"I Slept On It" is Blogging the Bracket's nearly daily roundup of the previous night's college basketball action, with a bracketology focus.
While Louisville (24-4, 13-2) blew past Temple (7-20, 2-13) by 22, Memphis (21-7, 10-5) moved closer to a 7/10 or 8/9 game with a 77-68 loss at Houston (14-14, 6-9).
The plot for Saturday's showdown in Richmond thickened a bit as VCU (21-7, 9-4) used a big second half to hammer Fordham (9-17, 2-11), but Saint Louis (25-3, 12-1) dropped its first A 10 game, a seeding-damaging 71-64 home howler at the hands of Duquesne (12-15, 4-10). The Billikens, three games up on VCU with three games left, lead St. Joseph's by just two.
Georgetown (16-12, 7-9) will not be returning to Friday's bracket, following a 75-73 loss at Marquette (17-11, 9-6). The Golden Eagles also remain on the outside looking in, but they've moved closer with the win.
Penn State (14-14, 5-10) completed an unexpected sweep of Ohio State (22-7, 9-7), winning 65-63 in State College, ending the Buckeyes' chances for the Big Ten regular season crown and, likely, for a top four seed in the NCAAs. Then, Indiana (16-12, 6-9) handed Iowa (19-9, 8-7) its third straight defeat -- 93-86 -- one that pushes the Hawkeyes closer to the middle of the bracket.
Just one of the night's two Pac-12 games had NCAA implications, and it was a thriller. Oregon (19-8, 7-8) grabbed its second Top 50 win on the year, but with a bit of an asterisk. The Ducks took out UCLA (21-7, 10-5), 87-83, after a pair of overtimes. However, the Bruins were without both Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson, both of whom were suspended for the always-popular violation of team rules.
Arizona clinched a share of the Pac-12 crown as a result of the Bruin loss.
Arkansas (19-9, 8-7) completed a huge sweep of Kentucky (21-7, 11-4) at Rupp Arena, winning 71-67 after an extra five minutes. The victory pushed the Hogs' record against the Top 100 to 7-8 with a quartet of Top 50 wins. While that's not nearly enough to secure the Razorbacks a place, especially with six wins against teams that are in the bottom 25 percent of Division I, that record is certainly helpful with this season's bubble.
As a result of the Wildcat loss, Florida clinched the outright SEC regular season championship.
Vermont (20-9, 14-1) took the America East regular season title, and the right to host the conference final, provided it gets out the preliminary rounds at Albany alive, by rolling by Stony Brook (20-9, 12-3), 69-53.
The Atlantic Sun race will go down to the final day of the regular season, as Mercer (22-8, 13-4) lost in overtime to North Florida (15-15, 9-8) in Macon and Florida Gulf Coast (19-11, 13-4) was unexpectedly blown out at Lipscomb (14-14, 9-8).
UC Irvine (19-10, 10-3) took the Big West lead back from UC Santa Barbara (18-8, 9-4) with a 71-60 victory.
Middle Tennessee (21-8, 11-3) stay in the bracket will be a short one, as the Blue Raiders scored a mere 39 in a loss at Louisiana Tech (23-6, 11-3), who netted 55. Southern Mississippi (24-5, 11-3) will represent C-USA on Friday, thanks to a superior overall record than their rivals. The Golden Eagles defeated FIU (13-16, 5-9) by 12 in Hattiesburg.
Murray State (18-9, 13-2) remains tied with Belmont in the OVC title hunt, as the Racers pulled away from Tennessee-Martin (8-22, 3-12), 86-72.
The Southern Conference's regular season title went to Davidson (18-11, 14-1), who destroyed UNC Greensboro (13-17, 6-9) by 33 at Belk Arena. Stephen F. Austin (26-2, 15-0) did the same for the Southland by blasting New Orleans (11-12, 8-7), 103-63. Meanwhile, Georgia State (21-7, 14-1) is three games up with three to play in the Sun Belt, following a 77-49 blowout win over Texas-Arlington (12-15, 7-8).
Out West, Gonzaga (24-6, 14-3) won at Pacific (14-14, 5-12) by 17, and Utah Valley (17-10, 11-3) wrested control of the WAC race back from New Mexico State (21-9, 10-4) with a 66-61 overtime win in Orem. Weber State (16-9, 13-4), meanwhile, has at least a share of the Big Sky title, thanks to a 79-67 victory over Sacramento State (13-13, 9-8).
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