Thursday Night of Hoops Wrap Up

 

Seton Hall had no interest in missing shots tonight against St. John's

Tonight was not the exciting night of basketball we had last night, but there were still a few games worth mentioning for the NCAA Tournament.

Seton Hall upset St. John’s tonight, and it basically took St. John’s out of the top 4 in the Big East. St. John’s will now begin play on Wednesday instead of Thursday, and if they hold the 5 seed, could play the same Seton Hall team again that day. If they earn a victory there they could potentially face Syracuse, a team that abused the Johnnies earlier this year at the Garden. They aren’t a good matchup for St. John’s who like to pound it inside. Tonight’s upset by Seton Hall is a big of a red flag for St. John’s but its not all that it appears. Seton Hall basically couldn’t miss tonight, and that was the biggest reason they won the game.

Tennessee avoided disaster when they beat South Carolina on the road tonight. The Vols should be OK even if they lose to Kentucky this weekend at home. They might finish 8-8 in the SEC, but the non-conference wins should keep them in now, but they need to avoid a slip up in the first round of the SEC tournament to avoid sweating on Selection Sunday. Even a loss there and I’d put them in most likely, but they can still get a decent seed, perhaps as high as 8 or 9, so the Vols want to finish strong, and tonight was a step in that direction, even though winning a close one at South Carolina isn’t anything to get excited about.

Wisconsin avoided an upset at Indiana and should feel good about getting a very nice seed for the tournament. I think the Badgers have a chance to nab a 2 seed if they can run to the Big Ten Tournament Finals, but either way the Badgers won’t get a very tough game in the first round this year. They are a great old-fashion style basketball team that is amazing efficient. I love the way they play and how good they are at so many things. I don’t know if they have the talent to run to a National Championship or Final Four, but this is a team that could make noise in March.

Washington beat UCLA at home tonight and locked their bid up for good. The Huskies should feel good about their chances now, and the Bruins should too despite the loss. Both will be battling for seeding the rest of the way in my opinion.

Arizona rebounded from the recent slide and took care of the Beavers. The Wildcats can still make a run at a top 4 seed if they win out to Selection Sunday, so look out to see how they fare.

The last big game of the night, and perhaps the biggest for the bubble race, was the Washington State-USC game. Washington State ended up pulling this up and down game out and effectively ended USC’s late chance at an at-large bid. The Cougars are right there on the bubble right now, and as of tonight I have them as the first team out. If they can also beat UCLA this weekend and then avoid a bad loss in the Pac Ten Tournament, then they could be dancing.

So just an update on the bubble tonight (because not a whole lot changed):

Last Four In-

Gonzaga

Michigan

Colorado

Clemson

First Four Out-

Washington State

Baylor

Nebraska

Colorado State

Next Four Out-

UTEP

Memphis

Alabama

Wichita State

Also Have a Chance:

Maryland

Penn State

Minnesota

Southern Miss

New Mexico

As we move into this weekend, look out for these matchups:

Friday:

Wright State vs. Cleveland State

Southern Illinois vs. Missouri State

Bradley vs. Wichita State

Saturday:
Virginia Tech at Clemson
Texas at Baylor
Colorado State at San Diego State
Duquesne at Richmond
Indiana at Illinois
Georgia at Alabama
Virginia at Maryland
Michigan State at Michigan
UTEP at SMU
Tulane at Memphis
UCLA at Washington State
Princeton at Harvard
Southern Miss at Tulsa
ECU at UAB
Nebraska at Colorado

Sunday:
Penn State at Minnesota
Wake Forest at BC

Also Conference Tournaments with bubble ramifications:

Missouri Valley, Horizon, Colonial, WCC

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