Six Top 25 teams took to the hardwoods on Sunday and all six defeated teams in their conference which had high hopes prior to tip-off. By the end of the day, teams heading for the Big Dance sent a reality check to those chasing the dream.
Wake Forest 73 #3 North Carolina 89
The Tar Heels saw what the Dekes did to Duke, so they invited them over for a little hard medicine. The home team shot 56% from the field and 77% from the foul line. Tyler Hansbrough scored 29 points. Even without Ty Lawson, who may be back by the weekend, the Tar Heels must be feared and respected.
California 69 #9 Stanford 79
Nothing special here except for another home win for the Cardinal. Cal has a good team, and they own wins over USC and Washington State, both of which they face over the next two weeks. Closing out the regular season isn't going to aid their cause, though, nor is their current 6-8 PAC-10 record.
#10 Xavier 57 Dayton 51
The X-Men put the final nail in the Flyers' coffin - their 8th loss against just five wins in the A-10. At 17-9 overall, Dayton may need another couple of wins to just make it to the NIT.
#11 Wisconsin 58 Ohio St. 53
Nice try by the Buckeyes, who would be the fifth team from the Big 10 to make the field of 65, but their schedule says they're not going to make it. Their final four games are at Indiana, at Minnesota, then home against Purdue and Michigan State.
If they win just one, presumably against the Gophers, they'll finish 9-9 in the league and 18-13 overall. NIT material. Better luck next year. If the committee lets them in, it's a travesty unless the Buckeyes somehow win two or three of these games and don't implode in the Big Ten Tourney. Michigan State, now in 4th place in the conference, is marginal at best, and these guys can't even beat them.
#18 Louisville 75 Pittsburgh 73
Pitt played one of its best games of the season and they still lost by a bucket. David Padgett and Edgar Sosa had their way with the Panthers, going 9-13 and 7-11, respectively. No sustained defensive effort and a third straight loss (this one at home) has put the Panthers' season on the edge. There's still time, but Cincy and West Virginia have passed them in the standings. The Panthers have them both on the remaining schedule, plus Syracuse and DePaul.
Syracuse 87 #21 Notre Dame 94
Cross off the 'Cuse. Whether they were employing coach Boeheim's vaunted 2-3 defense or man-on-man, Kyle McAlarney torched them for 30 points, hitting an incredible 9-of-11 3-pointers. Syracuse falls to 7-8 in the Big East and 17-11 overall. There are to many teams already in front of them for the Orange to be even considered to be on the bubble. They're young and suffered a number of key injuries this season, so they'll be back with a bullet next season.