GAME OF THE NIGHT: Wake Forest 82, No. 4 Duke 72
This was the most surprising result of the night, with the Demon Deacons using multiple defenses in their win over the Blue Devils in Winston-Salem. Tyler Cavanaugh scored 20 points off the bench and Travis McKie added 19 for Wake Forest, which has beaten Duke, North Carolina and N.C State in the same season for the first time since 2009. As for Duke they’ve got some issues to address offensively, and head coach Mike Krzyzewski dealt with lightheadedness as well.
1) No. 11 Louisville 84, No. 18 SMU 71
Russ Smith scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half as the Cardinals beat SMU in Dallas. Defending Smith was one problem for the Mustangs, who also turned the ball over 23 times on the night. Nic Moore played just 19 minutes due to foul trouble, and both he and Nick Russell struggled with the Louisville pressure.
2) Dayton 72, No. 17 Saint Louis 67
Dayton arrived in Saint Louis in need of a quality win for its resume, and the Flyers left with the desired result. Dayton defended well in the second half and their reserves scored 31 points, outscoring the Saint Louis bench by 17. As for the Billikens, they’ve now lost three straight games and need to get things back in order ahead of the conference tournament next week.
3) No. 3 Arizona 74, Oregon State 69
Nick Johnson scored 25 points and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 13 off the bench as the Wildcats held off the Beavers in Corvallis. However for as impressive as that point total may look for Johnson, his defending of Roberto Nelson was even better. Nelson scored 25 points but shot 7-for-22 from the field, and as a team Oregon State shot 19-for-30 from the foul line.
1) F Tyler Stone (Southeast Missouri State)
In the Redhawks’ 79-61 win over Eastern Illinois in the first round of the OVC tournament, Stone racked up 27 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.
2) G Maurice Watson (Boston University)
Watson led the Terriers to a 91-54 win over Lafayette in a Patriot League quarterfinal with 21 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
3) F Ryan Watkins (Boise State)
Watkins shot 9-for-12 from the field, accounting for 27 points and 14 rebounds in the Broncos’ 83-81 double overtime loss to Nevada.
1) G Jon Severe (Fordham)
Severe made just one of his 12 field goal attempts, scoring three points in the Rams’ 77-65 loss at Rhode Island.
2) G Chris Denson (Auburn)
Tennessee made sure to take the Tigers’ leading scorer out of the game, as Denson shot 1-for-10 from the field in Auburn’s 82-54 home loss to the Volunteers.
3) F Jesse Chuku (Lehigh)
Chuku shot 1-for-11 from the field in the Mountain Hawks’ 54-48 loss to Holy Cross in a Patriot League quarterfinal.
- Big South: Charleston Southern the lone surprise on day one
Charleston Southern, the fifth seed out of the South Division, beat 4N Campbell 81-71 in the first round of the Big South tournament. Arlon Harper scored 20 points and Will Saunders added 18 off the bench for the Buccaneers, who will face 1S Coastal Carolina on Thursday. Winthrop, Radford and Gardner-Webb were the other winners on Wednesday
- Northeast: Mount St. Mary’s erases 17-point deficit
Mount St. Mary’s trailed by as much as 17 in their quarterfinal matchup with St. Francis-Brooklyn, and with 1:53 remaining the Mountaineers trailed by 11. But Jamion Christian’s team found a way to fight back, winning 72-71 on a Rashad Whack three-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining. The lone surprise on Wednesday was Saint Francis (PA) upsetting Bryant, 55-54. Top seeds Robert Morris and Wagner advanced by comfortable margins.
- OVC: SEMO, Tennessee Tech advance
The start of the OVC tournament didn’t provide an upset, with Southeast Missouri State beating Eastern Illinois 79-61 and Tennessee Tech holding off SIU-Edwardsville 74-67. SEMO’s Tyler Stone was the star of the night (27 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks), and Tennessee Tech’s Jeremiah Samarrippas led four Eagles in double figures with 16 points.
- Patriot League: Army wins at Bucknell
Just one of the four road teams managed to win on Wednesday: Army, which beat Bucknell 72-71 on a Kyle Wilson jumper with 12.5 seconds remaining. The Black Knights trailed by seven points with three minutes remaining. The top three seeds, Boston University, American and Holy Cross, all won.
- Nebraska continued its late charge towards an NCAA tournament berth with a 70-60 win over Indiana in Bloomington. Also of note for Tim Miles’ Huskers is the fact that they’re still in play for a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament.
- All three SEC bubble teams won on Wednesday. While Arkansas (Ole Miss) and Tennessee (Auburn) blew out their opponents, Missouri beat Texas A&M 57-56 in Columbia.
- Colorado and Utah picked up valuable road win, with the Buffaloes beating Stanford 59-56 and the Utes holding off Cal by the final score of 63-59. And from a bubble standpoint, the Golden Bears have lost four of their last five and may be in trouble.
- George Washington added a quality win to its resume, beating Saint Joseph’s 76-71 in Washington, D.C. That result means that Saint Louis wins the Atlantic 10 regular season title despite their loss to Dayton.
- No. 9 Wisconsin won its eighth straight game, outlasting Purdue 76-70 in Madison. And given some of the other happenings across the country, don’t rule out the Badgers in the race for a one-seed.
THE REST OF THE TOP 25
- No. 8 Kansas 82, Texas Tech 57
- No. 10 San Diego State 73, UNLV 64
- No. 19 UConn 69, Rutgers 63
- No. 21 New Mexico 80, Air Force 52
- No. 23 Oklahoma 72, West Virginia 62