No. 7 Miami (24-5, 13-4) jumped out to a 21-3 lead at Notre Dame (19-10, 10-7) and never looked back, prevailing 68-50, thanks to 19 from Angel Rodriguez. If the Hurricanes win in Blacksburg on Saturday, they'll claim a share of the ACC's unofficial regular season title. With a win and a North Carolina loss at Duke, Miami will be the top seed in the ACC Tournament. As for the Irish, they've only defeated Wake Forest in their last four games, so seeding could be a problem if they don't correct their skid soon.
Speaking of Virginia Tech (17-13, 9-8), they will have a winning record for the first time since 2011, thanks to a home win over Pitt (20-9, 9-8). The Panthers should definitely be worried about their seeding at this point, especially with another road game left against improved Georgia Tech.
No. 10 West Virginia (23-7, 12-5) used a big 17-4 first half run to blow open its home game with Texas Tech (18-11, 8-9). The Mountaineers will finish second in the Big 12 with a win over Baylor on Saturday.
Butler (20-9, 9-8) got the win it needed desperately, denying Seton Hall (21-8, 11-6), who got a career night out of Isaiah Whitehead (27 points) 85-78 at Hinkle. Kellen Dunham led the Bulldogs with 22, including a pair of free throws late that helped seal it, while Kelan Martin contributed 13 points and nine boards.
Creighton (18-12, 9-8) was not so lucky, dropping a 70-68 decision at Providence (21-9, 9-8). The Bluejays really need to win at Xavier on Saturday and pick up a couple of Big East Tournament wins for good measure. On the other hand, last night's win gave the Friars a little more breathing room.
No. 2 Michigan State (25-5, 12-5) surprisingly led by just two at Rutgers (6-24, 0-17), but it didn't last. The Spartans outscored the Scarlet Knights by a 54-25 margin in the second half to pick up a deceptively easy 97-66 victory. Rutgers will have one last shot to win a conference game this season, Saturday against shorthanded Minnesota in Piscataway.
Ninth-ranked Oregon (24-6, 13-4) held off pesky UCLA (15-15, 6-11) 76-68 to claim at least a share of the Pac-12 title and the top seed in next week's conference tournament, thanks to tiebreakers. Winning that event will be the Bruins' only shot at making the field, though Steve Alford's team hasn't won consecutive games since sweeping the Arizona schools at Pauley back in early January.
USC (20-10, 9-8) snapped a three-game losing streak by depriving Oregon State (17-11, 8-9) of a needed quality road win 81-70 at the Galen Center. The Beavers really need to win a couple of games at the Pac-12 Tournament to shore up their bid hopes.
Arkansas (16-14, 9-8) might have put the final nail in Alabama's (17-12, 8-9) at-large coffin. The Razorbacks topped the Crimson Tide 62-61 in Tuscaloosa—Bama's third loss to a team from outside of the RPI Top 100.
St. Bonaventure (21-7, 13-4) picked up a crucial win for its bubble hopes, sweeping Saint Joseph's (24-6, 13-4) 98-90 in Rochester. The Bonnies' Marcus Posley scored 47, the most points for a Division I player this season, on a night when he was a scorching 15-of-19 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the foul line. Thanks to the Hawks' loss, VCU (22-8, 14-3) is back in first by itself. The Rams held off Davidson (17-11, 9-8) 80-70 in Richmond.
For full information on this year's conference tournaments, visit Conference Tournament Central.
America East Quarterfinals
For a time it looked like a tumultuous night in the America East Playoffs would see the top two seeds both fall. While top-seeded Stony Brook (24-6, 14-2) held off No. 8 UMBC (7-25, 3-13) 86-76, two seed Albany (24-8, 13-3) wasn't so lucky. The Great Danes, who have ended the Seawolves' March dreams in each of the last four season, couldn't get out of an early hole at home against the seventh-seeded Hartford (10-22, 4-12). The Hawks, who lost by 16 on that same SEFCU Arena floor on Saturday, won last night by a 68-59 count. Since the America East re-seeds its semifinals, the Hawks' reward is a trip to Long Island to face Stony Brook.
The second semifinal will be a border showdown. Third-seeded Vermont (20-12, 11-5) was the only home team to not struggle in Wednesday's four games, as the Catamounts routed six seed Maine (8-22, 4-12) 99-82. Up next for UVM will be fourth-seeded New Hampshire (19-11, 11-5), a 56-51 winner over five seed Binghamton (8-22, 5-11).
Northeast Conference regular season champion Wagner (21-9, 13-5) held off last year's winner and 2016 eight seed Robert Morris (10-22, 8-10) 59-50 to earn a home semifinal on Saturday. The Seahawks will face No. 6 seeded LIU-Brooklyn (16-14, 9-9).The Blackbirds, the conference's representative in 2011, 2012, and 2013, knocked off third-seeded Sacred Heart (12-18, 11-7) 84-76.
No. 2 seed Fairleigh Dickinson (16-14, 11-7), a 74-72 winner over seventh-seeded St. Francis (Pa.) (13-17, 9-9) will host
fifth-seeded Mount St. Mary's (14-18, 10-8) in the other semifinal. The Mountaineers rallied to top fourth-seeded St. Francis-Brooklyn (15-17, 11-7) 60-51. The Terriers led by 10 at halftime.
OVC First Round
Fifth-seeded Tennessee Tech (19-11, 11-5) finished a game behind regular season champion Belmont, but they won't get a chance to meet the Bruins in Friday's semifinals. The Golden Eagles fell to the eight seed, Austin Peay (15-17, 7-9), 92-72 in the first game of the night in Nashville. Sixth-seeded Murray State (17-13, 10-6), the other team severely hurt by tiebreakers in this bracket, defeated seventh-seeded Eastern Illinois (13-17, 9-7) easily in the nightcap, 78-62.