Sunday, March 02, 2008

Weekend Update: Spartans, Red Raiders upset Hoosiers, Longhorns

We are officially just two weeks away from Selection Sunday and the start of the NCAA tournament.

A number of games over the weekend helped and/or hurt teams' chances to make the Big Dance, but none was bigger than Michigan State's enormous win over Indiana.


#12 Indiana 74 #19 Michigan St. 103
This win should be good enough to put the Spartans into the NCAA field. Totally unexpected, Michigan State, the win ended a three-game losing streak against ranked conference opposition. At 11-5 with a pair of road games remaining, the Spartans really needed this confidence builder.

They now move from the bubble to the "Most Likely" category for a bid, probably a 6 or 7, making them upset material.

Michigan State shot 61% for the game, including 13-24 three-pointers, registering a season-high single-game score.

Indiana dropped a game behind co-Big Ten leaders Purdue and Wisconsin, both at 14-2.

Kentucky 60 #1 Tennessee 63
This could have been a blowout, but the Wildcats battled back from being down as many as 15 in the first half to make a game of it, actually taking a short lead midway through the second half. Kentucky just doesn't stack up on paper, but they're going to be in the tournament as the best team with less than 20 wins and more than 10 losses because they are 10-4 in the SEC. Weird. They could be one and done or win three games. They're the most enigmatic team in the nation.

#17 Notre Dame 98 DePaul 91
The Irish clinched a first round bye in the upcoming Big East tournament and still has an outside chance at winning the regular season title. Generally, Notre Dame doesn't play well on the road, but they got this one at DePaul and have just two games left - St. John's and at South Florida.

They're game-ready for Madison Square Garden.

Villanova 54 #13 Louisville 68
The Cardinals were just too dominant inside for gritty Villanova, which really could have used a win. At 7-9 and 17-11 overall, the Wildcats need to win the last two regular season games and at least one in the Big East tourney to have even a chance at consideration for more playing time.

#4 UCLA 68 Arizona 66
Arizona almost pulled off this upset - and it would have been huge - but the Bruins escaped and the Wildcats are bubbling badly at 7-9 and 17-12. The PAC-10 would have to send six teams for Arizona to sneak in, and that's questionable.


2 Memphis 76 Southern Miss. 67
Good showing by Southern Miss (11-3, 21-8) means they'll be the second team from Conference-USA. Others may include Houston and UCF, but no more than four total.

#3 UNC 90 Boston College 80
Just another day at the office for the Tar Heels, who could be ranked #1 come Monday afternoon.

#5 Texas 80 Texas Tech 83
Shocker of the day as the Red Raiders swarmed the Longhorns and made their case for inclusion in the field of 65. But was it too late. Tech is 7-7 and 16-12 overall, but hold wins over both Kansas and Texas.

Kansas St. 74 #6 Kansas 88
Chalk up consecutive loss #4 for the Wildcats, who are fading faster than a tie-died t-shirt. Kansas takes back the lead in the Big 12. At 18-10, K-State has gone from a tournament lock a bubble team in just two weeks.

#7 Duke 87 N.C. St. 86
Wolfpack controlled this game for 39 minutes. Coach K gets win #800 as the Duke boys never quit.

George Washington 56 #9 Xavier 66
No surprise. The X-Men are good for a #3 or 4 seed.

#22 Washington St. 53 #8 Stanford 60
Look out for the Cardinal, winners of four straight and 11 of their last 12. They've beaten Wash St. twice now and get a rematch with UCLA Thursday night.

#11 Georgetown 70 #21 Marquette 68
Despite the loss, Marquette cemented their status as an invitee to the NCAA tourney. Georgetown struggled, but winning ugly becomes this very dangerous team.

Detroit 31 #14 Butler 65
It's Official. Butler is the Horizon League champion.

W. Virginia 71 #15 Connecticut 79
The Mountaineers didn't need this game at 9-7 and 20-9 overall, though it certainly would have helped. They're likely to get a bid, probably a 9 or 10.

Northwestern 43 #16 Purdue 68
Purdue and Wisconsin remain tied for the Big Ten lead at 14-2.

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#18 Vanderbilt 73 Arkansas 78
This was an enormous win by the Razorbacks. Vandy was coming off an upset of Tennessee and Arkansas may have caught them a little flat-footed. But, in the very contentious SEC, Arkansas needed a Top 25 win and got it when it counted.

Wichita St. 63 #20 Drake 73
Ho-hum. Drake clinched the MVC about a month ago.

#23 Kent St. 83 Bowling Green 89
Bit of an upset, but Kent State still looks like the team to beat in the Mid-American. Top 25 ranking? I don't know.

#25 St. Mary's 76 #24 Gonzaga 88
Talk about rising to the occasion! The Zags avenged an earlier loss to the Gaels and can wrap up the West Coast Conference title with a win over Santa Clara on Monday.

Pittsburgh 82 Syracuse 77
Pitt came from 14 down late in the second half to salvage what's left of their season. Still on the bubble at least until the Big East Tourney. Syracuse is out.

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