Marquette's Dawson Garcia, center, tries to get a shot past Villanova's Jermaine Samuels, left, and Justin Moore during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

College Hoops Top 25: Iowa bounces back, Villanova and Virginia stay hot

Almost halfway through February, college basketball continues to deal with daily COVID-19 schedule changes and cancellations.

However, a great slate of Top 25 college basketball matches were able to happen on Wednesday. Here’s what you may have missed:

No. 15 Iowa Takes A Win Against No. 25 Rutgers 79-66

In one of the most competitive conferences in college basketball, the Hawkeyes (14-6, 8-5 Big 10) moved a step closer towards the summit in the Big 10.

Despite player of the year favorite Luke Garza being held scoreless in the opening 12 minutes, Iowa was able to pick up the slack behind 26 from junior Joe Wieskamp.

https://twitter.com/IowaHoops/status/1359867956432363523

In what’s been a historic year for the Scarlet Knights (11-7, 7-7 Big Ten), Rutgers was unable to get it going down the stretch. They clipped Iowa’s lead to as little as six in the second half but came no closer.

Iowa avoided their first three-game losing streak coming off of close losses to No. 4 Ohio State and Indiana. Garza and Wisekamp’s 20 combined rebounds contributed to Iowa’s +11 margin on the boards.

The Hawkeyes will travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State Saturday afternoon.

No. 5 Villanova Handles Marquette 96-64

Jay Wright’s team held a slim lead heading into the halftime break, but the Cats (13-2, 8-1 Big East) pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Golden Eagles (9-11, 5-9 Big East) 56-32 in the final 20 minutes.

Sophomore Wooden Award candidate Jeremiah Robinson-Earl lead the way with 27 points on 10-11 shooting, including 5-5 from behind the arc.

Villanova’s efficiency was superb all around, shooting nearly 60 percent from three and 15-16 from the free-throw stripe.

https://twitter.com/NovaMBB/status/1359849652204556291

The Wildcats head to Omaha to take on No. 19 Creighton in a battle of the top dogs in the Big East Saturday afternoon.

No. 9 Virginia Pulls Past Georgia Tech 57-49

In what’s being considered a down year for the ACC, the leader of the pack took care of business last night. Eighteen points from Trey Murphy III helped Tony Bennett’s team (14-3, 10-1 ACC) to their third straight victory.

https://twitter.com/UVAMensHoops/status/1359695085659688960

An abysmal Yellow Jacket shooting night (4-21 from 3) assisted an already elite Virginia defense. Georgia Tech was held to their lowest point total of the season as they’ll stay towards the middle of crowded ACC standings.

On Saturday, Virginia will look to build on their streak when they take on North Carolina at home on Saturday night.

No. 8 Houston Takes Down USF 82-65

South Florida’s David Collins (0) shoots past Houston’s Brison Gresham (55) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. Houston won 82-65. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

After six straight postponements of American games, South Florida (7-6, 3-4 American) finally took the court again only to be outpaced by the Cougar (17-2, 11-2 American) offense.

Quentin Grimes lead all scorers with 29 points, shooting 6-10 on three-pointers.

Fifteen turnovers did not help the Bulls case. Houston’s largest lead ballooned to as much as 28 at one point.

After suffering a rare loss at East Carolina a week ago, the Coogs look primed to remain atop the American as they finish conference play. Their next matchup comes against Penny Hardaway’s Memphis squad on Sunday.

No. 21 Wisconsin Outpaces Nebraska 61-48

A surprisingly competitive Big 10 game ended on a good note for the Badgers (15-6, 9-5 Big 10) as they beat last-place Nebraska (4-11, 0-8 Big 10).

https://twitter.com/CBBonFOX/status/1359706490651697159

Both teams struggled to score mightily, shooting under 40 percent from the floor. Wisconsin taking care of the ball made the difference, only committing eight turnovers to the Husker’s 17.

No Badger starter scored in double figures, but Jonathan Davis‘ 10-point spark off the bench lifted Wisconsin when they needed it most.

Greg Gard’s squad will look to avenge their earlier defeat when No. 3 Michigan comes to Madison Sunday afternoon. That one will be huge for seeding as the Big 10 tournament in Indianapolis draws near.

About Caleb Wiegandt

Caleb Wiegandt is a first-year Journalism student on the Sports and Media track in the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications. He has previous bylines in USA Today, Yahoo Finance, and The Louisville Courier-Journal before arriving at ESPN Gainesville. Caleb is a proud graduate of Holy Cross High School in southwest Louisville, Kentucky, where he was born and raised. You can reach Caleb at cwiegandt@ufl.edu.

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