"I Slept On It" is Blogging the Bracket's nearly daily roundup of the previous night's college basketball action, with a bracketology focus.
Cincinnati (26-5, 15-3) and Louisville (26-5, 15-3) each clinched a share of the AAC title by defeating Rutgers (11-20, 5-13) and Connecticut (24-7, 12-6) in different fashions. The Bearcats escaped New Jersey with a 70-66 victory, while the Cardinals demolished the Huskies at home. To determine which team would earn the top seed in the tournament in Memphis, there was a coin flip, won by Cincy.
SMU (23-8, 12-6) could not pick up one final road win, as Memphis (23-8, 12-6) handled the Mustangs by a 67-58 score at FedEx Forum.
Dayton (22-9, 10-6) picked up a crucial 60-48 bubble win over Richmond (18-13, 8-8). That result will keep the Flyers in Sunday's projection. George Washington (23-7, 11-5) just missed picking up a bad late loss at Fordham (9-20, 2-14), winning by just three, 70-67. VCU (24-7, 12-4), however, had no trouble with St. Bonaventure (16-14, 6-10), prevailing 86-67.
Duke (24-7, 13-5) earned a season split with North Carolina (23-8, 13-5), picking up a 93-81 win in Durham. Jabari Parker scored 30 and grabbed 11 rebounds
Pittsburgh (23-8, 11-7) scored the final five points of regulation to force overtime at Clemson (19-11, 10-8). After a nervous five minutes, the Panthers picked up a helpful 83-78 win, a result that leaves the Tigers needing to make a deep run in Greensboro to qualify.
Baylor (21-10, 9-9) got itself to .500 in the Big 12 by picking up a significant 76-74 win at Kansas State (20-11. 10-8). Meanwhile, West Virginia (17-14, 9-9), another .500 team, edged closer to the conversation by knocking Kansas (23-8, 14-4) off the No. 1 seed line with a 92-86 victory in Morgantown. Andrew Wiggins attempted to bring the Jayhawks back on his own in the second half, but he fouled out after registering 41 points.
Oklahoma State (20-11, 8-10) finishes behind both the Bears and Mountaineers after dropping an 85-81 overtime decision at Iowa State (23-7, 11-7). Naz Long's three at the buzzer forced the extra period in Ames, and the Cyclones prevailed in no small part due to Marcus Smart's disqualification late in the second half.
Texas (22-9, 11-7) will enter the Big 12 Tournament on a low following a 59-53 loss at Texas Tech (14-17, 6-12), while Oklahoma (23-8, 12-6) condemned TCU (9-21, 0-18) to a winless league campaign, thanks to a 97-67 stomping in Fort Worth.
St. John's (20-11, 10-8) might have ended Marquette's (17-14, 9-9) at-large hopes by pulling out a 91-90 double-overtime win in Milwaukee. Georgetown (17-13, 8-10) will also remain on the outside looking in, as the Hoyas fell at Villanova (28-3, 16-2) by a 77-59 count. Providence (20-11, 10-8) was also unable to solidify a place on Saturday, following an 88-73 loss at Creighton (24-6, 14-4). Doug McDermott scored 45 for the Bluejays on his Senior Night.
Indiana (17-14, 7-11) led Michigan (23-7, 15-3) by six at halftime, but was unable to hold on, in no small part due to Glenn Robinson III's three with just over a minute to go that pushed the Big Ten champs past the Hoosiers, 84-80.
Iowa (20-11, 9-9) has won just once in its last six, following a 66-63 Illinois (18-13, 7-11) win in Iowa City. You might just want to keep an eye on the Illini, who have won four of their last five, in Indianapolis next week.
San Diego State (27-3, 16-2) used a 17-1 second half run to overhaul New Mexico (24-6, 15-3) and eventually claim a 51-48 victory that clinched the outright Mountain West title.
Stanford (19-11, 10-8), California (19-12, 10-8), and Oregon (22-8, 10-8) all picked up crucial bubble wins, defeating Utah (20-10, 9-9), Colorado (21-10, 10-8), and conference champ Arizona (28-3, 15-3), respectively. On the other hand, Arizona State (21-10, 10-8) was not so lucky, as they fell at Oregon State (16-14, 8-10) by two after overtime.
UCLA (23-8, 12-6), however, was blown out by typically-hapless Washington State (10-20, 3-15), 73-55.
Florida (29-2, 18-0) completed the first-ever perfect 18-game SEC season by pulling away from Kentucky (22-9, 12-6), 84-65. While the Gators led by 21 at halftime, they cut the lead to five in the second half before my bracket's top overall seed asserted their authority.
As for the conference's bubble teams, the day's result were a mixed bag. Tennessee (20-11, 11-7) blew out Missouri (21-10, 9-9), 72-45, to pretty much end the Tigers' at-large chances. Georgia (18-12, 12-6) did the same to LSU (18-12, 9-9), winning in Baton Rouge by a 69-61 score. Meanwhile, Arkansas' (21-10, 10-8 SEC) road woes returned at precisely the wrong moment. The Razorbacks only managed 16 points in the first half in an 83-58 loss at Alabama (13-18, 7-11).
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