The Florida Gators reign atop the polls almost came to an abrupt end as they held off the Vanderbilt Commordores, 57-54, to claim a portion of the SEC title on Tuesday night.
It is the second-straight year Florida has won the SEC and the seventh in school history. The win came in the same nail biting fashion that many of Florida's wins have been this season.
The Gators led by eight with over three minutes remaining but Kyle Fuller would score the Commodore's final seven points to bring them within three. Fuller missed a game-tying three with four seconds left to let Florida walk away with the win.
Dorian Finney-Smith led the Gators with 19 points and Patric Young added 12, but after that the rest of the team struggled to score. No other player scored in double digits for Florida. In the end it was yet another Florida style win -- not the prettiest, but a win.
Part of Florida's success this year has been its ability to close out close games. Last season, the Gators lost every game decided by single digits. This season, Billy Donovan has turned that around and the Gators are 13-2 in games decided by single digits.
The Gators used swarming defense to put the Commodores down early. Florida scored 13 straight points in the first half to take a 22-11 lead, forcing five turnovers in the process. Still, the entire time Florida couldn't put Vanderbilt away. The Commodores went on an 8-0 run early in the second half to make it competitive again but couldn't get over the hump.
No. 2 Wichita St. Shockers 69, Bradley Braves 49
Wichita State hasn't finished the season undefeated yet, but it made history on Tuesday night with the win over Bradley. Although other teams have won 30 games, no team except for the Shockers has won 30 games in the regular season. Now, a date at home with Missouri State is the only thing left between Wichita State and a perfect season.
It was a hallmark game from the Shockers that enabled them to win 30 games this season. No one player shined that much better than the rest as unselfish team ball led to close to 49 percent shooting from the floor. Wichita State let the defense take over as it held Bradley to 27 percent shooting from the floor. Walt Lemon Jr. led all scorers with 18 points for Bradley, but he fought tooth and nail for every bucket as he attempted 20 shots.
No. 6 Duke Blue Devils 66, Virginia Tech Hokies 48
The Blue Devils sure didn't show any signs of fatigue after taking on the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Syracuse Orange in the time span of two days as they demolished Virginia Tech. It was the final game of a brutal stretch for the Blue Devils, who, thanks to the postponement of the North Carolina game on Feb. 12, had five games in 11 days. Duke goes back to a normal team's schedule now, with a road game at Wake Forest on March 5 and a home game against the Tar Heels to close out conference play.
Duke opened the game with a 24-4 start to take away virtually any question to the team's well being. Rodney Hood led all scorers with 21 points and Jabari Parker added 11 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth-straight double-double. Duke didn't shoot particularly well, hitting 38 percent of its shots, but more than made up for it on the offensive glass, grabbing 14 offensive rebounds.
No. 13 San Diego State Aztecs 90, San Jose State Spartans 64
Four players scored in double figures to help San Diego State rebound from its worst loss of the season with an easy home win over San Jose State. J.J. O'Brien, Winston Shepard and Dwayne Polee II each scored 12 points to lead the Aztecs, who jumped out to a 44-30 halftime lead and only built on it from there.
The Aztecs held San Jose State to 37.7 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers in the win, and are now 8-0 at home in Mountain West Conference play. Jaleel Williams and Rashad Muhammad each scored 14 to lead the Spartans in defeat.
No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers 69, Indiana Hoosiers 58
It was the tale of two halves for Wisconsin. The Hoosiers looked like they had the Badgers number by halftime. Indiana led 29-19, in the process holding Wisconsin to 26 percent shooting and its lowest point total in the first half this season. Unfortunately for Indiana, basketball games last two halves. Wisconsin outscored the Hoosiers 50-29 in the second half, punctuated by a 22-5 run to take the lead.
All five starters for Wisconsin scored in double-digits as the leaders took over and left the bench riding the pine. The Badgers' bench took five shot attempts and scored a total of six points. Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell led all scorers with 24 points. Noah Vonleh added 18 points for Indiana.
Minnesota Golden Gophers 95, No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes 89
Austin Hollins scored a career high 27 points and Minnesota snapped a dreadful offensive slump to upset Iowa at home. Minneosta's 95 points were the most scored all season and it came at a time when it was needed most. In Minnesota's last three games, it averaged 47.6 points per game on 39 percent shooting. Roy Devyn Marble had 24 points for Iowa and Aaron White added 21, but it wasn't enough fire power to stop Minnesota, who scored close to 1.36 points per possession.
No. 25 New Mexico Lobos 67, Utah State Aggies 58
Utah State flirted with an upset for much of the game, but couldn't make its shots down the stretch as New Mexico took home the win. Utah State held the lead with nearly seven minutes remaining after Kyle Davis hit a jumper to make it 52-50. The Aggies offense went completely silent for the next three and a half minutes as New Mexico went on a 10-0 run to take control of the game.
Preston Medlin led all scorers in the game with 19 points but he was the only player from Utah State making any sort of offensive noise. The team shot 37.9 percent from the floor. The Aggies didn't have much of an answer for the frontcourt of New Mexico. Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirck combined for 27 points, 23 rebounds and five blocks.