GAME OF THE DAY: Southeast Missouri 118, Murray State 115 (2OT)
This OVC contest was wild, with the Redhawks holding on for the three-point win despite giving Murray State one last shot at the tie with less than a second remaining in the second extra session. How’d it happen? SEMO’s Nino Johnson was hit with a technical foul with four tenths of a second remaining for hanging on the rim. Luckily for the Redhawks after making the free throws the Racers turned the ball over, thus ending the game. Jarekious Bradley led the way for the winners with 24 points and 14 rebounds, with Jarvis Williams pacing the Racers with 25 points and 15 rebounds. And as a result of this outcome Belmont is the outright OVC champion.
Gregg Marshall’s Shockers finished its regular season with a 31-0 record, beating Missouri State convincingly to cap what’s been an incredible run thus far. Cleanthony Early scored 19 points and Ron Baker added 11 for Wichita State, which limited the Bears to 31.4% shooting from the field. Next up for the Shockers is the Missouri Valley conference tournament, and three wins there would make them the first team since UNLV in 1991 to enter the NCAA tournament undefeated.
2) Oklahoma State 72, No. 5 Kansas 65
There was no bigger winner amongst bubble teams on Saturday than the Cowboys, who knocked off the Big 12 champions in Stillwater thanks in large part to Marcus Smart. Smart scored 20 of his 21 points in the second half, and over the final 11:53 he accounted for 14 points and three assists without committing a turnover. As for Kansas, they committed 22 turnovers and that combined with the health of Joel Embiid is of far greater concern than the result.
The last time Virginia took the court in the ACC tournament as the top seed was way back in 1981, when Ralph Sampson was patrolling the paint and Terry Holland the sidelines. Thanks to an impressive second half put together by the current edition of the Cavaliers that 33-year streak will come to an end in a couple weeks, with Virginia shooting 57.7% in the second half against Syracuse. Malcolm Brogdon led four Virginia players in double figures with 19 points, and Virginia’s performance on the boards also factored into the outcome.
1) D.J. Covington (VMI)
33 points (12-for-17 FG), 14 rebounds and six blocked shots in VMI’s 86-66 win at Longwood.
2) Jared Brownridge (Santa Clara)
38 points (12-for-22 FG), seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in the Broncos’ 86-78 win at Pepperdine.
3) Tim Williams (Samford)
32 points (10-for-11 FG), six rebounds and three assists in the Bulldogs’ 93-86 win over Western Carolina.
1) Kendall Anthony (Richmond)
Anthony shot 2-for-20 from the field in Richmond’s 66-43 loss at Rhode Island.
2) Sheldon Strickland (Charleston Southern)
Strickland made just one of his ten field goal attempts, finishing the Buccaneers’ 63-61 loss at Coastal Carolina with three points, six rebounds and five assists.
3) Askia Booker and Xavier Talton (Colorado)
Colorado’s starting backcourt combined to shoot 2-for-16 from the field, scoring seven points in their 75-64 loss at Utah.
- No. 1 Florida extended its win streak to 21 games with a 79-61 win over LSU in Gainesville. Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points off the bench to lead the way.
- UConn didn’t make a field goal over the final 7:39 but the Huskies made nine of their 13 free throw attempts, beating No. 11 Cincinnati 51-45 in Hartford.
- Two other Big 12 bubble teams, Baylor and West Virginia, avoided what would have been crushing defeats by beating Texas Tech and TCU, respectively.
- The same can be said for SEC teams Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee, with all three winning by comfortable margins.
- No. 21 Memphis picked up a solid win for its resume, beating No. 7 Louisville 72-66 to complete a sweep of the season series. The Cardinals looked to be well on their way to sole possession of first place in the American, but Memphis would come back thanks to some solid defense.
- No. 18 Michigan State had everyone back on the floor but they didn’t look good at all, falling 53-46 at home to Illinois. Is this a matter of the players needing more time together, or should Tom Izzo be worried about this team’s postseason prospects?
- Oklahoma converted 16 Texas turnovers into 23 points in their 77-65 win over the Longhorns. Isaiah Cousins scored 24 points and Buddy Hield added 17 for the Sooners.
- LIU-Brooklyn point guard Jason Brickman became the fourth player (Bobby Hurley, Chris Corchianni and Ed Cota being the others) in NCAA history to compile at least 1,000 assists in a career, reaching the mark during the Blackbirds’ 81-62 loss to Bryant. The final assist count for Brickman, whose college career came to an end on Saturday: 1,009.
- Justin Martin racked up 19 points and 16 rebounds to lead Xavier to a 75-69 win over No. 9 Creighton in Cincinnati.
- For the second consecutive game No. 10 Saint Louis was made to pay for its turnover issues, committing 17 in a 67-56 loss at VCU. The Billikens have now lost two straight.
- No. 16 Michigan clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title with a 66-56 win over Minnesota. Michigan can win the title outright with a victory at Illinois on Tuesday night.
- No. 17 Kentucky came out sluggish at South Carolina, digging themselves a hole that proved too difficult to climb out of with the Gamecocks winning 72-67.
- Harvard’s one win away from a third consecutive trip to the NCAA tournament after beating Columbia 80-47. Next up: at Yale on Friday, with the Bulldogs being the only team capable of catching the Crimson in the standings.
- Gonzaga made quite the statement in its regular season finale, whipping rival Saint Mary’s 75-47 in Moraga.
- Stephen F. Austin moved to 16-0 in the Southland with a 75-62 win at Southeast Louisiana, with Desmond Haymon leading four Lumberjacks in double figures with 17 points.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 13 San Diego State 82, Fresno State 67
- Kansas State 80, No. 15 Iowa State 73
- No. 19 North Carolina 60, Virginia Tech 56
- No. 23 SMU 70, UCF 55