Wednesday night was survival night. Here is a recap of Wednesday and a preview of Thursday in the world of Men's College Basketball...
Wednesday's Big Games
Duke rallied to defeat North Carolina and take a stranglehold on the ACC. While the ACC is just the 6th rated conference, Duke has a legitimate shot at a #1 seed if it can win the ACC regular season and tournament titles.
Georgetown continued its smoking hot run with a win at Syracuse. The teams will meet again in D.C. Also in the Big East, Notre Dame beat Louisville in overtime. Georgetown and Notre Dame are currently playing like the next best teams behind Pitt in the Big East. Syracuse, Louisville and Villanova (who we will mention below), are clearly in the next tier, while Connecticut can go either way.
A myriad of teams survived close games against teams they needed to beat. In the end, the "W" is all that counts.
Memphis got a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to complete a comeback win over Central Florida. Conference USA does not upsets right now.
Bubblicious Richmond gutted out a 4-point road win at George Washington. Not a win to get you in, but not a loss to knock you out (Too bad another A-10 team didn't get that memo).
Marquette overcame a 16 point deficit and escaped South Florida with a win in what could have been a disastrous game for the Golden Eagles.
The at-large chances of Virginia Commonwealth were saved as they rallied from 11 down and had to beat Delaware in 2 overtimes.
Baylor did what it needed in securing a 4 point home win against Nebraska.
Wisconsin overcame a 6-33 shooting performance in the first half and tipped Iowa in overtime in Iowa City. Next up is #1 Ohio State for the Badgers.
Texas A&M got back on the winning track by rallying on the road at Colorado in overtime.
Villanova blew a big lead late and lost at Rutgers. While not a damaging blow to their tournament chances, losses like this get you sent to Tuscon instead of closer to home.
Utah State lost at Idaho, just the 3rd loss for the Aggies this season. With no RPI top 100 wins, Utah State is a curious at-large contender. That may be the only loss they can absorb if they lose in the conference tournament.
Dayton was crushed in the second half by Rhode Island and looks destined to defend its NIT title.
If Northwestern was going to get hot, they needed to beat Michigan.
Thursday's Games to Watch
Connecticut at St. John's - another chance for both to add a high RPI win
Penn State at Michigan State - with fading at-large hopes on both sides, the loser might be done
California at Washington - the Huskies desperately need to turn things around
Illinois at Minnesota - at this point more of a seeding game, but the Illini better be careful
Alabama at Vanderbilt - the Crimson Tide can add a 3rd huge win, but its never easy in Nashville