Our quick thoughts on Wednesday's results:
After two tough OT losses, Cincinnati finally got the big win their resume needed on Wednesday night, upsetting UConn in their Big East opener. In what turned into a Stephenson/Vaughn vs. Robinson/Dyson two-on-two battle, the Bearcats' duo made the big plays down the stretch. Stephenson's last-second drive wasn't pretty, but it got him to the line with under a second left, and the freshman (who could play in the NBA tomorrow) calmly hit both FTs to seal the win.
On that last play, Gavin Edwards did bump Stephenson a little with his body, but it would have been nice to see the refs swallow the whistle there and let the outcome be decided in OT.
It's going to be a long winter in Storrs if the Huskies can't find someone not named Robinson or Dyson to score. Kemba Walker's point production has slipped of late (8.8 ppg over his last four), and UConn has no legitimate scoring threats down low. Ater Majok is not the answer; he's a giant question mark.
Northwestern really could have cemented a place in our Field of 65 with a win at Illinois. Instead, the Wildcats blew a 10-point second half lead and lost to Mike Tisdale (31 points) and the Illini 89-83 in overtime. Northwestern's resume, which still has just one notable win on it (Notre Dame), is looking less and less attractive in terms of an at-large. They'll need to upset Michigan State on Saturday to avoid falling out of our bracket.
Illinois, meanwhile, now has two solid wins on its resume. Those don't exactly cancel out their four questionable losses, but Wednesday was a big step in the right direction. If they beat Gonzaga on Saturday, we'll welcome them back in the bracket with open arms.
Hard to believe UAB followed up such an impressive performance against Butler with such a dud at Virginia. The Blazers are still playing better than anyone else in C-USA, but this loss will hurt them a seed line or so in our next bracket.
Kalin Lucas' response to his much-publicized benching at practice? Sixteen points in 29 minutes. Message received.
We may have raised a few eyebrows in our last bracket by giving William & Mary a 10 seed, but we loved the Tribe's OOC resume and fet they were playing the best ball of anyone in the Colonial. Our faith was rewarded in a big way again Wednesday, as they beat Maryland 83-77 in a game that wasn't that close. The Tribe, who now boast wins over Maryland, Wake, Richmond, and VCU, would be on the 8 line if we did a bracket tonight.
Of note: Baylor (who is now in Last Eight Out territory) crushed Arkansas; Old Dominion won at home against Duquesne; Boston College beat South Carolina at home; Notre Dame beat Providence at home; Temple beat Northern Illinois in its final tune-up before Kansas comes to town.