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I Slept On It: Bubble Crowding Night

Five ranked teams played on Wednesday, four lost to teams currently on the wrong side of my Tuesday cut line.

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12

It was a mixed night for Big 12 bubble teams, as Kansas State (14-10, 3-8) was unable to repeat its Saturday performance against Oklahoma, falling to No. 21 Baylor (18-6, 7-4) by an 82-72 count. The win keeps the Bears a game behind the league's three-team lead pack, where they're joined by idle Texas.

However, No. 14 Iowa State (17-7, 6-5) couldn't join the Bears and the Longhorns, falling to sixth after an 85-82 overtime loss at Texas Tech (14-9, 4-7), the Cyclones' second consecutive loss in Lubbock. The victory might just have temporarily vaulted Tech ahead of K-State in the hunt for a possible seventh Big 12 bid.

Big East

isaiah Whitehead scored 23 in the first half for Seton Hall (17-7, 7-5), but he only added three in the second half, which cost the Pirates who fell to Butler (17-7, 6-6) in Newark 81-75. All five Bulldog starters scored at least 10, led by Kelan Martin with 23, as they won their first Big East road game over a bid contender.

No. 20 Providence's (18-7, 6-6) seed continues to drop. The Friars were swept by Marquette (16-9, 5-7), who won after two overtimes in Milwaukee 96-91, despite a 42-point, 12-board night by Ben Bentil. The Golden Eagles still have a ways to go despite the two wins over Ed Cooley's squad, as their RPI ranks 95th as of this morning.

Big Ten

Wisconsin (15-9, 7-4) kept its bubble campaign on track with a 72-61 win over Nebraska (13-12, 5-7) in Madison, while 
Michigan (18-7, 8-4) nearly coughed up a big lead at Minnesota (6-18, 0-12). The Wolverines prevailed 82-74, thanks in part to a 26-point career night by Derrick Walton Jr.

Pac-12

Washington (15-9, 7-5) dropped its second game in a row, suffering a season sweep at the hands of Utah (18-7, 7-5). Jakob Poeltl will again haunt the Huskies' dreams, thanks to his 23-point, six-rebound night. UW might want to consider winning at Colorado on Saturday if they want to stay on the right side of the cut line for the near future.

SEC

South Carolina (21-3, 8-3) and LSU (15-9, 8-3) now share the SEC lead with Kentucky Wildcats, as the Gamecocks handled the Tigers in Columbia 94-83, further solidifying Carolina's position, while muddying the picture for the Bayou Bengals. Sindarius Thornwell led the Gamecocks and all scorers with 24, while Antonio Blakeney's 22 topped the visitors' totals.

No. 15 Texas A&M (18-5, 7-4) fell a game back, as they dropped their third in a row, 63-62 at Alabama (14-9, 5-6). The Crimson Tide, still in the RPI Top 50, now have a 4-5 record against that group. As for the Aggies, they're looking increasingly like a five seed or worse, not the two seed they appeared to be before they fell into a funk.

Vanderbilt (14-10, 6-5), the other SEC bubble team to take the court on Wednesday, did what it had to do, dropping Missouri (8-16, 1-10) 86-71.

American Athletic

Tulsa (16-8, 8-4) put itself back into the bid picture by knocking off No. 16 SMU (20-3, 9-3) 82-77 at Moody Coliseum. Shaquille Harrison led the Golden Hurricane with 21, while the Mustangs' Nic Moore had 27 in a losing cause. Moore had to sit for a significant amount of time late in the second half due to picking up his fourth foul, which helped Tulsa considerably.

Atlantic 10

Saint Joseph's (20-4, 9-2) picked up a statement win, and first over a Top 50 opponent, by routing George Washington (18-6, 7-4) at Foggy Bottom 84-66. In a week's time, the Hawks host Atlantic 10 co-leader Dayton at Hagan Arena, and you can bet Phil Martelli's team won't take the opportunity lightly.

St. Bonaventure (16-6, 8-3), the A 10's other bubble team in action on Wednesday, needed an extra five minutes to win at Fordham (12-10, 3-8) 76-72.

Elsewhere

San Diego State (18-7, 11-1) will not be able to complete a perfect Mountain West season. Fresno State (16-8, 7-4) defeated the Aztecs 58-57 in Fresno. In another close one, Colorado State (14-10, 6-5) needed two overtimes to defeat visiting Boise State (16-9, 7-5) 97-93. The Broncos are now in fourth place, four games behind SDSU.

Lehigh (10-14, 8-5) picked up a stunning road win, defeating Patriot League leader Bucknell (13-11, 10-3) handily at Sojka Pavilion 80-65.

Omaha (16-10, 8-4) also claimed a victory over a conference leader, though the Mavericks did it on their on floor, knocking off Summit frontrunner South Dakota State (19-6, 8-3) 96-92.

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