Our quick thoughts on Saturday's results:
Welcome to the bracket, Pitt. The Panthers blew the roof off the Carrier Dome in the second half, scoring 55 points en route to a 10-point win over the Orange. Pitt's backcourt was the difference - Jermaine Dixon and Ashton Gibbs combined for 45 points and 13 rebounds.
Syracuse's loss is Purdue's gain. The Boilermakers will be a 1 seed next week.
UConn's win over Notre Dame was nice, especially after the way the Huskies struggled against Cincinnati. Even nicer for UConn fans, though, was how the Huskies' much-maligned post players fared. Gavin Edwards scored 13 points, and Charles Okwandu (who had never scored more than two points in a game in his career) had 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting and five rebounds.
Huge road win for UAB against Arkansas. The Blazers were down for much of the second half, but won on a sweet inbounds alley-oop play with one second left. They'll likely debut in our bracket in the 8-9 range.
Head-scratcher of the day: Maine 52, Boston College 51.
Baylor won its seventh straight, beating South Carolina by 11 on the road. A case can be made for the Bears to get a bid in our next bracket, but it's tough to ignore the fact that they haven't yet beaten a tournament team and that their SOS is still in the mid 200s.
Heck of a win for Rhode Island, beating Oklahoma State 63-59 on a neutral floor. The Rams, who still have just one loss, might sneak in to our next bracket depending on what happens the rest of the weekend. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, will probably be on the outside looking in. Baylor has a more attractive resume than the Cowboys do right now and has the edge as the Big XII's sixth bid.
Games don't get much more back-and-forth than the Gonzaga-Illinois game. The Illini, who were down 21 in the first half, came all the way back and led by 8 in the second half, only to lose in OT. A win would have capped a great week for Illinois and gotten them into our next bracket. Instead, it's Gonzaga who solidifies itself as a top-four seed with its second neutral court win in three days. The Zags have shaken off their debacle against Duke quite nicely.
Villanova was a minute away from getting rushed on for the second time this season - but Scottie Reynolds and his And 1 mixtape moves came to the rescue. Reynolds' through-the-legs, behind-the-back, leaner and the foul put 'Nova up two (and up for good) with 19 seconds to go. The shot cemented 'Nova's place on the 2 line, and cost Marquette (did anyone have a rougher week than the Golden Eagles?) a spot in next week's bracket.
John Wall has had better games this season, but it was his six straight points when Kentucky got down midway through the second half that really sparked the Wildcats in their win over Louisville. Wall finished with 17 points, four assists, and five turnovers in a game that fell very short of the hype.
Louisville fans have a right to be upset that DeMarcus Cousins (who finished with 18 points and 18 boards) didn't get kicked out for the forearm shiver he dished out while wrestling for a loose ball in the first half. Still, we doubt the result of the game would have been much different. The Wildcats are just a more talented and more explosive offensive team than Louisville is.
The dream season continues for William & Mary. The Tribe never led in Saturday's game at Hofstra until Kendrix Brown's three-point play with 17 seconds to go. William & Mary trailed by as many as eight midway through the second half, but pulled out a 48-47 victory to move to 10-2 overall, and 2-0 in the Colonial.
Look who's suddenly a player in the Pac-10. Oregon completed a weekend sweep of the Washington schools by spanking the (overrated) Huskies by 11. The Ducks still haven't done enough to sneak into next week's bracket, but they might make an appearance very soon. Their next three conference games are at home and all of them (Oregon State, Arizona State, Arizona) are very winnable.
It's amazing how many experts were predicting Kansas to lose at Temple (we're looking at you, Seth Davis). It took the Jayhawks all of 20 minutes to show that they're not only the best team in the Big XII, but the best team in the country.
Don't worry, Temple fans, the Owls are still a good team with a quality resume - and they're still the favorite to win the A-10. They'll slip no further than the 7 line in our next bracket, and they might remain a 6.
Michigan State dominated Northwestern and made a strong case to stay at the end of the 3 line in our next bracket. The Wildcats, who are now 0-2 in conference and still without a real marquee win, are probably going to be on the wrong side of the bubble come Monday.
Virginia Tech pulled out a nice OT win over Seton Hall in Cancun (thanks to Dorenzo Hudson's 41 points), and in the process, they put themselves in position for an at-large in our next bracket. If the Hokies do get one of our final at-larges, though, we are going to have to ignore the fact that they still have not beaten a tournament team and that their strength of schedule is hovering around 250. Miami, which has a very similar resume right now out of the ACC, has at least beaten Minnesota, and is probably still more deserving of the ACC's seventh bid.
It's very rare that we comment on women's basketball on B101, but Baylor's Brittney Griner deserves some love today. She dunked twice in Baylor's 99-18 win over Texas State, including one dunk on a 3-on-1 break (at the 0:55 mark of the video) that some men's players couldn't pull off. (In other news, Texas State's at-large chances take a huuuuge hit here.)
Of note: Georgia Tech won at Charlotte; Cincinnati won at Rutgers; Cal crushed Stanford at home; Washington State edged Oregon State at home; USC beat Arizona State at home; Louisiana Tech beat Nevada at home; Siena needed OT to beat Mount St. Mary's at home.