Our quick thoughts on Monday night's results:
There have been plenty of upsets so far this college basketball season, but none have been more stunning than North Carolina's OT loss at Charleston. The first "upset" was that Charleston got the Tar Heels to even come into their building; the second upset came thanks to the heroics of Andrew Goudelock. The Cougars looked dead after Carolina pulled ahead by 12 with four minutes left. But that's when Goudelock took over, scoring eight straight points at the end of regulation, capped by a ridiculous, rainbow of a three that forced overtime. Goudelock, who finished with 24 points, was the best player on the floor (a pretty talented floor, too) in the second half.
Excellent job on the court rush, Cougar fans. Very fast, very good court coverage.
Carolina, which now has four losses, can say good-bye to its 3 seed. They're looking at a spot on the 5 line next week - if they can first take care of pesky Virginia Tech at home this weekend.
Who would have thought that Pittsburgh, who was staring at three straight road games to start its conference schedule, would suddenly be the Big East's hottest team? The Panthers, who debuted as a 9 seed in our bracket this week, won their sixth straight game Monday, beating Cincinnati 74-71 on the Bearcats' home floor.
Now that Gilbert Brown (17 points) and Jermaine Dixon (10 points, 5 boards) are back, and the Panthers are finally at full strength, they have a chance to make some real noise in a league that looks a little soft after the "big four" (WVU, Syracuse, Georgetown, Villanova).
Cincinnati was admittedly over-seeded as a 5 this week (we had to put them there because of numbers issues), and they'll fall to the 8-9 range after this loss, while Pitt will get a couple of seed line boost.
What a crushing night for the Colonial. The league's best team and only at-large possibility at this point, William & Mary, lost a heart-breaker on a late tip-in at home to a bad UNC-Wilmington team (snapping a 10-game winning streak), and VCU, who was in our bracket for all of 22 hours, inexplicably lost at home to Northeastern. Going into this week, we really liked the Colonial's chances at two bids, but one or two more nights like this and those dreams will be over. As it is, they'll be a one-bid league again next week.
Mississippi State may have just shot itself onto the wrong side of the bubble. The Bulldogs went 14-of-27 from the line in a resume-killing 55-52 loss at Western Kentucky. Mississippi State still not beaten a tournament team, and their only real win of note was against Old Dominion at the South Padre Island Invitational in late November.
Of note: Siena won at Loyola (MD); Robert Morris beat Morgan State in a battle of 16 seeds; Louisiana Tech, who's now 14-2, crushed Utah State at home.