Louisville 64, #23 Notre Dame 50
Louisville's defensive speed and intensity really got to Notre Dame midway through the first half, and this game quickly snowballed out of control. Notre Dame didn't make a field goal attempt in the final 12:44 of the first half, and over a 23 minute stretch straddling halftime they were outscored 44-16. It's pretty hard to win a game when you during a stretch covering a majority of the game you score 16 points. Louisville only had 6 steals during the game, but they were able to get out on the break off of long rebounds. Louisville hit 65.7% of their two-pointers, assisting on 71.4% of their made baskets.
This win gets Louisville to the Big East title game, which means a lot more than just the potential trophy. The Selection Committee has historically given big boosts to the seeds of teams that make the Big East tournament final, particularly teams that win. The Big East is down this year, but its perception in the media hasn't changed much, so I'd expect Louisville to get that kind of bump. Louisville is 6-7 against the RPI Top 50 and their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is up to 17th. It's hard to fathom them finishing lower than a 5 seed now, and they could end up a 4. If they win the Big East title game? I think they'll be either a 3 or 4 seed.
The Irish went 13-5 in Big East play and they finish 4-7 against the RPI Top 50, with wins over Syracuse, Marquette, Louisville, UConn, West Virginia (twice) and South Florida (twice), to go with bad losses to Rutgers, St. John's, Georgia and Maryland. Their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 32nd. Their poor non-conference performance is part of the evidence for why the Big East is down this season, but I think it's fair to say that they're simply playing a lot better now than they were early in the season. It took them a while to adjust to playing without Tim Abromaitis, and several of their young players have really stepped up as the season has gone along. In mid-January their Pomeroy rating was 94th, and now it's down to 41st. And so because of that, I don't see how Notre Dame can get worse than a 7 seed, and they're more likely to be a 5 or 6 seed.
New Mexico 72, #20 UNLV 67
This was a well-played game, and effectively a true road game for New Mexico. The game was in the Thomas & Mack Center, though obviously there were more New Mexico fans in the crowd than there would have been at a normal true road game. The difference in this game was New Mexico's excellent interior defense, which is the best in the Mountain West. They held UNLV to only a 37.1 2P%. On the other end of the floor, Drew Gordon owned Bryce Massamba, scoring 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting, and fouling Massamba out.
These were the two best teams in the Mountain West this season, so either of these teams was going to be favored against San Diego State today. New Mexico is a 4.5 point favorite in Vegas at last check, which shows again just how dumb the human polls are (San Diego State is ranked, New Mexico isn't). This win does push New Mexico's Sagarin ELO_CHESS up to 22nd, and they're now 8-4 against the RPI Top 100. Even if they lose to San Diego State, I don't think they'll fall below a 6 seed. With a win they could get a 4 seed.
UNLV went 9-5 in Mountain West play and finished 5-6 against the RPI Top 50. They have wins over North Carolina, New Mexico, San Diego State, California and Colorado State, along with a bad loss to TCU. Their RPI is 16th and their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 21st. They're probably looking at a 6 or 7 seed.
#5 Missouri 81, Texas 67
When Missouri has days like this they look awful hard to beat. They just never missed an open shot all day, finishing with a 61.4 eFG%. Texas dominated the boards (11 more offensive rebounds), which is what they were supposed to do against the smaller Missouri team, but there's just no margin of error when Missouri shoots that well. Missouri will now get a chance to win the Big 12 tournament title today against Baylor, which will give them a chance at a 1 seed. They'll need to win that game and then get a little bit of help in other conference tournaments. Even with a loss, it's hard to see them falling below a 2 seed.
Texas could have basically locked up a Tournament bid with a win here. With the loss they'll have to spend the next two days rooting for teams like North Carolina and St. Louis. They went 9-9 in the Big 12 and finished 4-11 against the RPI Top 50, with wins over Kansas State, Temple and Iowa State (twice). They also have bad losses to Oregon State and Oklahoma State. Their RPI is 48th and their Sagarin ELO_CHESS is 38th. It's hard to see how they can miss the NCAA Tournament, but if weird results happen the next two days then it's possible. They'll have to wait.