Our quick thoughts on Thursday's results:
Is the Pac-10 back to being a one-bid league? Probably. One thing is for sure though - no matter how many Pac-10 teams are in the bracket on Monday, Washington won't be one of them. The Huskies, who are now 0-4 on the road, continued their insanely inconsistent season Thursday night, losing 62-61 at UCLA on a buzzer-beater by Mustafa Abdul-Hamid. Washington led by four at halftime, and then scored a grand total of six points in the first 10 minutes of the second half to let the Bruins back in it. Venoy Overton's basket with 3.2 seconds left put the Huskies up one, but Abdul-Hamid took the ensuing inbounds pass, drove and hit a jumper from the top of the key just as time expired.
As exciting as the last minute of this game was, the final result is disastrous for the Pac-10. The league needed a team (like Washington) to start pulling away from the pack and establish themselves as an at-large candidate. The Huskies played like a team capable of that last week, but after this loss they're 3-4 in conference and pretty irrelevant in terms of at-large consideration. Arizona State and Cal (who crushed Oregon at home Thursday) are now tied atop the Pac-10 standings at 4-2, but neither is at-large worthy by any stretch.
Indiana fans have been taking a lot of heat (and deservedly so) for rushing the court when the Hoosiers beat Minnesota on Sunday, but there may not have been a more inexcusable court rush (ever?) than UCLA rushing after Abdul-Hamid's buzzer beater. Rushing may have just officially jumped the shark. We're speechless.
It's a pretty slow night when the second-most tweetable game involves Louisiana Tech. That was the case on Thursday, though - and the news wasn't good for the WAC favorites. The Bulldogs lost 87-76 on the road to Adrian Oliver (39 points) and San Jose State, all but crippling their already slim at-large hopes. We don't think there's any way for La Tech to stay in the at-large discussion unless they lose a max of two conference games, win the WAC regular season title by 2-3 games, and then win their BracketBuster game. A loss this early in conference, to a pretty poor team, puts them in a really, really tough spot.
The first leg of Butler's four-game road trip almost ended in disaster Thursday, but the Bulldogs were able to escape with a 48-47 win at Loyola (IL). Butler was ice cold from the field the whole night, shooting 38 percent and going 3-for-20 from three. The Bulldogs took the lead on a Willie Veasley free throw with 34 seconds left, and then on their final possession, Loyola missed a three-point attempt and a tip-in at the buzzer. The win temporarily protected Butler's current spot on the 5 line. Their next road test is at Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.
Of note: Gonzaga beat Pepperdine at home; Florida won at Arkansas; Western Kentucky dropped its second straight game, falling to Troy 77-69; St. Mary's beat San Diego at home; Cal destroyed Oregon at home; Siena beat Loyola (MD) at home; Charleston beat Furman at home; Oakland won at North Dakota State; Murray State won at Eastern Illinois; Pacific beat Cal State-Fullerton at home; Vermont lost at home to Stony Brook; Robert Morris won at Fairleigh Dickinson.