"I Slept On It" is Blogging the Bracket's nearly daily roundup of the previous night's college basketball action, with a bracketology focus.
Connecticut (19-5, 7-4) and Memphis (19-5, 8-3) picked up victories over the AAC's Floridian contingent, but did so in sharply contrasting ways. The Huskies opened the night by outright embarrassing USF (12-13, 3-9), 80-43. Strangely enough, only two players hit double figures for UConn, DeAndre Daniels (12) and Kentan Facey (10). Naturally, no Bull scored more than eight on the night.
Things weren't quite so easy for the Tigers, who got all they could handle from typically-hapless UCF (9-13, 1-10) at the FedEx Forum. The Knights had Memphis knotted up at 48 with 9:14 to go, but Josh Pastner's team took over from there, eventually prevailing by six. Joe Jackson scored 18 to lead Memphis, while Tristan Spurlock picked up a nice double-double (18 and 10) for the visitors.
Five A10 bid contenders were in action on Wednesday night, but just three won. VCU (20-5, 8-2) picked up its 20th win of the season, as Treveon Graham took over (25 points, 10 rebounds) to push the Rams past George Washington (19-5, 7-3). The result gives VCU sole possession of second place in the league, two games behind Saint Louis -- who they meet Saturday -- in the loss column.
UMass (19-5, 6-4), however, really seems to be interested in flirting with the bubble, as it fell at home to struggling George Mason (9-15, 2-8). The Minutemen have gone just 3-4 since their 16-1 start.
With Duke-North Carolina and Boston College-Georgia Tech both postponed due to snow, Syracuse's (24-0, 11-0) contest at Pitt (20-5. 8-4) became the only ACC game on Wednesday's schedule, and it didn't disappoint. Talib Zanna looked to have won the game for the Panthers by draining a pair of free throws with a little more than four seconds left. But then Tyler Ennis sent Orange fans everywhere to a moment of shocked bliss.
C.J. Fair led the Orange with 14, who played only six players all night, thanks to Baye Moussa Keita's knee injury.
The win wasn't even the only piece of good news for the Orange, who will now play at Duke two nights after the Blue Devils' rescheduled game in Chapel Hill.
Brady Heslip (8-12 from three) helped fire Baylor (15-9, 3-8) past TCU (9-14, 0-11), 91-58, to keep the Bears in the NCAA hunt. However, Oklahoma (18-7, 7-5) surprisingly lost at home to Texas Tech (13-11, 5-6), 68-60. The Red Raiders pretty much controlled the game from tip, leading by 20 for a good chunk of the second half. Tubby Smith's team extended its winning streak to three and has now won more conference games than in the past two seasons combined. On the other hand, the Sooners have dropped three of their last four. With five difficult games coming up on the schedule, Lon Kruger's team may not be locking down NCAA plans anytime soon.
DePaul lost.— SB Nation CBB (@SBNationCBB) February 13, 2014
Darrun Hilliard II led the Wildcats, who will certainly remain on the two line of Friday's bracket, with 22.
Penn State (13-12, 4-8) might have very well condemned Indiana (14-10, 4-7) to the NIT on Wednesday night. The Nittany Lions rallied from 13 down with 11 minutes left to defeat the Hoosiers, 66-65, thanks to a Tim Frazier layup with six seconds left. Frazier scored 14 for PSU, while Indiana's Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 16. In a game between a pair of teams with no at-large hopes, Nebraska (13-10, 5-6) took care of struggling Illinois (14-11, 3-9) by nine in Lincoln.
Boise State (16-9, 6-6) prevented New Mexico (18-5, 9-2) from joining San Diego State at the top of the Mountain West table, thanks to a 71-70 home win. Derrick Marks sank a pair of free throws to give the Broncos the lead with 14 seconds left and the Lobos' Hugh Greenwood's attempt to tie in the dying seconds missed badly. While the victory doesn't move BSU closer to the field, it will give them a bit of confidence heading down the stretch and toward the all-important Mountain West Tournament.
Johnny Dawkins is now 1-8 as a head coach in the state of Washington after Stanford (15-8, 6-5) picked up a bad 64-60 loss at Washington (13-12, 5-7). That wasn't quite what the Cardinal needed after consecutive wins over Cal and Arizona State. Speaking of the Golden Bears (16-8, 7-4), they needed overtime to dispatch Washington State (9-15, 2-10) in Pullman, 80-76. Justin Cobbs scored 22 for Cal on the night.
Kentucky (19-5, 9-2) struggled mightily at Auburn (11-11, 3-8), winning 64-56 after shooting just under 31 percent on the night. The Wildcats next host Florida on Saturday in what will be the game of the SEC season so far. Meanwhile, LSU (15-8, 6-5) may have torpedoed its at-large chances with what amounted to a no-show performance at Texas A&M (14-10, 5-6). The win was only the second for the Aggies in their last eight games. The Bayou Bengals, meanwhile, are just 2-2 since defeating Kentucky, with both losses coming on the road.
With that and the fact that Texas A&M only drew 4,782 to its 13-thousand-seat arena last night, I leave you with this point to ponder.
You know, for a conference that has few good homecourt advantages, road teams don’t do nearly as well as they should in #SECBasketballFever.— Chris Dobbertean (@ChrisDobbertean) February 13, 2014
Toledo (21-3, 9-2) claimed sole possession of first place in the MAC, thanks to the combination of its home win over Ohio (17-7, 7-4) and Akron's (16-8, 8-3) loss at Western Michigan (15-8, 8-3).
In the Patriot League, American (15-9, 11-2) and Boston U. (18-8, 11-2) remain tied atop the standings, after wins over Lehigh (13-13, 6-7) and Colgate (9-15, 3-10).