For the second straight night, one of the Mountain West’s ‘other guys’ knocked off one of the big boys, as Boise State erased an 11-point second half deficit to knock off New Mexico, 71-70. Derrick Marks shot just 1-for-9 from the floor, but he had 11 points and eight assists and hit two free throws with 13.4 seconds left for the win.
Anthony Drmic scored 18 points and Thomas Bropleh scored all 14 off his points in the second half for the Broncos, who got a couple of clutch buckets about two games too late. They needed this when they blew a 13 point lead against San Diego State or an 11 point lead against UNLV. If they had gotten it, the Broncos might actually be in NCAA tournament contention.
But at this point, they’re NIT-bound unless they can put together a run through the Mountain West tournament.
Which brings me to New Mexico.
This loss is going to sting. Road wins in the Mountain West are notoriously hard to come by, and New Mexico let this one slip through their fingers. What’s worse is that the Lobos were just 24 hours removed from finding themselves in a tie for first place in the conference thanks to Wyoming’s win on Tuesday night.
Now they’re once again a game off the pace.
Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.
Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.
GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.
The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.
THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.
We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR
- Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
- Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
- Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
- Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
- No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
- No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.