Our quick thoughts on Thursday's results:
St. Mary's has hung around the 10-12 lines in our bracket all season, but after their home loss to Gonzaga on Thursday night, it's going to be tough to keep them in the field next week. One of the main reasons the Gaels were even in our bracket in the first place - despite a mediocre OOC resume - was our belief that they would at worst split with the Zags during the regular season. Losing to them at home, pretty convincingly, really hurts their at-large profile. If we assume St. Mary's loses at Gonzaga on Feb. 11, that leaves them no more chances to pick up a quality win the rest of the way.
Washington and Cal both won last night, over Stanford and Washington State, respectively, to set up a win-and-you're-in-next-week game Saturday afternoon in Seattle. Cal heads into the game at 3-1 in conference, thanks to their impressive road win Thursday night against the Cougars. Jerome Randle finished with a career-high 39 points and added nine assists for the Bears in the victory. Washington, meanwhile, snapped its three-game skid Thursday by crushing the Cardinal, 94-61. The winner of Saturday's game will likely be a low 9/high 10 seed in Monday's bracket.
It took Tennessee about a half to sober up from its Kansas hangover, but in the end the Vols had no problem getting past Auburn on Thursday night. Tennessee destroyed the Tigers in the second half, holding them to just 18 points in an 81-55 win. Next up for the Vols is a home game against Mississippi on Saturday, before they hit the road for two next week (at Alabama, at Georgia).
Of note: Mississippi State beat Arkansas at home (thanks to Jarvis Varnado's 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 blocks); Georgetown beat Seton Hall at home; Butler beat Cleveland State at home; William & Mary beat James Madison at home.