Have to say that I'm a bit disappointed that top-ranked Gonzaga lost on Saturday in its home finale to BYU, 79-71 (as a 20.5-point favorite). The NCAA Tournament is much more interesting when there's an unbeaten team in it. But the 1975-76 Indiana Hoosiers will remain the most recent team to win it all without a loss. I have a feeling that Zags coach Mark Few isn't all that upset with the defeat. It takes a pretty big monkey off his team's back. As long as Gonzaga wins this week's West Coast Conference Tournament, which it will be heavily favored to do, then it should still be the No. 1 seed out West in the Big Dance. It just won't be the overall No. 1 now. That likely will be Big 12 regular-season champion Kansas, the new No. 1 in the polls, if it wins out. Gonzaga dropped to fourth in the AP poll.
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Georgetown at Seton Hall ( -4 )
Big East game at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. It's a must-have for Seton Hall and its NCAA Tournament hopes. ESPN currently projects the Pirates among the "last four in." They do have two wins over teams that were ranked at the time in South Carolina and Creighton but also a bad loss to St. John's. SHU, which is 47th in the RPI, enters this one on a two-game winning streak. It escaped at DePaul - that would have been crushing - on Saturday, 82-79. Angel Delgado, the nation's leading rebounder, finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for his 10th straight double-double. He is averaging 18.1 points and 14.9 rebounds during that run. The Pirates are back to .500 in Big East play for the first time since being 2-2 and are in a tie for fourth, one game behind third-place Creighton.
Georgetown is only better than DePaul in the conference, which is just shocking. GU won't even be an NIT team most likely. The Hoyas enter on a three-game skid after losing 86-80 at St. John's on Saturday (remember when that rivalry meant something nationally?). All the media around that school are speculating that Coach John Thompson III is a goner. He had to hear chants of "Fire Thompson" on Saturday even though it was a road game! The loss ensured that the Hoyas will play a first-round game in the Big East Tournament March 8, so they would need to win four games in as many days to secure an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament and likely save Thompson's job. Seton Hall beat Georgetown 68-66 in OT on Feb. 4. Delgado had 26 points and 17 rebounds and Desi Rodriguez hit the winning basket in OT. The Hoyas were 1 of 19 from 3-point range.
Key trends: The Hoyas are 2-6 against the spread in their past eight road games. The Pirates are 0-5 ATS in their past five after a win. GU is 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings.
I'm leaning: Seton Hall.
Indiana at No. 16 Purdue (-10)
Big Ten game at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Speaking of coaches on the hot seat, we refer to Indiana's Tom Crean. He might get a new lease on life with an upset here. Indiana ended a five-game losing streak in very unlikely fashion Saturday, 63-62 over Northwestern. The Cats led 62-55 with 1:33 to go but obviously didn't score again. Thomas Bryant completed a 3-point play with 2.6 seconds left for the win. His free throw bounced high off the back of the rim and the left side of the rim before going through. IU is currently listed among ESPN's "next four out." The Hoosiers finish the regular season Saturday at Ohio State.
Thanks to Wisconsin's loss Sunday at Michigan State, Purdue is in sole possession of first in the Big Ten. That despite the Boilers' six-game winning streak ending Saturday in an 82-70 defeat at Michigan. Likely Big Ten Player of the Year Caleb Swanigan scored 18 points but managed a season-low five rebounds. He's second nationally in rebounds per game. Defense has been a problem for Purdue in each of its four Big Ten losses. It allowed 91 points in an overtime home loss to Minnesota and 83 points in losses at Iowa and Nebraska and then 82 vs. UM. Purdue won at Indiana 69-64 on Feb. 9. There was a really strange double-foul call late in the game that might have cost IU a win. Swanigan, who was part of that play, had 16 points and 14 rebounds.
Key trends: The Hoosiers are 1-4 ATS in their past five games. The Boilers are 6-1 ATS in their past seven on Tuesday. Indiana is 0-5 ATS in the past five meetings.
I'm leaning: Purdue.
Vanderbilt at No. 9 Kentucky (TBA)
SEC game at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. Vanderbilt is listed among ESPN's "next four out" so an upset at Rupp Arena would be huge. The 'Dores are trending the right direction on a four-game winning streak but have horrible losses to Missouri and Bucknell. Vandy thumped Mississippi State 77-48 on Saturday. Junior Jeff Robinson had a career-high 23 points, including five straight 3-pointers in a five-minute flurry. Overall, he scored 17 points in Vanderbilt's 19-5 run to start the second half. The margin of victory was Vanderbilt's largest of the season and the 48 points was the fewest allowed. Vandy closes the season Saturday vs. Florida. Win here and then that one and it will get in the Big Dance.
Kentucky took over sole possession of first place in the SEC with Saturday's 76-66 win over No. 13 Florida (I recommended UK at -3). Freshman Malik Monk scored 30 of his 33 points in the second half (most points in a half for any Kentucky player under John Calipari) and fellow freshman Bam Adebayo added 18 points with 15 rebounds. A third freshman and the team's second-leading scorer, De'Aaron Fox, was a surprise scratch with a knee contusion. This is UK's final home game and thus probably the last at Rupp for Monk, Adebayo and Fox as all three are likely to declare for the draft. Thus if Fox can even stand up he's probably playing. Kentucky won at Vandy 87-81 on Jan. 10. Monk scored six points in the final 32 seconds.
Key trends: The Commodores are 4-0 ATS in their past four. UK is 1-6 ATS in its past seven on Tuesday. Vandy is 8-1-1 ATS in the past 10 meetings.
I'm leaning: TBA for Fox. I'd take Vandy and the points if he's out.
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Read more articles by Alan Matthews
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