It was bubble carnage throughout the nation on Saturday.
John Gasaway will cowl it in full in our Bubble Watch, however here is the CliffsNotes model: Nearly each bubble crew misplaced. Rutgers was the large winner, beating Purdue on the highway and really possible punching a ticket to the NCAA match. Will probably be the Scarlet Knights’ first time dancing since 1991. Oklahoma additionally may need punched its personal ticket, getting back from a 20-point deficit to beat TCU behind Austin Reaves’ 41 factors — together with the game-winning shot with zero.5 seconds left. Cincinnati received a putback with two seconds left to beat Temple and hold its hopes alive.
Practically everybody else misplaced, together with Texas, which received throttled at residence by 22 factors by the hands of Oklahoma State. The Longhorns had gained 5 in a row coming into that recreation, together with consecutive wins over West Virginia, Texas Tech and Oklahoma … and may need undone all of that with the defeat.
Issues received worse for bubble groups when Utah State beat San Diego State within the Mountain West title recreation, making the Aggies the primary crew within the 2020 NCAA match — and shrinking the variety of obtainable spots within the discipline by one. Extra on that in a second.
Exterior the bubble, Baylor created some extra potential 1-seed drama by dropping its third recreation in two weeks. That mentioned, it looks as if a stretch to assume the Bears can slide that far within the pecking order, even with one other loss within the Massive 12 match. Wisconsin continued to roll and earned itself a share of the Massive Ten regular-season title with a highway win at Indiana, whereas Creighton accomplished its sweep of Seton Corridor and compelled a three-way break up on the high of the Massive East together with the Pirates and Villanova.
Virginia beat Louisville to win its eighth recreation in a row and end tied for second place within the ACC (Florida State gained the regular-season title). However contemplating the place Tony Bennett’s crew was two months in the past, one could make the case that that is Bennett’s greatest teaching job in Charlottesville.
Belmont additionally punched a ticket to the NCAA match because of a layup within the ultimate seconds from Tyler Scanlon — after a ravishing backdoor minimize — to beat Murray State and win the Ohio Valley.
The opposite huge headlines from a wild ultimate Saturday of the common season:
Three issues from Saturday
After North Carolina minimize the rating to 44-43, Duke will get contributions up and down the roster, with Justin Robinson scoring 13 factors, and pulls away for a 89-76 win vs. UNC.
1. Duke sweeps North Carolina for the primary time since 2015
It was all the time an extended shot that North Carolina might beat Duke in Durham on Saturday, however stranger issues have occurred of their rivalry. Some unusual issues occurred inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, however the Tar Heels’ rising victorious was not considered one of them. Duke led the whole recreation, finally pulling away for an 89-76 win.
The Blue Devils end in a tie for second place within the ACC, just one recreation again of Florida State within the standings. Attributable to tiebreakers, they are going to get the Four-seed within the convention match. North Carolina confirmed some late-season flashes, however the Tar Heels will enter the postseason at 13-18 general and 6-14 within the ACC — tied for final within the standings.
On senior evening, Justin Robinson earned the primary begin of his Duke profession and delivered. He performed 25 minutes, ending with 13 factors, 6 rebounds, Three assists and Four blocks. David Robinson’s son has turn out to be a shock member of the rotation prior to now couple of weeks and has now notched back-to-back double-figure outings.
Mike Krzyzewski has restricted his bench minutes the previous few video games, however Robinson has offered some dimension inside. Other than Robinson, Krzyzewski has had success with a smaller lineup: 4 perimeter gamers surrounding Vernon Carey, with Wendell Moore in an undersized energy ahead function.
It labored once more in opposition to Carolina, with Tre Jones going for 21 factors and 11 assists, Cassius Stanley scoring 19 factors and Carey dominating the paint with 25 factors and 10 boards.
Utah State was the primary crew to punch its ticket to the NCAA match when it gained the Mountain West match on Saturday. Orlando Ramirez/USA TODAY Sports activities
2. Mountain West title recreation shakes up high and backside of the bracket
We briefly talked about it above, however the Mountain West championship recreation was must-see TV for each bubble groups and top-seed hopefuls. Utah State beat San Diego State on a Sam Merrill Three-pointer within the ultimate seconds, giving the Aggies the automated bid.
Utah State was unlikely to obtain an NCAA match with out that win. The Aggies had wins over Florida and LSU, however not a lot else on their résumé. On the very least, it will have been an extended, anxious wait till Choice Sunday. Now that the Aggies are in, nevertheless, Merrill, huge man Neemias Queta and double-double menace/glue man Justin Bean are ok to win a recreation.
It was dangerous information for bubble groups, because the obtainable spots shrink. We’re speaking to you, NC State and Cincinnati and Stanford and Northern Iowa and Texas and different groups hoping to seize a kind of previous couple of spots within the discipline. Whichever crew is the primary crew disregarded of the sector — final 12 months it was UNC Greensboro — may need Utah State guilty.
The opposite ramification is: San Diego State’s grasp on a 1-seed may need loosened utterly with the loss. Dayton has been ready to seize that spot since San Diego State suffered its first lack of the season at UNLV a number of weeks in the past, and now the Flyers may need the sting if they’ll exit and win the Atlantic 10 match. Dayton toyed with George Washington for about 27 minutes on Saturday however ended up with a blowout win because of a monster second half from Obi Toppin.
San Diego State owns wins over Creighton, Iowa and BYU, that are vastly superior to Dayton’s wins — however the Flyers are increased than the Aztecs within the NET and a minimum of three of the 5 different metrics the committee makes use of. Dayton additionally does not have a Quadrant Three loss on its résumé.
If the Flyers win the A-10 match, there’s going to be authentic 1-seed drama.
Tyrese Maxey and Kentucky celebrated a last-minute win in opposition to Florida. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports activities
Three. Kentucky comes again to stun Florida
Kentucky’s day did not begin off properly. John Calipari tweeted out an announcement within the morning: Level guard Ashton Hagans did not journey with the crew to Saturday’s recreation at Florida and could be taking a number of days off for private causes. The Wildcats then struggled with out their defensive chief for a lot of the first 30 minutes in opposition to the Gators, trailing by 18 with slightly below 12 minutes remaining. Then, Kentucky main scorer and SEC Participant of the Yr candidate Immanuel Quickley fouled out with 9 minutes left.
And Kentucky went on to win 71-70.
So what occurred in between? (1) Kentucky’s function gamers answered the bell. Keion Brooks, in his first begin since mid-January, completed with 10 factors and three rebounds. Fellow freshman Johnny Juzang buried two 3s and completed with 10 factors and two assists. Nate Sestina got here off the bench to attain 9 factors and seize six rebounds. (2) a mixture of the Wildcats’ smothering protection and Florida’s anemic offense. Kentucky stepped up on the defensive aspect of issues, holding the Gators to only six factors within the ultimate eight minutes. Florida merely did not have a solution late within the recreation, and not using a go-to man to demand the ball and make a play. (Three) Nick Richards dominated the inside late, ending with 19 factors. Florida had its manner inside for a lot of the first 30 minutes, however Kentucky owned the paint late.
Kentucky confirmed some actual combat in its comeback and confirmed its function gamers have the potential to offer some high quality depth in March. The Wildcats made a press release in these ultimate 10 minutes in Gainesville — however it will nonetheless assist in the event that they get Hagans again for the postseason.
Three issues for Sunday
1. Massive Ten title race
Wisconsin struck first within the Massive Ten regular-season race on Saturday, profitable at Indiana to clinch a minimum of a share of the title. However Maryland and Michigan State nonetheless have a say within the proceedings, and each the Terrapins and Spartans face tough residence exams. Maryland welcomes Michigan to city, and each groups are hoping to get some momentum coming into the postseason. The Terrapins have misplaced three of 4 to fall utterly out of the combination for a possible 1-seed on Choice Sunday, whereas Michigan beat Nebraska on Thursday to snap a two-game dropping streak.
On the opposite aspect of issues, Michigan State and Ohio State are rolling down the stretch of the season — and can battle in East Lansing on Sunday. Each groups have gained 4 in a row and are squarely within the combine for top-four seeds within the NCAA match. That is the primary assembly of the season between the 2 groups.
2. Title and bubble implications within the American
The American Athletic Convention regular-season championship will come right down to the ultimate day of the common season. Tulsa already has clinched a minimum of a share after the Golden Hurricane gained at Temple on Wednesday and Houston misplaced at UConn on Thursday. On Sunday, the Cougars will hope to forge a tie atop the standings once they welcome Memphis to city — whereas Tulsa heads to Wichita State. A Houston win and a Tulsa loss would depart the 2 groups tied for first, alongside Cincinnati after the Bearcats’ late win over Temple.
The bubble image within the league additionally will get some extra clarification on Sunday. Wichita State is in bother after dropping at Memphis on Thursday and might’t afford a house loss to Tulsa. In the meantime, Memphis faces a must-win at Houston to have hopes heading into the convention match.
Three. Bids shall be handed out
The primary two bids to the NCAA match have been earned on Saturday, with the Mountain West and Ohio Valley having the primary convention match title video games. Sunday will convey three extra, with the Missouri Valley, Atlantic Solar and Massive South set to carry their championships. The Missouri Valley has had one of many wildest convention tournaments to date, with Arch Insanity seeing the highest three seeds bounced within the quarterfinals. Sunday’s title recreation will function No. Four Bradley taking over No. 7 Valparaiso. The opposite two title video games have been finalized on Friday evening: High-seeded Liberty will battle Lipscomb within the Atlantic Solar in a rematch of final 12 months’s championship recreation, and 2-seed Winthrop will host 5-seed Hampton, which beat top-seeded Radford on Friday, within the Massive South.