Saturday’s 12 Things to Know
1) The Jimmer and BYU went into the Viejas Center and came away with a victory – and the Cougars also have put themselves in position for a No. 1 seed. Jimmer Fredette went for 25 points and hit his share of shake-your-head shots, but it was his ability to deliver open looks for his teammates that was the most impressive aspect of his game Saturday.
2) Duke isn’t just not worthy of the No. 1 ranking; the Blue Devils also aren’t worthy of a No. 1 seed. Virginia Tech knocked off Coach K and the Dukies on Saturday night in Blacksburg and now the Blue Devils may have to run the table and win the ACC tournament in order to get a No. 1 seed. Remember, this is a team that has beaten just two Top 25 teams all season: North Carolina and Temple.
3) There’s no hotter team in the nation than Steve Lavin’s St. John’s Red Storm. St. John’s has reeled off six straight games – including three on the road – the latest a win at Villanova. The Red Storm are now 11-5 in the Big East – which puts them behind only Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.
4) Duke wasn’t the only potential No. 1 seed to fall. Texas also went down – squandering a 22-point lead to Alec Burks and Colorado.
5) Speaking of Virginia Tech and Colorado, they are both firmly planted on the bubble – and both certainly helped their cases on Saturday with huge resume wins.
6) UCLA knocked off Arizona in Pauley and moved into a first-place tie with the Wildcats. However, the advantage still goes to the Wildcats – who have home games to finish out against the Oregon schools while UCLA travels to Washington and Washington State.
7) Georgetown may free fall without its point guard Chris Wright. The Hoyas lost Wright to a broken wrist early in the second half against Cincinnati and lost again on Saturday - at home against Syracuse and are in seventh in the Big East.
8) Harvard lost to Yale, which likely means the Crimson won’t have a shot to clinch the Ivy League crown – their first-ever – next Saturday at home against Princeton. However, a Harvard win could set up a one-game playoff at a neutral site.
9) Memphis’ at-large hopes are slipping away following a pounding the Tigers took at UTEP. Josh Pastner’s team was 1-of-18 from beyond the arc in the 74-47 loss – one in which Wesley Witherspoon finished with just three points and didn’t make a single field goal.
10) Gonzaga and Butler both clinched shares of their regular-season titles. The ‘Zags did it with a rout over San Diego while the Bulldogs beat Loyola – despite the fact that coach Brad Stevens had to leave the game due to eye issues. Gonzaga shares the WCC with Saint Mary’s while Butler is in a three-way tie with Milwaukee and Cleveland State.
11) Jake Pullen won’t be playing in the NIT. Kansas State’s senior guard has been on a tear of late. He went for 24 points and the Wildcats knocked off Missouri to improve to 20-9 and 8-6 in the league – just a game behind Texas A&M for third place.
12) Bruce Pearl and the Vols may not be a lock just yet – not after a home loss to Mississippi State. Tennessee is 17-12 and 7-7 in the SEC East – with two games left, at South Carolina and at home against Kentucky.