Yeah TCU sees his name on the field on Selection Sunday, he might have Jameer Nelson Jr. to thank for getting him there.
With nine teams projected in the NCAA men’s tournament in the latest USA TODAY Sports Bracketology prediction and four teams in the initial top 16 seed reveal, the Big 12 has become a dogfight in a conference where every win It is a reinforcement for the resume. But of those projected teams, the Horned Frogs came into Saturday as one of those teams that still needs to prove themselves worthy of a bid, and in a conference this deep, getting wins against the bottom half of the Big 12 is imperative, as in The way against 10th place Kansas State.
After a lackluster first half, the Horned Frogs woke up and took a 10-point lead with seven minutes left and looked good with a five-point lead with 30 seconds left.
Then came a bad foul on a 3-point shot, with all the free throws going in, to keep Kansas State alive. After both teams exchanged a pair of free throws, a bad turnover in the layup led to the Wildcats tying the game with 15 seconds left, with the game appearing to be heading into overtime and the Horned Frogs suffering a devastating collapse in Manhattan.
But the son of the San Jose legend stepped up in what looked like a disorganized final play. With a defender in his face, Nelson hit a 3-point shot to give TCU the lead with one second left, and the entire court surged forward. Kansas State was unsuccessful, giving TCU a much-needed victory.
It wasn’t a Quad 1 win, but it took the Horned Frogs a win when three of their next four games (Texas Tech, Baylor and BYU) are Quad 1 games, meaning TCU will enter its toughest stretch of the season while remaining in the top four in the Big 12, which would put them in an automatic berth in the conference tournament quarterfinals. That’s why the Horned Frogs lead the bubble’s biggest winners and losers this Saturday.
Don’t look now but florGoing It’s hot, we’re on our way beat georgia for their seventh win in their last eight and earned a victory in Quad 2. The Bulldogs ambushed Florida offensively in the first half, leading by as many as 11 in the first frame, but the Gators defense clamped down in the second half to hold Georgia to 37% shooting in the final 20 minutes. The defensive duo of Walter Clayton Jr. and Zyon Pullin is also leading this team to success, averaging a combined 34.4 points per game over the last eight games.
The Gators have turned around a 1-3 start in the conference with wins in Kentucky and a crushing home win against Chestnut in recent weeks, and while it’s not pretty, the best they can say about their seven losses this season is that they were all against Quad 1 opponents. Florida will have a chance to improve its resume and possibly reach a projected 7-head series on the road against Alabama next week.
Mississippi SEC Teams
The Magnolia State’s SEC schools should maintain their current spots in the projected field after securing wins against the conference’s cellar dwellers.
Chris Jans would rather his team make the 64-man field than play in the top four like last season, and a win against Arkansas had given Mississippi State three straight wins after starting SEC play 3-6, putting them in the middle of the pack. North of Starkville, Mississippi used a second-half comeback against Missouri to end a three-game losing streak that knocked the Rebels off the top of the SEC.
Next up for both teams is the second meeting of the season between the two. Ole Miss beat Mississippi State in the first home matchup, and Wednesday’s game between the in-state rivals could decide who makes the tournament and who doesn’t in March.
The first season in the Big 12 has not been very kind to Cincinnatibut the Bearcats remain in the NCAA Tournament picture after resuming a road win at UCF. It looked like Cincinnati would pull away from the Knights with a double-digit lead in the second half, but UCF was able to rally to tie the score late. But Cincinnati was able to get a layup from Simas Lukosius off a turnover to give the team the lead for good.
It’s hard to make a case for a team with a losing conference record to make the tournament, especially when they entered Saturday with losses in three of their last four games, but a win against UCF gives Cincinnati its third win in Quad 1, all while owning a NET. ranking in 38th place, just one place above the TCU bubble team, which they will face next Saturday. The Bearcats certainly have work to do to get out of the first four out picture, but Saturday’s win keeps them in the hunt.
There are few squads that play as well as pittsburgh right now, who won his fifth consecutive game in 27-point victory over Louisvilledriven by Blake Hinson who scored an outstanding 41 points with nine triples.
It’s been a big turnaround for a team that was 10-7 and 1-5 in the ACC a few weeks ago, and the Panthers now sit in fourth place in the conference. The shaky start to the season is why Pittsburgh doesn’t have a projected tournament berth right now (next four eliminated), but if the Panthers continue to perform at the level they’re at now, it would be hard to deny that. . them an offer. They could also get another win in Quad 1 next week on the road against another ACC bubble team in Wake Forest.
Mountain West General Challengers
If the Mountain West can truly get six teams to the big dance, it will need consistency from the conference’s at-large contenders. Boise State could do it, while Colorado State He had the best victory of the day in the conference.
Colorado State, currently ranked No. 9 in the projected bracket, could be moving up one spot after a dominant 20-point win over conference-leading Utah State, giving the Rams their fourth Quad 1 win of the season and keeping them on the hunt. of the conference title. On the other hand, Boise State conducted business against Fresno State in a 90-66 victorya necessary victory for a team that is currently one of the last four teams to make the tournament.
No team needed a win more than Colorado on Saturday, which entered the day losing four of its last five and was coming off a loss against a resurgent UCLA equipment. Against a bad Southern California team, things looked dire as the Buffaloes trailed by 16 with about 10 minutes left in the game, but were able to rally to force overtime in the final seconds of regulation. A second overtime was necessary, but Colorado was able to prevent the Trojans from tying the game in the last second by a three point victoryonly the second away win of the season.
Recent struggles have pushed Colorado to the next four out of the projected field, so it was going to be an uphill climb to regain a spot, but the Buffaloes couldn’t afford to go winless on a trip to the Los Angeles schools. Angels. The team can only hope the win gives them momentum for what will be a big game next Saturday when Colorado hosts another bubble team in Utah.
Texas, Texas A&M
Future SEC rivals are on track to make the tournament, but games against high-ranked opponents along the way would have given a big boost to Texas and Texas A&M They should have won, or at least made it a compelling game.
In terms of staying in the NCAA tournament picture, Texas is doing well right now, but could lose seeding if it doesn’t get out of the bottom half of the Big 12. It also doesn’t help that their last three regular season games are against Quad 1 opponents, putting the Longhorns in dangerous territory if they can’t pull off another impressive win.
It’s been a week to forget for the Aggies after they had a very questionable loss to Vanderbilt on Tuesday, their third Quad 3 loss this season. The Aggies had a big rise after defeating Tennessee last weekbut things will need to improve quickly if Texas A&M wants to avoid falling to a double-digit seed.
Instead, the Demon Deacons are now 0-5 against Quad 1 teams.
Wake Forest entered the day one of 49 Division I teams averaging at least 80 points per game, but fell victim to Virginia’s defensive prowess, shooting just 35% on the day and scoring a league-low 47 points. season. Despite the fight, Wake Forest held on and had several opportunities to take a late lead, but they were unable to capitalize even though the Cavaliers shot an abysmal 1 of 11 from the free throw line.
Saturday was a wasted opportunity for Wake Forest to improve its resume, but all hope should not be lost; will have a chance to strengthen it in what will be a big week for the Demon Deacons: they host an increase pittsburgh on Tuesday and Duke on Saturday in what are practically becoming must-win games.
The first half against the Bluejays at home on Saturday was promising with the Bulldogs leading by one point, but the second half was dismal. Creighton’s offense picked up as Butler cooled off, including 1 of 11 from behind the arc after hitting five 3-pointers in the first half. In the end, Butler suffered a 22-point loss at home.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the Bulldogs, losing three of their last four, with all of the losses coming to teams ranked in the top 16 of the rankings. USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll. At 16-10, Butler is in tournament contention due to its four Quad 1 wins, and has two more games against Quad 1 opponents in what is, on paper, an easier end to the schedule. the regular season, but the Bulldogs can’t afford any luxury. mistakes to be pushed into a spot in the first four eliminated teams.