Late Night Snacks

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, center, reacts with his team behind him after a play during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament against Pittsburgh, Thursday, March 10, 2016, in Washington. North Carolina won 88-71. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Chalk at the ACC, Big East and Pac-12 tournaments

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GAME OF THE DAY: No. 6 Oklahoma 79, No. 21 Iowa State 76

Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Iowa State’s Georges Niang staged quite the duel in the Big 12 quarterfinals, with Hield scoring 39 points and Niang countering with 31. Two things to take from this game: Oklahoma managed to win despite shooting 4-for-21 from three, and Iowa State needs banged-up point guard Monté Morris (right shoulder) to get back to full strength.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

Notre Dame 84, No. 19 Duke 79 (OT): The Fighting Irish advanced to the semifinals of the ACC tournament with a five-point overtime victory. Notre Dame trailed by as much as 16 in the second half before coming back to force overtime, going on to outlast the undermanned Blue Devils in the extra session. Zach Auguste finished with 19 points and 22 boards for Notre Dame, who play No. 7 North Carolina Friday night. Duke gets some extra rest ahead of the NCAA tournament, which they’ll need given their shortened rotation.

No. 22 Baylor 75, No. 23 Texas 61: Scott Drew’s Bears advanced to the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament with a comfortable win over the Longhorns. Taurean Prince led the way with 24 points, 13 rebounds and four assists, and Rico Gathers Sr. added 13 and nine boards. Next up for Baylor is top-ranked Kansas, which won both meetings during the regular season.

Illinois 68, No. 20 Iowa 66: Illinois lives for another day at the Big Ten tournament, as they knocked off the Hawkeyes in a second round matchup in Indianapolis. The Hawkeyes have lost five of their last six games, and since beating Purdue January 24 Fran McCaffery’s team is 2-8 with the wins coming over Minnesota and Michigan. That’s not a good way to head into the NCAA tournament, and they need more from players other than Jarrod Uthoff and Peter Jok if they’re to have a shot at picking up a win next week. Uthoff and Jok combined to score 50 of their 66 points.

STARRED

Buddy Hield, Oklahoma and Georges Niang, Iowa State: Hield scored 39 points, shooting 14-for-21 from the field, in the Sooners’ 79-76 win over No. 21 Iowa State. Niang countered with 31 points for the Cyclones.

Zach Auguste, Notre Dame: Auguste scored 19 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in the Fighting Irish’s 84-79 overtime win over No. 19 Duke.

Drick Bernstine, North Dakota: Idaho State missed a lot of shots, shooting 26.8 percent in the 83-49 loss, and many of those misses landed in Bernstine’s hands. In addition to scoring 14 points, Bernstine corralled a Big Sky tournament-record 21 rebounds.

STRUGGLED

Anthony Clemmons, Mike Gesell and Adam Woodbury, Iowa: Iowa’s other three starters combined to score five points on 2-for-20 shooting in a two-point loss to Illinois.

Dayon Griffin, Louisiana Tech: Griffin shot 1-for-10 from the field, scoring four points, in the Bulldogs’ 68-52 loss to Old Dominion.

Rasheed Brooks, Ole Miss: Brooks scored eight points on 3-for-13 shooting in the Rebels’ 81-73 loss to Alabama.

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENTS

  • Both lower seeded teams advanced in the first round of the American tournament, with No. 9 seed USF beating No. 8 seed East Carolina 71-66 and No. 10 Tulane holding off No. 7 UCF 65-63. Friday’s quarterfinal match-ups: USF/Temple, Connecticut/Cincinnati, Tulane/Houston and Memphis/Tulsa. And UCF is now in the market for a new head coach.
  • The top four seeds advanced at the ACC tournament, beginning with No. 1 seed North Carolina whipping Pittsburgh 88-71. The Tar Heels will play No. 4 seed Notre Dame in one semifinal, with No. 2 Virginia facing No. 3 Miami in the other. The Cavaliers beat Georgia Tech 72-52, and the Hurricanes beat a Virginia Tech program that’s on the upswing 88-82.
  • The Atlantic 10 quarterfinals are now set, as No. 9 seed Richmond, No. 5 seed George Washington, No. 10 Massachusetts and No. 6 Davidson all advanced. Friday’s quarterfinals kick off with top seed Dayton facing Richmond, followed by No. 4 seed Saint Joseph’s/George Washington, No. 2 seed VCU/UMass and No. 3 seed St. Bonaventure/Davidson. And a job opened as well, with Saint Louis announcing the firing of Jim Crews.
  • No. 1 seed Kansas advanced to the Big 12 semifinals comfortably, as they beat No. 8 seed Kansas State 85-63. The Jayhawks will play No. 5 seed Baylor in one semifinal, with No. 2 seed West Virginia playing No. 3 seed Oklahoma in the other. The Mountaineers beat No. 10 seed TCU 86-66.
  • The top four seeds all advanced at the Big East tournament, beginning with No. 1 seed Villanova’s 81-67 win over No. 8 seed Georgetown. Next up for the Wildcats is No. 4 seed Providence, which beat No. 5 seed Butler 74-60. The second semifinal will match No. 2 seed Xavier, which whipped No. 7 seed Marquette 90-72, and No. 3 seed Seton Hall. Led by Isaiah Whitehead and Khadeen Carrington, the Pirates beat No. 6 seed Creighton 81-73.
  • The top two seeds in the Big Sky tournament advanced to the semifinals, with No. 1 seed Weber State eking out a 78-74 win over Portland State and No. 2 seed Montana beating Sacramento State 70-53. Also winning was No. 5 seed North Dakota, which blew out No. 4 seed Idaho State 83-49.
  • No. 8 seed Michigan kept its NCAA tournament hopes alive with a 72-70 overtime win over No. 9 Northwestern in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. Also advancing were No. 11 seed Nebraska (70-58 win over No. 6 seed Wisconsin), No. 12 seed Illinois (68-66 win over No. 5 seed Iowa) and No. 7 seed Ohio State (79-75 win over No. 10 seed Penn State). Friday’s quarterfinal match-ups: Michigan/Indiana, Illinois/Purdue, Ohio State/Michigan State and Nebraska/Maryland.
  • Top seed Hawai’i got rolling in the second half of their Big West quarterfinal matchup, as they beat No. 8 seed Cal State Fullerton 75-44. Also advancing were No. 2 seed UC Irvine (84-64 over No. 7 seed Cal Poly), No. 3 seed Long Beach State (82-74 over No. 4 seed UC Riverside) and No. 4 seed UCSB (87-61 over No. 5 seed UC Davis).
  • Another top seed in a one-bid league fell Thursday, as No. 8 seed Western Kentucky beat No. 1 seed UAB 88-77 in the Conference USA quarterfinals. Also advancing in Birmingham were No. 5 seed Old Dominion (68-52 over No. 4 seed Louisiana Tech), No. 2 seed Middle Tennessee (79-61 over No. 7 seed Charlotte) and No. 3 seed Marshall (87-85 over No. 6 seed UTEP). Friday’s semifinals: WKU/Old Dominion and Middle Tennessee/Marshall.
  • Three higher-seeded teams advanced to the Mid-American semifinals, led by top seed Akron which beat No. 8 seed Eastern Michigan 65-63. Next up for the Zips is No. 12 seed Bowling Green, which knocked off No. 4 seed Central Michigan 62-59. On the other side of the bracket No. 2 seed Ohio (79-62 over No. 7 seed Northern Illinois) and No. 3 seed Buffalo (94-81 over No. 11 Miami University) picked up wins in Cleveland.
  • No. 5 seed Savannah State and No. 3 seed South Carolina State advanced to the semifinals of the MEAC tournament, with the Tigers beating No. 4 seed Bethune Cookman 57-50 and SCSU beating No. 11 seed Coppin State 90-80. Next up for Savannah State is top seed Hampton, with South Carolina State getting No. 2 seed Norfolk State.
  • Top seed San Diego State survived in the Mountain West quarters, as they beat No. 9 seed Utah State 71-65. Also advancing were No. 5 seed Nevada, No. 2 seed Fresno State and No. 6 seed Colorado State.
  • The top four seeds all advanced to the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. No. 1 seed Oregon pulled away from No. 8 seed Washington in the second half of their 83-77 victory, with No. 4 seed Arizona hanging on to beat No. 5 Colorado, No. 2 seed Utah beating No. 7 seed USC and No. 3 seed California holding off No. 6 seed Oregon State.
  • No. 5 seed Vanderbilt suffered a damaging loss at the SEC tournament, where they fell by two to No. 12 seed Tennessee. No. 8 seed Florida, No. 10 seed Alabama and No. 6 seed Georgia all advanced to Friday’s quarterfinal round. Friday’s games: Florida/No. 1 seed Texas A&M, Tennessee/No. 4 seed LSU, Alabama/No. 2 seed Kentucky and Georgia/No. 3 seed South Carolina.
  • No. 3 seed Jackson State and No. 4 seed Southern advanced to the semifinals of the SWAC tournament with wins Thursday. In Friday’s semifinals Jackson State will face No. 7 seed Mississippi Valley State, and Southern will take on top seed Texas Southern.
  • No. 3 seed Sam Houston State and No. 4 seed Houston Baptist moved on to the semifinals of the Southland tournament, with the Bearkats beating Nicholls 60-59 and the Huskies taking care of Southeastern Louisiana 73-68. Sam Houston State will play two seed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in one semifinal, with HBU playing top seed Stephen F. Austin in the other.
  • South Alabama and Texas State advanced to the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt tournament with wins over Georgia Southern and Georgia State, respectively. Next up for South Alabama is four-seed UL Lafayette, with Texas State drawing three-seed UT Arlington in the other quarterfinal.
  • No. 2 seed CSU Bakersfield and No. 3 seed Seattle advanced to the semifinals of the WAC tournament with wins over Chicago State and UT-Rio Grande Valley, respectively. Also advancing was No. 5 seed UMKC, which beat Utah Valley and will face top seed New Mexico State in Friday’s semifinal round.

Late Night Snacks: Pitt lands a critical win over Cuse

Jamie Dixon
(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Pittsburgh 72, Syracuse 71

The Panthers had a late 14-point lead disappear as the Orange found success with their full-court press, but James Robinson’s steal and score put Pitt back up ahead and kept them there as they were able to survive a last-second look by Syracuse.
The win may have sewn up an NCAA tournament spot for Pitt while Jim Boeheim’s group might be on the outside looking in.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 19 Duke 92, NC State 89: Brandon Ingram had 22 points seven rebounds and four assists as the Blue Devils were able to overcome a halftime deficit and outlast the Wolfpack in an extremely competitive early-round matchup. Cat Barber had 29 points and seven assists for NC State.

Colorado 80, Washington State 56: Colorado dominated from the outset to stay alive in the Pac-12 tournament and continue to bolster their NCAA tournament resume.

Georgia Tech 88, Clemson 85, OT: The Yellow Jackets trailed by as many as 18 in the second half against the Tigers before pulling out the victory in overtime.

TCU 67, Texas Tech 62: After a week after a debate about Tubby Smith winning conference coach of the year over Bill Self, the Red Raiders drop a game to the hapless Horned Frogs on the opening night of the Big 12 tournament. Tech is likely safely in the tournament field, but this could send them tumbling down the seed lines.

Holy Cross 59, Lehigh 56: Bill Carmody has the Crusaders dancing after failing to get Northwestern into the NCAA tournament during his 13 years in Evanston. And he’s doing it with a team that went 5-13 in the Patriot League.

BUBBLE BANTER: See how Wednesday’s results factored into the bubble

STARRED

Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech: He scored 28 for Georgia Tech, piling up 22 in the second half. He was 15 of 16 from the free-throw line in the tight game.

Michael Gbinije, Syracuse: The senior played 40 minutes and scored 24 points in a losing effort to Pitt.

Cat Barber, NC State: The guard was 10 of 18 overall and 4 of 7 from deep to score 29 points, albeit in a loss to Duke.

Luke Kennard and Brandon Ingram, Duke: The duo combined for 44 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists for the Blue Devils.

Ike Nwamu, UNLV: Scored 38 points for the Rebels in a three-OT win.

Jacob Van, Air Force: Tallied 37 points for Air Force in its loss to UNLV.

STRUGGLED

Minnesota: The Gophers defense allowed Illinois to shoot 55.2 percent from the floor and make 14 of 26 3-point attempts.

Austin Price, Lehigh: The Mountain Hawks’ second-leading scorer went 2 of 12 from the floor in Lehigh’s shocking loss to Holy Cross.

NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Kansas State nearly saw a 17-point halftime lead evaporate, but held off Oklahoma State in the first round of the Big 12 tournament, 75-71, to officially begin the Travis Ford Watch in Stillwater.
  • Air Force and UNLV needed three overtimes to determine a winner with the Runnin’ Rebels claiming a 108-102 victory.
  • Illinois beat Minnesota, 85-52, to end one of the worst seasons in Golden Gopher history. Richard Pitino’s squad finished 8-23 overall and 2-16 in the Big Ten.
  • It’s been a disappointing season for Georgetown, but the Hoyas are still alive after a 70-53 win over DePaul.

SATURDAY’S SNACKS: No. 8 North Carolina wins at Duke, No. 4 Virginia rolls

North Carolina's Brice Johnson (11) reacts following North Carolina's 76-72 win over Duke in an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Saturday, March 5, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
AP Photo/Gerry Broome
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 8 North Carolina 76, No. 17 Duke 72

The North Carolina seniors picked up their first win at Cameron, as they held off a furious Duke rally. Brice Johnson finished with 18 points and 21 rebounds, and Kennedy Meeks added 12 and 14 boards as the Tar Heels grabbed nearly 47 percent of their available missed shots. Those second chance opportunities helped UNC make up for their 35.6 percent shooting from the field.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 1 Kansas 85, No. 21 Iowa State 78: The Jayhawks closed out the regular season with their 11th consecutive win, finishing the game on a 17-7 run. The Jayhawks have emerged as one of the favorites to win the national title, and they’ve got the tools needed to complete that mission.

No. 20 Texas A&M 76, Vanderbilt 67: Texas A&M picked up a share of the SEC title with a home win over the Commodores. I have more on this one here and why Texas A&M needs the SEC tournament next week.

No. 4 Virginia 68, No. 11 Louisville 46: The Cavaliers put forth one of their best defensive efforts of the season as they beat the Cardinals in Charlottesville. Malcolm Brogdon scored 17 points and Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey 15 apiece, with Tobey also grabbing a career-high 20 rebounds. Virginia’s improved defensively, and this was a bad matchup for the Cardinals.

Northern Iowa 57, Wichita State 52 (OT): The Shockers will have an uneasy wait for Selection Sunday, as they fell to UNI in the Missouri Valley semifinals. Gregg Marshall’s team will be an interesting case study, as their résumé doesn’t have much in the way of quality wins. The Panthers will face No. 2 Evansville in Sunday’s title game.

BUBBLE BANTER: See how Saturday’s results factored into the bubble

STARRED

Denzel Valentine, Michigan State: Senior Day in East Lansing. Like Denzel wasn’t going to have a huge game? The Player of the Year candidate went for 27 points and 13 assists on 9-for-13 shooting as he kissed the floor of the Breslin Center before departing to a standing ovation.

Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall: Sure, the Pirates were facing lowly DePaul, but Whitehead still brought his best effort in a Big East road win. The sophomore scored 33 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field while also grabbing five rebounds and dishing out five assists. Whitehead has been cooking recently, as he has at least 22 points in each of his last four games.

Gabe York, Arizona: York tied a school record with nine made three pointers, scoring a career-high 32 points in the Wildcats’ 94-62 win over Stanford.

Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina: Johnson and Meeks combined for 30 points and 35 rebounds in the Tar Heels’ 76-72 win at No. 17 Duke.

Mike Tobey, Virginia: 15 points and 20 rebounds in the Cavaliers’ 68-46 win over No. 11 Louisville.

STRUGGLED

Boston College: With a loss to Clemson, the Eagles went winless in the ACC as the school failed to win a conference game in both football and men’s basketball. Boston College is the first college in a major conference since Georgia in 1943-44 to go winless in both sports.

Angel Rodriguez, Miami: Rodriguez struggled in the Hurricanes’ loss at Virginia Tech. The senior shot 2-for-8 from the field, finishing with five points, two assists and four turnovers.

Jalen Poyser, UNLV: Poyser scored five points in the Runnin’ Rebels’ loss at San Diego State, shooting 2-for-13 from the field.

Damion Lee, Louisville: Lee shot 3-for-13 from the field in the Cardinals’ 68-46 loss at No. 4 Virginia.

OTHER TOP 25 RESULTS

  • No. 2 Michigan State cruised to a home Big Ten win over Ohio State as Denzel Valentine went for 27 points and 13 assists.
  • Josh Hart scored 18 points as No. 3 Villanova beat Georgetown for a Big East home win. Kris Jenkins added 17 points and eight rebounds.
  • No. 5 Xavier held off Creighton 98-93 in Cincinnati, with Myles Davis leading five Musketeers in double figures with 24 points while also dishing out seven assists.
  • No. 6 Oklahoma wasn’t at its best, but they were good enough to take care of TCU 75-67. Buddy Hield led the way with 21 points.
  • No. 7 Miami lost its shot at a share of the ACC title, as they lost 77-62 at Virginia Tech. Buzz Williams’ Hokies finish the regular season 10-8 in ACC play.
  • No. 9 Oregon held off USC in the second half, going on to win 76-66 to wrap up the outright Pac-12 title. Tyler Dorsey scored 19 points and Elgin Cook 17 for the Ducks, whose résumé is better than some seem to realize.
  • No. 10 West Virginia wrapped up the two seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament with a 69-58 win at No. 19 Baylor. Jaysean Paige led the Mountaineers with 14 points, and Baylor shot just 36.5 percent from the field.
  • No. 13 Utah went on a 19-0 second half run to come back for a 57-55 win over Colorado. The Runnin’ Utes, who will be the two seed at the Pac-12 tournament, received 16 points apiece from Jakob Poeltl and Lorenzo Bonam.
  • No. 16 Iowa dealt Michigan a damaging loss, beating the Wolverines 71-61 in Ann Arbor. Before Saturday, Iowa hadn’t swept Michigan and Michigan State in the same season since 1954.
  • Gabe York tied a school record with nine three-pointers, scoring 32 points as No. 18 Arizona blew out Stanford 94-62.
  • No. 22 Kentucky grabbed its share of the SEC title with a 94-77 win over LSU. Jamal Murray scored 22 points, Skal Labissiere finished with 18 and nine rebounds, and Tyler Ulis added 14 and 14 assists.

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT RESULTS

  • Austin Peay became the first-ever eight seed to win the OVC tournament, as they beat UT-Martin 83-73 in Nashville. Dave Loos’ Governors are headed back to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2008.
  • Also wrapping up an NCAA tournament bid Saturday was Yale, which clinched the Ivy League crown with 71-55 win at Columbia. Led by forwards Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod and guard Makai Mason, the Bulldogs are making their first NCAA appearance since 1962.
  • In the CAA quarterfinals, Hofstra knocked off Drexel as Juan’ya Green had 22 points. They’ll face William & Mary in the semifinals, as the Tribe beat James Madison 79-64. Meeting in the other semifinal will be two seed UNCW and six seed Northeastern.
  • In the Southern Conference tournament, No. 1 Chattanooga knocked off Samford in the quarterfinals as Tre’ McLean went for 16 points. They’ll face No. 5 Western Carolina in the semis, as the Catamounts eliminated Wofford. Meeting in the other semifinal will be No. 2 ETSU and No. 3 Furman.
  • The Big South title game is set, as UNC Asheville beat top seed High Point 80-69 and Winthrop beat Gardner-Webb 82-69. High Point, which lost John Brown to a broken foot in their win over Winthrop last week, lost Adam Weary to a knee injury in the quarterfinal round.
  • All four higher seeded teams advanced in the Horizon League first round. As a result Sunday’s quarterfinals will match No. 4 Green Bay and No. 5 Milwaukee, and No. 3 Wright State versus No. 6 Detroit.
  • No. 3 Siena advanced to the MAAC semifinals with an 89-76 win over two-time defending champion No. 6 Manhattan. They’ll take on No. 2 Iona Sunday. In the other semifinal No. 5 Fairfield, which beat No. 4 Saint Peter’s 64-55, will take on top seed Monmouth.
  • Top seed Wagner came back from a four-point halftime deficit to beat No. 6 LIU Brooklyn 81-65. The Seahawks will host No. 2 Fairleigh Dickinson in the title game Tuesday night, as the Knights beat No. 5 Mount St. Mary’s 80-75.
  • The top two seed advanced to Monday’s Summit League semis, with No. 1 IPFW beating South Dakota 86-70 and No. 2 South Dakota State edging out Oral Roberts 73-70.
  • No. 1 Saint Mary’s rebounded from a sluggish first half to beat Loyola Marymount to advance to the WCC semis. They’ll meet No. 4 Pepperdine, which swept the season series from the Gaels. Also advancing to the semifinals were No. 2 Gonzaga and No. 3 BYU.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Ole Miss took down Tennessee in the SEC as Sebastian Siaz had 23 points to pace the Rebels.
  • Zach Auguste scored 24 points to lead Notre Dame past N.C. State in the ACC.
  • Providence had 30 points and eight rebounds from Jalen Lindsey as they defeated St. John’s in the Big East. Ben Bentil had a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds.
  • Clemson had 16 points from Jaron Blossomgame as the Tigers earned an ACC win over Boston College.
  • UAB picked up another win in Conference USA as they knocked off Florida Atlantic. Robert Brown led with 17 points.
  • Rutgers picked up its first Big Ten win of the season, blowing out an undermanned Minnesota 75-52. The Rutgers have only won two conference games since joining the Big Ten in 2014, with their stunning win over Wisconsin last season being the first.
  • Pittsburgh did itself no favors when it comes to the NCAA tournament, as they lost by four at Georgia Tech 63-59.
  • Also falling in the ACC was Syracuse, which lost 78-73 at Florida State. The Orange and Panthers will meet in the ACC tournament opener for both Wednesday, and that will be a pivotal game when it comes to the NCAA tournament.
  • Butler took care of Monmouth 95-74, with Austin Etherington leading five Bulldogs in double figures with 18 points. Roosevelt Jones, Kelan Martin and Andrew Chrabascz added 15 apiece for Butler. Henry Ellenson led Marquette with 29 points and eight boards.
  • George Washington’s NCAA tournament hopes took a major hit with their 87-80 loss at Davidson. The Colonials will need to get hot at the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn if they’re to reach the Big Dance.
  • Weber State wrapped up the Big Sky regular season title with a 79-77 win at Eastern Washington. What also helped the Wildcats was Montana’s 78-72 home loss to Northern Colorado.
  • A tough Kyle Davis shot late in overtime gave Dayton a 68-67 win over VCU and a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title. Also sharing in the spoils are VCU and St. Bonaventure.
  • San Diego State whipped undermanned UNLV 92-56 in the regular season finale for both. The Aztecs will be the top seed in next week’s Mountain West tournament.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Patriot, A-Sun top seeds eliminated from conference tourneys

Arizona guard Gabe York (1) celebrates with Mark Tollefsen after defeating California in an NCAA college basketball game, Thursday, March 3, 2016, in Tucson, Ariz.  (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Louisiana Tech 97, Marshall 94

Two of the top teams in Conference USA played right down to the wire in Huntington, with a Derric Jean three from half-court as time expired giving the Bulldogs the win. Alex Hamilton scored 38 points for Louisiana Tech, which is now in a second-place tie with Middle Tennessee with one game remaining. James Kelly led the Thundering Herd with 27 points.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 18 Arizona 64, No. 25 California 61: A Gabe York three-pointer with 17.4 seconds remaining gave the Wildcats the lead for good as they finished the game on an 11-0 run. York scored all 19 of his points in the second half, and Ryan Anderson (18 points, ten rebounds) and Kaleb Tarczewski (ten points, 12 rebounds) both posted double-doubles for the Wildcats. Ivan Rabb led Cal with 15 points and 13 boards, but fellow freshman Jaylen Brown struggled with foul trouble for most of the night.

No. 24 SMU 80, Connecticut 54: The Mustangs capped the home portion of their schedule with a blowout win over UConn in Dallas. While the Mustangs can’t go to the NCAA tournament, the Huskies are trending in the wrong direction at the worst possible time. UConn shot 34 percent from the field and they struggled defensively as well, as SMU shot 51.6 percent with Sterling Brown leading four in double figures with 20 points.

Georgia 74, South Carolina: Also limping down the stretch is South Carolina, which has now lost four of its last six games. Kenny Gaines led the victorious Bulldogs with 20 points and J.J. Frazier added 19 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Mindaugas Kacinas scored a game-high 21 for the Gamecocks, but as a team they shot just 34.2 percent from the field.

STARRED

Alex Hamilton, Louisiana Tech: Hamilton scored 38 points and dished out six assists in the Bulldogs’ 97-94 win at Marshall.

Tim Kempton, Lehigh: The two-time Patriot League POY finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds in the Mountain Hawks’ 65-63 win over Navy.

Phil Valenti, Canisius: Valenti scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the Golden Griffins’ 102-97 triple overtime win over Niagara.

Ethan Telfair, Idaho State: 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the Bengals’ 75-71 win at Eastern Washington.

STRUGGLED

North Florida: The Ospreys, who score 43.5 percent of their points on three-pointers this season, shot 8-for-31 from distance in their 89-56 loss to FGCU.

Duane Notice, South Carolina: Three points on 1-for-7 shooting in the Gamecocks’ home loss to Georgia.

Amida Brimah, UConn: One point and four rebounds in the Huskies’ 80-54 loss at No. 24 SMU.

DJ Sylvester, UC Riverside: Sylvester shot 1-for-10 from the field, scoring four points, in the Highlanders’ 81-55 loss at UCSB.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 14 Maryland took care of business on Senior Night, as they beat Illinois 81-55. Melo Trimble and Jake Layman scored 18 points apiece, and Jared Nickens and Robert Carter Jr. added 14 each for Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins. Illinois shot just 38.5 percent from the field.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Temple remained tied for first in the American with a 72-62 home win over Memphis. Josh Brown finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and Jaylen Bond accounted for 15 points and ten boards for the Owls.
  • The top seed in the Patriot League fell, as nine-seed Holy Cross beat Bucknell 77-72 in double overtime. The Bison weren’t the only team to lose in the quarters, as three-seed American won at three-seed Boston University. Also advancing were two-seed Lehigh and four-seed Army West Point.
  • Defending Atlantic Sun champion picked a bad night to go cold from deep, as they shot 8-for-31 from three in an 89-56 loss to FGCU. The Eagles will host seven-seed Stetson in the championship game Sunday. Stetson, which beat Lipscomb 96-75, is ineligible for postseason play so if they win then North Florida goes to the NCAA tournament since they won the A-Sun regular season title.
  • In the first round of the Big South tournament, a DeSean Murray put-back as time expired gave ten-seed Presbyterian a 65-64 win over Radford. Also advancing were six-seed Gardner-Webb and eight-seed Longwood.
  • Stephen F. Austin extended its win streak to 17, as they whipped Northwestern State 95-55. Brad Underwood’s Lumberjacks have lost just one game to Southland competition since he took over in 2013.
  • Having already clinched the MEAC regular season title, Hampton fell 83-63 to Norfolk State. The Pirates, who played many of their key contributors limited minutes, had won their last five games.
  • Little Rock fell 69-63 at Appalachian State in their regular season finale. Chris Beard’s Trojans will be the top seed in next week’s Sun Belt tournament.
  • Keep an eye on Houston in the American tournament next week. The Cougars beat Cincinnati 69-56, finishing the regular season with six wins in their final seven games. Their non-conference schedule makes getting an at-large tough for Kelvin Sampson’s Cougars, but they have the talent needed to win the auto bid in Orlando.
  • Rider, Canisius and Manhattan advanced to the quarterfinals of the MAAC tournament, with the Golden Griffins needing triple overtime to beat rival Niagara 102-97. Rider will take on top-seed Monmouth and Canisius gets two-seed Iona Friday, with Manhattan facing three-seed (and host) Siena Saturday.
  • Loyola-Chicago and Missouri State advanced at Arch Madness, with the Ramblers beating Bradley 74-66 and the Bears edging out Drake 69-67. Loyola will play top-seed Wichita State Friday, with Missouri State getting two-seed Evansville.
  • Eight-seed Austin Peay continued its run in the OVC tournament with a 74-72 win over four-seed Tennessee Tech. The Governors play top seed Belmont in Friday’s semifinals, with three-seed Morehead State (a winner of six-seed Murray State) facing two-seed UT Martin in the other matchup.
  • Montana and Weber State are once again tied atop the Big Sky, as Montana beat North Dakota 71-46 and Weber State lost 62-58 at Idaho. Weber State has the head-to-head tiebreaker going into the final day of regular season play (Saturday). The silver lining for Weber State in their loss: Joel Bolomboy returned after missing two games due to injury.
  • Hawai’i got off to a slow start at UC Davis but came back to pick up the 67-65 win. As a result Eran Ganot’s Rainbow Warriors clinched the outright Big West regular season title, with Quincy Smith and Sai Tummala combining to score 29 points.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 2 Michigan State, No. 7 Miami roll on the road

Miami’s Angel Rodriguez (13) drives between Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson (11) and A.J. Burgett, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, March 2, 2016, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Robert Franklin)
AP Photo/Robert Franklin
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: St. Bonaventure 98, Saint Joseph’s 90

This was a big game for both teams, but especially for the Bonnies as they still have work to do if they’re to lock up an NCAA tournament bid. Marcus Posley made sure Mark Schmidt’s team picked up the quality win, as he scored a career-high 47 points on 15-for-19 shooting from the field. Dion Wright added 22 points and six rebounds for the Bonnies, while Shavar Newkirk and Isaiah Miles led a balanced effort for the Hawks with 19 points apiece. The two teams combined to score 119 points in the second half.

IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

No. 7 Miami 68, Notre Dame 50: The Hurricanes and Fighting Irish are headed in opposite directions at this point. Miami jumped out to a 21-3 lead, and while Notre Dame made a couple runs to trim the margin to single digits the hole was too deep to climb out of. Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan combined to score 36 points, with Rodriguez also dishing out five assists, and Tonye Jekiri added 14 along with nine rebounds. Miami, which has won eight of its last nine games, can still win the ACC outright. As for Notre Dame, they’ve lost three of their last four.

Butler 85, Seton Hall 78: The Bulldogs completed a season sweep of the Pirates, picking up a much-needed win as they look to earn an NCAA tournament berth. Kellen Dunham scored 22 points and Roosevelt Jones added 20 along with five rebounds and five assists to lead the way for Butler, which shot 51 percent from the field. Isaiah Whitehead scored a game-high 27 for the Pirates, but he did so on 9-for-23 shooting from the field.

No. 9 Oregon 76, UCLA 68: Dillon Brooks hit a dagger of a three in the final minute to seal the win for the Ducks, who clinched at least a share of the Pac-12 title and the top seed in next week’s Pac-12 tournament. Brooks finished with 15 points and freshman Tyler Dorsey scored 20 points to lead the way for the Ducks. Isaac Hamilton scored 19 points and Tony Parker added 18 for the Bruins, who are now locked into the ten-seed.

Wednesday’s Bubble Banter

STARRED

Marcus Posley, St. Bonaventure: Posley was incredible in the Bonnies’ critical 98-90 win over Saint Joseph’s. 15-for-19 from the field (6-for-7 3PT) and 11-for-12 from the foul line, scoring 47 points.

Andrew Andrews, Washington: Andrews scored 47 points, collected six rebounds and dished out four assists in the Huskies’ 99-91 home win over Washington State.

Bryn Forbes, Michigan State: Forbes set a Big Ten record with 11 three-pointers in the Spartans’ blowout victory at Rutgers.

Chris Horton, Austin Peay: 37 points and 21 rebounds in the Governors’ OVC tournament win over Tennessee Tech.

Stefan Moody, Ole Miss: Moody scored 43 points (11-for-24 FG) and dished out six assists in the Rebels’ 86-78 win over Mississippi State.

STRUGGLED

Demetrius Jackson and V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame: Jackson and Beachem combined to score 12 points, shooting 5-for-20 from the field in a 68-50 home loss to No. 7 Miami.

Ahmad Gilbert, Minnesota: Gilbert scored two points, shooting 1-for-8 from the field, as the shorthanded Golden Gophers lost to Wisconsin.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 2 Michigan State has now won nine of its last ten games, as they whipped Rutgers 97-66 in Piscataway. Bryn Forbes, as mentioned above, set a Big Ten record with 11 made three-pointers on the night. Eron Harris scored 15 points, Denzel Valentine finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Matt Costello added ten points and 15 boards.
  • No. 10 West Virginia rolled to a 90-68 home win over Texas Tech, locking up no worse than the three-seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament. Daxter Miles and Jaysean Paige scored 15 points apiece for the Mountaineers, who forced 18 Texas Tech turnovers on the night. With the loss Texas Tech is locked into the seven-seed next week, meaning that they’ll have to play Wednesday night.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • Albany’s quest for a fourth straight America East tournament title came to an end Wednesday night, as they lost to seven-seed Hartford 68-59 in an America East quarterfinal. Next up for the Hawks is top seed Stony Brook, which pulled away late to beat UMBC 86-76. Three-seed Vermont will host four-seed New Hampshire in the other semifinal Monday.
  • In the Northeast quarterfinals six-seed LIU Brooklyn eliminated three-seed Sacred Heart, 84-76. Also advancing to Sunday’s semifinals were one-seed Wagner, two-seed Fairleigh Dickinson and five-seed Mount St. Mary’s. Wagner will host LIU Brooklyn in one semi, with Mount St. Mary’s visiting FDU in the other.
  • VCU clinched at least a share of the Atlantic 10 regular season title with a 70-60 win over Davidson. Mo Alie-Cox and Melvin Johnson led the way for the Rams, with Alie-Cox finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds and four blocks and Johnson adding 16, five rebounds and four assists.
  • Austin Peay advanced to the quarterfinals of the OVC tournament with a 92-72 win over Tennessee Tech. Also advancing was Murray State, which beat Eastern Illinois 78-62.
  • Just three days removed from their home win over Duke, Pittsburgh did themselves no favors with a 65-61 loss at Virginia Tech. Zach LeDay led the Hokies with 20 points and ten rebounds.
  • Providence picked up a second straight victory, holding off Creighton by the final score of 70-66. Ben Bentil finished with 27 points and ten rebounds, and Kris Dunn added 17, six boards and six assists for the Friars.
  • Alabama suffered a damaging loss, as they fell 62-61 at home to Arkansas. The Razorbacks went to a box-and-1 to slow down Retin Obasohan down the stretch, and the move worked out well for Mike Anderson’s team. Obasohan finished with 32 points, but no other Alabama player scored more than ten.
  • Wisconsin continued its roll with a 62-49 win at Minnesota. Bronson Koenig accounted for 14 points and six assists with Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes adding 12 apiece for the Badgers, who have won 11 of their last 12 games.
  • Boston College is one loss away from going winless in ACC play, as they lost 73-72 at NC State on a Maverick Rowan layup as time expired. The Eagles also went winless in ACC play in football last season.
  • A Justin Bibbins coast-to-coast drive and finish gave Long Beach State a 75-73 win at Cal-State Fullerton. Nick Faust finished the game with 30 points and eight rebounds for the 49ers.
  • USC snapped a stretch of five losses in six games with an 81-70 win over Oregon State. The Beavers played without freshman Tres Tinkle, who injured his foot in practice Tuesday.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: No. 5 Xavier, No. 8 Iowa suffer road losses

Seton Hall guard Isaiah Whitehead (15) celebrates after defeating Xavier in an NCAA college basketball game Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
AP Photo/Mel Evans
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GAME OF THE DAY: Ohio State 68, No. 8 Iowa 64

Ohio State now has 11 Big Ten wins, but only three have come against teams not in the bottom five of the conference standings. That’s what made this result, with Marc Loving scoring 25 points, so important for a team that still has work to do when it comes to getting into the NCAA tournament. As for Iowa, they’ve now lost four of their last five games with their offensive struggles being the big reason why. This result also means that Indiana has clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title, which they can earn outright with a win at Iowa Tuesday night.

IMPORANT OUTCOMES

Seton Hall 90, No. 5 Xavier 81: The Pirates likely punched their ticket to the NCAA tournament with this win, leading by as much as 21 in a game that wasn’t as close as the final margin would lead one to believe. Desi Rodriguez was sensational for the Pirates, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, and Isaiah Whitehead added 22 to go along with five assists. Seton Hall’s turnover count was a bit high (18), but they did more than enough to ensure that the followed up Thursday’s win over Providence with another quality result.

Pittsburgh 76, No. 15 Duke 62: The Panthers added a needed quality win to its résumé, as they punished the Blue Devils on the glass. Pittsburgh grabbed better than 55 percent of its available misses, with Chris Jones and Sheldon Jeter combining for seven of the team’s 16 offensive boards. Jamel Artis led five Panthers in double figures with 17 points, and James Robinson celebrated “Senior Day” with 14 points and seven assists.

STARRED

Shaq Goodwin and Dedric Lawson, Memphis: Both posted double-doubles in the Tigers’ win over Tulsa. Goodwin finished with 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Lawson racked up 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Desi Rodriguez, Seton Hall: 27 points, 12 rebounds and three assists in the Pirates’ 90-81 win over No. 5 Xavier.

Damyean Dotson, Houston: 22 points, 14 rebounds and three assists in Houston’s 75-68 win at Connecticut.

Alec Peters, Valparaiso: 25 points and 15 rebounds in the Crusaders’ two-point win at Green Bay.

STRUGGLED

Brandon Taylor, Penn State: Taylor shot just 1-for-6 from the field, scoring two points before fouling out of the Nittany Lions’ 88-57 loss at Michigan State.

Derryck Thornton, Duke: Five points on 2-for-9 shooting, two assists and three turnovers in the Blue Devils’ 76-62 loss at Pittsburgh.

Sterling Gibbs, Connecticut: Five points (1-for-5 FG), three assists and three turnovers in the Huskies’ 75-68 home loss to Houston.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 6 Michigan State took care of business in East Lansing, beating Penn State 88-57. Denzel Valentine led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Spartans, who have won four straight games.
  • No. 13 Oregon completed an undefeated season at home and also maintained sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 with an 86-73 win over Washington. Elgin Cook finished with 26 points and seven rebounds and Dillon Brooks added 19 points for the Ducks, who close out the regular season at the L.A. schools next week.
  • No. 24 SMU moved back into a tie for first in the American with a 74-53 home win over Tulane. Ben Moore led a balanced offensive effort with 16 points while also grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking two shots, and Sterling Brown added 15 points and four assists.

OTHER NOTABLE RESULTS

  • While Connecticut is well-positioned to return to the NCAA tournament, they did themselves no favors with a 75-68 home loss to Houston. UConn’s defense was the issue, as the Cougars managed to shoot 51.9 percent from the field.
  • Saint Joseph’s avoided what would have been a bad loss, pulling away in the second half to beat Saint Louis 77-63. DeAndre Bembry and Isaiah Miles combined to score 45 points, with Bembry adding eight rebounds and six assists to his game-high 27 points.
  • Creighton, which has a lot of work to do to get back into the bubble conversation, steamrolled St. John’s 100-59 in Omaha. Seniors Geoffrey Groselle and James Milliken combined to score 41 points for the Bluejays, and St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin was ejected in the second half.
  • Tennessee State picked up a confidence boost of sorts with an 87-72 win over OVC regular season champion Belmont. Keron DeShields scored 25 for the Tigers, who will be the four-seed in next week’s OVC tournament and could face Belmont in the semifinals.
  • Monmouth locked up the outright MAAC regular season title with a 77-68 win over Niagara. Next up for King Rice’s Hawks will be either the Purple Eagles or Quinnipiac in Friday’s MAAC quarterfinals.
  • Iona will be the two-seed at the MAAC tournament, and they capped their regular season with an 86-78 home win over Canisius. Tim Cluess’ Gaels will play either Canisius or Marist in their quarterfinal matchup Friday.
  • Tulsa suffered a damaging loss as it looks to earn an NCAA tournament bid, falling 92-82 at Memphis. Shaq Goodwin led the Tigers with 28 points while also grabbing 11 boards, and Dedric Lawson finished with 27, 12 and six assists.
  • Valparaiso, already the Horizon League regular season champion, moved to 26-5 on the season with a 70-68 win at Green Bay. Alec Peters finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Wisconsin won for the tenth time in the last 11 games, beating Michigan 68-57 in Madison. Nigel Hayes and Vitto Brown combined to score 30 points and grab 11 boards for the Badgers, who are now part of a four-team logjam for second place in the Big Ten.
  • Nevada, which went 5-13 in Mountain West play a season ago, moved to 10-6 under first-year head coach Eric Musselman with an 87-80 overtime win over Colorado State. D.J. Fenner and Tryon Criswell combined to score 47 points and Cameron Oliver, who’s been the conference’s best freshman, finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Wolf Pack.
  • Oregon State took care of business in its home finale, beating Washington State 69-49. Gary Payton II (who brought his father’s number out of the rafters for Senior Night), Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks scored 13 points apiece for the Beavers.
  • Virginia Tech locked up a first-round bye in the ACC tournament with an 81-74 win at Wake Forest. Justin Bibbs led four Hokies in double figures with 22 points.
  • California extended its win streak to seven straight games with an 87-65 win over USC in Berkeley. Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown scored 18 apiece for the Golden Bears, who went 18-0 at Haas Pavilion this season.