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Bubble Banter: All of today’s bubble action in one place

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Throughout the day, we will be tracking how every result impacts the teams currently sitting on the bubble. You can find our most recent bracket projection right here. This story will be updated throughout the afternoon and evening.

WINNERS

OHIO STATE (NET: 55, SOS: 55): The Buckeyes picked up a win that they desperately needed, knocking off Indiana in the second round of the Big Ten tournament and avoiding a loss in what was billed as a play-out game. The Buckeyes are 4-9 against Q1 and 9-12 against Q2, but it is worth noting that their best win is at Cincinnati (27) and that it is their only win over a team in the top 40. They also lost to Illinois (105) at home. I don’t think the Buckeyes are safe just yet, but Chris Holtmann can sleep a little easier tonight with this win than he would have otherwise.

FLORIDA (NET: 33, SOS: 40): Florida picked up a win in the second round of the SEC tournament over Arkansas, which is good because the Gators really need to add to their resume. Personally, I am probably lower on Florida than the rest of the industry. They have a terrific win at LSU (14), but that’s really their only Q1 win worth writing home about. They won at Alabama (59), they won at Arkansas (63), they beat Ole Miss at home (36), but none of those wins really move the needle. The kicker is Florida is just 3-11 against Q1 and 7-12 against Q1 and Q2 with two Q3 home losses. They’ve played a ridiculous schedule. They’ve landed one win of note. That should matter.

ALABAMA (NET: 59, SOS: 23): The Crimson Tide are the one true bubble team that picked up an important win on Thursday, as they knocked off Ole Miss in the second round of the SEC tournament. It’s their third Q1 win of the season, bumping them up to 10-12 in Q1 and Q2 games. They do have a pair of bad losses — Texas A&M (79) and Georgia State (127) at home — but a win over Kentucky in Tuscaloosa is going to go a long way. I still think they are going to want to get a win over those Wildcats in the quarterfinals on Friday to actually feel comfortable, but there is no question that Avery Johnson’s team took a step closer to dancing today.

UTAH STATE (NET: 30, SOS: 101): I guess Utah State wanted to make it interesting. That’s why they decided to trail New Mexico for the majority of the second half. Eventually, they outlasted the Lobos, they won their quarterfinal game and advanced to play Fresno State (82) in the Mountain West semis. At this point, with two Q1 wins, a 4-5 mark against the top two quadrants and just one bad loss — Fresno State (82) at home by one — I think the Aggies are in.

ARIZONA STATE (NET: 67, SOS: 71): Arizona State picked up a win over UCLA in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament, keeping their hopes of an at-large bid alive. I still think they need to win one more game. Wins over Kansas (20), Mississippi State (22) and Utah State (30) are not enough to make up for the fact that the Sun Devils have two Q3 and two Q4 losses. No other bubble team is close to that.

XAVIER (NET: 70, SOS: 50): The Musketeers moved another step closer to the cut-line with a win over Creighton (54) in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament, but there is still a lot of work for this group to do. Their best win is against Villanova (25) at home, and that is their only win over a top 50 opponent. They are 18-14 on the season and have a pair of Q3 losses to boot. I think they need to beat Villanova in the semifinals, and even that might not end up being enough.

MINNESOTA (NET: 56, SOS: 38): With a win over Penn State (49) in the second round of the Big Ten tournament, I think the Golden Gophers punched their ticket. I can’t see a loss to Purdue (12) in the quarterfinals changing anything, and I think there is enough of a gap between them and the teams of the cut-line that they don’t have anything more to worry about.

SETON HALL (NET: 62, SOS: 34): Seton Hall is in. If they lost to Georgetown (78) on Thursday night, and a bunch of other weird stuff happened across the college hoops landscape, there was a chance that they could have missed out. They won. They’re in.

LOSERS

INDIANA (NET: 51, SOS: 49): Indiana lost what amounted to something of a play-out game in the second round of the Big Ten tournament on Thursday, losing to Ohio State in a game where the Buckeyes never really lost control. It puts the Hoosiers in a really tough spot. They have played much better over the last two weeks, but this is still a team that lost 12 out of 13 at one point. They do have some really impressive wins — a sweep of Michigan State (8), Wisconsin (15), Louisville (21), Marquette (29), at Penn State (49) — but with 15 losses on the season, they are going to have to hope that St. Mary’s is the final bid thief and that the rest of the bubble loses out. They are the cut-line.

ST. JOHN’S (NET: 64, SOS: 80): St. John’s is not as comfortably in the tournament as you might think that they are. After losing to Marquette by 32 points on Thursday night, the Johnnies are now 5-7 against Q1 opponents with 10 wins in Q1 and Q2 competition. But the only top 25 win that they have on the season came at home against Villanova (25). They swept Marquette (29) during the regular season, but VCU (31) on a neutral and won at Creighton (53), but they also have a pair of Q3 home losses — DePaul (102) and Georgetown (79). I think there are a few teams between them and the cut-line as it currently stands, but if a couple more bubble teams pick up wins and the likes of Nevada, VCU and Buffalo lose in their league tournament, this could become a real problem.

TEXAS (NET: 38, SOS: 6): Thursday night was a worst case scenario for the Longhorns. Not only did they lose to Kansas in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament, but they lost Jaxson Hayes to what appeared to be a pretty serious knee injury. I think that this might be the weirdest profile that I have ever seen. Texas is 16-16 on the season, but there’s a real argument to be made that they have a good enough profile to get a bid. They have five Q1 wins — including North Carolina (7) on a neutral, at Kansas State (24) and Purdue (12), Kansas (20) and Iowa State (23) at home. They have nine Q1 and Q2 wins and just one loss outside the top two quadrants. They played one of the toughest schedules in all of college basketball. In a year with a week bubble, that might have been enough if they weren’t currently sitting at .500.

N.C. STATE (NET: 32, SOS: 207): The Wolfpack did the bare minimum to keep themselves in the bubble conversation by beating Clemson (35) on Wednesday. They now have three Q1 wins to their name and a 9-9 mark against Q1 and Q2. The problem? They played the single worst non-conference schedule in college basketball this season, and they have a pair of Q3 losses to their name. It’s going to be tight, and I have a feeling that this is going to be a situation where the committee punishes the Wolfpack for how poor their non-conference schedule is.

CREIGHTON (NET: 54, SOS: 14): Creighton has a stronger profile that you probably realize, enough so that losing to Xavier (70) on a neutral court is probably their worst loss of the season. They’ve also won at Marquette (29) and beaten Clemson (35) on a neutral. That is probably not going to be enough, however, as their 17-14 record with no bad losses just doesn’t have enough top end wins to justify a spot.

TCU (NET: 48, SOS: 42): The Horned Frogs held a lead for most of their quarterfinal game against No. 15 Kansas State on Thursday afternoon, but it was all for naught. The Wildcats pulled away in the end and TCU is now in an unenviable situation. They are 20-13 on the season with three Q1 wins and a 9-13 record against Q1 and Q2 with a sweep of Iowa State (23) and a win at Texas (38) highlighting their resume. Will that end up being enough? For what it’s worth, TCU was one of the last four byes heading into today, meaning our latest projection did not even have TCU in a play-in game.

GEORGETOWN (NET: 78, SOS: 79): The Hoyas are done. They needed to beat Seton Hall to have a chance and they couldn’t even keep it close.

Three Things To Know: Memphis embarrassed; Luka Garza shows out again

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The story of the night in hoops was Zion Williamson’s return to the basketball court.

But there was plenty of action in the college ranks that is worthy of talking about.

Here are the three things that you need to know:

1. No. 20 MEMPHIS LOST BY 40 TO TULSA

That is not a typo.

The 20th-ranked team in the country went into Tulsa, Okla., and lost to the Golden Hurricane, 80-40. Tulsa was up 40-17 at halftime. This was a butt-whooping that was so bad that all Tulsa needed to do was score a single point in the second half and they would have been able to get the win.

Memphis shot 28 percent from the floor. They were 2-for-21 from three. They finished the night with more turnovers (20) and fouls (22) than field goals (16). This was the worst loss that a top 25 team has suffered against a ranked team in 27 years, since UConn beat then-No. 12 Virginia by 41 points.

For Tulsa, this is a massive, massive win. They are currently sitting all alone in first place in the American standings, a half-game up on Houston.

So good for Frank Haith.

But the story here is Memphis, because the Tigers, considered title contenders before the season began, look anything-but right now.

“We let our defense dictate our offense,” head coach Penny Hardaway told reporters after the game. “We didn’t play any defense today. I think today was the first day we’ve done that ll year. I don’t know if guys overlooked Tulsa because of the name. We did our due diligence as a coaching staff to let them know what was going to happen with the matchup zone and how hard they play.

“It’s pretty embarrassing.”

2. LUKA GARZA WENT NUTS AGAIN

If it seems like Garza is putting up monster numbers every games, it’s because he is.

On Wednesday night, the Hawkeyes welcomed newly-ranked Rutgers to campus and sent them home with an entertaining, hard-fought, 85-80 win. And Garza was the star of the show. He finished with 28 points, 13 boards, four blocks and two steals in the win, anchoring the paint as Iowa out-scored Rutgers 47-37 in the second half.

The big fella is now averaging 23 points and 10.5 boards.

Iowa has now won four straight games to move into a tie for third in the Big Ten standings — with Rutgers, among others — and they have won eight straight games in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. They are a third of the way through a three-game homestand as well.

3. VIRGINIA TECH TAKES DOWN NORTH CAROLINA

Virginia Tech kept up their push to finish as the fourth-best team in the ACC with a 79-77 double-overtime win over North Carolina.

The Hokies are now 14-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC, but the more interesting story might actually be the Tar Heels.

They are 8-10 on the season and 1-6 in the ACC. They have been a disaster for the last month, but there may be some reinforcements on the way in the shape of Cole Anthony. If he returns and the Tar Heels, who are 2-7 in his absence but have wins over Alabama and Oregon with him, get things back on the right track, they are likely going to find themselves in an incredibly awkward situation on Selection Sunday.

Big 12 hands down Kansas-Kansas State fight suspensions

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The Big 12 handed down suspensions to four Kansas and Kansas State players for their role in the fight that occurred in Phog Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.

Silvio De Sousa, who tried to fight three different Kansas State players and picked up a stool during the melee, received a 12 game suspension from the conference. David McCormack, who went into the stands to confront James Love III, received a two game suspension. Love was given eight games for part in the fight, while Antonio Gordon, the freshman that turned a messy situation into a fight, was hit with a three game suspension.

“This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated and these suspensions reflect the severity of last evening’s events,” said Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.  “I am appreciative of the cooperation of both institutions in resolving this matter.”

In the final seconds on Tuesday night, after DaJuan Gordon stole the ball from him at halfcourt, De Sousa blocked Gordon’s shot and towered over him. That sparked an incident that turned into a full-fledged brawl, as De Sousa threw punches at three different players on Kansas State before picking up a stool as the fight spilled into the handicapped section of Kansas seating.

Self called the fight “an embarrassment” after the game, adding on Wednesday that “we are disappointed in [De Sousa’s] actions and there is no place in the game for that behavior.”

McCormack will be eligible to return for Kansas on Feb. 1st when they play Texas Tech at home. De Sousa will be available to play in the final game of the regular season at Texas Tech. Gordon can return on Feb. 3rd, when the Wildcats host Baylor, while Love will be out until late February. But he has played just one game and two minutes on the season, so there is no clear indication of when he will actually put on a Kansas State jersey again.

The four most important questions after Kansas-Kansas State fight

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Very other sport can treat brawls like comedy, and I think it’s about time that we did the same for basketball.

So let’s take a look at the four funniest moments from last night’s Kansas-Kansas State fight. Shouts to Jomboy:

1. IS THE KANSAS MASCOT OK?

Throughout the entire fight, the mascot is just in utter disbelief. He cannot believe what he just saw, and he certainly cannot be consoled:

2. CAN JEREMY CASE START AT LINEBACKER FOR KU’S FOOTBALL TEAM?

Case is the video coordinator for Kansas. He’s also a former Kansas point guard. He knows what this rivalry is all about, and he also is not going to be afraid to get in the middle of it.

Case starts out on the wrong side of the melee:

But when he sees De Sousa and Love squaring up and throwing punches, he intervenes by throwing himself into a player six inches taller than him:

3. WHAT HAPPENED TO JAMES LOVE III’S SHOE?

James Love the third has played in exactly one game this season. He has spent more time on the court fighting that he has actually playing, but he still found a way to get into the middle of this fight and, in the process, lost his shoe:

He’s not dressed for the game.

Did he bring an extra pair of shoes? Did he have to head back onto the bus without a shoe on this right foot? So many questions, so few answers.

4. WHO IS THE MAN IN THE ORANGE HAT?

He’s some kind of photographer.

He got his shot, that’s for sure:

Kansas-Kansas State fight: Nuance, context the key in Silvio De Sousa discussion

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So I wanted to elaborate on a point that I made on twitter this morning because 280 characters just is not enough to be able to parse through the nuance of this situation.

If you missed it, the thread is here.

First and foremost, everyone involved in this needs to be punished. Silvio De Sousa needs to be suspended. Antonio Gordon needs to be suspended. James Love III needs to be suspended. David McCormack, and potentially Marcus Garrett, probably need to be suspended, although I’m not sure either of them actually through a punch. Point being, anyone else that threw a punch needs to be suspended.

Full stop.

I am not saying otherwise.

But I think that it is important to add some context to the conversation, and I also think that it is important to say this: This doesn’t make any of the young men involved in this fight bad people. Silvio De Sousa is not inherently a bad person because he picked up a stool, and the faux-trage of people calling for him to get booted out of school, arrested or even deported are, at best, completely over-reacting and, at worst, showing off a bit of their racial bias.

Before I get into this, one more thing: I am not condoning any of it. Fights like this should not happen.

But the reality of hyper-competitive athletics is that in emotionally charged situations, fights are going to happen. And if you’ve ever been in a fight like this, you know that things happen incredibly quickly. You’re not thinking, you’re reacting. You can’t call a 20 second time out to come up with a way to defend yourself when someone is throwing haymakers, you just do what you can in the moment.

So let’s talk about the moment, shall we?

De Sousa is the guy that set this entire thing in motion with the way that he reacted to DaJuan Gordon’s steal and layup attempt. The reason the Kansas State bench rushes over to the scene is because De Sousa is towering over one of their freshman teammates, and the reason the Kansas sideline runs over is because the Kansas State sideline does. What turned this incident into a full-fledged brawl was Antonio Gordon flying in and shoving De Sousa over the back of the basket stanchion. De Sousa reacts by throwing punches at two different Kansas State players when a third player — James Love III, in the black polo — comes flying in and squares up with him. They both throw a few punches at each other, knocking De Sousa back over the stanchion again as Kansas staffer Jeremy Case comes flying in to break them up.

Put yourself in De Sousa’s shoes here. In the span of 10 seconds, he’s fought three different Kansas State players, sees nothing but purple in front of him and just got knocked to the ground. Is he getting jumped? Does he have to fight them 1-on-3? That’s when he grabs the stool, to defend himself, and when he sees that no one is coming after him anymore, he drops it:

Context.

He should be suspended for 8-10 games.

He set this entire thing in motion.

But maybe, just maybe, tone down the rhetoric.

Women’s Wednesday: A new column dedicated to the women of college basketball

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Welcome to CBT’s first ever weekly women’s basketball column. I’m here to help provide you with some insight into the world of women’s college hoops.

Women’s sports are reaching new heights, especially in basketball. The WNBA announced a new collective bargaining agreement starting in the 2020 season that includes a 53 percent raise, maternity benefits, a base salary and performance-based bonuses. This year’s NCAA women’s basketball tournament will be broadcasted in its entirety on ESPN, with the semifinals and championship game premiering in primetime.

Female athletes are beginning to garner the attention they deserve. Sabrina Ionescu is drawing national attention for a historic senior season, as she has 22 career triple-doubles and became Oregon’s all-time leading basketball scorer in her career-high 37-point performance against Stanford last week. In the WNBA, women such as Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, and more are shattering gender stereotypes and proving that women can play basketball at a high level, just as men can.

While women’s sports have made a push into the public eye, there is still quite a way to go. It’s important to place an emphasis on the women who excel in their sport and give them the spotlight they deserve. Too many times women are only given credit through a masculine lens, whether that’s only getting attention after receiving praise from men, being compared to a male counterpart, or being a footnote in a male athlete’s story. Female athletes deserve to be their own story.

That’s what I’m hoping to do with this column over the rest of the season — give women a place to shine. I’d like to use this space to highlight some of the amazing women that play in the NCAA and hear from them about their experiences, the records they’re setting and their basketball journey. While I won’t even begin to make a dent in the breadth of talent available in women’s college basketball, I hope to use this column each week to take a deeper dive into some incredible women, as well as give you an idea of what’s happening around the country that week.

WEDNESDAY’S NEWS AND NOTES

South Carolina sits atop the world of college hoops, earning 22 first-place votes from the AP panel to nab the No. 1 spot. The Gamecocks have an 18-1 record with wins over ranked opponents such as Maryland, Baylor, Kentucky and most recently Mississippi State.

Baylor — the reigning national champs —- sits in the No. 2 spot in the rankings after dethroning UConn and ending its dominant 98-game winning streak at home. The Lady Bears received six of the first-place votes from the AP committee.

The rest of the top five is filled out by UConn at No. 3, Oregon at No. 4 after beating then-No. 3 Stanford, and Louisville rounds it out at fifth, receiving the last two first-place votes.

In a monster performance against Stanford, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu had a career-high 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. She has four triple-doubles on the season and has a chance to become the NCAA’s first player to eclipse 2,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds and 1,000 career assists. As of Jan. 18, she has 2,265 points, 904 rebounds and 928 assists.

DePaul remains unbeaten in the Big East, with Chante Stonewall leading the team with 17.9 ppg while Kelly Campbell has 102 assists on the season, ranking No. 8 in the country.

Baylor’s 40-point victory over then-No. 17 West Virginia is their 45th consecutive Big 12 win.

Mississippi State’s JaMya Mingo-Young and Aliyah Matharu combined for 24 points and four steals off the bench in a close 79-81 loss to South Carolina on Monday.

Star freshman and No. 1 recruit Haley Jones suffered an apparent right knee injury and left Stanford’s Sunday win over Oregon State. She is scheduled to have an MRI but the team has given no further updates.

North Carolina State’s Elissa Cunane has 20+ points in four of her last six games and 10 double-doubles on the season, helping the Wolfpack to a dominant win over Florida State last week.

UCLA became the last undefeated team to fall with a double overtime loss to USC — who hadn’t yet won a Pac-12 matchup —  on Friday.

Northwestern made its debut this season in the Top-25, coming in at No. 22 — its first ranking since the 2015-2016 season.

No. 3 Oregon faces rival No. 7 Oregon State on Friday in a crucial Pac-12 matchup.

Stanford freshman Fran Belini threw down a one-handed dunk in pregame warmup before facing Oregon that you HAVE to see: