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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Breakfast Buffet: Gonzaga’s WCC title streak has new life

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Jarred DuBois, right, drives against Clint Steindl (AP)

1. Gonzaga's streak of 11 straight WCC titles has new life thanks to LMU's 75-60 upset victory over Saint Mary's on Wednesday night. The Zags will claim at least a share of the title if they win out, no easy task with tricky games against San Francisco and BYU remaining. Many noted this feels eerily similar to last year's February collapse from Saint Mary's, but let's be cautious. There's nothing to be ashamed of losing at Gonzaga last week and while a home loss to LMU was disappointing, the talented Lions have also defeated BYU, Saint Louis and UCLA this year.

2. It probably says a lot about the scoring futility of Big Ten basketball that the benchmark for free Big Macs for Penn State fans is merely if the home team reaches 70 points. Either way, first-year coach Patrick Chambers felt bad his team only reached 67 in a home win over Nebraska on Saturday night, so on Wednesday he spent an hour passing out burgers at a McDonald's near campus to the first 200 Penn State students with ticket stubs from Saturday's game.

3. The trend of coaches not making it through the season continued Wednesday when Mount St. Mary's placed head coach Robert Burke on administrative leave and named assistant Matt Henry as interim coach. Burke was 6-19 this season and 17-40 since being named head coach in May 2010. "Decisions like this are never easy and certainly more difficult while our season is in progress," athletic director Lynne Robinson said.

4. If Southern Mississippi wins at least a share of the Conference USA title, the Golden Eagles will remember Neil Watson's game-tying three-pointer with 0.5 second left in regulation on Wednesday night as a huge reason why. Watson forced overtime against previously surging Tulsa, enabling Southern Miss to overcome squandering a 15-point second-half lead and escape with a 77-69 victory.

5. Southern Methodist and Alabama-Birmingham set back college basketball a decade or two on Wednesday night when the Blazers beat the Mustangs 47-28. Amazingly enough, SMU shot 17.4 percent from the field and missed 26 of 29 three-point attempts, yet didn't set this season's mark for scoring futility. That still belongs to both Towson and Arkansas State, both of whom scored 27 earlier this year.

Since Butler hosted Loyola (Chicago) on Valentines Day on Tuesday night, the Bulldogs made this terrific parody video urging fans to bring their dates to Hinkle Fieldhouse instead of their usual holiday dinner plans. Butler rewarded fans who did come to the game with its third win in a row, a 63-57 victory that inspired hope that the Bulldogs may yet have a Horizon League tournament run in them.

"He just asked us, 'Has anybody ever explained to you all how to manage a game? You know, how to win a game?'And as weird as the question sounds, no." -- North Carolina point guard Kendall Marshall describing a recent conversation with ex-Tar Heels guard Shammond Williams. That probably doesn't mean North Carolina never practiced late-game situations, yet it's still a telling quote a week removed from the Tar Heels' collapse against Duke. (Durham Herald-Sun)

• Wisconsin at Michigan State, 7 p.m. EST

• West Virginia at Pittsburgh, 9 p.m. EST

• Vanderbilt at Ole Miss, 9 p.m. EST

• NC State at Duke, 9 p.m. EST

• Oregon at California, 10:30 p.m. EST

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