Breakfast Buffet: How damaging was Northern Iowa's loss?

Jeff Eisenberg

Pull up a chair and sit down at the breakfast buffet, a daily assortment of all the freshest newsworthy college hoops stories on the net. To make a submission, contact me via email or twitter.

• Move over Penn-Cornell. You've got competition in the race for the biggest upset in college basketball this season. Last-place Evansville earned its second Missouri Valley win of the season on Tuesday night by taking down a Northern Iowa team still without suspended big man Jordan Eglseder. At 24-4, 14-3, the Panthers still appear to be in good position for an at-large bid, but they might want to avoid falling to Illinois State in Saturday's regular season finale or bowing out early in the conference tournament.

• Two bubble teams that helped themselves immensely on Tuesday night: Florida by snapping a six-game losing streak to Tennessee and Illinois by staving off Michigan. The Gators are solidly in the field now barring a late collapse, while the Illini can give themselves some margin for error heading into a tough final week against Ohio State and Wisconsin with a win over Minnesota this Saturday.

• Four really intriguing games on the Wednesday docket involve fringe bubble teams desperate for a marquee win against highly ranked opponents: San Diego State at BYU, South Florida at Villanova, Dayton at Temple and Purdue at Minnesota. A win would put the Aztecs and Flyers on the right side of the bubble and propel the Gophers and Bulls back into the at-large conversation, while a loss would be devastating to all of them.

• Ole Miss retired its controversial Colonel Rebel mascot in 2003, and on Tuesday the student body voted in favor of a measure that will ensure they have a say in what the new mascot will be. Since the school is not doing away with its Rebels nickname, is the new mascot going to be a James Dean lookalike? Or something out of Star Wars? Anything they pick is going to feel out of place at a traditional SEC school.

• With Memphis surging and bubble teams elsewhere floundering, suddenly the Tigers are thinking an at-large bid may not be the pike dream it once seemed. "We control our own destiny, and that means you have to win games. If we do our job by winning games we'll be in the tournament," coach Josh Pastner said. "I don't play mind games. I'm not a psychologist, I'm a coach. I'm very honest with our players, and that's the truth. Our backs are against the wall, and our margin of error is slim-to-none."

• Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors may be one of the most hyped freshman in this year's class, but the unassuming big man is doing everything he can not to let the spotlight go to his head. "He always tells me, ‘Man, cartoons are the only thing that keeps it real nowadays,' " said Tech freshman and fellow suitemate Brian Oliver. "If they say something he doesn't like [on ESPN], he'll say ‘See, I told you. You watch Tom and Jerry, it'll be all right.'"

• Let's hope Lance Stephenson sticks by his wise decision to return to Cincinnati next season. The New York city phenom surely had a lot of pressure to live up to his "Born Ready" nickname and leave for the NBA after one season, but his game is still raw and in need of refinement. Better to do that in college for another season or two than at the end of an NBA bench or in the D-League.

• With a smorgasbord of conference tournament action on tap in a couple weeks, the guys over at Buster Sports channeled their inner-math nerd and came up with a statistical formula telling you what to watch. The verdict? If you want close games, tune in to the Big East and if you like a higher tempo go with the Big 12 or the SEC. Oh, and from my non-statistical analysis, if you like bad basketball and 25-point blowouts, the Pac-10 is always an option.

• Washington's Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas both "guaranteed" a win over rival Washington State this Saturday, which apparently is creating a bit of a stir in the Pacific Northwest. I understand that a team with all of one road win this season probably shouldn't be guaranteeing anything, but seriously, what are these kids supposed to say when a reporter asks them who's going to win?