One of the best basketball days of the year was exciting from beginning to end. Instead of reading words up here, let's get right to the recapping of today's events. A whole lot to cover.
If you are looking for some of the bubble team coverage, Matt Zemek had you covered.
#1 Virginia 64 #9 Florida State 51
The Cavaliers hung a big second half on the Noles to boost a modest halftime lead to probably send FSU to the NIT. The Noles have a decent shot to make the big dance if things fall their way. Virginia moves on to take on the next winner.
#5 Pittsburgh 80 #4 North Carolina 75
The Panthers tried like hell to blow a gigantic lead late in the game. A blatant ignored travel call saved a Panther possession. Down 4, UNC missed a wide open layup. This was the rare game that exposed major problems about both teams. But Pittsburgh's problems were masked by a big lead so they advance with a shot at a big win against UVA.
#7 NC State 66 #2 Syracuse 63
Syracuse had roughly 847 shots to tie the game in the last 20 seconds or so and missed every one. Some of them not even close. The Syracuse offense has become a major, major issue lately and tonight was no cover for that. The Orange are looking at some early round trouble if they can't get the offense going. Nice, nice win for NC State.
#3 Duke 63 #6 Clemson 62
Duke blew a 13 point lead to the Tigers, who took the lead with 9 seconds left on a Rod Hall shot. Duke got a very questionable call that sent Rodney Hood to the foul line with under 4 seconds left. He would make them both, then make a big play on the defensive end for Duke to
cheat squeak out a victory.
#2 Louisville 94 #6 Houston 65
Russ Smith went for a career high 42 points in the Louisville beating. He scored 27 in the first half, a Louisville record. The Cards couldn't even beat Houston by 30 though. They are slipping.
#4 Connecticut 58 #1 Cincinnati 56
The Bearcats offense was once again horrible and once again a major concern for them as they look towards a tournament run. Sean Kilpatrick had a layup bounce 3 times off the rim that would have tied the game. UConn shot 7-13 from 3 and 15-18 from the line. Cincinnati was 6-13 from the stripe.
#9 St Bonaventure 71 #1 St Louis 68
#4 St Joe's 70 #5 Dayton 67
St Joe's used a blatant push off that would make Michael Jordan blush to get a wide open look at a 3. Dayton had a chance to tie or go for the win, but they launched up a horrible 3. This could be a game that keeps them out of the tournament and they get the bell end.
#2 VCU 71 #7 Richmond 53
No drama in this one as the Rams were simply too much for the Spiders to handle.
#3 George Washington 85 #6 UMass 77
This is the part where I say why isn't UMass considered a bubble team? The game was dominated by the Colonials. The margin only got under 10 with a meaningless bucket with 30 seconds left. George Washington could be a tricky tournament team. They have VCU in the semis. They beat VCU by 10 and then were blown out by them. That one could be fun.
#4 Iowa State 94 #1 Kansas 83
The Cyclones ran Kansas out of the gym in the second half by 13 as they shot 54% for the game, 11-19 from 3 and hit 15 of 20 from the line. Georges Niang had 25, DeAndre Kane 20 and Melvin Ejim 19. Niang also got hit in the face and bled a lot.
#7 Baylor 86 #3 Texas 69
Baylor continued their winning ways by beating the hell out of Texas. They have a great shot at winning the Big 12 title and doing some major seed climbing. Texas continues to not play in any interesting, read non blowout, games.
#4 Providence 80 #8 Seton Hall 74
The Friars get their win to get to the conference finals for the first time since 1994.
#2 Creighton 86 #3 Xavier 78
Xavier was bound and determined to not fold after falling down big in the second half. They made a big push. Ultimately though, they got hit with Ethan Wragge and especially Doug McDermott. McDermott had 32 points while Wragge bombed in 5 three pointers.
Creighton just beat the hell out of Providence last weekend. We'll see if anything has changed.
#1 Michigan 64 #9 Illinois 63
The Fighting Illini had a shot to win the game but left it short. The winner in both the Illinois Big 10 tournament games scored 64 points.
#5 Ohio State 71 #4 Nebraska 67
Nebraska was beating the hell out of Ohio State by 16 points in the second half. You can easily tell that they lost the rest of the half by 20 points. I feel like people are dismissing Ohio State for not winning impressively and almost losing to Purdue. The Buckeye offense is mediocre. The defense is some of the best in the country. When they defend, they are really, really good.
#2 Wisconsin 83 #7 Minnesota 57
Wisconsin answered every challenge Minnesota threw at them behind Ben Brust's 29 points. Wisconsin has the makings of a 1 seed should they win the Big 10 tournament. They will have a chance at two more big wins because tomorrow they get ……
#3 Michigan State 67 #11 Northwestern 51
Michigan State. The Spartans clobbered the hapless Wildcats to keep them from making a miracle run the NCAA tournament. The dream is dead. Sad times in Evanston.
#1 Louisiana Tech 88 #4 Southern Miss 70
I feel like Southern Miss's only at large chance was making the conference finals. They did not do that. The Bulldogs ripped them to shreds. Tech has had no trouble in either of their games so far. The 11:35 tip could be weird though.
#2 Tulsa 76 #3 Middle Tennessee 69
Danny Manning's boys held off the Blue Raiders to advance to the finals. They look to take down the C-USA crown before heading off to the American.
#1 Western Michigan 64 #4 Akron 60
#2 Toledo 59 #6 Eastern Michigan 44
The best teams in the league for the conference title. Doesn't get much better than this.
#1 San Diego State 59 #4 UNLV 51
The Aztecs roll to the conference title game after holding off a valiant UNLV squad. This sets up a huge rematch in the finals because …
#2 New Mexico 70 #6 Boise State 67
The Lobos were able to hold off a big Bronco rally of their own. San Diego State won the big meeting last Saturday. A neutral site for the title of the conference tournament and the title of each other. Just like Austin vs the Rock III at WrestleMania 19. Except that was for no title at all and this one is. That was a bad example.
#1 Arizona 63 #5 Colorado 43
#2 UCLA 84 #6 Stanford 59
I would love to talk about both of the Pac 12 semi-finals, but they were exactly the same thing. The better team controlled the entire game, especially UCLA who was up 24-5 at one point, in a walk to an easy victory. Neither Arizona or UCLA has been tested. It's a shame they only met once during the regular season, but it's awesome that they get a rematch tomorrow night.
This game is also at 6 PM eastern. The AAC, Mountain West and Pac 12 games are all at the same time. I don't know how people are suppose to have so many eyes.
#1 Florida 72 #8 Missouri 49
This game was close and then Florida went on a monster run to put this away in the first half. When they are on their flow, Florida is the best team in the country in this guy's book.
#4 Tennessee 59 #13 South Carolina 44
The Volunteers got what they needed, a win. They continue to look like an NCAA team when you watch them play anyone but Texas A&M. The Vols get Florida a third time. They played them really tough in Knoxville.
#2 Kentucky 85 #7 LSU 67
The Wildcats got off to a bit of a slow start before drumming the Tigers like, well a drum. The Wildcats attempted 41 free throws while making 26. LSU attempted 24. James Young and Julius Randle didn't shoot well from the floor, a combined 10 of 29, but they were a combined 15 of 24, 6-8 for Young, at the foul line for 21 and 17 respectively.
#3 Georgia 75 #6 Ole Miss 73
The Bulldogs pulled out the win after Charles Mann made a layup with 17 seconds left for the lead. Marshall Henderson missed a 3, Marcus Thornton made a free throw for UGA, and Jarvis Summers missed a 3 for the win for Ole Miss. Ole Miss was 2-25 from 3.
#7 Cal Poly 61 #1 UC Irvine 58
#5 CS Northridge 82 #3 Long Beach State 77
Total anarchy in the Big West where their best teams are going to the NIT or worse and they will be represented by whoever wins this tournament in Dayton. Going from a couple of teams who could make it a game in the first round to a 16 seed can't be fun.
#5 Idaho 74 #1 Utah Valley 69
#2 New Mexico State 69 #6 CSU Bakersfield
Down goes the 1 seed Utah Valley, keeping us from a 3rd meeting with them and New Mexico State.