Syracuse (22-4, 10-3 Big East) has won 38 consecutive home games, the longest active streak in Division I, and moved into a tie with Marquette and No. 11 Georgetown atop the conference standings.
Providence (14-12, 6-8) had won four consecutive Big East games.
NO. 11 GEORGETOWN 90, DEPAUL 66
In Washington, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored a career-high 33 points – the most by any Georgetown player this season – and the Hoyas (20-4, 10-3) moved back into a tie for first place in the Big East with a win over DePaul (11-15, 2-11).
The Hoyas shot 63 percent and scored a season-high in points, handling with relative ease a possible trap game ahead of Saturday’s much-anticipated final Big East visit to No. 8 Syracuse. Georgetown, Syracuse and Marquette sit in a three-way tie atop the conference.
NO. 18 OHIO STATE 71, MINNESOTA 45
In Columbus, Ohio, Deshaun Thomas overcame a slow start to score 19 points and Ohio State (19-7, 9-5 Big Ten) used a 16-0 second-half run to cruise past Minnesota (18-9, 6-8).
Shannon Scott added 11 points and LaQuinton Ross 10 for the Buckeyes, who have won the past six meetings with the Golden Gophers overall and the past six in Columbus.
NO. 19 WISCONSIN 69, NORTHWESTERN 41
In Evanston, Ill., Jared Berggren and Ben Brust each scored 12 points, and Wisconsin (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) shut down Northwestern (13-14, 4-10) for its fifth win in six games.
The balanced Badgers (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) had five players with at least eight points and held the Wildcats to 29-percent shooting during a very businesslike performance.
NO. 21 MEMPHIS 81, HOUSTON 74
In Memphis, Tenn., Adonis Thomas scored 22 points, Chris Crawford had 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds as Memphis (23-2, 12-0 Conference USA) beat Houston (15-10, 4-8) for its 17th consecutive win.
Thomas also had eight rebounds and Crawford finished one assist shy of a triple-double as the Tigers held on through a final flurry by the Cougars.
SOUTH CAROLINA 63, MISSISSIPPI 62
In Columbia, Eric Smith scored 12 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 25.1 seconds left, as South Carolina (13-13, 3-10 Southeastern Conference) edged Mississippi (19-7, 8-5) to snap a six-game losing streak.
The Rebels led 62-56 with five minutes to go, but missed their last seven shots in a devastating loss for their NCAA Tournament hopes.
Mississippi had two chances to win at the end, but Lakeem Jackson blocked Nick Williams’ layup with 0.9 seconds left and Marshal Henderson’s desperation 3-pointer was blocked by Laimonas Chatkevicius.
Murphy Holloway led the Rebels with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Marshall Henderson scored 11 points, but shot just 4 of 17 from the field.
KENTUCKY 74, VANDERBILT 70
In Lexington, Ky., Willie Cauley-Stein scored 20 points, and his two crucial blocks and key rebound in the final 34 seconds helped Kentucky (18-8, 9-4 SEC) outlast Vanderbilt (10-15, 4-9) for its first win without injured star center Nerlens Noel.
Cauley-Stein, a 7-foot freshman manning the post for Kentucky with Noel sidelined, blocked attempts by Kyle Fuller and Kedren Johnson 9 seconds apart before grabbing Johnson’s missed 3-pointer with 17 seconds left and drawing a foul.
ALABAMA 64, MISSISSIPPI STATE 56
In Tuscaloosa, Ala., Rodney Cooper had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Trevor Releford scored 17 to lift Alabama (18-8, 10-3 SEC) over Mississippi State (7-18, 2-11).
The Crimson Tide finished a lackluster second half strong to claim its fourth consecutive victory. Alabama also closed the gap on SEC-leading Florida (11-2) after the fifth-ranked Gators lost to Missouri on Tuesday night.
TEXAS A&M 65, AUBURN 56
In Auburn, Ala., Elston Turner scored 21 points and Alex Caruso added another 14 points as Texas A&M (16-10, 6-7 SEC) came from behind to beat Auburn (9-17, 3-10).