Prince Ibeh, Cory Jefferson

Tuesday’s Pregame Shootaround: Seven ranked teams hit the road

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 19 Texas at No. 17 Iowa State, 7:00 p.m.

Another day, another awesome Big 12 matchup. Tonight, Texas will be making the trip up to Ames to take on Iowa State. The matchup here that will decide the game is Cameron Ridley. He’s far to big for anyone on Iowa State to deal with, but he’s not going to be able to stay with Georges Niang or Melvin Ejim on the perimeter. Who takes advantage?

THE OTHER GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 18 Kentucky at Ole Miss, 7:00 p.m.

Kentucky is coming off of a disappointing, but promising, loss to Florida at home. Ole Miss will have two more chances to land a marquee victory that they so desperately need, with the latter coming at home against Florida on Saturday. And who can resist Marshall Henderson squaring off with the Wildcats?

WHO’S GETTING UPSET?: No. 9 Villanova at Providence, 7:00 p.m.

A month ago, Providence had all-but played their way onto the bubble after beating Creighton and Xavier in the span of three games. Since then, they’ve lost four of their last six, with both of the wins coming against DePaul. The will be the best chance the Friars have to land another good win this season.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR:

1) George Washington will be making the trip to Richmond in a key bubble game in the Atlantic 10. The game will be on NBC Sports Network. It tips at 7:00 p.m.

2) No. 15 Iowa will head to Bloomington tonight to take on Indiana in a game that looked a lot more intriguing before Indiana’s recent collapse. The Hoosiers are still talented enough to pull off this upset.

3) Will No. 5 Duke overlook Georgia Tech tonight? They visit North Carolina on Thursday and play Syracuse at home on Saturday.

4) Texas Tech has been a pesky team to play in Lubbock this season. No. 8 Kansas makes the trip there tonight. Joel Embiid will be back tonight as well.

5) Georgia is two games up on Tennessee in the SEC standings, but Tennessee is in much better position on the bubble.

NOTABLES:

  • Utah State at No. 6 San Diego State, 11:00 p.m.
  • South Florida at No. 11 Louisville, 7:00 p.m.
  • No. 14 Virginia at Virginia Tech, 9:00 p.m.

Illinois State ends No. 21 Wichita State’s 12-game win streak

Fred VanVleet
AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki
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Having won 12 straight games, No. 21 Wichita State entered the weekend one of the hottest teams in the country. And with a four-game lead atop the Missouri Valley standings, clinching the regular season title was more a matter of “when” as opposed to “if.” But none of that mattered Saturday night at Illinois State, as the Redbirds managed to hand the Shockers their first conference loss by the final score of 58-53.

In addition to the 12-game win streak, which was second to Stony Brook (15 straight wins), Wichita State also saw its 19-game win streak in Valley regular season games come to an end. Illinois State was the last Valley team to beat Wichita State, eliminating the Shockers in the Arch Madness semifinals last March, and they played with the confidence of a team that believed it could win.

And after a rough first half the Redbirds found a way to come back, erasing a 16-point second half deficit in the process.

Wichita State’s issue in the second half was the fact that they couldn’t make shots. The Shockers shot just 26.7 percent from the field and 1-for-14 from three in the second half, with Fred VanVleet going scoreless and Shaq Morris scoring just one point. And just two players, Ron Baker and Conner Frankamp, managed to make multiple field goals in the game’s final 20 minutes. Illinois State certainly deserves credit for that, as they took away the quality looks Wichita State was able to find in building its lead.

And on the other end of the floor Paris Lee took control of the game during Illinois State’s comeback, scoring 13 of his 19 points in the second half with Deontae Hawkins adding 11 second-half points. Illinois State was even worse from the field, finishing the game shooting just over 27 percent from the field. But they were able to attack the Wichita State defense and get to the foul line, outscoring the Shockers 22-9 from the charity stripe. And in a game in which neither team could get much going offensively, the ability to get points from the line proved to be the difference.

This defeat doesn’t help Wichita State, but did anything really change? Maybe the margin for error when it comes to an at-large bid gets a little smaller with the loss in the eyes of some. But when considering injuries to the likes of VanVleet and Anton Grady in non-conference play, those early season losses are understandable. Saturday was a rough night for Wichita State, but given the maturity and talent on at Gregg Marshall’s disposal the Shockers will be fine moving forward.

VIDEO: New Mexico loses game on blown call by officials

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Nothing like a nice, controversial finish to get the blood flowing.

New Mexico was on the receiving end of a rule misinterpretation on Saturday afternoon, and that interpretation likely cost the Lobos a win over San Diego State and, arguably, a shot at the MWC regular season title.

Here’s the situation: New Mexico is up by three with 12 seconds left and the ball under their own basket. Their allowed to run the baseline, so Craig Neal calls a play where the inbounder throws the ball to a player running out of bounds.

Totally league as long as the player establishes out of bounds before touching the ball. The referee rules that he doesn’t.

Here’s the video:

The problem?

According to the rules, Xavier Adams — the player receiving the pass from Cullen Neal — only needed one foot on the floor out of bounds in order to establish himself as an inbounder that was able to catch that ball. He got one foot down (see the picture above), but the referees appeared to rule that he needed to have both feet down.

That was incorrect, according to the Mountain West office.

“While this was a very close judgment call made at full speed, it has been determined after careful review of slow-motion video replays the call was in fact incorrect,” the league said in a release. “The New Mexico player did get one foot down (two feet are not required) out-of-bounds before receiving the ball, thus establishing his location in accordance NCAA Basketball Playing Rules 4.23.1.a and 7.1.1.  By rule, the officials were not permitted to go to the monitor during the game to review this play.”

And here’s the kicker: When SDSU got the ball back, they hit a three to send the game into overtime, where the Aztecs won. But if New Mexico had won this game, they’d be sitting at 8-2 in MWC play, one game behind SDSU in the loss column with a return game against them in The Pit.

Instead, they’re now three games back with seven to play, meaning that the race is effectively over.

It’s tough to blame the referees here — it was a bang-bang call that is only clear in slow-motion replay — but man, that’s a big call to miss.