Trent Lockett, Otto Porter

Late Afternoon Snacks: Marquette nips Hoyas; Lehigh meets VCU

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Game of the Day

Marquette 49, No. 15 Georgetown 48: It was a grind, as a Georgetown game so often can be, but Marquette got two crucial late free throws out of big man Davante Gardner (12 points, 7 rebounds) on their way to a slo-mo upset of G’Town in Milwaukee. Vander Blue also scored 12, and Trent Lockett had a 9 point, 10 rebound game to help secure the win. It was a big win for a team that fell out of the national eye after a loss at unranked Green Bay on December 19th. Markel Starks led the Hoyas with 18 points and seven assists. Better yet, everybody shot at the right basket throughout the game.

Meaningful Results

No. 11 Illinois 74, No. 8 Ohio State 55: The Illini opened Big Ten play on a low note, dropping a 68-61 decision to the completely unheralded Boilermakers of Purdue. As bounce-back efforts go, this was a good one. Brandon Paul scored 19 and Nnanna Egwu had a 16 point, 8 rebound day to pace Illinois, and impenetrable team defense held the Buckeyes to 33% shooting mark from the floor. DeShaun Thomas managed 24 points on 9-21 shooting, but his frontcourt mates Sam Thompson and Amir Williams combined to hit just 1 of 8.

No. 1 Duke 80, Wake Forest 62: Poor Travis McKie had a great game for Wake Forest (22 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals and a block), but he faced a team of killers today. Seth Curry and Ryan Kelly each had 22 points, Mason Plumlee and Rasheed Sulaimon also scored in double figures, and Quinn Cook facilitated the rout with 14 assists.

No. 25 Kansas State 73, No. 22 Oklahoma State 67: The two biggest contenders to end Kansas’ streak of Big 12 titles met in an early test match, and MACGRUDER! put the Wildcats on his back. 28 points later, his team had a big early home win in the Octagon of Doom. Marcus Smart and Markel Brown combined for 44 points for the visitors, but LeBryan Nash was held largely in check, notching just six points.

Rutgers 67, No. 24 Pitt 64: Whoever’s driving the Pitt bandwagon might not even need a Class C driver’s license. As soon as a few of us were ready to climb aboard, the Panthers fell to 0-2 in the Big East. Scarlet Knight sophomore Eli Carter had his 12th-straight game in double figures, dropping 23 on the visitors.

Games of the Night

Lehigh at VCU, 6:00 PM, NBC Sports

Murray State at Southeast Missouri State, 6:00 PM, ESPNu

No. 10 Gonzaga at Santa Clara, 8:00 PM ET, ROOT

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: