First off, a toast to Boston College and Texas A&M.
When so many other teams were busy losing, these two squads pretty much nailed down NCAA tournament berths.
Special credit goes to the Aggies, who rather easily handled a superb Missouri team from beginning to end to solidify their spot.
Too bad not everyone could play so well in spots.
Here’s a rundown of who helped themselves (beyon A&M and BC), stayed neutral or seriously damaged their NCAA hopes:
* Michigan: Dumped Minnesota on the road in a bubble battle. The Gophers are probably still fairly safe, but the Wolverines look a whole lot more appealing.
* Miami: Handled N.C. State like it was supposed to. Still need a win (and maybe two) in the ACC tournament. Will play either Maryland or Virginia Tech in a de facto elimination game.
* Auburn: In the discussion, even if the Tigers don’t have a particularly strong argument. Still, wouldn’t bet against them in the SEC tournament; someone has to win that awful event.
* Butler: One step closer to an AQ.
* Arizona: Pac-10 tournament opener will be vital
* Dayton: An A-10 quarterfinal win will lock things up for the Flyers.
* Kansas State: Didn’t lose to Colorado and did earn a Big 12 tournament bye; the Wildcats need at least one more win, maybe two or three.
* Florida: Held serve at home against Kentucky. Best thing the Gators accomplished was chasing another bubble team away.
* South Carolina: Beating Georgia won’t help, but losing would surely have been a killer.
* Oklahoma State: Lost at Oklahoma. Join the crowd.
* New Mexico: Lobos’ mission is a deep Mountain West tournament run
* Georgetown: Still a longshot after stirring 48-point outing against DePaul
* Southern Cal: Finished home sweep of Oregon schools. Yawn.
* Cincinnati: The Bearcats destroyed themselves with last-week losses to South Florida and Seton Hall. Hope is pretty much gone here.
* Kentucky: Billy the Kid needs to win the SEC tournament. It’s not like there will be quality victories lurking about.
* Rhode Island: Not that the Rams had much of a shot anyway, but losing at home to UMass destroys their at-large chances.
* Penn State: The losses of others helps, but the Nittany Lions could have locked things up today at Iowa. Instead, they didn’t and have work to do in the Big Ten tournament.
* Maryland: Falling at Virginia a colossal screw-up at the worst possible time.
* Creighton: Got run out of the building by Illinois State; at-large chances look dicey at best
—- Patrick Stevens