Guard Michael Adams had 27 points, eight steals and five assists to lead Boston College to a 68-64 upset over No. 3 and previously unbeaten St. John's in a Big East game last night in Chestnut Hill, Mass.

St. John's (14-1, 3-1) had a chance to be ranked No. 1 spot since top-ranked Memphis State lost to Virginia Tech Monday and No. 2 Virginia was beaten by North Carolina yesterday. Arkansas and Nevada-Las Vegas are the only unbeaten teams in the top 20.

Boston College players said they were inspired by the North Carolina-Virginia game they saw on television earlier in the day.

"We knew if St. John's beat us, they'd definitely be No. 1, and we wanted to stop that," Adams said. "They probably were down a little bit, thinking they'd be No. 1. They probably felt they could walk all over us."

After St. John's erased an 11-point first-half deficit to pull within 36-35, Adams and forward Jay Murphy took over in the second half, scoring all but five of the Eagles' 32 points.

The Redmen cut the margin to 57-54 on Kevin Williams' jumper with 4:14 remaining. But David Russell of St. John's missed the first free throw in a one-and-one situation, and Adams followed with four free throws and Murphy with a layup for the Eagles (11-2, 2-1).

Chris Mullin made 10 of 13 shots and led St. John's with 22 points.