"I Slept On It" is Blogging the Bracket's nearly daily roundup of the previous night's college basketball action, with a bracketology focus.
Memphis (20-6, 9-4) struggled mightily at Rutgers (10-16, 4-9). prevailing only by a 64-59 count. The Scarlet Knights' Kadeem Jack led all scorers with 22, but four Tigers hit double-figures on the night, led by Michael Dixon, Jr. with 15.
In the nightcap, Connecticut (21-5, 9-4) won fairly easily at Temple (7-18, 2-11), 68-55. Shabazz Napier had a nice night for the Huskies, scoring 17 and grabbing 12 boards.
For the most part, the game of the night lived up to the hype, though it was sloppy for significant segments and the officiating left much to be desired. In the end, North Carolina (19-7, 9-4) pulled away late and defeated Duke (21-6, 10-4), 74-66. While Leslie McDonald led the Tar Heels with 21 on the night, Marcus Paige (13 points) took over late. Jabari Parker led the Blue Devils with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a losing effort.
Georgetown's (15-11, 6-8) NCAA hopes were seriously dashed on Thursday night, as Seton Hall (14-12, 5-8) completed a season-sweep with an 82-67 victory. The Hoyas will be out of Friday's bracket projection.
Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) hit a school record 17 threes (on 32 attempts) as they blew past Purdue (15-11, 5-8), 94-79, in West Lafayette. Gary Harris scored 25 for Sparty with six threes, while Adreian Payne contributed 23, while hitting four of his eight attempts from beyond the arc. Bubble newcomer Nebraska (15-10, 7-6) hammered Penn State (13-14, 4-10), 80-67, to get above .500 in the Big Ten. Terran Petteway again led the Huskers, scoring 26, with 14 of those coming from the foul line.
Stanford (17-8, 8-5) got its weekend off to a great start by blasting hapless USC (10-15, 1-11), 80-59. Chasson Randle led the Cardinal, whose position looks increasingly secure, with 18. In a game involving two non-contenders Washington State (9-17, 2-12) fell at at Oregon State (14-11, 6-7), 68-57.
Alabama (10-16, 4-9) fell at Texas A&M (15-11, 6-7), 63-48, in a game between two teams that aren't headed to the NCAAs. The Aggies will next attempt to sweep Tennessee on Saturday, a possibility the Volunteers will want to avoid.
BYU (19-10, 11-5) picked up its third Top 50 win on Saturday night and will be back in Friday's projection. The Cougars took out Gonzaga (23-5, 13-2 WCC), 73-65, thanks to 17 from Anson Winder and 15 from Matt Carlino. Meanwhile, St. Mary's (19-9, 9-6 WCC) is just about done despite having a better overall record than the Cougars. The Gaels fell at San Francisco (17-10, 10-5), 73-62.
Louisiana Tech's (21-6, 9-3 C-USA) bubble popped with a 75-68 loss at East Carolina (14-13, 3-9). Southern Miss. (22-5, 9-3) and UTEP (20-7, 10-2) both won, however, setting up a big game in Hattiesburg on Saturday.
Green Bay (22-5, 12-2 Horizon) clinched the Horizon League regular-season title with a 67-53 win over Valparaiso (16-12, 8-5). The Phoenix, the first team to clinch a tournament top seed, will remain in the projected bracket for the rest of the way, barring a loss in the elimination event.