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I Slept On It: Virginia, Miami, Utah, Vandy Among Saturday's Big Winners

On Saturday, the ACC and Pac-12 races tightened, while Kansas claimed a share of its 12th consecutive Big 12 title. Plus, there were several games of bubble importance that further complicated the picture.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

ACC

The ACC race got a little bit tighter, as No. 7 North Carolina (23-6, 12-4) dropped a road game at No. 3 Virginia (22-6, 11-5) 79-74, with Malcolm Brogdon burnishing his ACC Player of the Year case with 26 points and a half-dozen rebounds. The loss moved the Tar Heels into a tie for first with No. 12 Miami (23-5, 12-4). The Hurricanes got 17 points apiece from Angel Rodriguez (who also had seven assists) and Davon Reed in a 73-65 home win over No. 11 Louisville (22-7, 11-5).

The Cavaliers, Cardinals, and idle Duke Blue Devils are all a loss back of the conference lead. Virginia is now ahead of UNC and Miami in the top seed pecking order, but don't rule either the Tar Heels or Hurricanes out.

It was a happy Senior Day at the Carrier Dome, as Syracuse (19-10, 9-7) got 34 from Michael Gbinije in his final home game, as the Orange took down North Carolina State (14-15, 4-12) 75-66 in a must-win for the host's NCAA hopes.

Georgia Tech (17-12, 7-9) struggled to pick up a 76-71 win at winless Boston College (7-13, 0-16), but the Yellow Jackets are still in position for bigger and better things.

It might be too late for Florida State (17-12, 7-10) to earn an at-large, barring a run to the ACC final, but the Seminoles did pick up an impressive 77-56 home victory over No. 23 Notre Dame (19-9, 10-6) to help their case. Dwayne Bacon, one of two FSU players to score more than 10, led all scorers with 21.

Big 12

Second-ranked Kansas (25-4, 13-3) clinched its 12th straight Big 12 regular season title, one short of UCLA's conference title run of 13, by topping feisty Texas Tech (18-10, 8-8) 67-58. The Jayhawks remain in excellent position to earn a top seed on Selection Sunday, while the loss didn't damage the Red Raiders' at-large hopes.

Keep an eye on No. 25 Texas (19-10, 10-6) over the final weeks of the season. Shaka Smart's Longhorns are playing some great ball right now. Texas closed out No. 3 Oklahoma (22-6, 10-6) with a 25-5 run to claim a 76-63 win in Austin. Buddy Hield's 33 points weren't enough for the Sooners.

No. 17 Iowa State (20-9, 9-7) used a strong second half to propel itself past Kansas State (15-14, 4-12) 80-61. The Cyclones only led the Wildcats by one at the halftime break.

No. 14 West Virginia (22-7, 11-5) got 17 from Jaysean Page in a 70-56 road victory over Oklahoma State (12-17, 3-13), while No. 19 Baylor (21-8, 10-6) also took care of business on the road, topping TCU (11-18, 2-14) 86-71, thanks to 22 from Johnathan Motley.

Big East

Butler (19-9, 8-8) needed overtime to win at Georgetown (14-15, 7-9) 90-87, but it should have never gotten to that point. The Bulldogs converted on a cornucopia of Hoya turnovers (20) to build a 79-64 lead with 2:37 remaining. But Georgetown took advantage of Butler's inability to make a free throw or layup late to tie the game on three Issac Copeland free throws with three seconds left. (Don't foul the jump shooter, kids, especially when he's putting up a horrible attempt.) Still. Chris Holtmann's team picked up a needed win after playing the extra five minutes.

No. 1 Villanova (25-4, 14-2) probably won't keep their ranking on Monday, but the Wildcats picked up an 89-79 victor at Marquette (18-11, 7-9) on the way out. Josh Hart and Kris Jenkins both scored 19 for Nova, while Daniel Ochefu notched an 18-point, 12-board double double.

Providence (20-9, 8-8) avenged its loss at DePaul (9-19, 3-13) by routing the Blue Demons back in Rhode Island 87-66. Ben Bentil led the Friars with 28, while Kris Dunn scored only two in limited duty due to illness.

Big Ten

The Indiana Hoosiers are in the driver's seat for the Big Ten regular season title, and they have their archrivals to thank. No. 10 Maryland (23-6, 11-5) rallied late in West Lafayette, but No. 20 Purdue (22-7, 10-6) held on for an 83-79 victory. A.J. Hammons led the Boilermakers with 19, while Melo Trimble recorded the same total for the Terps, who are now two games behind IU with two to play.

Northwestern (18-11, 6-10) obliterated Rutgers (6-23, 0-16) by a 98-59 score in Evanston to extend the Scarlet Knights' conference losing streak to 30 regular season games.

Pac-12

No. 22 Utah (23-7, 12-5) picked up its first win over No. 9 Arizona (22-7, 10-6) since the 1998 Elite Eight, 70-64 at the Huntsman Center. Brandon Taylor led the Utes, who look like a good bet to be a three seed when all is said and done, with 19, while the Wildcats' Allonzo Trier led all scorers with 23. Arizona might need a Pac-12 Tournament crown to claim a top five seed at his point.

UCLA (15-14, 6-10) dropped a 79-70 road decision at Stanford (15-12, 8-8) in a matchup of two teams likely bound for the NIT.

SEC

Vanderbilt (18-11, 10-6) took a big step toward a return to the NCAAs, toppling No. 16 Kentucky (21-8, 11-5) 74-62 in Nashville, despite a 33-point afternoon from Jamal Murray. Matthew Fisher-Davis led the Commodores, winners of three in a row, with 20.

South Carolina (23-6, 10-6) dropped another questionable road game, falling at improving Mississippi State (13-15, 6-10) 68-58. The loss snapped a two-game Gamecock win streak, which followed a two-game losing streak. Gavin Ware scored 16 and picked up 12 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs, who could play spoiler in Nashville in a week and a half.

Alabama (17-11, 8-8) had to rally to pick up 65-57 home victory over Auburn (11-17, 5-11), with the pair splitting their season series. A Tide loss would have been devastating to their at-large hopes, especially after consecutive setbacks to Miss. State and Kentucky. Retin Obasohan led the hosts with 16 points on an off night for the Belgian, who was only five-of-12 from the field.

Florida (17-12, 8-8) really hurt itself with a 96-91 loss at LSU (17-12, 10-6). The Gators scored 62 points in the second half and still lost, since they dug themselves a nice 11-point hole at the half that grew to as much as 18 with 13:39 left. UF's last Saturday win came on January 30th, their best triumph of the season over West Virginia, and they last won a conference road game on a Saturday two weeks earlier at Ole Miss.

Ole Miss (18-11, 8-8) fell at Georgia (15-12, 8-8) 80-66 to all but fall out of the at-large picture. Arkansas (15-14, 8-8) picked up a rare win at Tennessee (13-16, 6-10) 75-65. It's only the third time the Razorbacks have won in Knoxville since joining the SEC.

No. 21 Texas A&M (22-7, 11-5) cruised to an 84-69 win at Missouri (10-19, 3-13), with Jalen Jones leading the Aggies with 20.

American Athletic

Cincinnati (21-8, 11-5) took down East Carolina (11-18, 3-13) 65-56 to keep its tourney hopes afloat, while co-leader Temple (18-10, 12-4) needed a Quenton DeCosey jumper to defeat UCF (11-16, 5-11) at Liacouras 63-61. That victory keep the Owls' at-large hopes intact.

Atlantic 10

Rhode Island (16-13, 8-8) will be a team for bubble fans to keep an eye on as the Atlantic 10 Tournament unfolds in Brooklyn in less than two weeks. The Rams dominated Dayton (22-6, 12-4) in a 75-66 road win. The Flyers have dropped three of four and are now in danger of losing a quarterfinal bye

VCU (21-8, 13-3) jumped the Flyers in the standings, thanks to a crucial 69-65 win at George Washington (21-8, 10-6). The Rams split the season series with the Colonials, and prevented GW from grabbing a crucial bubble tiebreaker in the process.

St. Bonaventure (20-7, 12-4) avoided disaster for its at-large hopes, surviving a visit from UMass (12-16, 5-11) 85-83. The victory set a record for Atlantic 10 wins for the Bonnies.

Elsewhere

Vermont (19-12, 11-5) stunned America East regular season champion Stony Brook (23-6, 14-2) on Long Island 76-62, just in time to get Seawolves postseason nerves going.

High Point (20-9, 13-5) routed Presbyterian (10-19, 5-13) 80-60 to claim a share of the Big South regular season crown and the top seed in the conference tournament. The two seed goes to Winthrop (21-8, 12-5), who had no trouble at Campbell (12-17, 5-13), winning 87-71. (The Fighting Camels host the postseason event, by the way.) Coastal Carolina (18-10, 12-6), who would have hosted had they not announced their departure for the Sun Belt, won at UNC Asheville (19-11, 12-6) 81-79 to jump the Bulldogs for the third seed.

UNC Wilmington (22-7, 14-4) topped Towson (20-11, 11-7) at Trask Coliseum 74-68, but the top seed in the CAA Tournament goes to Hofstra (22-8, 14-4) on tiebreakers after the Pride topped College of Charleston (16-13, 8-10) 72-63. UNCW will be the two seed, Towson the three. The four/five game will be a rematch of today's game in Harrisonburg, four seed James Madison (21-10, 11-7) took five seed William & Mary (19-10, 11-7) 71-65.

UAB (24-5, 14-2) managed a season split with Western Kentucky (14-15, 6-10), but it wasn't easy as the Blazers only defeated the Hilltoppers by a 71-67 count at Bartow Arena. The Blazers will be the top seed in the C-USA Tournament, which will be played in downtown Birmingham.

Yale (20-6, 11-1) barely avoided a second consecutive NCAA dream-crushing loss at Dartmouth Big Green (9-17, 3-9), though the Ivy leaders needed OT to defeat the Big Green 76-71. Princeton (20-5, 10-1) remains a half-game back and in frame to force a one-game playoff after defeating Cornell (9-17, 2-10) 74-60.

Missouri Valley regular season champ Wichita State (23-7, 16-2) closed the regular season with a resounding 74-58 home win over Illinois State (18-13, 12-6). Northern Iowa (18-13, 11-7) stunned host Evansville (23-8, 12-6) 54-52.

Boise State (19-10, 10-6) won at San Diego State (21-8, 14-2) to both dent the Aztecs' at-large hopes and end their run of 164 win in a row when leading with five minutes left.

Lehigh (15-14, 13-5) took down Army (18-12, 9-9) 82-72 in West Point, but Bucknell (17-12, 14-4) won at Navy (18-13, 9-9) to claim top seed and home-court advantage in the Patriot League Tournament.

Chattanooga (25-5, 14-3) knocked off Samford (13-18, 4-14) 77-66 to claim at least a share of the SoCon regular season title and the top seed in the conference tournament.

Stephen F. Austin (22-5, 15-0) wrapped up its fourth consecutive Southland regular season title with a resounding 82-54 home win over Houston Baptist (16-13, 10-6).

Gonzaga (23-7, 15-3) claimed a share of the WCC regular season crown by defeating BYU (22-9, 13-5) 71-68 in a wild, somewhat controversial finish in Provo. The win was the Bulldogs' first of the season over one of their fellow conference contenders. Had they gone 0-4 it would have been difficult for them to remain in the at-large picture. But the other share and the top seed in the conference tournament went to Saint Mary's (24-4, 15-3), 84-72 road winners at San Francisco (15-14, 8-10).

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