Both Baylor and Texas needed a win on Monday night albeit for different reasons. Scott Drew's Bears arrived in Austin two days after losing to Kansas State at home, and despite their status as a likely high seed losing three of their last four games wasn't the best way to bolster their resume. Texas on the other hand found themselves part of the race for one of those final at-large berths, arguably making the contest more important for them than it was Baylor.
We're going with a different setup for daily recaps in hopes of making the reading easier. One piece will focus on the game of the night (or day) and the top individual performances, and the other will touch on other key happenings and some quick hitters on other games.
With the time between now and Selection Sunday getting shorter, every opportunity for a team to bolster its resume takes on added importance. This is the situation that Texas (17-10, 7-7), coming off of a 90-78 loss at Oklahoma State, finds itself in as they host #14 Baylor (22-5, 9-5) in the second of two meetings this season. Baylor is looking to rebound themselves as they fell 57-56 at home to Kansas State, a loss that essentially shuts the door on the chance of winning the league as the Bears sit three games behind both Kansas and Missouri.
With games at #13 San Diego State and against #11 UNLV this week, Steve Alford's New Mexico Lobos had a great opportunity to not only take control of the Mountain West but also make a statement nationally.
After a 15-2 run gave Louisville a 51-46 lead with 3:38 remaining it seemed as if the Cardinals were well on their way to an eighth straight win over #2 Syracuse. In a contest that featured some ugly offense, a five-point margin seemed to be near insurmountable despite the Orange's many talented players. However a Brandon Triche jumper just 18 seconds later would start a 6-0 run, which ended with a C.J. Fair bucket with 2:11 to go to give Syracuse the 52-51 win.
Quite a bit was made of the team meeting called by UConn forward Alex Oriakhi on Friday, and how it may have sparked a revival of the reigning national champions. But maybe that should have been another red flag, given the first couple of paragraphs in the Hartford Courant recapping the Huskies' 69-46 win over Seton Hall.
With the final month of the regular season on our door step, this is a good time to put together some all-conference teams. Enter CHN writer Jon Teitel, who not only picked his all-conference teams for each league but also provided a conference Player of the Year as well. Without further ado here are the all-conference teams, with the league POY in italics.
G Gerardo Suero (Albany)
G Darryl Partin (Boston University)
G Gerald McLemore (Maine)
F Chase Plummer (UMBC)
F Alasdair Fraser (Maine)