With March around the corner, upsets abound in college
Let's recap the big results from Tuesday and the implications therein:
Kansas State 78, No. 3 Missouri 68
For the second time this season the Tigers were bit by the Wildcats. In fact, two of Missouri's three losses this season have come at the hands of Kansas State. The Wildcats took a big first-half lead, and weathered a Missouri rally in the second half to get a much-needed win. What does it mean? For Missouri, it lessens their chances of getting a No. 1 seed and puts No. 5 Kansas in the driver's seat of the Big 12, but overall it is not a crushing blow. If the Tigers beat the Jayhawks in Lawrence on Feb. 25, they will likely be the Big 12 champions. For Kansas State, this was a huge win, as it may have brought them onto the right side of the bubble. With the win the Wildcats moved to 8-7 in conference, and with a favorable remaining schedule, a tourney bid seems likely for Kansas State, especially with two wins over Missouri under their belt.
Seton Hall 73, No. 8 Georgetown 55
This game was all Pirates. The defensive-minded Hoyas couldn't contain Jordan Theodore, who dropped 29 points for Seton Hall. Theodore, who may have bought his team an NCAA bid, went 5-5 from three-point range. No Georgetown player was in double digits. What does it mean? Georgetown's outside chances of winning the Big East are dead, and their seed could be plummeting. Good teams don't get blown out like the Hoyas did Tuesday. It's really unclear where their offense will come from come March. For Seton Hall, this win moves them from one of the last teams out of the tournament, to one of the last teams in the tournament. But at 8-8 in the Big East, work is not done for the Pirates--the likely need to avoid a letdown in their last two games versus Rutgers and at Depaul to secure a bid.
Colorado State 71, No. 21 New Mexico 63
This New Mexico team is sure hard to figure out, no? After back-to-back wins over San Diego State and UNLV, they drop a game at a very mediocre Colorado State team. Earlier in the season the Lobos beat the Rams by 33 points. What does it mean? For New Mexico, it means they need to be careful not to slip up the rest of the season. Right now, they'd be in the tournament, but their spot isn't super comfortable. For the Rams it means very little--they are an NIT team. I suppose if they win their next two games at San Diego State and versus UNLV and make a run in the Mountain West Tournament, they could get a look as an at-large--but that is unlikely.
No. 1 Kentucky 73, Mississippi State 64
In the first half of this game it looked like the Bulldogs were going to get that signature win that they desperately needed. Mississippi State led by 13 at halftime before Kentucky flexed their muscles in the second half, outscoring the Bulldogs 45-23 to win. What does it mean? For Kentucky, they remain the favorite to be the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. For Mississippi State it extended their losing streak to four games and put their season on the brink. Just a week and a half ago the Bulldogs looked pretty strong, but now they will likely need to win their last three games and make a run in the SEC Tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament.
No. 13 Michigan 67, Northwestern 55 (OT)
Michigan rallied in the second half and blitzed the Wildcats in overtime to break Northwestern hearts Tuesday. The Wolverines kept chucking threes and they finally started dropping, burning the Wildcats. Trey Burke played the whole game and led the way for Michigan with 19 points. What does it mean? Michigan remains comfortably in the NCAA Tournament. For Northwestern, this loss is brutal. At 6-9 in the Big Ten, it looks like another season without Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament. It would take three straight Big Ten wins and a few wins in the Big Ten Tournament for the Wildcats to get on the right side of the bubble.