia.
Saint Joseph's, 24-0 overall and 13-0 in the Atlantic 10, and No. 1 Stanford (23-0) are the only unbeaten teams in Division I.
If the Hawks were going to stumble between now and the NCAA tournament, this game looked like the potential stumbling block. The Owls (12-11, 6-6) took a five-game winning streak into the sold-out Palestra.
The Hawks double-teamed and shut down David Hawkins, who ranked third nationally with a 24.3 scoring average and had scored at least 20 points in 17 consecutive games. He finished with only 13 points on five-for-21 shooting.
Alabama 77, No. 4 Mississippi State 73 -- Kennedy Winston scored a career-high 31 points to lead the Crimson Tide (13-10, 5-7 Southeastern Conference) at Starkville, Miss. Alabama, which has played one of the toughest schedules in the nation, came in having lost six of seven, and was 1-6 on the road this season.
Mississippi State (21-2, 10-2) came in with eight consecutive victories and its highest Associated Press poll ranking in four decades. Lawrence Roberts scored 23 points for the Bulldogs.
No. 5 Pittsburgh 67, West Virginia 58 -- Julius Page and Chevon Troutman each scored 15 points and the Panthers survived a late rally at Morgantown, W. Va. Pittsburgh (24-2, 10-2 Big East) has won five consecutive games and remained in first place in the conference, one game ahead of Connecticut and Providence. Tyrone Sally had 17 points for West Virginia (14-9, 6-6).
No. 6 Gonzaga 76, Tulsa 56 -- Tony Skinner was four for five from three-point range, accounting for all of his 12 points at Tulsa, Okla., to lead the Bulldogs to their 16th consecutive victory.
Gonzaga (23-2) had a 48-25 rebound advantage. Anthony Price and Jarius Glenn each had 13 points for Tulsa (7-17).
No. 7 Oklahoma State 87, Nebraska 83 -- Joey Graham scored a career-high 36 points and the Cowboys (21-2, 11-1 Big 12) made seven of eight free throws in overtime to stave off the Cornhuskers (14-9, 4-8) at Stillwater, Okla.
Graham scored 30 points in the second half and overtime to help Oklahoma State ) win for the 11th consecutive time and remain in first place in the conference.
Nebraska, which leads the Big 12 in scoring and field-goal percentage defense, frustrated Oklahoma State, which shot only 42.3% (30 for 71). The Cowboys came in leading the nation in field-goal percentage at 52.6%.
No. 8 Connecticut 61, Notre Dame 50 -- Emeka Okafor dominated inside with a career-high 22 rebounds and seven blocked shots and Huskies (21-5, 9-3 Big East) held Irish guard Chris Thomas to 13 points at Hartford, Conn. Thomas, averaging 19.2 points coming into the game, had only two points in a first half in which Notre Dame (13-10, 7-6) shot 19%.
No. 9 Kentucky 68, Auburn 59 -- Gerald Fitch scored 18 points for the Wildcats at Auburn, Ala. Kentucky (19-4, 9-3 Southeastern Conference) has won 19 of the last 20 meetings with Auburn (13-10, 4-8).
Fitch had no problem with his shooting after sitting out three games because of a sprained ligament in his right hand -- making three for five shots from three-point range and seven for eight from the free-throw line.
No. 17 Cincinnati 66, No. 10 Louisville 61 -- Field Williams scored 18 points for the Bearcats, including a fadeaway jumper that set up overtime in Cincinnati. Tony Bobbitt made a three-pointer and two clinching free throws in overtime as Cincinnati (18-5, 9-3 Conference USA) made amends for one of its worst losses in Coach Bob Huggins' 15 seasons. Louisville (17-6, 7-5) defeated the Bearcats by 27 points on Jan. 21, but has lost five of six since.
No. 11 Texas 68, Oklahoma 63 -- Brandon Mouton scored 25 points at Norman, Okla. as the Longhorns (19-4, 10-2 Big 12) completed their second consecutive season sweep over the Sooners (16-7, 6-6). Oklahoma fell into seventh place in the conference.
No. 16 North Carolina 78, Florida State 71 -- Rashad McCants scored 21 points at Chapel Hill, N.C., to lead the Tar Heels, who won consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month. Raymond Felton had 17 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for North Carolina (16-7, 6-6 Atlantic Coast Conference). Tim Pickett had 25 points for Florida State (18-9, 6-7).
No. 19 Providence 70, Miami 57 -- Rob Sanders scored 14 points to lead five Friars in double figures at Providence, R.I. Providence (18-5, 9-3) remained in second place in the Big East. Miami (13-14, 3-10) has lost nine in succession.