When questions remain, questionable still can't find the answer. When the verdict is not out on the strength and validity of your conference, so when you step on the court against a virtual lock, you better get that W. A lasting impression is always upon the Selection Committee's conscience and on Wednesday night a few teams were given the opportunity to wine and dine those powers that be.
- The south may be in an uproar when it has been mentioned of only a maximum of four bids is discussed, and South Carolina fans may be leading those chants. Would those chants be enough to knock off Bruce Pearl and his Vols (#2 strength of schedule) in Columbia? No, it wouldn't. Tennessee rode some hot shooting in the second half, separating a 46-46 tie and leaping out to a 20 point at one point. Tyler Smith made sure that his 22 points and seven assists would be enough for the Vols to clinch the SEC Eastern Division with the 86-70 win.
- The number six means a lot to Penn State. The Lions are 6-9 versus those top 50 teams in the country. Wednesday night the court was mobbed and the "We... Are......Penn State!" ensued after their last second win against the #23 Illinois Fightin' Illini. Stanley Pringle chipped in his 20 points but Talor Battle's last bucket proved to be the difference in the 64-63 win. Penn State's Achilles heel is their 101 ranked strength of schedule, meaning they will definitely need one and maybe even two wins in the conference tourney.
- Dayton took a drive down I-75 to not only battle the Xavier Musketeers but to also start a pregame altercation as well. Xavier showed why they were the class of the A-10 when the only time they trailed the Flyers was when it was 2-0 enroute to the 76-59 beat down. Xavier made it a balanced effort on offense but it was the defensive end that carried the Muskies, holding the Flu guys to 35.8% shooting. Dayton now sits at 24-6 but will the A-10 be able to get three teams in? We think they may. Xavier will get in but Rhode Island and Dayton are still lobbying hardcore for conference respect. Don't get bounced early in the conference tourney and they should be fine.
- Providence's conference is not in question but the Friars are deceiving with their 10-7 conference record. A win versus one of the most surprising teams of the year, Villanova, would a solid selling point. Another blown attempt as the Friars give up the lead for good, only five minutes into the game. The Wildcats improve that NCAA seed as they remain undefeated at the Pavilion this year. Villanova continues to make it rain as they convert on 13 of 25 three point attempts. Providence will now limp into the Big East tournament looking to get one last win and hope no at large bids will be taken by Mid-Major conference scrubs winning their tournament.