Another weekend of college basketball is in the books as the end of the regular season inches ever closer. Chances are, you missed some of the action.
Fret not, for we have you covered. Here are the winners and losers from the college basketball weekend.
Winner: Wofford’s at-large resume
Wofford was worthy of an at-large bid before the weekend. Following a road win against Furman, the Terriers are nearing lock territory. Saturday’s win classifies as a Q1 win, giving them a third such win to put on the resume. Wofford climbed the NET rankings to No. 19, ahead of powerhouses like Kansas, Maryland and Louisville. Barring a hellish collapse (highly unlikely), Wofford is going to be dancing one way or another. They’re going to be a team that nobody wants to see in their bracket.
Loser: Liberty’s outright ASUN title
Following Lipscomb’s loss to Florida Gulf Coast, Liberty was in the driver’s seat towards the ASUN’s regular season title and the chance to play every ASUN Tournament game on its home floor. All the Flames had to do was win out and the top seed would be theirs.
Narrator: the Flames did not win out.
Liberty dropped their weekend contest to North Florida, and as a result fell back into a tie with Lipscomb atop the ASUN standings. In the event of a tie, the tiebreaker would go to the team that is ranked higher in the NET. Lipscomb is currently ranked No. 45, Liberty is No. 64. The opportunity was there for the Flames to clear an easier path to the NCAA Tournament. Now there’s a good chance that the path will now go through Nashville.
Winner: Mike Daum
Over the weekend, Mike Daum eclipsed the 3,000 point mark, making him the 10th player in college basketball history to do so.
The historic basket came at a great time as it put the Jacks back in front in the waning minutes of an eventual 94-89 win over South Dakota.
This basket put Mike Daum in the 3,000 point club! pic.twitter.com/ubLgOXgCnG— JackrabbitBasketball (@GoJacksMBB) February 23, 2019
Daum has now scored 3,006 points for his career and is putting up a career-best 25.8 points per contest. He’ll move into ninth on the all-time scoring list in the regular season finale on Saturday as he passes Hersey Hawkins’s 3,008 point mark.
Winner: Bryce Aiken’s buzzer-beating prowess
Harvard has been a different team with Bryce Aiken in the lineup. The Crimson are 8-2 in games that Aiken has played, and the junior has been scoring nearly 22 points per game. Most importantly, he gives the Crimson a go-to guy late in the game that can essentially get a bucket whenever he wants. In a marquee matchup against Yale on Saturday, Aiken delivered in the clutch:
That’s as cold blooded as it gets. The win helped Harvard bounce back from a loss to Brown the night before to stay in the Ivy League hunt. At 7-3, the Crimson remain one game back from Yale at 8-2 with two weeks left to play.
Loser: Gonzaga’s doubters
Believe it or not, there are still people out there doing the thing where they discount Gonzaga because they play in the WCC. Spoiler alert: Gonzaga is damn good.
I got annoyed at this tweet over the weekend:
It seems plausible that the ACC has the three best teams in college basketball— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) February 24, 2019
Which prompted this response:
Noted ACC school Gonzaga. https://t.co/uxS8A0DQnU— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) February 24, 2019
I’m annoyed that I’m even writing this. Gonzaga is the No. 2 team in KenPom. Gonzaga has the nation’s best offense by a significant margin. The Bulldogs are No. 1 in the NET and are going to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. They’re beating teams by absurd amounts even by their standards:
It’s good to me that I’m spending my Monday being GONZAGA DISRESPECT Guy, but here we are. Gonzaga is stupid good. Stop thinking otherwise.
Winner: Two-Bid Mountain West?
For much of the season, the Mountain West has been presumed to be a one-bid league with Nevada being the sole representative in the NCAA Tournament. However, Utah State might have a case for an at-large bid. The Aggies are 21-6 and sit at No. 36 in the NET. Historically, that has bode well for teams in a similar position. Let Eli Boettger of Mountain West Wire explain:
Utah State is 36th in NET with a non-conference strength of schedule of 22nd. Sixteen of the 18 non-P6 non-AQs with a top 40 RPI and top 25 non-conference SOS made the NCAA Tournament. pic.twitter.com/BdYwfLjCgs— Eli Boettger (@boettger_eli) February 24, 2019
It’s not a lock, but it should provide some optimism for Utah State. The Aggies have a big week ahead of them, though. Home games against a red-hot San Diego State team and Nevada are major opportunities for Utah State to inch closer to the NCAA Tournament.
Loser: Clear conference races
Look at the top of the MAAC:
Yikes! The final conference standings are likely going to come down to the final day and it’s possible that a series of tiebreakers will be necessary to figure out seeding for the MAAC Tournament.
The Missouri Valley also has a three-way tie atop its standings featuring Loyola Chicago, Drake and Missouri State. The Ramblers had a chance to create a cushion, but fell to Southern Illinois on Sunday.
Those are just a couple of the races we highlighted last week, and we didn’t get much clarity over the weekend of who’s actually going to claim those conference crowns.
Look at this box score from Bucknell:
On Sunday, Bucknell beat Lafayette by a score of 118-76. The Bison poured in an absurd 1.57 points per possession and hit 21 (!!!) threes in the process. Bucknell dropped 63 points in the first half alone! The 118-point outing wasn’t even the highest mark of the weekend, though.
In a double overtime bout, Sam Houston State outlasted Houston Baptist, 119-113. The BearKats hit 18-30 from behind the arc and tallied up 31 assists in the process. That 119 point outing is the sixth highest in college basketball this season.