Saturday’s Den: Wrapping up a Friday full of basketball…….

Since 1985, every team that won the college basketball national championship also made it to the semi-finals of their conference tournament.

Last 12 years, only 4 of 48 Final Four teams lost their first conference tournament game. 

This week……..
Alabama, Creighton, Kentucky, Tennessee all lost their first conference tournament game.

It was an upsetting day in Nashville; three of four favorites got beat.
Mississippi State 73, Tennessee 56
Bulldogs never trailed, led 38-19 at halftime.
Tennessee is #29 experience team, but they shot 30.6% from the floor.

Texas A&M 97, Kentucky 87
Aggies had only 6 turnovers, scored 1.28 points/possession.
Texas A&M has won five in a row, is now 20-13.
This win would appear to put Texas A&M in the NCAA’s.

Florida 102, Alabama 84
Alabama thinks de-fence is what you put around de-garden.
Crimson Tide gave up 100+ points in three of last six games.
Gators shot 58.1% inside arc, made 31-36 on foul line.

NC State 73, Virginia 65, OT
12th-seed Wolfpack is in ACC Final for first time since 2007.
Kid on NC State hit a desperation 28-footer at the buzzer, to force OT.

North Carolina 72, Pitt 65
Carolina has won 8 games in a row, is looking like a #1-seed next week.
Panthers have won 10 of their last 13 games; is it enough to get in NCAA’s?

Big X
Iowa State 76, Baylor 62
If Iowa State’s uniforms said “Duke” on the front, they might be a #1-seed next week.
Cyclones have won 10 of their last 12 games.
Iowa State forces turnovers 25.9% of time (#2)

Houston 82, Texas Tech 59
This game was tied with 17:40 left to play.
Houston was +11 (19-8) in turnovers.
Cougars have the best eFG% defense in the country. 

Temple 58, Charlotte 54
11th-seed Owls have posted upset wins three nights in a row.
Temple is 7-2 in last nine games, which followed an 0-10 streak.

Florida Atlantic 77, North Texas 71
Bubble teams need FAU to win this tournament.
FAU outscored North Texas 26-16 over final 7:51 of game.

Big 14
Nebraska 93, Indiana 66
Nebraska has won seven of its last eight games.
Cornhuskers are going to NCAA’s for first time in ten years.

Illinois 77, Ohio State 74
Buckeyes led 56-46 with 11:00 left in game.
Illinois is 24-8, looking like a #3-seed in NCAA’s.
Bubble teams liked this score.

Big East
UConn 95, St John’s 90
UConn shot 11-22 on arc, scored 1.40 points/possession in spirited game.
Huskies are 19-1 since Christmas.

It is possible that St John’s-New Mexico will be a First Four game: Pitino vs Pitino

Marquette 79, Providence 68
Marquette shot 8-15 on arc, Friars were 7-31.
Shaka Smart is now 24-9 in conference tournament games.
Bracketology has Providence on wrong side of the bubble.

Famous birthdays for March 16:
Chuck Woolery, 84
Kate Nelligan,, 73
Ozzie Newsome, 68
Rodney Peete, 58
Blake Griffin, 35
Tim Hardaway Jr, 32
Joel Embiid, 30
Vladimir Guerrero Jr, 25

Mountain West
San Diego State 86, Utah State 70
Utah State led 39-36 at halftime.
Aztecs are in final of MW tourney for 7th straight year (3-3 previous six)

New Mexico 74, Colorado State 61
Colorado State didn’t score for last 6:45 of first half.
Rams shot 34.3% from the floor.
This win probably puts New Mexico in the NCAA’s.
Oregon 67, Arizona 59
Ducks upset #1-seed Arizona.
Game was 33-33 at halftime.
Bubble teams are rooting hard against the Ducks Saturday night. 

Colorado 58, Washington State 52
Buffaloes have won eight games in a row.
Colorado is shooting 40.2% on the arc (#3).
Buffaloes start four seniors and a junior.

Saint Peter’s 62, Quinnipiac 60
Peacocks upset the MAAC’s #1-seed.
Saint Peter’s has won seven of its last nine games.
Both teams shot under 40% inside the arc.

Fairfield 65, Marist 61
Stags started season 1-6; they’re 21-5 since then.
Marist led by 9 with 10:10 left in the game.
Fairfield hasn’t made the NCAA’s since 1997. 

Kent State 73, Bowling Green 60
Kent State made 12-18 shots on the arc.
Senior PG Santiago played all 40:00 two nights in a row.
Golden Flashes were only 8-10 in MAC regular season, but play for MAC title tonight.

Akron 65, Ohio U 62
Bobcats led by 10 early in 2nd half, but shot 5-23 on the arc.
Akron is shooting 54.6% inside arc in MAC games, best in league.

Grand Canyon 80, Seattle 72
Seattle led 34-32 at halftime.
Antelopes are 28-4; they’ve got #8 eFG% defense in country.

Tex-Arlington 87, Tarleton State 84
Tex-Arlington shot 67.6% inside the arc
Mavericks have won eight games in a row. 

Weird thing here; Tarleton State isn’t eligible for NCAA’s this year; had they won this game, Grand Canyon would’ve won the automatic bid to NCAA’s Friday night. Now, they need to beat Tex-Arlington Saturday to make the Field of 68.

Big West
Cal-Davis 68, Hawai’i 65
Cal-Davis led 22-8 early on, then held on for dear life.
Aggies won their last four games.
Cal-Davis hasn’t made the NCAA’s since 2017.

Long Beach State 83, Cal-Irvine 79
Long Beach upsets the #1-seed Anteaters.
Irvine was only 10-19 on the foul line.
This happened three days after Long Beach fired coach Dan Monson, who is coaching the team thru the end of this season- he’s been at Long Beach for 17 years.

Conference USA
Tex-El Paso 65, Sam Houston State 63
UTEP upsets the #1-seed Bearkats.
Sam Houston led by 14 with 12:44 left in game.
Sam Houston lost by 2, was 19-34 on foul line.

Western Kentucky 85, Middle Tennessee 54
WKU led 46-27 at half; they shot 11-22 on the arc.
Hilltoppers scored 89-85 points the last two nights. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.