Our quick thoughts on Sunday's results:
As cliche as it may sound, there's something to be said for the "no one thinks we can do it" mantra in sports. Just look at what happened in Knoxville Sunday afternoon. Tennessee was playing with just six scholarship players against a top-ranked Kansas team that not only has one of the most talented and deepest rosters in the country, but had the extra incentive of proving that their-near loss to Cornell their last time out was a fluke. So, naturally, the Vols pulled off the biggest upset of the week, beating the the Jayhawks 76-68.
As incredible as the result was, even more ridiculous was how Tennessee was able to pull out the victory. They played most of the second half in big-time foul trouble (Wayne Chism and J.P. Prince each picked up their fourth fouls with 13 minutes left) and on the biggest possession of the game, it was a walk-on, Skylar McBee, who chucked up and hit what turned out to be the game-clinching three. Give Sherron Collins credit: he put the Jayhawks on his back down the stretch, but it just felt like there was no way Tennessee was going to let an opportunity like this - under circumstances like this - pass them by. And they didn't.
Bracket-wise, the win will jump Tennessee up to the 3 line (where will everyone who had Tennessee overseeded as a 3 or a 4 already put them now?) and Kansas will slide down the 1 line, behind the two remaining unbeatens.
The Tennessee crowd did an unbelievable job willing the Vols to victory (the Summit was insanely loud, even through the TV). No court rush, though? The players certainly looked like they wanted one. Oh well, just do it the next time you beat the No. 1 team in the country on your home floor.
Typical Florida State - just when it looks like they have turned the corner and are ready to ascend to the upper echelon of teams in the ACC, they play a conference road game and get beat. This time it was against Maryland, who beat the 'Noles 77-68 Sunday night in College Park. FSU got bit by the injury bug (Ryan Reid missed a chunk of the second half with an ankle injury) and by foul trouble (Solomon Alabi picked up two fouls in the first three minutes), and couldn't come back from a 15-point halftime deficit. As a result, they'll tumble down a seed line or so in tomorrow's bracket.
Remember when Cal and Washington, regardless of how awful the rest of the Pac-10 looked, appeared like tourney locks? Yeah, we don't either. A day after Cal lost at home to UCLA (knocking them out of our next bracket), Washington suffered a humiliating loss of its own, getting annihilated at Arizona to drop to 1-3 in conference. The Huskies came into the week as a 5 seed, and proceeded to lose two games by a combined 34 points. They've now lost three in a row, and will be clinging to a bid in tomorrow's bracket based solely on the fact that we still can't imagine that they are this bad.
Rhode Island missed out on a huge opportunity to pad their resume on Sunday, losing to Temple at home in OT. The Rams made our bracket last week after beating Oklahoma State in Uncasville and then picked up a nice road win at Akron on Tuesday. But after this loss, it's probably going to be hard to keep them in the field on Monday. There are just too many other teams that have better overall resumes right now. Missouri, Vanderbilt and Notre Dame all picked up big wins this week, and it's very probable that Rhode Island will get bumped to the to wrong side of the bubble in favor of one of those teams.
Of note: North Carolina beat Virginia Tech at home; Butler won at Detroit in OT; Syracuse beat South Florida at home; Northwestern won at Michigan; Western Kentucky lost at Denver.