Wednesday was a big night for bubble teams as a few had opportunities to either bolster or solidify their NCAA tournament resumes. Three were able to take advantage with wins over ranked opponents: Cincinnati, Colorado State and USF. Tim Miles' Rams were at the end of a three-game stretch in which they took on the top three teams in the Mountain West, and CSU's 66-59 comeback win over #17 UNLV may have punched their ticket to the Big Dance. Dorian Green scored 16 points and dished out three assists to lead the way for the Rams, who outscored UNLV 40-18 in the second half.
It wasn't pretty but USF found a way to get the job done, beating Cincinnati 46-45 to move to 11-5 in the Big East and 18-11 overall. Freshman point guard Anthony Collins made a pair of free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining to give the Bulls the win, and while it isn't a resume-building win the Bulls did the simplest thing a bubble team can do this time of the year: they won. Collins, who is going to be an outstanding point guard in the Big East as he gains experience, led USF with 14 points and five assists and Toarlyn Fitzpatrick added eight and ten rebounds.
There's the perception that the trip to Tallahassee has been a nightmare for #4 Duke (23-4, 10-2) in recent years, but while it is a tough trip the Blue Devils hadn't lost there since 2006 before their 66-61 loss last January. On the line tonight is a share of first place (with North Carolina), a position few expected #16 Florida State (19-7, 10-2) to be in as they were struggling in November and December.
Time: 9 p.m.