Our quick thoughts on Friday's results:
The biggest college basketball story on Friday happened off the court, when Bruce Pearl announced Tyler Smith's dismissal from the basketball program after his arrest last week on gun and drug charges. Now that they know their teammate is not coming back, it will be very interesting to see how the Vols play their next few games. Smith's presence in the lineup still might not have been enough to stop a Kansas team with something to prove tomorrow in Knoxville, but Tennessee's next two games are at home against Auburn and Ole Miss. Those results will show whether the Vols are still the SEC's third best team, or if they will have to fight Florida, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt for that distinction.
If the Pac-10 has any hopes of being a three (or at this point even a two) bid league, Washington is going to have to lead the way and give the conference some credibility on the national stage. Their performance at Arizona State on Friday night did the exact opposite of that. The Huskies trailed by double digits for most of the second half and got blown out by an Arizona State team had lost its first two games in conference, including a defeat at USC last Saturday in which they scored a whopping 37 points. If Washington doesn't win at Arizona on Sunday, the top-seeded Pac-10 team (the only Pac-10 team?) in our next bracket on Monday may be an 8 seed or worse.
Butler has lost a total of three conference home games over the past four years combined, so it's safe to say that the Bulldogs' seed in this year's NCAA tourney will likely be based on how they do on the road in the Horizon (and in their BracketBuster game as well). They passed their first major road test with flying colors Friday night, winning by 12 at Wright State to remain perfect in league play. Next up is another tricky roadie at Detroit on Sunday.
It wasn't the road win they really wanted this week, but Cornell did pick up a W away from home Friday night against South Dakota. The Big Red have up one final tune -up against Division III Clarkson on Monday before opening their Ivy League schedule at home against Columbia next Saturday.
Of note: Washington State won at Arizona; St. Mary's won at San Francisco; Pacific won at Cal Poly.