Baylor and LaSalle solidified their position in the tournament with blow out wins, while South Dakota State and Larry Bird’s Indiana State hurt their chances. Nate Wolters scored 36 points to make it 99 in two games, and it still was not enough, as South Dakota State (#13 of the Middle 20) hurt their tournament chances the most of any team in the Middle 20 in afternoon action with a 88-83 loss at Oakland.
In games today from the Middle 20 that could determine NCAA bids today, Temple won the first game of the day.
Baylor (6th of Middle 20) may move back ahead of the Middle 20, after torching lowly Texas Tech 75-48 to looking dominant like in the early season.
La Salle may also move safely into the tournament after also blowing out a lower team in Fordham 89-53.
Like Baylor and LaSalle, Indiana State had an easy game with a home match-up against Southern Illinois. The fact that they needed Jake Odum to come through with a late shot, and then hope a buzzer shot at the other end did not fall to hold onto a 66-65 win, does not help the eye test.
The heartbreak however was for South Dakota State, who will likely drop out of the Middle 20 and a long way from a bid to the tournament after the loss at Oakland. It was not an easy game, but with only the one big resume win at New Mexico, the Jackrabbits needed to get a hard fought road win for the resume, and this might have put them close to the bubble.