Kansas State 78, #3 Missouri 68
Kansas State has been known for some time as a squad that is far better at home than on the road. Last season they finished 7-1 at home in Big 12 play and only 3-5 on the road. And at one point this season they were 2-4 in road games, with the only two wins coming against conference bottom-feeders Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. But now? They've won consecutive road games at Baylor and Missouri. A tremendous week that not only puts to bed the worries about Kansas State away from home, but that also pulls them off the NCAA Tournament bubble and safely into the Field of 68.
More than anything, the Missouri defense just broke down here. Kansas State's perimeter players were able to attack the rim at will. They took 43 of their 52 shots inside the arc, hitting 51% of them. Missouri's defense isn't great (it's their spectacularly efficient offense that has carried them this season), but this might be the worst defense I've seen them play all year.
This loss means that Missouri's only real chance of a Big 12 regular season title is to leave Phog Allen with a win on Saturday. It's a tall task, but a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament is still possible without that win. If they lose to Kansas but win every other game, including the Big 12 tournament title, I think that will still be enough for a 1 seed.
Kansas State is now 8-7 in Big 12 play with wins over Missouri (twice), Baylor, Texas and Alabama, with only a couple of bad losses to Oklahoma. Their Sagarin ELO_CHESS will move up close to 25th after this win. They will play Iowa State on Saturday, and then at Texas A&M next Tuesday. Wins in both of those games should be enough to lock Kansas State into the NCAA Tournament.
Seton Hall 73, #8 Georgetown 55
It's been a big night for bubble teams, and perhaps none had a bigger night than Seton Hall. This has been a bad offensive team, entering this game 13th in the Big East in eFG% and 15th with 0.94 PPP. But this was just one of those days where they couldn't miss a shot. Seton Hall finished with a 70.7 eFG% and 1.35 PPP. It's even more amazing when you consider that Georgetown came into this game leading the Big East in eFG% and PPP against in conference play. It's a statistical fluke, but that won't matter on Selection Sunday.
Seton Hall was reeling a couple of weeks ago with six straight losses, but I never dropped them out of my bracket because not a single one of those losses was a "bad" loss. They took advantage when their schedule eased up, and now they have have a big road victory over Georgetown. They are 8-8 in Big East play with a 4-7 record against the RPI Top 50 and a Sagarin ELO_CHESS that will move into the Top 40. If the season ended now they'd be an at-large team for sure. Their final two conference games are at home against Rutgers and on the road at DePaul. Wins in both games should earn them an NCAA Tournament bid.
This loss puts Georgetown at risk of not getting the double-bye in the Big East tournament (the top four teams will earn double byes). For the time being they are in 5th place, one loss behind South Florida. I expect USF to struggle down the stretch with their schedule, but now Georgetown has Louisville and Cincinnati breathing down their throat as well. Their Sagarin ELO_CHESS will also drop outside the Top 15, so there is a risk of them falling into the 5-7 seed range if they stumble down the stretch.
Maryland 75, Miami (Fl) 70
Miami entered this game in a precarious spot. They were, in my opinion, one of the last few teams in the NCAA Tournament. It's a bad spot to be because there will always be several teams that reach up and grab Tournament spots in the final week of the season. There will be auto bids stolen, and there will be teams that win a few games in a row to earn at-large bids. And on a day where several bubble teams had huge wins, Miami doubled the pain for themselves with this bad loss. The difference in this game, honestly, was free throw shooting. Maryland hit 86% as a team, including 9 straight in the final 45 seconds of the game.
This loss drops Miami to 7-6 in ACC play. They have that big win over Duke, but it's their only against the RPI Top 75. They are only 3-10 against the RPI Top 100, and their Sagarin ELO_CHESS will fall into the 55-60 range. One win alone won't put a team in the NCAA Tournament, even a win Duke. If the season ended now they'd be NIT-bound. They will need to win at least two of their final three games to still be on the bubble heading into the ACC tournament. Their next game will be Sunday against Florida State.
Maryland is, surprisingly, in 7th place in the ACC at 6-7. It's been a solid first season under Mark Turgeon, and they should be fine once he gets a couple of full recruiting classes under his belt. Their next game will be Saturday at Georgia Tech.