The Morning After Recap: Sunday, March 4

Mar 3, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; The Belmont Bruins celebrate defeating the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles to win the Atlantic Sun tournament at the University Center on the campus of Mercer University. Belmont won 83-69. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

... the safe, smart AM read for college basketball fans

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We are only seven days away from Selection Sunday, and three schools (Murray State, Belmont, UNC-Asheville) have already punched their tickets to the dance. Bid thieves are out in full force however, and the Northtwesterns and Xaviers of the world remain in a precarious position as they hope to sneak into the field with a final push.

Time to get pumped, people. March Madness, the greatest postseason stretch in sports, has arrived at our doorsteps. And the best part? It always lives up to the hype.

Recapping a Saturday's loaded slate of games after the jump...

The Local Guys

* Syracuse made history with its 31st regular season victory (The Post-Standard)

* Rick Barnes on T-Rob: "I told him after the game if I had a vote, he’d be my player of the year." (Kansas City Star)

* Steve Prohm on his team's NCAA seed: "Your nonconference RPI is No. 2. You have three top-30 wins. You haven’t lost a neutral site or road game all year. You’re 30-1. I could see a No. 2 seed, but I understand the business side of it, too." (Louisville Courier-Journal)

* A pair of Tyler Brown free throws sent Illinois State, and not Wichita State, to Sunday's MVC title game against Creighton (Chicago Tribune)

The Blogosphere

* Despite 35 from Pierre Jackson, the No. 3 seed in the Big 12 belongs to Iowa State (Our Daily Bears)

* Revenge: The Heels walked in to Cameron and put on a rebounding clinic (Carolina March)

* The return of Jim Calhoun: Are the Huskies dangerous again? (The UConn Blog)

* Gonzaga staved off BYU in the WCC semis, St. Mary's up next (Vanquish The Foe)

Who Won It Best

Illinois State - The Redbirds knocked off No. 15 Wichita State by a mere point in the MVC semis, representing the school's first win over a ranked opponent since December 29, 1987. Illinois State now gets Creighton in the title at 2:05 EST today and could theoretically steal a bid from a school in close proximity (Northwestern?) with another surprise win.

Who Lost it Worst

Seton Hall - Nothing screams NIT quite like a bubble team getting whipped by 28 points by a lowly DePaul team. The Pirates came into yesterday's game with a chance to move to a very respectable 9-9 in the Big East, but are now forced to make serious noise at the Garden this week.

MVP

Jamaal Franklin-San Diego State - The 6'5" sophomore exploded for his best game of the season on Saturday, recording 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block in 42 minutes of action. Franklin also finished 14-of-17 from the free-throw line, and has now attempted at least seven foul shots in eight of SDSU's last nine games.

By The Numbers

6:46 - Amount of time before Southern Cal scored its first point against Washington State. The Trojans shot 28.9% from the field and produced a pitiful 38 points on the day.

This Really Happened

Arms-do-not-bend-that-way2_medium
This appears to be a broken wrist. Don't click this. (Gifulmination)

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