"I Slept On It" is Blogging the Bracket's nearly daily roundup of the previous night's college basketball action, with a bracketology focus.
Louisville (23-4, 12-2) now sits a mere half-game behind Cincinnati (24-4,13-2) in the race for the inaugural American regular-season title, thanks to Russ Smith's ridiculous game-winner scored on a give-and-go with Terry Rozier with just three seconds remaining. A remarkable ending to a 58-57 game that started with an absolutely abysmal offensive showing from both teams. Memphis (21-6, 10-4) sits two games back, but they were lucky to get by Temple (7-19, 2-12), requiring overtime to earn an 82-79 overtime win.
Saint Louis (25-2, 12-) keeps chugging along in the A 10, as the Billikens held off visiting George Washington (20-7, 8-5), 66-59. The conference's bubble teams were all winners on Saturday, as Richmond (18-9, 8-4) topped La Salle (12-14, 4-8) by 13; St. Joseph's (9-16, 2-10) cruised past Fordham (19-7, 9-3), 87-72; and Dayton (19-8, 7-5) slipped by Duquesne (11-15, 3-10) by three in Pittsburgh.
For the second time in three weeks, Syracuse (25-2, 12-2) and Duke (22-6, 11-4) was the game of the day, as the Blue Devils handed the Orange their second consecutive loss, in no small part due to a controversial late charge call and the subsequent ejection of Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. The moment that will forever be known as "the tantrum that launched 1,000 memes."
The Orange will remain a No. 1 seed in Tuesday's bracket, but they will no longer be in the top spot overall.
The two other likely ACC Tournament teams in action on Saturday picked up easy wins, as Virginia (23-5, 14-1) solidified its hold on first place by dropping Notre Dame (14-14, 5-10), 70-49, and North Carolina (20-7, 10-4) didn't mess around in gaining revenge on Wake Forest (14-13, 4-10), dropping 105 on the Demon Deacons, who managed only 72. A pair of bubble teams also picked up needed road wins as Clemson (17-9, 8-6) used a big second half to get past Georgia Tech (13-14, 4-10), 63-55; and N.C. State (17-10, 7-7) won at Virginia Tech (9-17, 2-12), 71-64.
Texas (20-7, 9-5) was completely outclassed by Kansas (21-6, 12-2), thanks to an 85-54 scoreline that all that sews up the Big 12 regular season crown for the Jayhawks. KU led by an astounding 46-18 margin at halftime. Baylor (18-9, 6-8) earned a season split with West Virginia (15-12, 7-7) by taking an 88-75 decision in Morgantown. Marcus Smart's return for Oklahoma State (17-10, 5-9) was a successful one, as the Cowboys took out Texas Tech (13-14, 5-9), 84-62.
Oklahoma (20-7, 9-5) opened up a huge first-half lead on Kansas State (18-9, 8-6) and never looked back, defeating the Wildcats by 13 in Norman. Finally, Iowa State (21-5, 9-5) struggled early, but still managed to keep TCU (9-17, 0-14) winless in the league, thanks to a 71-60 victory.
The Big East bubble picture continues to confuse. Georgetown (16-11, 7-8), who fell out of Friday's bracket thanks to two consecutive losses, hammered Xavier (18-9, 8-6) by 22 to boost its position, while knocking the Musketeers down a peg. St. John's (18-10, 8-7) just missed grabbing a crucial road win at Villanova (24-3, 12-2), falling in Philly by a 57-54 count. Plus, Marquette (16-11, 8-6), the team furthest from the cut line from this conference, needed overtime to win at DePaul (10-18, 2-13), 96-94.
Wisconsin (22-5, 9-5) is increasingly looking like a protected seed. The Badgers left Iowa (19-7, 8-5) with a 79-74 victory on Saturday afternoon, after one of the more entertaining games I've half-paid attention to in my life. In the evening, Ohio State (22-6, 9-6) blitzed Minnesota (17-11, 6-9) in the second half, to the tune of a 46-18 score, in overcoming a 28-18 halftime deficit, to defeat the Gophers, 64-46. Minnesota might very well be out of Tuesday's bracket, thanks to their recent results.
There's now a tie at the top of the conference, as New Mexico (21-5, 12-2) took out San Diego State (23-3, 12-2) at the Pit. The two will meet again in San Diego to close out the regular season. Otherwise, Boise State's (18-9, 8-6) 91-90 overtime home win over UNLV (17-10, 8-6) likely means the only way that the Mountain West will earn three bids is for someone other than the Aztecs or Lobos to win the auto bid.
Arizona (25-2, 12-2) completed a Rocky Mountain sweep by blasting Colorado (20-8, 9-6) in Boulder, 88-61. Stanford (18-8, 9-5) earned itself some breathing room by topping UCLA (21-6, 10-4), thanks to seven Chasson Randle threes. The Bruins now sit two games behind the Wildcats in the race for the Pac-12 crown.
Florida (25-2, 14-0) ran its winning streak to 19 and can clinch a share of the SEC title on Tuesday against Vanderbilt Commodores, thanks to a 75-71 victory at Mississippi (16-11). The Rebels were just one of several SEC bubble teams to suffer devastating losses on Saturday, as the middle of the league and its bid picture is now officially a quagmire.
LSU (16-10, 7-7) just missed completing a season sweep of Kentucky (21-6, 11-3), as Julius Randle's jumper with three seconds to go in overtime gave the Wildcats a 77-76 win. Tennessee (16-11, 7-7) also fell in overtime, as Texas A&M (16-11, 7-7) defeated the Vols for a second time this season, 68-65. Missouri (19-8, 7-7), was also not immune, as the Tigers dropped an 80-73 decision at Alabama (11-16, 5-9).
Middle Tennessee (21-7, 11-2 C-USA), who earned a surprise at-large last season, is now in pole position in its new confrence, thanks to a close 56-53 win at struggling Marshall (9-19, 3-10). Southern Mississippi (23-5, 10-3), which defeated UTEP (20-8, 10-3) by nine in Hattiesburg, the defeated Miners, and Louisiana Tech (22-6, 10-3), 71-66 victors over Old Dominion (13-15, 7-6) all sit a game back in a very competitive league race.
There was no letdown for BYU (20-10, 12-5 WCC) after its big Thursday win, as the Cougars hammered Portland (15-13, 7-9), 89-72. Gonzaga (23-6, 13-3) dropped its second straight and increasingly looks an actual bubble team. The Bulldogs lost at San Diego (16-14, 7-10), 69-66.