Finals week is never filled with a great slate of College Basketball, and Wednesday’s action certainly didn’t bring us any elite College Basketball games. Sure, Chattanooga-Belmont provided us with a great mid-major matchup, between two likely Tournament teams, while New Mexico State got a huge win against Washington State to hurt their Cougars at-large chances. Elsewhere there were close games between USC and Wisconsin, but other than that it was a pretty light slate of games. Just as a heads up, there won’t be a daily roundup tomorrow as there aren’t enough games, but it will return the following day.
Belmont gets a big mid-major win against Chattanooga
Coming off a year where the Bruins felt slighted after missing not only the NCAA Tournament but NIT as well, the Bruins got a big win to help their case for an at-large bid. In a battle of two Top-40 teams in the NET rankings, the home Bruins were able to get a key victory. Ben Sheppard had a key 23 points, while Luke Smith and Nick Muszynski both had key games. This Bruins team now enters into league play with a good chance to get an at-large bid, should they dominate Ohio Valley play.
Washington State drops another game to New Mexico State
Following a loss at the buzzer, Washington State needed to get a win against New Mexico State, but to no avail, as they fell 64-61. Coming into this season, I wanted to buy Washington State as being an NCAA Tournament team but after this loss, that seems to be out the window. Losing one home game to New Mexico State alone isn’t that bad, but adding that on top of losses already to South Dakota State and Eastern Washington is a good way to miss the NCAA Tournament. At this point, unless someone else can win the Pac-12 Tournament, the league seems to be destined for only three bids.
Missouri State gets big win against South Dakota State
Missouri State had been sluggish to start the season, taking four early losses, while putting themselves in a three days in March scenario when it comes to making it to the NCAA Tournament, but certainly getting a win against a good South Dakota State team shows this team’s talent level. Gage Prim had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bears, while Isiaih Mosley struggled and they still found a way to win. Going forward, this defensive toughness, mixed with this version of Gage Prim could be what gets this Bears team that Missouri Valley Championship.
Johnny Davis-less Badgers survive against Nicholls State
If you didn’t think Johnny Davis had a lot of value for Wisconsin, Wednesday’s game against Nicholls State should be further proof of that, as they escaped with a close win against Nicholls State. Johnny Davis missed the game with an illness, so the Badgers were forced to go on without him. The Badgers certainly struggled in the first half, although Brad Davison’s second half helped lead them to edge out a win against Nicholls State. The problem with Wisconsin without Davis is they aren’t dynamic, sure they can still score, the points just don’t come easy.
USC escapes with win against UC Irvine
Coming into this game, the USC Trojans were undefeated and riding to a Top-10 ranking, so of course, they were going to struggle against UC Irvine, because that’s how this sport works. The Trojans trailed by eight at the half, before eventually rallying behind a strong second half from Chevez Goodwin and Isaiah Mobley, as they won 66-53. UC Irvine is certainly a good mid-major team, and this had some 4 vs 13 vibes for an NCAA Tournament, in the end, the Trojans got the key victory. We’ll see if the Trojans with two more non-conference games against Georgia Tech and Oklahoma State before they enter into Pac-12 play for good.