College Basketball's Bracket "Busted" Saturday: What Is Happening?
Touted by ESPN as the Bracket Buster weekend, featuring some of the best "mid-major" schools facing off against one another, there were certainly some big-time matchups as well.
Big-time teams had some surprising outcomes this Saturday, busting the bracket more than any of the mid-major games.
However, there was one mid-major upset that some college basketball fans may not have seen coming. Utah State was playing a Patrick Mills-less St. Mary's team. Since Mills's injury, St. Mary's has fallen out of the mainstream spotlight.
This game would be different. Led by senior Diamon Simpson and sophomore Mickey McConnell, the Gaels would control Utah State throughout the night and get the 11-point win.
For the WAC conference, this is an extremely disappointing loss. Utah State has been their best team and losing to a weakened St. Mary's team is not good for the WAC's reputation.
UCLA has been struggling, losing two of their last three games before playing Washington State on Saturday. It would be more of the same for UCLA.
The Washington State Cougars took the lead with 11 minutes to go and would never look back. UCLA only lost by one point, but it is time for coach Ben Howland to take a long, hard look at his Bruins. This is their third loss in four games, and they need to turn it around before tournament time.
Oklahoma's loss to Texas would normally be a headline story, but with Blake Griffin out for most of the game with an apparent concussion, the glamour of Texas's win has diminished.
Texas earned a big win by beating No. 2 Oklahoma, and it was a huge upset. But Oklahoma's star Blake Griffin only played for 11 minutes. With a healthy Griffin, who knows how this game turns out.
Led by A.J. Abrams, Texas took over with three minutes left and just kept rolling. Abrams finished with 23 points; most of these points came in the second half.
The biggest upset of today has to be Maryland beating North Carolina 88-85 in overtime. The Terrapins has struggled throughout ACC play this year, but this win is huge for them.
They have not only put themselves in tournament contention, but they have become more confident.
Led by junior Greivis Vasquez, Maryland battled back in the second half and took over in overtime. Vasquez had Maryland's first 16 points and finished with a triple-double (35 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists). That is the first triple-double recorded by a Terrapin since 1987.
After tonight, all the rankings have been jumbled, as North Carolina, Oklahoma, and UCLA all should drop (UCLA and UNC more than Oklahoma in all likelihood). Utah State should drop out of the rankings, and Texas and Maryland may move into the rankings.
Yesterday, was a prime example of the excitement and unpredictability of college basketball.
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