By Jeff Goodman
(NOTE: We will file a Night Court almost every night this season. Follow @GaryParrishCBS, @GoodmanCBS, @MattNorlander, @JeffBorzello and @EyeOnCBB on Twitter to make sure it gets sent to you as soon as it's posted.)
Here’s everything you need to know about Thursday’s slate of college basketball games …
Game of the day: N.C. State had Duke beaten at Cameron -- and it would have been just the signature win that could have gotten the Wolfpack into the NCAA tournament. Mark Gottfried's team was up 20 points with less than 12 minutes remaining, but the Blue Devils stormed back and came away with a 78-73 victory. Seth Curry finished with a career-high 26 points -- including 21 in the second half -- as Duke remained tied with North Carolina and Florida State for first place in the ACC.
Shot of the day: Michael Snaer, he of the game-winner to beat Duke in Durham, buried another 3-pointer -- this time with 2.6 seconds left that rescued Florida State. It gave the 'Noles a 48-47 win over Virginia Tech in Tallahassee. It was also the eighth consecutive loss for the Hokies against FSU on the road.
Win to brag about: Lehigh handed Bucknell its first Patriot league setback of the season and also snapped the Bison's 20-game conference winning streak. Mountain Hawks star C.J. McCollum buried the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left in the game that snapped a four-game losing skid against Bucknell and also closed the gap in league play. Lehigh is now 8-3 in the league, two games behind Bucknell.
Loss to hide from: Ole Miss didn't just lose. The Rebels got smoked -- in Oxford by Vanderbilt. The final score was 102-76 and it wasn't even that close.
Player who deserves improper benefits: Vanderbilt's Jeffery Taylor - The athletic senior wing is better-known for his defense, but Taylor erupted for 23 points and grabbed five boards -- in the first half. The Commodores crushed Ole Miss so badly that Taylor didn't need to do much of anything in the second half. Taylor finished with 28 points and nine boards -- he was 10-of-15 from the field and 5-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Player(s) who does not deserve improper benefits: We're splitting this honor three ways for this one. Erick Green, Dorenzo Hudson and Robert Brown each went 0-for-2 from the charity stripe in the final 2:11 of Virginia Tech's loss to Florida State.
Numbers don’t lie:
8: That's how many "and-ones" that Michigan State had against Wisconsin tonight. That's a ridiculously high number.
3-10: Virginia Tech shot 3-of-10 from the charity stripe in the final 2:10 of the loss to FSU.
18: Robert Morris racked up 18 steals in its 69-40 rout over Bryant.
18 &15: Points and rebounds put up by North Texas freshman Tony Mitchell in a rout over Louisiana-Monroe.
Other notable results:
Michigan State had little problems with Wisconsin in East Lansing. Draymond Green finished with 20 points and 10 boards as Sparty won its seventh straight against the Badgers at the Breslin Center.
Vandy smacked Ole Miss on the road, 102-76. The Commodores needed this one, having dropped three of their last four.
West Virginia got a much-needed victory, 66-48, on the road against Pittsburgh. The Mountaineers had lost five of their past six to go from a secure NCAA tournament team to one in danger of heading into NIT territory.
Texas Pan-American coach Ryan Marks got his 10th victory of the season and improved to 4-2 in Great West play with a home win over NJIT.
San Diego coach Bill Grier has three freshmen in the starting lineup and the Toreros have made progress this season. USD needed overtime to take care of Portland, improving to 11-15 overall and 6-8 in WCC play.
Mount St. Mary's interim coach Matt Henry, filling in for Robert Burke (administrative leave), got the win after a 77-63 victory against FDU.
Duke won its 14th straight at Cameron against N.C. State. The last loss came on Jan. 18, 1995.
West Virginia's Kevin Jones had yet another double-double with 16 points and 13 boards in the road win against Pittsburgh.
It's Friday. That means Ivy league hoops is the focus -- along with a couple of BracketBuster games.
1) Northern Iowa at VCU - Shaka Smart and the Rams may have lost out on a chance for an at-large bid with the setback to George Mason the other night.
2) Valparaiso at Loyola Marymount - LMU is coming off a big road win at Saint Mary's.
3) Harvard at Brown -The Crimson can't afford another loss or at-large chances are history.
4) Yale at Dartmouth - James Jones' team is one game back from the Crimson.
5) Cornell at Penn - The Quakers are 5-2 in Ivy league play, just a game back in the loss column from Harvard.