Baylor, Florida and the Weekend's Biggest Losers
Baylor lost a lot more than a game on Saturday. The Bears needed to beat Missouri to remain in the hunt for the Big 12 regular season title and a top NCAA tournament seed, but they couldn't emerge victorious.
Perry Jones III shot just 2-of-12 from the floor, and Baylor shot just 4-of-17 from long range.
The defeat obviously doesn't eliminate them from tournament contention, but the Bears certainly lost a lot this weekend.
Here's a look at Baylor and the weekend's biggest losers.
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In the middle of December you never would have imagined Xavier finding itself on the bubble with just a few weeks until Selection Sunday. However, The Brawl derailed the Musketeers' season—they're just 8-9 since the Crosstown Shootout—and now Tu Holloway and Co. have a tenuous grip on a tournament spot.
Beating Temple was absolutely necessary, but Xavier couldn't earn the road win. Now, the Musketeers are 7-4, which puts them two losses behind the first-place Owls with five remaining games.
Without the resume-building win over Temple, Xavier cannot afford to lose any of its stretch games—maybe with the exception of its visit to Saint Louis.
West Virginia Mountaineers
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West Virginia is slipping, so a win over Louisville this weekend would have paid tremendous dividends for the Mountaineers' at-large hopes.
For most of the game, West Virginia seemed to be in control. However, the Mountaineers relinquished their lead, and Louisville emerged with the win.
Bob Huggins' squad has now lost five of its last six games, falling to 16-10 overall and 6-7 in the Big East. Joe Lunardi had WVU as a No. 8 seed in his Feb. 10 bracketology, but he'll probably drop them in his next edition.
A win over Louisville would have been a nice resume-builder, especially considering the Mountaineers have limited chances to earn another big win—Notre Dame and Marquette are the only potential resume-builders left on slate.
Creighton Blue Jays
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Poor shooting resulted in three consecutive Creighton losses, the latest of which came this weekend against Wichita State. The Shockers, who won by 21 points, absolutely dominated the Blue Jays.
After losing, Creighton needs a miracle to win the Missouri Valley regular season title. The Jays will still make the NCAA tournament at-large—barring the unexpected persistence of this skid—but these losses to Northern Iowa, Evansville and Wichita State will have a significantly negative impact on their tournament seeding.
Joe Lunardi had Creighton as a No. 5 seed before the Wichita State loss.
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Losing to Kentucky was acceptable—though not in such feeble fashion—but getting swept by Tennessee is terrible.
Obviously, Florida won't miss the NCAA tournament. The Gators are 19-6, and they were ranked in the Top 10 last week.
Any way you look at it, though, the loss to the Vols is very discouraging. The Gators, who hit just seven of their first 24 treys, lost by five but trailed by double-digits throughout the game.
Saturday just served as more proof that the Gators will only go as far as their shooters take them. If the long-range gunners are off the mark, Florida will have a hard time winning.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
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Mississippi State's inconsistent tendencies resurfaced this weekend, when the Bulldogs lost at home to Georgia—yes, 12-12 Georgia.
This week, Mississippi State will visit LSU and Auburn, but wins won't come easily. If you recall, the Bulldogs beat LSU by five and Auburn by three at home. They're also just 1-3 in SEC road games.
The Bulldogs are obviously still in the tournament, but another loss to an inferior SEC team will severely hurt their seeding.
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After losing to Kansas, Baylor needed to beat Missouri to remain in the Big 12 regular season title hunt. The Bears entered Saturday's game at 9-3—one game behind the Tigers and Jayhawks—so a win would have knotted them up with Missouri.
They didn't come close, though, and now their regular season title hopes are slim. With six games left, Baylor could win out, but neither Kansas nor Missouri should lose two games.
Baylor could still be seeded highly, but there's practically no chance the Bears will earn the No. 1 seed they were gunning for just a week ago.