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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.