Villanova, St. John’s, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State all lose; opens door again for Missouri and Pittsburgh

The top seed in the Big East goes down to Seton Hall in New York, while it took two overtimes for Missouri to get past a very pesky Texas A&M squad at the SEC tournament in Atlanta.

Doug McDermott continues to pile up the points

His first half stat line in Creighton’s 84-62 decisive victory against DePaul on Thursday night is worth mentioning:

10 of 14 from the field, 7 of 9 from three-point range as he set a new Big East Tournament record for most points scored in a single half with 27.  He finished the game with 35, as he only needs to score 21 points in their semifinal matchup on Friday to move into fifth place on the NCAA all-time scoring list.  And he told Maggie Gray of SI.com on Wednesday that “Larry Bird was my inspiration”.  That cover definitely took a lot of people back to a simpler time, but remember–the Larry Bird image was done for a preview to the 1978-79 season…not for that upcoming tournament that we all remember so very well for many different reasons.

But there were a few blowouts, namely with Louisville drop-kicking Rutgers to the Big Ten at Memphis in Conference USA.

St. John’s lost in the afternoon to Providence, and Pittsburgh stayed alive in the ACC beating out Wake Forest.

Add another team to the sweating it out bubble list

Marcus Smart was limited to only one three-point basket for most of the first half against Kansas, but he pulled things together in the second half before Oklahoma State simply ran out of gas in the overtime period.  So, they now join a bunch of other schools in the sit back and wait list until Selection Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Finally, Northwestern played a gutsy game against Iowa in the Big Ten and earned a date with Michigan State late on Friday night.  Iowa could get as close as two, but no more.  Drew Crawford made many huge threes and that Chris Collins defense, my oh my–it was suffocating Iowa and Roy Marble was nowhere to be found at times.

The Wildcats earned only their seventh win in the 16 year history of the Big Ten tournament.  And yes, Northwestern has never reached the semifinals.

Form held in most of the other conferences, but the Big Ten looks to be the most intriguing for Friday:

Illinois vs. Michigan noon Eastern, ESPN

Nebraska vs. Ohio State 3:30 p.m. ESPN

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota 6:45 p.m. BTN

Michigan State vs. Northwestern 9 p.m. BTN

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