While you might have been pre-partying for the Super Bowl, there was plenty of quality college basketball action with March Madness implications on Sunday.. We take a look at it here.
Key games for bracketology
Northwestern 64, Purdue 58
A big win for the Wildcats (18-7, 9-5 Big Ten, NET 44), who knock off the No. 1 team in America at home. For Chris Collins’ team, any ambiguity about their place in the field likely goes away with this one for now.
As for Purdue, they probably still remain on the No. 1 seed line even if they are no longer the No. 1 overall. Losses by potential contenders such as Tennessee and Arizona probably keep them on top of a bracket for now.
Michigan State 62, Ohio State 41
It’s February, and a Tom Izzo team is rounding into shape by getting some quality wins while playing better basketball. I’m sure you’re stunned. This still counts as a Quad 1 on the road for the Spartans (16-9, 8-6 Big Ten, 32 NET), who have played themselves out of all doubt about their status.
As for Ohio State (11-14, 3-11 Big Ten, 54 NET) it’s their worst loss in a string of them as of late. That’s six in a row dropped by the Buckeyes, who have moved into “win the Big Ten Tournament or else” territory.
Memphis 86, Temple 77
While beating Temple at home isn’t normally noteworthy, for the Tigers (19-6, 9-3 AAC, 42 NET) every win is a big one. And while Temple isn’t a threat to the bracket themselves (14-12, 8-5 AAC, 117 NET), they do have a win on the road over the former-No. 1 team in the country in Houston.
Memphis probably needs to be close to running out to get an at-large, as their 2-2 record in Quad 1 shows a lack of opportunity in a very mediocre American Conference this year, but the real crisis is the 4-3 mark against Quad 2 teams, and a brutal Quad 3 loss at home to Tulane.