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Posted at 8:15 AM ET, 02/17/2011

NCAA tournament 2011: St. Mary's suffers damaging loss

By Eric Prisbell

[Note: If you are planning to run an NCAA tournament office pool or a pool among friends, please contact me via e-mail. I'd like to hear from you about your pool. I'm not quoting you or anything; I'm just interested in your thoughts about an idea I have. prisbelle@washpost.com.
Thanks.]

What mattered Wednesday:

1) Connecticut 78, Georgetown 70: This was an entertaining game to watch in person, and I thought the Hoyas were going to pull it out until Austin Freeman and Jason Clark missed a couple open shots in the final few minutes. Kemba Walker, of course, played like his old self, and Georgetown could not keep him out of the lane. I asked JT III about his team's overall defense. In a word, he said it was "horrible." So the Hoyas move back to a No. 3 seed in the NCAAs for the moment - not the end of the world.

2) Cincinnati 63, Louisville 54: Well, maybe the Big East will wind up getting 11 teams in this thing after all. The Bearcats needed this one badly because they were fading of late and they have that 280th-ranked nonleague strength of schedule rating dragging them down.

3) San Diego 74, St. Mary's 66: There are bad losses. And then there is what St. Mary's turned in early Thursday morning (I stayed up to watch the close of this one on ESPN2). San Diego had won five games all season and had a 317 RPI. Read that sentence over again. I don't see how St. Mary's will get an at-large bid if it falls short of winning the WCC tournament. This was indeed a shocker.

What to watch for Thursday:

1) Minnesota at Penn State: The Nittany Lions absolutely have to win this one.

2) Richmond at Temple: Richmond is 8-2 on the road. Temple is 11-0 at home.

3) Washington State at Arizona: The bubble is so soft, there is room for WSU. But they need to knock off the Pacific-10 leaders.

By Eric Prisbell  | February 17, 2011; 8:15 AM ET
 
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Next: NCAA tournament 2011: Picking the final two at-large teams

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