SNACKS: TCU upsets Kansas, Duke-UNC to meet in ACC semifinals

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THURSDAY’S THINGS TO KNOW

TCU blew a double-digit lead in the second half, but closed out the game on a 9-2 run to upset top-seeded Kansas in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. Does this loss knock the Jayhawks off the top line when the bracket is revealed on Sunday? CBT’s Scott Phillips has more from this game here.

That wasn’t the only upset in Kansas City. Kansas State played like a team that knew what was at stake, opening up a double-digit lead on No. 9 Baylor before holding on for a 70-64 win. Projected as one of the last teams in the field, the Wildcats should be dancing on Sunday.

We’ll get a Duke vs. North Carolina Part III in New York on Friday after the Blue Devils knocked off No. 4 seed Louisville in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament. Jayson Tatum had 25 points while Luke Kennard finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds. CBT’s Rob Dauster was there was this and has more.

After a scary incident in which their plane aborted takeoff and had a minor accident on Wednesday, Michigan spent the night in a different state, drove to D.C. for the game, wore their practice jerseys against Illinois, and still came out and beat the Illini by 20 points in the Big Ten second round. Senior Derrick Walton had 19 points and five assists. This loss also gives Illinois no chance at making the NCAA tournament as head coach John Groce awaits his fate.

Huge second half from No. 6 North Carolina as they outscored Miami by 20 in the final half for a 78-53 win in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The Tar Heels were led by Isaiah Hicks with 19 points while Justin Jackson had 12 points. Head coach Roy Williams even felt good enough to comment on President Donald Trump following the win as CBT’s Rob Dauster was there.

Leading by one with 39 seconds to go, Xavier head coach Chris Mack ignored the advice of his staff and took a gamble. It paid off and the Musketeers punched their tickets to the NCAA Tournament by defeating Butler. CBT’s Rob Dauster was at MSG for the night session of the Big East Tournament.

STARRED

Monte Morris vs. Jawun Evans — The two All-American guards put on a fun show as the Cyclones outran the Cowboys in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. Morris was sensational as he just missed a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as he also added two blocks and two steals. Having to do more as a scorer, Evans finished with 29 points, four assists and four rebounds.

Angel Delgado, Seton Hall — Also just missing a triple-double by one assist was Delgado as the junior big man had 12 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists in a huge Pirates win over Marquette in the Big East Tournament. It was Delgado’s 13th consecutive double-double and 26th overall this season as his passing continues to improve as the season rolls along.

Peyton Aldridge, Davidson — Going for 33 points and 10 rebounds in a win over La Salle, the junior forward showed why the Wildcats could be a dangerous team in the Atlantic 10 Tournament this week. The 6-foot-8 Aldridge was 10-for-15 from the field and 10-for-11 from the free-throw line as he’s had a very strong season.

Trevon Bluiett, Xavier — The team’s leading scorer gave Musketeers a lead for good with a turnaround elbow jumper. He ended with 23 points, four rebounds and four assists. When he’s good, Xavier is good.

J.J. Frazier, Georgia — Making several clutch plays down the stretch, Frazier helped the Bulldogs hold off Tennessee in the SEC quarterfinals. Frazier ended with 17 points and 10 assists.

RELATED: Get caught up on all of today’s bubble action

REST OF THE TOP 25

  • Cruising to victory in the Big East Tournament was No. 2 Villanova as they rolled past St. John’s, 108-67. The Wildcats had 25 points from Donte DiVincenzo and 24 points from Kris Jenkins.
  • Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey both had good games for No. 5 Oregon as they took down Arizona State to advance in the Pac-12 Tournament. Brooks had 22 while Dorsey finished with 21 points.
  • Despite 31 points from Derrick White, No. 7 Arizona rolled past Colorado 92-78.
  • In typical fashion, No. 11 West Virginia made it difficult on the opposing offense, knocking Texas out of the Big 12 quarterfinals with a 63-53 victory. Jevon Carter led the way with 21 points, while Press Virginia forced 14 turnovers and kept the Longhorns without a field goal for the final 5:34 of regulation.
  • No. 16 Florida State took its toll on Virginia Tech, as the Seminoles advanced in the ACC Tournament with a 74-68 win. Despite not shooting well, Dwayne Bacon led all scorers with 17 points (all in the second half).
  • Bonzie Colson registered another double-double — 21 points, 10 rebounds — as No. 22 Notre Dame defeated No. 21 Virginia by double digits. The Fighting Irish’s 71 points is the second most allowed by the Cavaliers in a regulation game this season.

NOTABLE

  • Seton Hall beating Marquette shouldn’t make the Golden Eagles feel any better on Selection Sunday. Marquette should be fine to get in but this loss didn’t help. Khadeen Carrington finished with 19 points to pace the Pirates.
  • Advancing in the Big Ten Tournament was Michigan State as the Spartans scored an easy win over Penn State. The freshmen duo of Miles Bridges and Nick Ward both had 15 points each.
  • Georgia is trying to win as much as possible on the small chance they can earn an at-large bid as they beat Tennessee in the SEC Tournament second round. J.J. Frazier finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Bulldogs.
  • The No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament, Akron, took care of business by rolling past Eastern Michigan in the quarterfinals as Isaiah Johnson had 24 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Conference USA No. 1 seed Middle Tennessee won in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament as they beat UT San Antonio. The Blue Raiders had 21 points from Reggie Upshaw.
  • Top-seeded NC Central defeated Bethune-Cookman by 35 in the MEAC quarterfinals.
  • Michigan breezed past Illinois, 75-55, in the Big Ten Tournament second round. The Wolverines, a day after an aborted takeoff, landed only hours before its scheduled 12:20 p.m. tip with the Fighting Illini. Illinois, which began the day as one of the “Next Four Out” in the most recent bracketology, saw its bubble burst.
  • Indiana sunk 12-of-20 from three en route to a 95-73 win over Iowa. The Hawkeyes were projected as one of the “Last Four In.” That won’t be the case on Selection Sunday.
  • Northwestern trailed Rutgers, 9-6, early in the Big Ten second round. Then the Wildcats went on a 31-0 run over the next 11 minutes. Guess which team won the game?
  • Providence had won six in a row — 20 for the season — and finished in third place in the Big East. However, NBC Sports bracket projection had the Friars as earning one of the last four byes. Does a 70-58 loss to Creighton in the quarterfinals make them sweat it out on Selection Sunday?
  • Jaron Martin and Luke Nelson each scored 19 as No. 1 UC Irvine advanced to the Big West semifinals.
  • No. 1 Nevada opened up a 17-point lead at halftime and didn’t look back, as the Wolf Pack moves on to the Mountain West quarterfinals.
  • Corey Baldwin’s first career double-double led No. 1 North Dakota to a 95-72 win over Portland State in the Big Sky quarterfinals.
  • The American Athletic Conference began on Thursday, with East Carolina, UConn and Tulsa advancing to the quarterfinals.
  • No. 1 CSU Bakersfield has its first postseason opponent: Utah Valley, who defeated Seattle in the WAC quarterfinals.

Thursday’s Three Things To Know: Nebraska, Saint Mary’s land big upsets

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Thursday nights are slow in the college basketball world, but that doesn’t me we don’t have stuff to talk about.

Here are the three things you need to know about.

1. TIM MILES IS WELL ON HIS WAY TO SAVING HIS JOB

One of the most underdiscussed storylines of the college basketball season to date is that the coaches that entered the year on the hot seat are winning.

Clemson’s Brad Brownell might get back to the NCAA tournament. Bruce Pearl has made people at Auburn forget – briefly – about the internal investigation into the FBI allegations against the program. Even Jim Christian looks like he’s going to force BC to give him more time.

But Tim Miles might be the best example of this. After a flurry of transfers in the offseason and a change in athletic director, things looked pretty bleak for Miles. But he now has his Nebraska team sitting in a position where they are at least in the conversation for the bubble at beating No. 23 Michigan at home by 20 points.

The Huskers are not quite there yet. Monday’s game at No. 22 Ohio State is huge because it is the last ranked team on Nebraska’s schedule.

But that’s a ways off.

As of now, Nebraska fans can enjoy the fact that they’re 14-7 on the season and 5-3 in the Big Ten.

2. SAINT MARY’S WON THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THEIR SEASON

Jock Landale went off for 26 points, 12 boards and three assists as Saint Mary’s extended their winning streak to 13 games and put themselves in a position where making a run at an NCAA tournament bid looks likely.

Our Travis Hines has a column up on this game here.

3. VIRGINIA CONTINUES TO LOOK LIKE THE BEST TEAM IN THE ACC

The Wahoos went into Atlanta and beat down Georgia Tech, 64-48, on Thursday night.

The most impressive thing about this season for Virginia isn’t that they are winning these games or that they are playing great defense or whatever. It’s that all of these wins they are collecting are impressive.

Georgia Tech never looked like they were really in this one, and the Yellow Jackets have been playing better of late and were at home. They beat N.C. State by 17. They handled North Carolina fairly easily. They embarrassed Virginia Tech on the road.

Virginia is really, really good, and the truth is that they are probably a year away from being their best selves.

CBT Podcast: Wichita State’s a mess, Trae Young’s struggles, Jamion Christian on transfers

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Rob Dauster was joined on Friday by Jamion Christian, the head coach of Mount St. Mary’s, for an enlightening and honest discussion about college basketball and transfers. There is a push to get transfers to be allowed to be immediately eligible, a push that many believe will have drastic, negative effects on coaches like Jamion. The two talk for 30 minutes about the ramifications of changing the rules before Rob is joined by Reags from the Fundamentally Sound podcast to go over the what happened to Trae Young, what happened to Wichita State’s defense and the weekend’s biggest games.

OPEN: Jamion Christian interview

30:22: Trae Young’s offensive issues

44:50: Does Wichita State have the most pressing defensive worries?

52:45: Weekend preview and picks ATS

Craft Beer Of The Week: Stone Xocoveza

Hunter scores 17 points, No. 2 Virginia beats Ga Tech 64-48

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ATLANTA (AP) — Virginia got off to a sluggish start offensively.

Fortunately for the Cavaliers, their defense never takes a night off.

De’Andre Hunter came off the bench to score 17 points and No. 2 Virginia turned in another defensive masterpiece Thursday, stretching its winning streak to nine in a row with a 64-48 victory over Georgia Tech.

The Cavaliers (17-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) limited Georgia Tech to 40.5 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers, leading to 16 points.

“The defense held us in there until we got a little rhythm and hit some shots,” coach Tony Bennett said. “We were stingy to score against. That always carries you on the road.”

Virginia snapped a four-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 3-2).

After making the first basket of the game, Georgia Tech quickly got an idea of what kind of night it would be. The Jackets missed their next eight shots and turned it over four times before Josh Okogie finally broke a nearly eight-minute scoreless drought with a dunk off a backdoor pass.

Virginia shot just 40 percent in the first half but still led 28-19 at the break.

Georgia Tech never got any closer the rest of the way.

“They’re just a very disciplined team offensively and defensively,” Yellow Jackets center Ben Lammers said. “That makes it very difficult. You can’t make a mistake or you’ll pay for it.”

The last gasp for the home team essentially came in the closing seconds of the first half. It looked as though the Jackets would go to the locker room on a bit of a high after Curtis Haywood hit his second 3-pointer from far beyond the stripe, closing the gap to 24-19.

But Hunter got free in the corner and knocked down a trey with 0.1 seconds left in the half, turning it into a four-point play when Abdoulaye Gueye foolishly went for the block and sent the Virginia player sprawling to the court .

The free throw gave the Cavaliers their biggest lead of the opening period.

“That’s definitely not the way you want to end a half,” Lammers said. “We were on a little bit of a roll. It’s definitely a bit of a downer for our team. I think it helped their momentum.”

Virginia steadily pulled away over the final 20 minutes, dominating the inside for a 44-20 edge on points in the paint. Ty Jerome added 12 points, while Devon Hall and Kyle Guy had 11 apiece.

Tadric Jackson led Georgia Tech with 14 points. No one else was in double figures.

BIG PICTURE

Virginia: The Cavaliers held an opponent under 50 points for the eighth time this season. They came into the night allowing the fewest points of any Division I team, and actually improved on their 52.9 average. That helped to cover for a tough night from 3-point range on which the Cavs connected on just 3 of 13 attempts.

Georgia Tech: Okogie, averaging 18.8 points per game, struggled to get open and finished with just nine points on 3-of-8 shooting. But coach Josh Pastner is especially concerned about Lammers, who attempted only five shots, made one and finished with four points. “We’ve got to get more out of him offensively,” Pastner said. “When you’re not scoring, it sucks the life out of you.”

WILKINS STEPS UP

The Cavaliers switched things up a bit against Lammers, turning to Isaiah Wilkins to handle the bulk of the defensive duties.

When the teams met last season , 6-foot-10 Jack Salt limited Lammers to seven points on 3-of-12 shooting.

This time, it was the 6-foot-7 Wilkins — the stepson of former Atlanta Hawks great Dominique Wilkins — making life miserable for Georgia Tech’s big man.

“He played to his personality,” Bennett said. “He’s such a giver. He thinks help. He thinks cover for teammates. He knows how to anticipate. If you can find that, it’s worth its weight in gold for a defensive player.”

PACKED PAVILION

It was an especially disappointing performance for the Yellow Jackets, considering it came before their first sellout of the season at 8,600-seat McCamish Pavilion.

UP NEXT

Virginia: Plays its second straight ACC road game at Wake Forest on Sunday.

Georgia Tech: Faces a short turnaround before traveling to Chapel Hill on Saturday for another game against a ranked opponent, No. 15 North Carolina.

Palmer scores 19, leads Huskers in 72-52 rout of Michigan

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — James Palmer Jr. scored 19 points, Isaiah Roby had a career-high 14 and Nebraska beat No. 23 Michigan 72-52 on Thursday night for its first win over the Wolverines since joining the Big Ten.

Nebraska (14-7, 5-3), which needed Palmer’s 3-pointer to beat last-place Illinois 64-63 on Monday, led 32-21 at the half and never let Michigan get closer than 10 points in the last 17 minutes.

Michigan (16-5, 5-3), which had won nine of its last 10, suffered its most lopsided loss of the season and had a season-low for points. Charles Matthews had 15 points for the Wolverines, who shot 37.5 percent from the floor and a season-low 22.2 percent (4 of 18) on 3-pointers.

The Wolverines had come in 8-0 against the Huskers since Nebraska joined the Big Ten in 2011-12, and they had won 10 straight in the series.

In the final regular-season game last year, Michigan won 93-57 in Lincoln, the Huskers’ most lopsided home loss in program history. Michigan set the arena record for points by an opponent and matched the arena record with 14 made 13-pointers in that game.

Nebraska was in total control this time.

The Huskers played strong defense on the perimeter and forced nine of Michigan’s 12 turnovers the first 20 minutes. Roby, Duby Okeke and Jordy Tshimanga rendered Moritz Wagner a non-factor.

Wagner, who scored 27 points last Saturday against Michigan State and had reached double figures in all but two games, missed his only shot of the half. He finished with a season-low two points, his only basket coming on a dunk early in the second half.

Roby had two dunks and another basket during an 18-4 run that turned Nebraska’s 12-10 deficit into a 28-16 lead. The Wolverines went scoreless for more than 6 minutes and without a field goal for 7½ as the Huskers broke things open. The Wolverines missed 14 of their last 16 shots of the half.

The Huskers built the lead to 21 with less than 5 minutes to play.

Tshimanga, who missed the last two games for personal reasons, entered the game in the middle of the first half. The first time he touched the ball, he passed to Roby for a dunk.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: Though the Wolverines have owned Nebraska, Pinnacle Bank Arena is a tough place to play, and they might have been out of gas after an emotional win over Michigan State and having to rally to beat Maryland 68-67 on Monday.

Nebraska: This was a crucial win for a team that has hopes of returning to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2014. Michigan came into the game No. 30 in the RPI; no other opponent Nebraska has beaten is in the top 50. Another big opportunity comes Monday when the Huskers visit Ohio State (No. 18 RPI).

UP NEXT

Michigan hosts Rutgers on Sunday.

Nebraska visits No. 22 Ohio State on Monday.

St. Mary’s gets critical NCAA tourney resume win over No. 13 Gonzaga

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No one should probably get too worked about about one game in mid-January.

First of all, it’s one game. Forty minutes of small sample size randomness that could very well mean next to nothing.

Second, there is still nearly two months of regular season to play. What seems important now very well could fade to irrelevance come mid-March. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense to attach much meaning to one game between two teams well ahead of when the stakes are actually clear.

Unless you’re St. Mary’s and you’re at Gonzaga.

Then, you can get hyped.

The Gaels finally delivered a resume-boosting win this season by dispatching the 13th-ranked Bulldogs, 74-71, in Spokane to invigorate a season that seemed destined to end with plenty of wins but few – if any – that really mattered.

Yeah, it’s one game. Yeah, it’s mid-January. Yeah, a lot can happen between now and Selection Sunday to render this moot. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

But make no mistake about it, St. Mary’s beating Gonzaga at The Kennell is a monumental victory for Randy Bennett’s team when the Gaels lacked even a notable one before it.

St. Mary’s non-conference schedule has become a tired topic, but it is absolutely why they find themselves in such a high-stake game just a couple weeks after New Year’s. It’s also perhaps maybe less their fault than ever. Bennett can’t be faulted for Cal being awful and Dayton being down. Those should be solid wins. But they aren’t. Then there’s the loss to Washington State. That should have been an opportunity for a good win. Instead it’s become a blight on their resume with the Cougars unable to compete in the anemic Pac 12.The one true chance for a meaningful win came against Georgia, and the Bulldogs nipped them in OT.

Beyond that, there’s a lot of wins on the resume for the Gaels, but not a lot of substance. Beating up a couple times each the likes of Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine and Santa Clara doesn’t exactly move the needle.

That’s what made Thursday night so incredibly critical for St. Mary’s, and, if we’re being honest, for college basketball. The Gaels are absolutely one of the 68 best teams in the country. Conservatively, I’d say somewhere around the top 30. The NCAA tournament simply would have been worse off without them.

They showed why against Gonzaga.

The Bulldogs looked poised to pull away on numerous occasions, leading by as many as nine in the second half, but the Gaels wouldn’t let them gain comfortable separation. There was always an answer.

At least there was always Jock Landale.

The 6-foot-11 senior brought his All-American stuff to Spokane, going for 26 points on 12 of 15 shooting while also posting 12 rebounds and three assists. There’s not much flash to Landale’s game, but his fundamentals do the work for him. He established great position early and just went to work, abusing Gonzaga’s frontline time and again.

Landale is one of the most efficient offensive players in the country while simultaneously being one of its better rebounders. That’s a dude who in his senior year needs to be in the NCAA tournament. I won’t hear arguments to the contrary.

This win doesn’t guarantee a spot for the Gaels, obviously. They can’t afford a major slip-up, and another win against the Zags would go a long way, but it at least puts them in a tenable position with more than six weeks until March.

It’s the cruel reality of life in the WCC. Whether it would have won or lost Thursday night, St. Mary’s clearly established itself as a peer to Gonzaga, a team whom no one wonders about its NCAA tournament viability. St. Mary’s is right there with them. If they would have lost, it may not have mattered. The W-L, the RPI and the resume just wouldn’t have enough evidence to support what was so readily apparent to anyone watching.

They did win, though.

Sure, it’s still only one game. Sure, it’s still early. Sure, plenty can still go wrong.

Sure beats the alternative, though.