|Taylor can't control himself as he walks off the flor. (AP)|
Here’s everything you need to know about Tuesday night’s slate of games …
Game of the Night: Vanderbilt had its Senior Night, and because of that we got one of those great moments. Commodores senior Jeffery Taylor was a leaky faucet when his time came for an ovation and a hesitated saunter off the Memorial Coliseum floor. He buried his head in his jersey to hide his outpouring of emotion -- but what a great scene. All the Vandy seniors got a nice moment of recognition before and after the game.
Vanderbilt defeated Florida, 77-67, earning themselves a nice win,and you know, it wouldn't shock me one bit if the 'Dores end up with a better seed than UF. The Gators are an erratic team that's missing a cog now that Will Yeguete is unavailable due to a fractured foot.
Win to brag about: Saint Louis trailed early but came back like a bull determined to gore the life out of a matador. The Billikens are now a lock as far as I'm concerned, winning over Xavier 70-59 and getting to 11 A10 wins.
Loss to hide from: How many times can we fit UConn into this box? On Saturday night, I wrote UConn needed three straight wins to feel good about its at-large chances. After falling 72-70 at Providence, that notion is only embellished. You know what the Huskies look like? A team that shows up and thinks it can talent its way to victories. That doesn't work, not on the road, and for Jiminy's sake, every team should realize that by January, let alone Feb. 28.
Home game against Pittsburgh to close out the season Saturday. Then an opening-round Big East tournament game against a DePaul or Providence on Tuesday. Then a Seton Hall or Cincinnati next Wednesday. Gotta win all three, UConn.
Player who deserves improper benefits: West Virginia faced a must-win against DePaul on Tuesday night if it wanted any chance at an at-large bid. Not surprisingly, the Mountaineers' Big East Player of the Year candidate came through in a major way. Kevin Jones totaled 22 points and 16 rebounds to lead West Virginia to a 92-75 win over the Blue Demons. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention teammate Truck Bryant and his 28 points, though.
Player who does not deserve improper benefits: Tu Holloway. Four points on 1-of-6 shooting in a real disappearing act for Xavier. Holloway also contributed a team-high three turnovers. Xavier's going to the NIT unless it wins the A10 tournament, most likely. But this has always felt like a team with an on/off switch. I wouldn't be shocked if it won the league tourney title relatively easily.
Numbers don't lie
- UConn is 23-30 in its last 53 Big East games. Shockingly bad for a team with two Final Fours in its last three tournament appearances.
Three other games of note:
- In what amounted to the game of the most impact Tuesday night, Montana knocked off Weber State 66-51, meaning Montana won the Big Sky. Weber State will be the No. 2 seed in the league tournament, and there's a good chance the nation's most potent scorer, Damian Lillard, won't make the NCAAs. Montana's a very fun team, though. Either one would rep the Big Sky well, Lillard just has more appeal.
- Don't lose the ones you shouldn't lose on the road and your seed doesn't take a hit. Kansas State 76, Texas A&M 70.
- You always have to seek out the Wisconsin score this season, just to make sure Bucky doesn't blow one it shouldn't. That didn't happen Tuesday night. Wisconsin 52, Minnesota 45.
Teams whose season ended tonight:
-- Wright State (70-52 loss to Butler).
-- Illnois-Chicago (68-55 loss to UW-Milwaukee).
-- Green Bay (77-60 loss to Youngstown State).
-- Loyola (IL) (80-71 loss to Detroit).
- Reggie Johnson has been reinstated at Miami. He and his family will have to repay the illegal benefits for travel, but he's good to go for the 'Canes game against N.C. State Wednesday night.
- Antonio Barton broke his foot in Memphis' win over Central Florida.
- Since it is a leap year, March does not start tomorrow. I'm just as eager as you for it to get here, but we'll have to soldier through for one more day before the best month of the year arrives.