The daytime session of college basketball’s conference tournaments were exhilarating on Thursday. There were game winners in the Big East, and overtime marathons in the Big 12. We also have proof that every game in March is not close. Some bubble teams didn’t prevail in must win games, while, other teams survived.
Villanova came all the way back from 15 points down to take the lead. Seton Hall responded with tremendous play down the stretch. It set up another memorable Big East tournament game. This time Sterling Gibbs was the hero with the game winning basket. Seton Hall is set to play Providence on Friday.
Providence 79-St. John’s 74
The Red Storm made a rousing comeback late in the game to take Providence to the wire. St. John’s even had a chance to take the lead after creating a turnover, but they missed a layup late in the game. Josh Fortune scored 24 points for the Friars, in what could end up being a bubble bursting game for St. John’s.
Iowa State 91- Kansas State 85
The Cyclones won this high scoring game over Kansas State to move into the semifinals. Melvin Ejim led Iowa State with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Iowa State (24-7) moved on to play Kansas. Dustin Hogue 19 points and 10 rebounds, also finished with double-double for the Cyclones.
Kansas 77- Oklahoma State 70
The Jayhawks followed the lead of Andrew Wiggins who led the team with 30 points. Both teams had a chance to take the lead on their final possession, but the offenses came up empty. Oklahoma State ran out of gas in the extra period, scoring only three points. Kansas will take on Iowa State in the semifinals.
American Athletic Conference
Houston 68- SMU 64
Houston knocked off SMU with a strong second half in the AAC tournament. TaShawn Thomas led the Cougars with 14 points and nine rebounds. This was the third straight loss for SMU and they’ll have to await on a bid for selection Sunday. Meanwhile, Houston is still alive to play another day.
Louisville 92- Rutgers 31
Louisville called off the dogs in the second half against overmatched Rutgers. Still, Louisville’s 34 second half points would have won the game. Chris Jones led the Cardinals with 18 points. Five Louisville players hit for double figures. Currently, Louisville looks like a candidate for a No.1 seed.
Florida State 67- Maryland 65
Maryland’s last game as an ACC member did not go so well. Boris Bojanovsky got free for the game winning dunk with .4 seconds left in the contest. He finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Ian Miller scored 17 points. Dez Wells led Maryland with 18 points. Florida State faces Virginia in the semifinals on Friday.
Pittsburgh 84- Wake Forest 55
Pittsburgh made easy work of their opponent on Thursday. The Panthers couldn’t afford to lose, and they came out firing. Lamar Patterson scored 24 points in the blowout victory. Pittsburgh faces North Carolina in a semifinal match up.
Arizona 71- Utah 39
Someone had a bright idea about Utah slipping past Arizona in the PAC-12. Too bad Arizona wasn’t having any of it. The Wildcats outscored the Utes 34-13 in the first half and never looked back. The Arizona backcourt combined for 27 points.
Colorado is currently leading California by nine points at halftime.
Mountain West Conference
San Diego State 73- Utah State 39
The Aztecs also used a dominant first half to halt any expectations of an upset victory. They outscored the Aggies by 21 in the first half and continued the onslaught throughout the rest of the game. Eleven players score for San Diego State. Xavier Thames led the team with 15 points.
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