Three tickets to the NCAA tournament will be punched on Saturday, beginning with the Big South title game matching seven-seed VMI and regular season champion UNC Asheville. Eddie Biedenbach's Bulldogs have avoided the turmoil on the opposite side of the bracket, which saw both Coastal Carolina and Campbell fall in the quarterfinals. Duggar Baucom's Keydets were the ones who knocked off CCU, as they shot an impressive 14-for-28 from three in their 85-68 win over the Chanticleers.
1. BYU survived a pesky San Diego squad to advance to the WCC semifinals.
A win over San Diego wasn't going to do a whole lot for BYU from a resume standpoint. Sure the Cougars would pick up a 25th win on the season, but a loss would have had a much larger impact on their NCAA tournament hopes than a win. That's what made the return of Noah Hartsock so important, given how much the Cougars struggled with the pesky Toreros.
Johnny Dee went off on Pepperdine on Thursday night, scoring 30 points to lead San Diego to the 76-54 win.
At first glance it would be extreme to think that Virginia could find themselves on the wrong side of the bubble given their play for much of the season. But as the injuries have increased for Tony Bennett's team so have the struggles, with the Cavaliers having now dropped four of their last six games.
LIU won at Sacred Heart by six (87-81) on January 5th and their meeting in Brooklyn was a wild 103-91 overtime track meet.
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.
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