Three teams (Belmont, Murray State and UNC Asheville) punched their tickets to the NCAA tournament on Saturday.
Late offensive fouls and the foul line made the difference in the first meeting between #5 Kansas (23-5, 13-2) and #3 Missouri (25-3, 12-3), with the Tigers gaining the edge in both categories and ultimately winning 74-71. There's a lot more on the line in the rematch as the Jayhawks can clinch at least a share of the Big 12 regular season title with a win, but a Missouri win would not only move the Tigers into a tie for first but also give them the all-important head-to-head tiebreaker.
Wednesday night's game between New Mexico and San Diego State was a big one for the visitors, as Steve Alford's team didn't own a single win over a Top 25 team. But also on the line was sole possession of first place in the Mountain West after UNLV fell at TCU on Tuesday night.
With first place on the line in Columbus the expectation was that #11 Michigan State and #3 Ohio State would play a tight, physical affair. And that's exactly what it was, with the visitors from East Lansing seeming to be the more comfortable of the two teams in the first half. Michigan State shot 46.9% from the field but the reason for their 35-25 lead at the half was their defense, as they limited Ohio State to 33.3% and forced eight turnovers.
Saturday is the day that many college basketball fans have been waiting for, with a number of important matchups on the slate. One of those games is #4 Missouri (22-2, 9-2) hosting #6 Baylor (21-3, 8-3) with the Bears looking to keep alive their fleeting hopes of winning the league title. Scott Drew's team is 0-3 in games against the two teams now ahead of them in the standings, most recently being whipped by Kansas in Waco.