Kentucky and Villanova were the biggest winners Saturday, as their wins likely moved them from “out” to “in” the NCAA tournament. Kendall Williams 46 points made New Mexico the third biggest winner of the day, as their road win in a match-up of ranked teams. Alabama and Arizona State were the biggest losers, with home losses that probably kill any hope of a bid. Here are the summaries of the 20 biggest games Saturday:
March Madness: Saturday’s Biggest Winners:
- Kentucky 90, Missouri 83 – Kentucky’s win was the biggest of the night because they were within a point of a home loss that would have made them less than 50-50 on a bid. Julius Mays scored eight points in overtime to deliver the first win without Nerlens Noel.
- Villanova 60, Marquette 56 – While all their big wins have been at home, adding Marquette to Syracuse and Louisville has Villanova looking like a team that will be getting a bid. Marquette could not find Darrun Hillard, who scored 22 points and Nova’s defense shut down MU including 290-pounder Davante Gardner to one of four shooting.
- New Mexico 91, Colorado St. 82 – A big road win for New Mexico in a battle of ranked teams should up New Mexico’s seed, but Colorado still in. Kendall Williams hit 10 three-pointers en route to a 46 points in a road game against No. 22 Colorado State in a game that could push No. 16 New Mexico toward a 3-seed that could keep them from having to play a 1-seed until the Elite 8.
- Georgetown 57, Syracuse 46 – Otto Porter may go All-American and Hoyas may move up to a 1-seed from this win, which is summarized here.
- California 60, Oregon St. 59 – M6 Cal with a road win to keep the hot streak going and they may get out of the Middle 20 and into the tournament. Justin Cobb hit a jumper late to give Cal a 60-55 lead and Cal held on for the road win to make it seven of eight. Cobb added five assists as well.
- Kansas St. 81, Texas 69 – An impressive road win against a decent Texas team pushes K-State towarda a high seed. Rodney McGruder scored 20 and grabbed six rebounds as No. 13 K-State stayed in the hunt for the Big 12 title with their all-time high 11th Big 12 win.
- Oklahoma St. 73, West Virginia 57 – Another road win for Oklahoma State and they are looking at a very high seed and may have the best player in Marcus Smart. The fact that No. 14 Oklahoma State could overcome a slow start and foul trouble for Smart and still win easily on the road is a good sign for tournament prospects. Michael Cobbins scored 10 points and grabbed nine rebounds while blocking four shots.
- VCU 75, Xavier 71 – While St. Louis has taken control of the A-10, another big road win for VCU has them expecting a high seed. Anyone who doesn’t believe the Rams could make another deep run behind their intense full-court pressure should consider that Xavier had a 17 point lead on their home court in the second half – and Troy Daniels had four steals and 19 points to lead the incredible come-from-behind-win to help move VCU up to a likely high seed an keep Xavier well out of the tournament.
- Murray St. 73, S. Dakota St. 62 – Murray State won the battle of long-shot teams and at least gives hope of breaking Middle 20. Isaiah Canaan scored 22 points and had five assists, but more importantly matched up with Breitbart Sports 2nd team All-American Nate Wolters and held him to 18 points. This kept Murray State with faint hope of a bid.
- UNLV 65, Wyoming 42 UNLV continues to strengthen their likely seed, while any hope Wyoming had is gone.
- Wichita St. 94, Detroit 79 Wichita State improves their seed despite 29 points from Breitbart Sports All-American Ray McCallum.
- Maryland 72, Clemson 59 Maryland avoids elimination to stay in the Middle 20, but loss at Boston College in previous game still makes it tough.
March Madness: Biggest Losers
Here are the eight teams that hurt their NCAA chances the most in Saturday’s games.
- LSU 97, Alabama 94, 3OT M20 Alabama not even in the Middle 20 after a road loss to an LSU team that is not going.
- Washington 68, Arizona State 59 – ASU is probably gone after a home loss against a weak team.
- Memphis 89, Southern Mississippi 73. Click here for an account.
- North Carolina 76, NC State 65 – While it was on the road, NC State lost the game between teams that are sinking, and they may not be a sure thing for a bid anymore.
- Memphis 89, Southern Miss. 73 – Southern Miss missed a real opportunity, and not even keeping it close makes it uphill.
- Oklahoma 90, Baylor 76 – While Baylor should be in at M4, another poor showing casts some doubt.
- Oregon 77, Stanford 66 – While on the road against a ranked team, a double digit loss makes it tough to see a Stanford bid.
- Nebraska 64, Iowa 60 – Iowa’s seed will lower after loss to a weak Nebraska team, but it was on the road.