NCAA Conference Tournaments 2014: Predictions, Results for Wednesday's Top Games

Thad NovakCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2014

NCAA Conference Tournaments 2014: Predictions, Results for Wednesday's Top Games

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    Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    In the rarefied air of NCAA basketball's multi-bid conferences, the best games often take place long before the championship. While the top teams in the ACC or Pac-12 are playing only for seeding, the bubble programs in the middle of the pack in those high-powered leagues are taking advantage of one last chance to impress the selection committee.

    Plenty of teams in that latter category will be in action on Wednesday, from Baylor of the Big 12—a former Top 25 squad now just hoping for a chance to dance—to Georgetown in the Big East (reduced from a No. 2 seed to a bubble prospect in the space of a year). Which ones will keep their hopes alive, and which will see their March Madness dreams end before they begin?

    Read on for a look at all of Wednesday's power-conference tournament games, with predictions for the ones yet to come and recaps of the ones that have already wrapped up.

AAC Tournament

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Results

    (7) Rutgers 72, (10) South Florida 68

    Rutgers did everything in its power to hand the game away late in the second half, but it survived to see another day in Memphis. 

    The Scarlet Knights shot 80 percent from the free-throw line to move on to quarterfinals to face No. 2 Louisville.

    Kadeem Jack led the way for the victors with 18 points. 

    — Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (9) Central Florida 94, (8) Temple 90, 2 OT

    Isaiah Sykes scored a career-high 36 points as the Knights survived a marathon game, with the reward of facing top-seeded Cincinnati in Thursday's quarterfinals.

    Sykes, who was 13-of-23 from the field, made what would have been a game-winning shot for the Knights (13-17) at the end of regulation, but the basket was waved off. He also missed on a three-point attempt as the clock ran out at the end of the first overtime.

    Temple (9-22), which because of depth issues didn't sub from midway through the second half until late in the second overtime, got 28 points from Quenton DeCosey and 25 from Will Cummings.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

ACC Tournament

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    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Results

    (12) Wake Forest 81, (13) Notre Dame 69

    The way the Wake Forest players celebrated their 81-69 win over Notre Dame on Wednesday made it seem like the team had won the ACC tournament title. 

    The Demon Deacons may have only won the first game of the first round, but it meant the world for the program that was previously winless at the tournament since 2007. 

    Wake Forest, led by 25 points from Coron Williams, will now take on No. 5 Pittsburgh in the second round on Thursday at 2 p.m. ET. 

    — Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (10) Miami 57, (15) Virginia Tech 53

    A year ago, the Miami Hurricanes were relaxing during the first round of the ACC tournament. Just 12 months later, Miami had to sweat out a win over Virginia Tech to advance to face No. 7 NC State on Thursday.

    The Hokies could've taken the lead with nine seconds left, but Joey Van Zegeren missed two free throws, a pair of misses that led to the team's demise in Greensboro.

    Rion Brown drained two from the foul line just seconds later to clinch advancement for Miami. 

    — Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (11) Georgia Tech 73, (14) Boston College 70, OT

    Georgia Tech blew a 12-point second-half lead and trailed with less than two minutes remaining in overtime before using a late 8-0 run to outlast the Eagles in the final game of Wednesday's first round ACC tourney action.

    The Yellow Jackets (16-16) led 61-49 with five minutes left before BC (8-24) woke up and used a 12-0 run to tie it. Both teams made 1 of 2 free throws in the final minute, and Tech had a chance to win, but a no-call on a drive as time expired forced the extra session.

    BC, which got 21 points from Patrick Heckmann, led 67-65 with 1:56 left in OT but didn't score again until a meaningless three-pointer went in at the buzzer. Tech, which faces No. 6 Clemson in Thursday's second round, was led by Robert Carter Jr.'s 20 points.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

Atlantic 10 Tournament

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    Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

    (13) Fordham 70, (12) George Mason 67

    Branden Frazier and Bryan Smith scored 14 points each as Fordham won the opening game at the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn.

    The Rams were up by six at the half, but they faced a stiff challenge from the A-10 newcomers in the final 20 minutes. 

    Down the stretch, Fordham was able to pull away to set up a matchup with No. 5 Dayton on Thursday. 

     

    Updated by Joe Tansey. 

Big 12 Tournament

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Results

    (8) Oklahoma State 80, (9) Texas Tech 62 

    Oklahoma State set up a dream quarterfinal with No. 1 Kansas on Thursday by dominating Texas Tech in its first game in Kansas City. 

    Four players found their way into double digits as the Cowboys cruised past the Red Raiders to set up the high-profile clash. 

    A win over Kansas in the next round would make the resume of Oklahoma State shine brighter in the eyes of the selection committee. 

    — Updated by Joe Tansey

     

     

    (7) Baylor 76, (10) TCU 68

    Baylor helped out its NCAA tournament resume with a hard-fought first-round win Wednesday, building a 12-point lead at halftime and then cruising into a quarterfinal matchup with No. 2 Oklahoma.

    The Bears (22-10) shot 54 percent and outrebounded TCU 39-22, getting 20 points from Corey Jefferson and 18 from Isaiah Austin.

    TCU (9-22) finished the season on a 19-game losing streak, all against Big 12 competition.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

Big East Tournament

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    Elsa/Getty Images

     Results

    (8) Seton Hall 51, (9) Butler 50

    Seton Hall survived a last-minute threat from Butler to survive and advance in the Big East tournament. 

    Gene Teague recorded a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds as the Pirates advanced to take on No. 1 Villanova. 

    Khyle Marshall scored 22 in defeat for the Bulldogs.

    — Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (10) DePaul 60, (7) Georgetown 56

    DePaul won for just the second time in second time in 14 games, advancing to Thursday's quarterfinal against No. 2 Creighton while continuing Georgetown's disappointing season.

    The Blue Demons (12-20) trailed 25-23 at the half, but an 8-0 run late in the second half proved to be the difference. Billy Garrett had 17 points, while Forrest Robinson added 14 and Brandon Young had 13.

    Georgetown (17-14) had 21 points from D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera.

    – Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

Mountain West Tournament

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    Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

    Results

    (8) Utah State 73, (9) Colorado State 69

    Colorado State was up by seven points with 1:24 left in the game, and then it hit the self-destruct button.

    For the remainder of the game, Utah State went on a 14-3 run to advance to the quarterfinals against No. 1 San Diego State. 

    Spencer Butterfield had nine of the final 14 points for the Aggies, a total that was made up of six free throws and a triple. 

    — Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (7) Fresno State 61, (10) Air Force 59

    Alex Davis made two free throws with 12 seconds left to rally the Bulldogs back from a 15-point deficit in the final six minutes of Wednesday's first-round game at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

    Air Force (12-18) had a 56-41 lead but made just one basket after that, while at the line the Falcons missed six of seven foul shots to help Fresno (17-15) in its cause.

    Tyler Johnson made two three-pointers in an 18-second span to tie the game at 59 with 1:16 left before Davis' winning free throws. Johnson finished with 19 points.

    Fresno will face No. 2 New Mexico in Thursday's quarterfinals.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

     

    (6) Boise State 83, (11) San Jose State 52

    Boise jumped scored the game's first 25 points en route to a runaway victory and a meeting with third-seeded Nevada in Thursday's quarterfinals.

    The Broncos (20-12) led 46-14 at the half and shot 51.8 percent from the field, getting 17 points from Derrick Marks and 14 from Ryan Watkins

    San Jose (7-24) outrebounded Boise 45-31, including a 20-7 edge on the offensive boards, but shot only 28 percent and made just 4 of 27 three-point attempts.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

Pac-12 Tournament

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    Ethan Miller/Getty Images

    Results 

    (8) Utah 67, (9) Washington 61

    Utah faced a ton of adversity to reach the quarterfinals against No. 1 Arizona on Thursday as Washington battled back after a 10-point Utes lead at the half.

    Washington outscored Utah 19-10 in the first 10 minutes of the second half, but when it came down to crunch time, the Utes were able to close out the game. 

    Delon Wright (19) and Jordan Loveridge (13) were the only players to reach double digits in points for Utah in the victory. 

    Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (5) Colorado 59, (12) USC 56

    Colorado barely escaped an upset bid from USC, who is coached by the man who led FGCU on its magical run last March, Andy Enfield. 

    The Buffaloes had three players in double figures, led by Askia Booker's 21. 

    Byron Wesley of USC led all scorers with 23, but his efforts were not enough as his shot at the buzzer bounced off the front of the rim. 

    Colorado will play No. 4 Cal in the quarterfinal round on Thursday. 

    Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (7) Oregon 88, (10) Oregon State 74

    Oregon used a 17-2 run midway through the second half to turn a tight rivalry game into a runaway, one that likely sealed up an NCAA tourney bid for the Ducks.

    Oregon State (16-15) led 57-54 with just over 14 minutes left when the Ducks (23-9) came alive to log their eighth straight win and advance to Thursday's quarterfinals against No. 2 UCLA.

    Joseph Young led the Ducks with 19 points, while Jason Calliste scored 17 off the bench as Oregon had 46 points from its reserves. OSU had 20 points from Angus Brandt and 19 from Roberto Nelson in the loss.

    — Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

     

    (6) Stanford 74, (11) Washington State 63

    Stanford avoided a bubble-bursting result by bouncing back from a three-point deficit midway through the second half to advance into Thursday's quarterfinal against third-seeded Arizona State.

    The Cardinal (20-11) used a 16-4 run to take control late, with Chasson Randle (21 points) and Dwight Powell (16) pacing the way.

    Washington State (10-21) got 25 points from DaVonte Lacy, while D.J. Shelton had a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen

     

SEC Tournament

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    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

    Results

    (13) South Carolina 74, (12) Auburn 56

    Frank Martin's young Gamecocks received a major confidence boost with a blowout win over Auburn at the Georgia Dome. 

    Duane Notice netted a game-high 23 points for South Carolina, while Brenton Williams contributed 16 of his own to the winning cause. 

    The Gamecocks will now look to pull off an upset on Thursday in the second round versus No. 5 Arkansas. 

    — Updated by Joe Tansey

     

    (14) Mississippi State 82, (11) Vanderbilt 68

    MSU snapped a 13-game losing streak to complete a night of mild upsets in the first round of SEC tournament play.

    The Bulldogs (14-18) led 41-36 at halftime but then broke the game open early after halftime, getting 20 points from Craig Sword and 18 from Roquez Johnson. They will face No. 6 seed Ole Miss on Thursday.

    Vanderbilt (15-16) was led by Damian Jones' 16 points.

    Updated by Brian J. Pedersen