AT THE WATER COOLER: Don't look now, but San Diego could be making a case for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Veteran coach Steve Fisher's squad is one of four teams in the Coaches Poll without multiple losses and its résumé includes wins over Creighton and Kansas. The fifth-ranked Aztecs, a projected No. 2 seed in USA TODAY Sports' latest bracketology, hit the road for a Mountain West contest at Boise State (9 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Net). Fans in the eastern half of the country who might not have seen much of the Aztecs yet this season should do themselves a favor and stay awake a little longer to catch Xavier Thames in action. That's Thames — rhymes with games, not pronounced like the river in England — and he can take over games at either end of the court. He does lead San Diego State in scoring with an 18-point average, but the 6-3 guard's contributions on the other end are just as valuable as part of one of the nation's best perimeter defensive units. The Aztecs' opponents are only connecting on 26.6% of their three-point tries, and it also helps having Josh Davis (11.1 rebounds a game) on the inside to clean up. The Broncos, hovering around the bubble of the bubble, will need a huge outing from versatile swingman Anthony Drmic to pull off the upset. REWIND: Andrew Wiggins made this half-court buzzer-beater and Kansas took care of business vs. Baylor with a 69-52 road victory. Ohio State avenged an early-season loss in a bounce-back 76-69 victory over Iowa. Kentucky toppled visiting Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss at home for an 80-64 victory. Duke crushed Wake Forest 83-63. Wisconsin ended its skid with a 75-63 win over Illinois. And Texas got past TCU on the road. NUMBER OF THE DAY: 55.5. Speaking of stingy defense, it's hardly a new thing at Virginia since Tony Bennett took the coaching reins. After some hiccups in their pre-conference slate, the 21st-ranked Cavaliers are back to doing what they do best. They lead the nation in scoring defense, surrendering 55.5 points a game, and are alone in second place in the ACC, just a game behind unbeaten Syracuse. Don't look for a whole lot of easy baskets for Boston College in Charlottesville tonight (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Could San Diego State notch a No. 1 seed?
USA Today | Feb 5