Our quick thoughts on Tuesday's results:
Chalk up two for the road teams in the Big Ten as Purdue took down Michigan State and Illinois shocked Wisconsin. It was just over a week ago when the Spartans were sitting at 9-0 with a multiple game lead in conference, and now there are five teams within a game of each other atop the Big Ten standings. The most surprising team in that bunch is the Illini, who are now tied for first in conference after winning their fifth straight. After their win over the Badgers, talk can start to transition from whether or not they will make the tourney to whether or not they will win the Big Ten. The favorites, though, have to be the Boilermakers. Four of their last seven are at home and they get both the Illini and Spartans in West Lafayette down the road. If they are able to distance themselves from the pack in the Big Ten, they would be in great position to pick up a 1 seed should any of our current teams there slip up.
The second highest seed in the SEC is no longer Tennessee. That honor now belongs to Vanderbilt, which completed a season sweep of the Vols by blowing them out 90-71 in Nashville. Jeffery Taylor scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Commodores, who are now just a half game behind Kentucky in conference with the win. They play five of their next six games at home (where they still have not lost this season), so they might stay a top-four seed for a while. Tennessee, meanwhile, has to regroup quickly and get ready for a trip to Lexington this weekend. An 0-2 week will drop the Vols to a low 5 seed at best next week.
VCU's stay in our bracket may be short-lived. The Rams dropped a heartbreaker in overtime at George Mason after blowing a 13-point halftime lead. They had been our flavor of the week out of the Colonial because they had won eight of nine and because the Colonial conference tourney is being held in their backyard. The conference tourney is going to be as wide open as any this year and we'd give five or six teams a chance to win it. We'll wait for the rest of the games to play out this week before picking our horse. The loss for VCU means the only team with any at-large hopes in the conference now is ODU. The Monarchs would need at least a share of the regular season title or a BracketBuster win against Northern Iowa and a run to the conference final to have any chance.
Losses don't get more resume-killing than the one Wichita State suffered on Tuesday night. The Shockers fell 65-62 on the road to Evansville, which came into the game a cool 0-13 in the MVC. It's safe to say we won't be talking about Wichita much anymore. Their at-large chances are toast.
Of note: Georgetown won at Providence (Greg Monroe had 12 points and 12 assists for the Hoyas in the win); Kentucky took care of Alabama (John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins each had double-dubles for the Wildcats); Wake Forest beat Boston College at home.