College Basketball Daily Feast: Ohio State Downs Michigan State, St. Johns Wins

Team RankingsContributor IFebruary 16, 2011

COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 15: Jared Sullinger #0 of the Ohio State Buckeyes drives against Adreian Payne #5 of the Michigan State Spartans during the second half on February 15, 2011 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated Michigan State 71-61. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Welcome to the Daily Feast, where every weekday we stuff your head with the tastiest data-driven insights on college hoops.

Coffee & Cooler Talk: News and Results from Yesterday

Ohio State held off Michigan State 71-61, though the game felt closer than that, with the Spartans only down 1 at halftime. It was a little surprising that Michigan State was able to hang at all, considering how bad they've been on the road this year. They are No. 97 in the away power ratings.

St. John's won at Marquette, 80-68. The win solidifies the Red Storm as an NCAA tournament team, and puts Marquette in serious trouble, as their whole case up until now has been "Yeah, we have a lot of close losses on the road to good teams, but at least we take care of business at home and against cupcakes." Didn't take care of business last night. Marquette also falls 1.5 games out in the race for 8th place in the Big East, which gives their probability of winning the Big East tournament a big hit.

George Mason destroyed VCU on the road, taking control of the game early, and eventually winning 71-51. The loss makes VCU's Bracket Buster game against Wichita State a likely loser-stays-home affair, and continues George Mason's absolutely dominant recent play, bumping them up to No. 2 in the last 10 games ratings.

Hofstra's Charles Jenkins hit a game-tying three pointer in regulation and a game-winning three pointer in overtime to propel the Pride over William & Mary, 81-78. The win clinches a first round bye in the CAA tournament for Hofstra.

Villanova survived at Seton Hall, 60-57, overcoming the absence of Corey Stokes. Stokes has been a key player, contributing about 13% of Villanova's win score this season. Check out this and other player data splits on Villanova's player roster page.

Lunchtime Reading: Interesting Posts from Around the Blogosphere

Suggesting a more objective way to seed teams for the NCAA tournament, Vegas Watch compares a team's actual winning percentage to what you'd expect a top five team to do against the same schedule. San Diego State comes out looking very good in this scenario.

While the actual argument in support of Marquette is less salient after their home loss to St. John's, Cracked Sidewalks uses the RPI (I know, it's flawed, but hear him out) to make an excellent point about how difficult it is to win on the road.

Dinner & A Game: Notes on tonight’s hottest games

No. 9 Wisconsin at No. 7 Purdue: Both teams are 9-3 in Big Ten play, tied for second place behind Ohio State. This is a huge game in the standings, and could have a big impact on NCAA tournament seeding.

No. 10 Georgetown at No. 14 Connecticut: Another huge conference game, though the toughness of the Big East means these two top 15 teams are only third and sixth in the Big East, respectively.

No. 25 Louisville at No. 31 Cincinnati Cincinnati ranges anywhere from a 6 seed to an 11 seed in recent brackets. A win here would go a long way to making them feel comfortable about their at-large chances.

No. 44 Michigan at No. 19 Illinois Michigan has been frisky at times, and Illinois has been disappointing, so this is no gimme for the Illini.

No. 50 New Mexico at No. 8 San Diego St The Aztecs are solid favorites, but if they're too busy looking ahead to their game against BYU, New Mexico can certainly take advantage.

No. 56 Oklahoma St at No. 2 Texas Assuming Texas takes care of business this week, they'll likely be #1 in the new coaches poll on Sunday. I doubt Oklahoma State will block their path.