USF (12-11, 3-7) opened the night by winning at UCF (9-11, 1-8) after overtime, thanks to a questionable late foul call on the Knights' Kasey Wilson. In the only AAC game of the night that involved a tournament contender, Louisville (19-4, 8-2) took out Houston (11-12, 3-7) by 15. The Cardinals' Russ Smith led all scorers with 17.
League-leader Saint Louis (21-2, 8-0) won its 15th straight game, defeating St. Joseph's (15-7, 5-3) at Hawk Hill by a 65-49 count. UMass (18-4, 5-3) ended a two-game skid by topping La Salle (12-10, 4-4) in Amherst, 79-67. Chaz Williams scored 17 and dished out eight assists for the Minutemen. Duquesne (10-11, 2-6) gave George Washington (18-4, 6-2) little trouble in D.C., as the Colonials prevailed by 14.
Bubble team Dayton (15-8, 3-5) cruised at George Mason (7-15, 0-8), which is still looking for its first A10 conference win. On the other hand, Richmond (15-8, 5-3), another team currently sitting on the outside looking in, needed a late Kendall Anthony jumper to defeat St. Bonaventure (13-9, 3-5), 64-62.
The three ACC bid contenders in action on Wednesday all won in very different ways. Virginia (18-5, 9-1) opened up a huge lead on Boston College (6-16, 2-7) in Charlottesville, then held on for a 77-67 victory. In Coral Gables, Pittsburgh (19-4, 7-3) needed overtime to defeat Miami (11-11, 2-7), 59-55. Finally, Florida State (14-8, 5-5) rolled over Virginia Tech (8-14, 1-9) by 20 in Tallahassee.
West Virginia (14-9, 6-4) picked up its third win in a row over a bid contender. Thanks to Eron Harris' 28 points, the Mountaineers took out Oklahoma (17-6, 6-4) by five after overtime in Morgantown. Remember that in its final eight games, WVU plays just one against a team that has no chance for a bid, a March 1st contest at TCU Horned Frogs.
In the first game of the night's Big Ten doubleheader, Michigan (17-5, 9-1) opened up a 28-point halftime lead on Nebraska (11-10, 3-6) and never looked back, prevailing by a 79-50 score in Ann Arbor. Glenn Robinson III led the Wolverines with 23, while Nik Stauskas struggled for the second consecutive game, netting only nine on the night. Later, in West Lafayette, Minnesota (15-8, 4-6) dropped its third straight, a 77-74 triple-overtime decision at Purdue (14-9, 4-6). The Golden Gophers' place in the field of 68 is becoming increasingly tenuous, and a tricky schedule over the next week (Indiana at the Barn Saturday, followed by road trips to Madison and Evanston) might push Minnesota over the edge soon.
Xavier Thames put on a show a Taco Bell Arena on Wednesday night, as San Diego State (20-1, 9-0) defeated host Boise State (15-8, 5-5), 67-65. Thames scored 23 and made a stunning pass on to set up Dwayne Polee II's game-winning three-pointer with four seconds left. It's the second consecutive collapse for the Broncos, who will now surely need to win the Mountain West auto bid to dance.
The beneficiary of Saturday's Bronco collapse, UNLV (15-8, 6-4), undid all of that good work by getting blown out at Colorado State (13-10, 4-6). Third-place Nevada (12-11, 7-3) fell at Utah State (12-10. 2-8), while second-place New Mexico (18-4, 9-1) needed overtime to complete a season sweep of Wyoming (14-8, 5-4) at The Pit.
In the Battle of the Bay, Stanford (15-7, 6-4) handed California (15-8, 6-4) its fourth loss in its last five, dropping the Golden Bears by 11 in Berkeley. Dwight Powell picked up a huge double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds) to lead the Cardinal to the win. Meanwhile, Colorado (17-6, 6-4) picked up a needed home win over Washington State (9-13, 2-8) in Boulder. Askia Booker scored 26 for the Buffaloes in the 68-63 win.
Only one of the four SEC games on Wednesday's slate involved a bid contender, and that squad -- Tennessee (14-8, 5-4) lost at Vanderbilt (13-8, 5-4), who now is tied with the Vols in the SEC table, 64-60. The Commodores' Rod Odom dropped 26 on Tennessee to lead all scorers.
Undefeated Wichita State (24-0, 11-0) was tested at Indiana State (17-6, 8-3), but a late Sycamore scoring drought helped push the Shockers to a 65-58 victory. In the Patriot League, American's (14-8, 10-1) dropped its first conference game, falling 62-58 at Loyola, Md. (9-13, 4-7). Horizon League leader Green Bay (19-4, 9-1) struggled early with UIC (5-19, 0-10) before prevailing 81-70. In Spokane, Gonzaga (21-3, 11-1) prepared for Saturday's showdown in Memphis by topping Portland (13-11, 5-7) by five.