School basketball scores, winners and losers: UNC flirting with catastrophe, Virginia again heading in the right direction


The rollercoaster trip that’s North Carolina basketball has, within the span of six days, delivered whiplash to UNC followers. A brutal dwelling loss to Marquette on Wednesday. A riveting restoration win over Florida State three days later. And now, one other intestine punch by way of Syracuse: a 72-70 loss to the Orange.

The bumpy trip dropping us right here with this final result ought to come as no shock, but it would not make it any simpler for UNC to soak up. The Tar Heels have been an 11 seed in Jerry Palm’s bracket coming into the day, driving excessive off a win over No. 11 Florida State. However Palm made clear that their inclusion got here with a caveat that they’re removed from protected. 

Falling to the Orange would not drastically harm its tourney possibilities, however it’s flirting dangerously with catastrophe now with margin for error rapidly dwindling. If there is a silver lining right here, it is that drama is effervescent round North Carolina — the state. This now units up a juicy regular-season finale Saturday towards Duke which may be probably the most bubblicious battle of bluebloods all season, with each groups taking it all the way down to the wire as they vye for at-large bids. 

With that, listed here are Monday night time’s winners and losers from throughout the hoops panorama — starting from bubble discuss to convention drama to every little thing in between.

Loser: North Carolina’s tourney profile takes hit

North Carolina moved from an 11 seed and within the area of 68 to Jerry Palm’s “final 4 in” with its loss to Syracuse, changing Georgia Tech. So, sure, nonetheless within the area for now however hanging by a thread. Seems that committing 20 turnovers and making simply 4 of 20 3-point makes an attempt on Syracuse’s dwelling court docket doesn’t do the tourney credentials a lot good.

Winner: Syracuse stays alive

There is a lengthy checklist of groups on the bubble, and Syracuse’s 72-70 win over North Carolina did effectively sufficient to maintain it in that dialogue. Nonetheless, Cuse is 0-6 in Quad 1 alternatives and in want of not simply wins however good wins. In 2021, a win over UNC isn’t that. Toppling the Tar Heels was necessary to maintain its Massive Dance desires alive however its resume stays hole.

Loser: Atlantic 10 at-large candidates

Having already received the A-10, St. Bonaventure entered its regular-season finale on Monday towards Dayton merely needing to keep away from a loss as a result of, in the clever phrases of Jerry Palm, a loss would put its at-large hopes “doubtful.” However the Bonnies didn’t cooperate with Mr Palm. As a substitute, they fell 55-52 of their lowest-scoring sport of the season, dealing a big blow to its at-large candidacy.

The loss was one among two brutal outcomes within the A-10 on Monday with Richmond falling 76-73 in a real stunner towards St. Joseph’s — arguably the worst crew within the league upending the preseason favourite. It got here in brutal style, too, with Richmond’s Matt Grace hitting a game-tying 3-pointer that got here simply after the ultimate horn and was waved off. It is too early to attract sweeping conclusions from these outcomes, but it surely’s a reasonably crushing blow for 2 groups that entered the night time with actual hopes to sneak into the Massive Dance with out the golden ticket of profitable the convention match.

Winner: Virginia lastly will get again on monitor

There was no actual hazard of No. 21 Virginia, a No. 5 seed in Palm’s bracket, falling out of the match image. However three consecutive losses the final two weeks tossed it from ACC frontrunner to ACC runner-up in a rush. It has been treading water, so getting again on monitor Monday towards Miami in a 62-51 win — even towards Miami — qualifies as a win for the reigning champs. Massive confidence builder because it strikes to its regular-season finale Saturday towards Louisville.

Loser: Rutgers walks into Pinnacle Financial institution, tumbles laborious

Perhaps — OK, positively — probably the most beautiful final result of Monday night time: Nebraska 72, Rutgers 51. 

Sure, Rutgers scored 51 factors and misplaced to the worst crew within the Massive Ten by 21 factors. It is Nebraska’s largest win in league play because it beat, you guessed it, Rutgers by 34 factors in January 2016.

As anticipated, Western Kentucky dealt with enterprise towards FIU on Sunday, profitable 91-58. The Hilltoppers adopted that up with a 71-59 win towards FIU on Monday to brush the two-game collection. Palm’s learn was {that a} loss would’ve wiped away their at-large hopes, and whereas a win would not lock them in, it completely retains them within the bubble dialogue. Profitable the C-USA tourney would be the protected option to punch a ticket given its shaky credentials for an at-large.



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