Thursday’s Morning Shootaround: Someone has to starting winning games on the bubble eventually, right?

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Bubble Games (WARNING: Some of the results you see here are ugly and may disturb those with a sense of good basketball. Parental discretion is advised.)

For a recap of the conference tournament results, click here.

Cincinnati 67, Marquette 60: For anyone that still had any doubts about the Bearcats, trade them in now. Cincy is dancing. As for Marquette, they can feel pretty good — not great — about where they currently stand. The biggest issue? 12 losses are a lot of losses. And if the Golden Eagles don’t win the automatic bid from the Big East, they will be sitting on the bubble with 13 losses and nine or ten Big East losses. I don’t care if there aren’t any bad losses in that group, that is a huge number.

Michigan State 85, Iowa 66: This isn’t exactly a huge win for Michigan State. Its Iowa. But you know what it isn’t? A loss. And with the number inexplicable, inexcusable losses around the country last night, this win only reaffirms the Spartans standing on the right side of the bubble.

UAB 67, Southern Miss 66: This was a huge game because both the Blazers and the Golden Eagles, who were both sitting on or around the cut line. UAB pulled out a tough win on the road, dropping Larry Eustachy’s team into a fourth place tie in the league. The Blazers, however, are making as strong a case as you can for a team that looks like it will be on the wrong side of the bubble come Selection Sunday.

East Carolina 68, Memphis 57: Its amazing to think that a Memphis team that has lost three of their last four, that is now 21-9 on the season and 9-6 in a thoroughly mediocre Conference USA, and whose best non-conference win came against Gonzaga is still on the bubble. What will be interesting is if a bid comes down to conference rivals Memphis and UAB. The Blazers have the better computer numbers, but the Tigers have the better wins.

Miami FL 80, Maryland 66: The Terps have struggled all season against good competition, and it looks like those problems are starting to permeate against mediocre competition. The Terps were never really in this game, as Jordan Williams finished 3-17 from the floor for just 11 points.

No. 4 Duke 70, Clemson 59: This was the Tiger’s chance to make a statement. They missed. And now, with a 19-10 record and an 8-7 mark in the ACC without a marquee win to their name, the Tigers are going to need to do some work in the ACC Tournament if they want to get a bid. If they lose to another thoroughly mediocre ACC team, Virginia Tech, at home on Saturday, its just about over and the Tigers would need an ACC Tournament title.

No. 21 Utah State 58, New Mexico State 54: The USU Aggies handled the NMSU Aggies to improve to 26-3 on the season. Its a gaudy record, I know, but with just one top 50 win and only one more top 100 win, USU has zero room for error, even in a season with an ugly bubbly. If they lose to NMSU and also lose in the WAC Tournament, that adds two more sub-100 losses on their resume. Generally speaking, teams don’t team at-large bids when they have more sub-100 losses than top 100 wins.

Iowa State 95, Colorado 90: Nebraska beat Texas and then lost to Iowa State in overtime. On Saturday, Colorado beat Texas. Last night they lost to the Cyclones, essentially ending their bubble hopes. On Monday, Kansas State beat Texas. They play Iowa State on Saturday.

Richmond 69, St. Joe’s 54: Richmond is another one of those teams with a pretty mediocre resume that simply did not lose at the of the season. When you beat the teams you are supposed to beat in your league and own a win over No. 8 Purdue, you can apparently feel safe in the Atlantic 10.

St. Louis 69, Dayton 51: You would think that a loss like this — an 18 point loss to a bad Bilikens team — would doom a bubble team. This season, that just isn’t the case. Dayton hurt their cause with this loss, but they didn’t throw it all out the window. Remember, everyone is losing.

Colorado State 85, Utah 76: The Rams did what they needed to do — they kept themselves on the edge of the conversation with a trip left to San Diego State. Its a long shot, but hey, everyone else is losing, right?

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New Mexico 82, No. 3 BYU 64: Yes, BYU played without Davies, but hold off on the doomsday scenarios for now.

No. 13 North Carolina 72, Florida State 70: This win was ideal for all parties involved, including the fans.

No. 2 Kansas 64, No. 22 Texas A&M 51: It wasn’t pretty, but the Jayhawks beat back the Aggies en route to clinching at least a share of their seventh straight Big 12 regular season title. Tyshawn Taylor returned from a two-game suspension with nine points, the Morrii both added 13, and Elijah Johnson sparked the game-changing 14-2 run in the second half.

West Virginia 65, No. 16 UConn 56: The Mountaineers got 18 points from Joe Mazzulla as they pulled away from the Huskies late on Wednesday night. Kevin Jones scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, but it was the lack of offense that killed the Huskies. they were just 2 for their last 17 from the field and managed all of seven assists on 22 field goals. Shabazz Napier and Kemba Walker are both clearly good one-on-one players, but UConn is not going to win going one-on-one late in games when defenses clamp down.

Other Notable Scores:

  • No. 5 Pitt 66, USF 50
  • No. 11 Louisville 87, Providence 60
  • Temple 73, UMass 67 OT
  • Xavier 68, Charlotte 48
  • Georgia 73, LSU 53