GAME OF THE NIGHT: Bryant 91, Sacred Heart 85 (2OT)
Three of the four Northeast Conference tournament quarterfinal games were decided by nine points or more, with this wild affair being the exception. Up three late in regulation Sacred Heart decided to play defense, and the decision looked to be a good one…until Bryant’s Joe O’Shea knocked down a desperation three-pointer as time expired. O’Shea led the Bulldogs with 23 points and six rebounds, and Dyami Starks added 22 on 8-for-25 shooting from the field. Cane Broome, a freshman guard who’s going to be really good down the line, led six Pioneers in double figures with 23 points.
NEC semifinal matchups (Saturday): No. 5 Saint Francis (PA) at No. 1 St. Francis-Brooklyn; No. 3 Bryant at No. 2 Robert Morris
Jerian Grant had his issues in the second half, scoring two points on 1-for-5 shooting, but Bonzie Colson and Demetrius Jackson stepped forward for the Fighting Irish. Those two scored 11 points apiece in the final 20 minutes to lead the way for Notre Dame, which made its last seven field goal attempts. With the win Notre Dame wraps up the three-seed in next week’s ACC tournament, and the double-bye means that they won’t play until Thursday.
2. Miami 67, Pittsburgh 63
In a matchup of ACC teams in dire need of wins the Hurricanes won on the road despite not having Angel Rodriguez due to injury. Sheldon McClellan, who’s been banged up himself recently, scored 20 points and Davon Reed added 19 to lead the way. Michael Young led the Panthers with 22 points and seven rebounds, but the Panthers attempted 21 three-pointers and made just six. By comparison, Miami shot 6-for-12 from deep.
3. Michigan State 72, Purdue 66
Travis Trice scored 27 points to lead Michigan State to the six-point win at home, with the Spartans remaining in contention for a double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. Matt Costello was also key for the Spartans, as his play on both ends of the floor (13 points, seven rebounds and four blocks) helped Michigan State hold their own against Purdue’s big men despite losing Branden Dawson to an injury after just nine minutes. Kendall Stephens led the Boilermakers, who host Illinois over the weekend, with 16 points.
READ MORE: Wednesday’s Bubble Banter
1. Duke’s Grayson Allen
Allen scored 27 points, shooting 9-for-11 from the field, and grabbed four rebounds in the Blue Devils’ 94-51 win over Wake Forest.
2. UNC Asheville’s Andrew Rowsey
Rowsey made seven of his ten three-point attempts, scoring 34 points in the Bulldogs’ 80-70 win over Liberty.
3. St. Francis-Brooklyn’s Brent Jones
31 points and five assists in the Terriers’ 79-70 win over LIU-Brooklyn.
1. Wake Forest’s Devin Thomas
Thomas finished a 94-51 loss at No. 3 Duke with more turnovers (four) than points scored (zero).
2. LSU’s Jalyn Patterson
Shot 0-for-5 from the field, going scoreless in 33 minutes of play in the Tigers’ 78-63 loss to Tennessee.
3. La Salle’s Cleon Roberts
Roberts shot 1-for-9 from the field, scoring four points in the Explorers’ 55-50 loss at Saint Joseph’s.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- It was senior night for starter Quinn Cook as No. 3 Duke rolled to a 94-51 win over Wake Forest. Freshman Grayson Allen scored 27 points off the bench for the Blue Devils, who will be the two-seed in the ACC tournament.
- LaDontae Henton became the second player in program history to reach the 2,000-point/1,00-rebound plateau (Ryan Gomes is the other) to lead No. 24 Providence to a 79-61 comeback victory at Seton Hall. Ben Bentil led the Friars with 21 points.
- D’Angelo Russell scored 28 points and Jae’Sean Tate and Shannon Scott added 13 apiece as No. 23 Ohio State won 77-67 at Penn State.
- The America East tournament tipped off Wednesday night, with the four home teams all taking care of business. Albany and Vermont won comfortably, with Stony Brook beating Binghamton by five and New Hampshire needing overtime to beat Hartford. Sunday’s semifinal matchups: No. 3 Stony Brook at No. 2 Vermont, and No. 4 New Hampshire at No. 1 Albany.
- Seeds six through eleven were in action at the Big South tournament, with No. 9 Longwood beating No. 8 Presbyterian 65-61 in the opener. No. 6 UNC Asheville and No. 7 Gardner-Webb were the other winners. Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups: No. 9 Longwood vs. No. 1 Charleston Southern, No. 5 Winthrop vs. No. 4 Radford, No. 7 Gardner-Webb vs. No. 2 High Point and No. 6 UNC Asheville vs. No. 3 Coastal Carolina.
- Seeds five through eight tipped things off at the Ohio Valley tournament in Nashville, with No. 5 Morehead State beating No. 8 Southeast Missouri 79-74 in the opener and No. 6 Eastern Illinois beat No. 7 SIU-Edwardsville 78-66 in the nightcap. Thursday’s quarterfinal matchups: No. 5 Morehead State vs. No. 4 UT Martin and No. 6 Eastern Illinois vs. No. 3 Belmont.
- Tennessee shot nearly 70 percent from the field in the second half as they won 78-63 at LSU. Not only does the loss hurt the Tigers, but it also hurts the profile of a Texas A&M team that has two wins over LSU on its resume and not much else.
- NJIT, which announced Wednesday afternoon that it will be playing in the CIT, beat Howard 71-62 for its 18th win of the season.
- Cincinnati won 56-47 at Tulsa, dropping the Golden Hurricane into a tie for first in the American with SMU. Tulsa closes its regular season with a game at SMU, and the winner gets the conference title outright.
- Rayvonte Rice led four players in double figures with 23 points and Illinois pulled away from Nebraska, 69-57.
- Anthony Hickey and Le’Bryan Nash scored 20 points apiece to lead Oklahoma State to an 82-70 win over TCU. The win ends a four-game losing streak for the Cowboys.
- Boise State moved one step closer to its first-ever Mountain West title, as they won 68-51 at San Jose State. The Broncos host Fresno State Saturday night. They remain tied with San Diego State, which won 60-58 at UNLV.
- Oregon completed its regular season with a 65-62 win at Oregon State, moving to 13-5 in the Pac-12. Dana Altman’s team is playing well at the right time, and has likely sewn up an NCAA tournament bid as a result.