The first real busy day of conference tournament games in all the major conferences, as things were close in the ACC, including Duke squeaking by North Carolina State, and the Big 12. In the Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC, it was more about blowouts on their way to the second round or quarterfinals.
#8 Pittsburgh 72 #9 Syracuse 71: A big win for Pitt who lost a 14-point lead before James Robinson took it to the next level and sealed the deal, although it was Cameron Johnson, a freshman, who scored 24 points to lead the Panthers into the quarterfinals, where they’ll face North Carolina.
#12 North Carolina State 89 #5 Duke 92: Maybe the best game of the day, as Marshall Plumlee broke an 89-89 tie with a 3-point play before both teams failed to score in the final 1:14 of the game. Luke Kennard and Brandon Ingram each scored 22 for the Blue Devils and Anthony Barber finished with 29 points, unable to put a happy not on a bad season for the Wolfpack.
#10 Georgia Tech 88 #7 Clemson 85: The Yellow Jackets kinda surprise the Tigers, coming back from 18 points behind to force overtime and put themselves in the final 8, facing Virginia next. Marcus George-Hunt finished with 28 points (most of them from the line) while his senior teammate, Adam Smith, helped out with 23 points. Jaron Blossomgame led Clemson with 22 points.
#11 Florida State 85 #6 Virginia Tech 96: The Hokies keep on going strong with a six game win streak led by Seth Allen who scored 20 off the bench, and three more players scoring more than 15 points. Next up for the Hokies are Miami.
Next: #1 North Carolina vs #8 Pittsburgh, #4 Notre Dame vs #5 Duke, #2 Virginia vs #10 Georgia Tech and #3 Miami vs #6 Virginia Tech
Big 12 Tournament
#9 Oklahoma State 71 #8 Kansas State 75: The Wildcats led from the get go against the disappointing Cowboys but kinda felt a bit of pressure in the end. Freshman Dean Wade led Kansas State with 20 points and Justin Edwards helped out with 17, setting up a big meeting with Kansas.
#10 TCU 67 #7 Texas Tech 62: The Horned Frogs were the worst team in the conference but stunned Texas Tech, finally winning a close game, of which they lost a lot of this season. Chauncey Collins led them with 19 points, sending them to meet West Virginia next.
Next: #4 Texas vs #5 Baylor, #1 Kansas vs #8 Kansas State, #2 West Virginia vs #10 TCU, #3 Oklahoma vs #6 Iowa State.
Big East Tournament
#9 DePaul 53 #8 Georgetown #70: Easy for the Hoyas in a game that became something of a blowout in the second half. D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 20 points, carrying them towards a clash with Villanova.
#10 St. John’s 93 #7 Marquette 101: Quite the high scoring affair in the Madison Square Garden, with five out of seven Marquette players scoring in double figures. Stood out? Henry Ellenson with 27 points and Jajuan Johnson with 23.
Next: #1 Villanova vs #8 Georgetown, #4 Providence vs #5 Butler, #2 Xavier vs #7 Marquette, #3 Seton Hall vs #6 Creighton.
Big Ten Tournament
#13 Minnesota 52 #12 Illinois 85: Illinois hit 14 three pointers out of 26 attempts while the Golden Gophers simply didn’t show up. Michael Finke led Illinois with 17 points in their first round win.
#14 Rutgers 72 #11 Nebraska 89: A close game until a Michael Jacobson jumper opened up things for the Cornhuskers, dominating the boards with 17 offensive rebounds. Shavon Shields led the way with 20 points.
Next: #8 Michigan vs #9 Northwestern, #5 Iowa vs #12 Illinois, #7 Ohio State vs #10 Penn State, #6 Wisconsin vs #11 Nebraska.
#9 Stanford 68 #8 Washington 91: The Huskies started out 10-0 and never looked back, led by Freshman Dejounte Murray scoring 25 points, and three more finishing in double figures.
#12 Washington State 56 #5 Colorado 80: Another blowout, with a 7-0 run in the first half created a 14 point lead Washington State couldn’t recover from. George King led the Buffaloes with 21 points.
Next: #1 Oregon vs #8 Washington, #4 Arizona vs #5 Colorado, #2 Utah vs #7 USC, #3 California vs #6 Oregon State.
#13 Auburn 59 #12 Tennessee 97: Not the kind of blowout you want to see on the first day of the tournament, but Bruce Pearl has his work cut out for him. The Vols shot 58.6% from the field, led by senior Armani Moore with 22 points.
Next: #8 Florida vs #9 Arkansas, #5 Vanderbilt vs #12 Tennessee, #7 Ole Miss vs #10 Alabama, #6 Georgia vs #11 Mississippi State.