Our quick thoughts on Sunday's results:
South Florida would have be in tomorrow's bracket for sure had it continued its improbable run by winning at Notre Dame on Sunday, but poor free throw shooting and a rare off-day for star Dominique Jones might have put an end to those hopes. Jones scored just 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting and South Florida missed 10 of 20 free throws - including one following a dunk by Jarrid Famous that would have tied the game with 8.3 seconds left - in a 65-62 loss in South Bend. The win gave the Irish a season sweep of South Florida and will help land them on our Next Eight Out list tomorrow. ND isn't at-large worthy yet, but they are right in the thick of things in what is an ever-growing Big East bubble.
To say Cincinnati played terribly down the stretch against Syracuse on Sunday would be the understatement of the week. The Bearcats trailed by just a point with 8:15 to play, but made a grand total of one more field goal the rest of the way in a 71-54 loss. Cincinnati didn't score at all the last 6:04, and were outscored by Syracuse 28-5 to end the game. The Bearcats will drop out of next week's field as a result of the loss, and will allow another Big East bubble team (Louisville? South Florida?) to sneak in. Syracuse will stay right behind Kansas on the 1 line. The Orange play host to UConn and Louisville next week.
It's been a good week for a few of our bubble teams (Virginia Tech, Illinois, Marquette) and Maryland added its name to that list by blowing out North Carolina 92-71 in College Park on Sunday. The win capped a 2-0 week for the Terps (they won at FSU on Thursday) and it moved them into sole possession of second place in the ACC at 6-2. Greveis Vasquez was the star once again for Maryland, scoring 26 points and adding 11 assists for his second double-double of the season. The Terps will be a single-digit seed in tomorrow's bracket as a result, while Carolina will be nowhere to be found. The Heels are now, incredibly, just a half game out of last place (yes, last place) in the ACC and no longer relevant in the bubble discussion.
Of note: Ohio State beat Iowa at home (thanks to Even Turner's 32 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals); Northwestern beat Indiana at home.