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Recapping Friday's Day in College Basketball

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So, this is something I plan on doing over the next couple of days with everything going on around the country. We’re officially in March (THIS IS MARCH!) which means we have important things going on all around the country. I’ll be updating conference tournament results and anything else going on to hopefully make it an easy recap if you missed anything. 

Big 10 Tournament 

Scores:
(1) Michigan State 63, (9) Wisconsin 60
(5) Michigan 77, (4) Nebraska 58
(7) Penn State 69, (2) Ohio State 68
(3) Purdue 82, (14) Rutgers 75

Takeaways: 

– The quarterfinals were intriguing in the sense of what it means going forward. Michigan State kept its hopes for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament alive, escaping with a 3-point win over Wisconsin. The game was fairly ugly as Wisconsin just slowed it down and there were a handful of fouls called. The last possession by Wisconsin was rather atrocious. I mean:

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– Penn State absolutely got the most important win of the day. The Nittany Lions have one of the more intriguing resumes on the bubble right now after going 3-0 against Ohio State this year. The problem is that’s really all they have. They split with Nebraska. They weren’t able to get anyone in nonconference (including a loss to Rider) and didn’t beat any of the NCAA Tournament teams in the Big 10.

– Penn State was able to get the win after one of the prettier plays to close a game that didn’t involve a timeout. Tony Carr was able to get his way into the arc and see over Andrew Dakich. At the same time Josh Reaves made the perfect cut while Carr made one of the better passes without panicking to get him an easy dunk. Along with that Reaves is one of the few perfect defenders against Keita Bates-Diop.

– Nebraska took the loss it couldn’t afford. The Cornhuskers never had a great resume, beating up on the bottom half of the Big 10 and holding onto one win over Michigan in Nebraska. Well, Nebraska came out of the game absolutely flat and it showed. They are now off the bubble while Michigan advances to the semifinals as one of the hottest teams in the country.

– That Purdue/Rutgers game was all sorts of fun. I’ll get to Purdue in a second, but man, what a fun few days for Rutgers. Corey Sanders was absolutely electric during this event and MSG was rocking with Rutgers playing so well. It was an awesome environment and Rutgers actually had a chance to beat Purdue today. However, Purdue showed what makes it so dangerous offensively. They attacked with Carsen Edwards. Then late in the game they got the ball down low to Isaac Haas. You have to make a decision on how you play them defensively, whether you give up looks inside to Haas or double and possibly leave a shooter.

Missouri Valley Conference

Scores:
(1) Loyola 54, (9) UNI 50
(5) Bradley 63, (4) Drake 61
(2) Southern Illinois 67, (7) Missouri State 63
(3) Illinois State, (6) Indiana State – Still going on as blog was published

– Loyola is the team to watch here. It has an outside chance of being an at-large team if it loses at Arch Madness and it avoided a close game against UNI. More importantly, Clayton Custer, Loyola and the MVC’s arguable best player, struggled today and is dealing with a lingering injury.

Big South:

Scores:
(5) Liberty 69, (1) UNC-Asheville 64
(2) Radford 61, (3) Winthrop 52

– We have a No. 1 seed going down in the Big South as UNC-Asheville absolutely fell apart in the second half. Liberty outscored UNC-A by 17 in the second half, holding UNC-A to just 26 points. In the other game, while Radford was the higher seed, Winthrop was favored. The Big South title game will take place at Radford on Sunday.

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MAAC
Scores:
(9) St. Peter’s 66, (1) Rider 55
(7) Quinnipiac 72, (2) Canisius 69

The MAAC is a little different as it breaks up the quarterfinals over tonight and tomorrow, but tonight’s results were important. Everyone expected Rider or Canisius to win this thing as somewhat heavy favorites. Both went down today and we’ll have semis with a 7 seed on one side of the bracket and a 9 on the other. It’s been an impressive two days for St. Peter’s as it came from behind to beat Monmouth yesterday and controlled most of the game otday against top-seeded Rider.

Ohio Valley Conference:
(1) Murray State 70, (4) Jacksonville State 63
(2) Belmont, (3) Austin Peay – Still going on as blog was published

Non-Conference Tournament Games: 

Davidson 63, Rhode Island 61

– This was an absolute collapse by Rhode Island. The Rams were outscored 9-0 over the last 1:47 of the game. This is now a 2-game losing streak for URI and three of the last five. I tweeted this out on February 14th and really believe there’s some truthfulness to this. George Washington was in a similar position not too long ago (URI has a better non conference SOS, but the resume isn’t too far off). Here’s a look at that KenPom profile:

George Washington ended up an 8 seed that year. That’s not out of the realm of possibility if you’re URI after the 30-point loss to St. Joe’s and now this loss to Davidson. Both teams got a bye in the A-10 Tournament, but keep an eye on Davidson. They are the 3rd best team in the conference and are starting to play really well here late. This week they took St. Bonvanture to triple overtime before beating URI. This could be a potential team that steals a bid.

Oklahoma 81, Iowa State 60

– You think Oklahoma needed that win in Norman? This locks Oklahoma into a NCAA Tournament bid – while it won’t end up a top-4 seed, this is a team that will be a team somewhere in the 7/8 seed line. Not too shabby after winning just 11 games a year ago. Young struggled from the field again going 5 for 19 and 1-for-9 from 3 but did end up with six assists and just 2 turnovers. He was more under control in this game and worked on getting others set up. This was one of the more balanced scoring efforts by Oklahoma as well as Young, James, McGusty, Manek and Odomes all scored at least 9 points while no one scored more than 18. There was also this dunk by Lindell Wigginton:

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