Six Takeaways from Friday’s Championship Week contests

1. Oklahoma might have dropped from the 1-line after Buddy’s shot was waved off

West Virginia did a great job putting pressure on Oklahoma and Buddy Hield, holding the Player of the Year candidate to just six points on 1-of-8 shooting. Hield did add his own chapter to a day of incredible buzzer beaters with a just past halfcourt heave, but review showed that the shot did not count and West Virginia held on for the 69-67 win.

The loss likely drops Oklahoma from No. 1 seed contention, a spot they occupied along with Kansas heading into this weekend’s tournament in Kansas City. Losing to a very good West Virginia team is not something that is particularly damning for the Sooners, but with a ton of competition for those final top seeds it’s hard to imagine OU getting its name called first on Selection Sunday after spending Saturday night at home.

2. Kansas and Villanova, on the other hand, held serve and Wayne Selden’s uncle became a star

Kansas got a scare from Baylor after building a healthy lead in the Big 12 semifinals, forcing Bill Self to put his starters back in the game to preserve a narrow four-point victory and a spot in the Big 12 title game on Saturday night. Villanova center Daniel Ochefu was banged up and did not start, but scored all eight of his points in the final minutes of 76-68 win against Providence. Both results were significant because they propelled probable No. 1 seeds into their respective tournament championship games. But both games were also significant for wild activity that happened closer to the sideline than midcourt.

Ryan Arcidiacono went airborne going for a loose ball.

And Wayne Selden had one of the most vicious dunks of the weekend, sending his uncle into a dunk-frenzy in the stands.

3. Oregon continues its impressive run at the No. 1 seed in the West Region

Oregon is another one of those teams hoping to move up in the eyes of the committee with a conference tournament championship. The Ducks could easily wind up as the No. 1 seed in the West with a win Saturday, toting a fantastic RPI profile along with both the regular season and conference tournament championships in a good Pac-12. Oregon is versatile, Dillon Brooks has been amazing this season and Dana Altman is looking like one of the top coaches on the West Coast with three Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors in the last four seasons.

In addition to the opportunity to win another championship, the title tilt promises to give Oregon another quality opponent to pair with Friday’s thrilling 95-89 victory against Arizona. No matter the opponent — Utah or Cal — it will be an impressive one, and a chance to secure the claim as the best in the West.

4. Michigan’s insane buzzer-beater to beat Indiana set the tone for the day

Indiana added its name to the growing list of No. 1 seeds that have lost during this conference tournament season, falling to Michigan on what now looks like a most unlikely buzzer-beating 3-pointer. The Wolverines, the eight seed in the tournament, are now in the Big Ten tournament semifinals thanks to this shot, after a pump fake, from 27-percent 3-point shooter Kameron Chatman.

5. UConn-Cincinnati might have been an all-time great tournament game

Perspective might help us realize the absurdity of UConn’s buzzer-beating heave at the end of the third overtime, but in a day that was packed with crazy results and last-minute thrillers the American Athletic Conference quarterfinal game was just another awesome reason to love this month and this sport.

6. North Carolina and Virginia are set for an epic showdown Saturday night in D.C.

Two years ago, Virginia stormed down to Tobacco Road and beat Duke in Greensboro to win the ACC Tournament for the first time since 1976 and only the second time in program history. Saturday night features another matchup with one of the blue bloods of college basketball, but this time it’s going to be on Virginia’s terms, in Virginia’s backyard. The Verizon Center has been a sea of orange throughout the week and there were moments in the wins against Georgia Tech and Miami when the arena might have been even louder than Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones arena. After years of trekking to the North Carolina for ACC tournaments now the Wahoos get to play host and possibly secure a 1-seed. The game is loaded with veterans who have been caught in ACC classics over the last few years, so make sure you tune in to the final ACC Tournament game for Malcolm Brogdon, Anthony Gill, Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige.

Oregon is making its claim for the West Region 1-seed.(USATSI)
Oregon is making its claim for the West Region 1-seed. (USATSI)

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