"I Slept On It" is Blogging the Bracket's nearly daily roundup of the previous night's college basketball action, with a bracketology focus.
Maurice Creek scored 22 to help push George Washington (21-7, 9-5) past D.C.-area rival George Mason (10-18, 3-11), 66-58. The Colonials are on the cusp of earning a quarterfinal bye in the Atlantic 10 Tournament and are getting closer to breaking free of a likely 8/9 game in the NCAAs a week later.
Bubble team Clemson (18-10, 9-7) defeated bubble team impersonator Maryland (15-14, 7-9) after a pair of overtimes at Littlejohn Coliseum, 77-73. The Tigers still have a ways to go to crack the bracket even after the win, but Florida State (17-11, 8-8) continues to move closer. The Seminoles will be in the "First Four Out" group on Monday after an 81-71 win over Georgia Tech (13-16, 4-12).
On Saturday afternoon, Xavier beat Creighton to solidify their position. One day later, Marquette (17-12, 9-7) looked to do the same at Villanova (26-3, 14-2), but the Wildcats had none of it, opening up an 11-point halftime lead en route to a 73-56 win that leaves the Golden Eagles needing the auto bid to be safe. St. John's (19-11, 9-8) remains on the outside looking in despite picking up a 72-64 home win over DePaul (11-19, 3-14).
Wisconsin (24-5, 11-5) will rise up to the two line today after escaping Penn State (14-15, 5-11) with a 71-66 win. On the other hand, Iowa (20-9, 9-7) previous lofty season will be replaced by a mid-bracket position, even after an 83-76 victory over Purdue (15-14, 5-11) snapped a three-game losing streak. Finally, don't look now but Indiana (17-12, 7-9) is back in the hunt, thanks to a 72-64 win over Ohio State (22-8, 9-8), another team that's sliding down the Seed List, Making the victory more impressive for the Hoosiers was Noah Vonleh's absence with a foot injury. As for the Buckeyes. that's their second straight unexpected road loss, a note that does not bode well for a long weekend in Indianapolis.
New Mexico (23-5, 14-2) struggled a bit with Nevada (13-16, 8-8), trailing by four at halftime in Reno, before blowing out the Wolf Pack in the second half to keep pace with San Diego State in the Mountain West race.
Arizona (27-2, 14-2) is the outright Pac-12 regular season champion after a 79-66 victory over Stanford (18-10, 9-7). Aaron Gordon scored 19 and grabbed 15 boards for the Wildcats in what might have been his final home game. Second-place UCLA (22-7, 11-5) trailed Oregon State (15-13, 7-9) by nine at the half before Jordan Adams, fresh off a one-game suspension, took over, scoring 20 points in the final 20 minutes to lead the Bruins to a 74-69 victory.
Manhattan (22-7, 15-5) defeated Canisius (20-11, 14-6), 68-63. condemning the Golden Griffins to a potential semifinal meeting with top seed Iona at MAACachusetts. The Jaspers will be the two seed in Springfield, while Quinnipiac earns third spot due to tiebreakers.
Conference USA could be headed for some seeding gridlock of its own. With one game remaining in the regular season, four teams -- Louisiana Tech, Southern Mississippi, Middle Tennessee, and Tulsa -- are tied for first, with UTEP a game back. The top four teams earn a bye to the quarterfinals in the 15-team C-USA Tournament in El Paso.
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