The night in college hoops: High scorers, bubble wins and more
Ranked teams were undefeated in Wednesday’s slate of games, which is seemingly a rarity in a season with a record number of upsets. While all but one of the top-25 teams in action won in blowout fashion, there wasn’t a shortage of impressive individual performances, NCAA tournament-shaping results and exciting finishes.
Posley, Andrews, Moody have big scoring nights
St. Bonaventure’s Marcus Posley scored 47 points, the most by a Division I player this season and the most by an A-10 player since David West’s 47 in 2003. Posley had an incredibly efficient night offensively. He was 15 of 19 from the field, 6 of 7 from three-point range, and 11 of 12 from the free throw line. Most importantly, the Bonnies picked up a big 98–90 win over Saint Joseph’s.
Just hours after Posley became the first to score at least 47 points this season, Washington’s Andrew Andrews equaled the feat with 47 of his own in the Huskies’ 99–91 win over Washington State. Andrews shot 13 of 22 from the field, 5 for 7 from three and 16 of 17 from the free throw line.
Ole Miss’ Stefan Moody went out with a bang on senior night, scoring 43 points in the Rebels’ 86–78 win over Mississippi State. Moody was 11 of 24 from the field, 6 of 12 from three-point range and 15 of 18 from the free throw line. Moody has scored in double figures in every game he has played this season, including 22 20-plus point games.
Oregon clinches a share of the Pac-12
For the first time since 2002, Oregon has clinched a share of the Pac-12 regular season title. Tyler Dorsey’s 20 points and nine rebounds led the Ducks to a 76–68 win at UCLA. With a 13–4 record in the Pac-12, Oregon can win the conference outright with a win at USC on Saturday. Utah is in second-place at 12–5 and California is in third with an 11–5 conference record.
Mixed results for bubble teams
Marcus Posley’s 47 points were not only tied with Andrews for the most in Division I basketball this season, they fueled an incredibly timely win for St. Bonaventure. By defeating Saint Joseph’s, the Bonnies jumped into a three-way tie for second-place in the A-10 with St. Joseph’s and Dayton, and just one game behind first-place VCU. The victory gives St. Bonaventure another win over an opponent ranking in the RPI top 50, and Saint Joseph’s could still finish the year ranked in the RPI top 25.
Butler’s conference record climbed to above .500 for the first time all season with an 85–78 win over Seton Hall. The Bulldogs are responsible for the Pirates’ only losses in their last 10 games. Seton Hall is just outside the top-25 of the RPI and with the win, Butler is trending in the right direction after winning six of its last eight games. SI’s Michael Beller wrote on Tuesday that Butler “can definitely get in without that strong a finish, but that's the only way they'll feel safe.” Butler finishes the regular season at home against Marquette before the start of the Big East tournament.
Alabama couldn’t pull out a win at home against Arkansas on Wednesday, falling to 8–9 in the SEC and tied for ninth place in the conference standings. The Crimson Tide close the regular season at Georgia, meaning they’ll have to wait to the SEC Tournament for an opportunity to pick up another quality win. Before Alabama’s loss to Arkansas, Beller included the Crimson Tide among the last four teams in the field of 68 and they didn’t do their NCAA tournament hopes any favors on Wednesday.
In late January, Providence was a top-10 team with a 17–3 record, seemingly destined to not just make the NCAA tournament but be one of the top seeds. A 3–6 record in the Friars’ next nine games changed that trajectory but they managed to stop the bleeding, at least momentarily, with a 70–66 win over Creighton. It was the first time since Jan. 24 that Providence had won consecutive games. The Friars’ record against top-25 and top-50 teams leaves more to be desired, but a win on Wednesday kept them clearly in the tournament picture.
Boston College loses...again
The Eagles, who haven’t won since Dec. 30, nearly ended their losing streak in Raleigh, N.C. on Wednesday. Jerome Robinson’s free throw with 14 seconds left gave Boston College a 72–71 advantage but the Eagles could only maintain the lead for 13 more seconds. N.C. State’s Maverick Rowan and Anthony ‘Cat’ Barber each missed a three-point attempt in the closing seconds but the Wolfpack had one final chance to score with 1.1 seconds left.
Wow. N.C. State wins at the buzzer as Boston College nearly won its first ACC game of the season. https://t.co/muE2WhjorJ— Andy Wittry (@AndyWittry) March 3, 2016
Boston College’s defense allowed Rowan a clear path to the hoop on the final out-of-bounds play and his layup attempt beat the buzzer. The Eagles will play host to Clemson on Saturday as they hope to avoid becoming the first school to go winless in conference play in football and men’s basketball since World War II.
America East upset
It’s officially March, which means it’s time for postseason play and the upsets that come along with it. In the quarterfinals of the America East Conference tournament, No. 7 seed Hartford defeated No. 2 seed and three-time defending conference tournament champion Albany, 68–59. Hartford was just 4–12 in conference play this season and its win over Albany on Wednesday was only its 10th victory of the season.
Hartford better hope it has some magic left over for the semifinals, because the Hawks play regular-season conference champion Stony Brook in their next game.