25 things we learned about Kansas, Gonzaga, and more from a busy Saturday in college basketball
Selection Sunday is now just two weeks away, and Saturday offered up significant results for a number of teams. Let's dive in:
Kansas: The Jayhawks won their 14th straight Big 12 title. It’s one of the most remarkable streaks in college basketball. Kansas has had a rotation of challengers during that time and the latest one was Texas Tech. The Red Raiders put up a valiant effort but couldn’t halt Kansas’ streak as Devonte Graham finished with 26 points. Kansas got knocked around a bit this season, but when the games matter most, this team rises.
Gonzaga: The Zags won at BYU and claimed the WCC title outright — yet again. Gonzaga looked like it may have to be second to Saint Mary’s early in the season when the Gaels went in and won in Spokane. Instead, the Zags reign supreme.
Arizona: The Wildcats finished off a wild day by losing to Oregon in overtime in Eugene. The effort was there. The dominance of Deandre Ayton was on display. But Allonzo Trier has to come back for this team to be a real threat going forward.
Oregon: The Ducks now have to be considered the real deal after sweeping the Arizona schools. Oregon still has plenty of work to do but the win over Arizona gives the Ducks a big lift.
Creighton: The Bluejays were starting to slide in the wrong direction. But any question about whether they belong was squelched with the overtime win against Villanova. Marcus Foster finished with 28 points, and Creighton showed yet again why its homecourt in Omaha is one of the best in the country.
Florida: The Gators desperately needed a significant win, home or road. Florida got one by knocking off the SEC’s top team, Auburn. This was a major self-confidence boost for the Gators and should silence any bubble talk.
Duke: The Blue Devils cruised to a win over Syracuse, but the most significant news was the return of Marvin Bagley III, who had missed the past four games with a knee injury. He finished with 19 points and reasserted himself into the All-American discussion.
Michigan: The Wolverines crushed Maryland in College Park. Michigan may end up being the No. 5 seed in the Big Ten tournament but the maize and blue have to be the favorite, or at least one of two choices, to win the conference tournament next week in New York.
Wichita State: The Shockers won at SMU behind Markis McDuffie to stay right on the tail of Cincinnati in the American. Wichita State is one of the teams trending in the right direction heading into the final week of the season.
Providence: The Friars erased the bad taste of a poor home performance against Seton Hall over a two-day period by winning at Georgetown.
TCU: The Horned Frogs are going to be in the field. Baylor may not be, after losing at TCU. The Bears have more work to do over the next two weeks to earn a bid.
Louisville: The Cardinals were looking very shaky heading into the Virginia Tech game. The Cards desperately needed another road win. They got one at Virginia Tech behind Quentin Snider’s 22 points.
Marquette: The Golden Eagles were on the fringe and losing at DePaul may have pushed them over the bubble edge.
Georgia: The loser of the Georgia-LSU game was going to be off my bubble breakdown. LSU lost by 11. Goodbye for now, Tigers.
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Utah: The Utes needed to win all three of its final home games to be in position to earn a bid. Utah got the UCLA win, but losing at home to USC could be a crushing defeat. The Utes now must beat Colorado and win one, or maybe two, games in the Pac-12 tournament to be considered viable.
Mississippi State and Texas A&M: These two SEC teams need to keep winning to stay on the selection committee's radar. The Bulldogs squeezed out an overtime win against South Carolina while the Aggies beat Vanderbilt on the road.
Washington: The Huskies would have been toast with a Bay Area losing sweep. The win at Cal keeps Washington alive for another weekend for a bid.
Arkansas: The Hogs got the most significant road win of the season for them, besting Alabama in Tuscaloosa by three. This could be the win that gets Arkansas in the field.
Oklahoma: The Sooners ended a six-game slide behind Trae Young’s 28 points. Oklahoma needed this win more than any other this season to show they are still a player this season.
Penn: The Quakers beat Harvard by three, giving Penn a one-game lead over the Crimson in the Ivy with two games to play on the road.
The Palestra Was Rocking Tonight!— Penn Basketball (@PennBasketball) February 25, 2018
No Better Place To Play College Basketball! pic.twitter.com/c4aZ1rUP89
Arizona State: The Sun Devils got swept on the Oregon trip. ASU will make the field, but this was another lost weekend that will definitely ding their seed.
St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies cannot afford to lose to another A-10 team not named Rhode Island. The Bonnies got a road win at VCU by five.
Kentucky: The Wildcats easily handed Mizzou a 21-point loss, showing that the Wildcats will be a force in the SEC tournament and can’t be dismissed going into the NCAA tournament.
George Mason: Ian Boyd hit a buzzer beater for the second consecutive game for George Mason: Boyd hit a game-winning layup at the buzzer for the two-point win in overtime over UMass, and he hit a game-winning, buzzer-beating three on Wednesday to beat Saint Joseph’s 79-76.
The Patriots are 8-8 in the A-10; while they are in sixth place in the league, there’s no reason to think they can’t be a spoiler for a postseason-bound team in the conference tournament when Boyd's on the floor.